Poverty

Poverty was addressed in the World Bank's "Voices of the Poor," a report based on research with over 20,000 poor people in 23 countries, that identifies a range of factors which poor people identify as part of poverty. These include Abuse by those in power; Dis-empowering institutions; Excluded locations; Gender relationships; Lack of security; Limited capabilities; Physical limitations; Precarious livelihoods; Problems in social relationships; and Weak community organizations. The articles in this section cover these issues and more.

Missing Rungs? Flip the Ladder

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Broken Economic System — Disrespect comes as a moral tax; we Americans pay it over time with compound interest that manifests as contempt.

The Wealth and Poverty of Nations

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Poverty And America — If the US is the greatest nation on earth, then why do we allow such misery to continue generation after generation?

On Being Homeless in Venice

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Brian Connolly: Through all this, there are unmistakable acts of kindness. There is this rich blonde woman and a well-dressed brown-haired man in fine clothes who’ll jump out of their limo with cookies, one time with a beef stroganoff dish.

Food Stamp Cuts Hurt Us All

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Victoria Defrancesco Soto: The assault on food stamps is misdirected.  Aside from the fact that the overwhelming majority of recipients are families with children, the elderly, or disabled, the cuts won’t fix our economy. 

A Touch of Class: Knowing Our Place on the Social Ladder

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Steven Mikulan: The heady optimism that has traditionally led many Americans to believe we’re doing better than we actually are – a mirage consensus fed by television shows and movies featuring families who never seem to worry about money or employment – is eroding.

Their Dreams Ended in The San Fernando Massacre

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Two years ago, at an abandoned ranch in the Tamaulipas municipality of San Fernando, Zetas murdered 72 migrants who refused to cooperate with the mafia and were machine gunned to death.

Real Faces of the Minimum Wage

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Richard Eskow: Here’s the truth: Most minimum-wage workers are adults, the majority of them are women, and many are parents who are trying to raise their children on poverty wages.

Testing the New Pope’s Commitment to Poverty

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Walter Moss: Since the new pope seems to have a good sense of humor, he might appreciate the following irony: Although the Catholic Church he now heads bars women from the priesthood and his church is often accused of gender bias, the twentieth-century person who most forcefully embraced the ideals of St. Francis was a woman — Dorothy Day.

Defending Teachers and Teaching

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Mark Naison: Every time I walk into a classroom, I am trying to do for my students what the best teachers I had did for me; to capture my imagination to such a degree that what went on in that class would be etched in my memory for life.

What Teachers Do

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Mark Naison: Teachers are some of the most selfless, generous people in our nation. They deserve better than what they are currently getting from our political leaders and mass media

Time to Retire the 99 Percent

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Walter Brasch: It’s time to retire the 99 percent. Not the people, but the slogan that identifies the Occupy Movement.

Welcome to the 2012 Hunger Games

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Rob Tossberg: The odds are 99 to 1 you and I are the schmucks, working for scraps while the 1% take a pound of our flesh and look forward to eating our young.

What’s Happening to the “Human” in Human Services?

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Vivian Rothstein: We seem to be taking the humans out of a system that I thought was organized to make life better for actual people. As the cynics say, human services would be so much easier if it weren’t for the humans.

World Bank: Drastic Reformer Needed to Right a Failing Agenda

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Matt Kavanaugh: The blogsophere and Washington rumor-mill are working overtime right now on the question of who might be the next president of the World Bank.

We Need to Show Consideration for the Poor

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Alvaro Huerta: Making food stamps a campaign issue is a loser for Republicans. Too many Americans now recognize how vital the program is.

David Brooks’s Anti-Poverty Program: “Bourgeois Paternalism”

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Joseph Palermo: After telling his readers he isn’t going to blame the poor for being poor because of their bad behavior, David Brooks plows right ahead and blames the poor for being poor because of their bad behavior.

Occupiers Rally in Beverly Hills Park Wednesday Evening

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On Wednesday, February 15 from 4 – 7:30 pm, Occupiers will rally at the Will Rogers Memorial Park at9650 Sunset Blvd. in Beverly Hills to call attention to the corrupting influence of money in politics.

Homeless in Los Angeles

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Jerry Drucker: In all of Los Angeles County, except for Glendale, Pasadena and Long Beach, which conduct their own census counts, the 2011 census count of the homeless was 51,340, 3% less than 2009 at 52,931.

Welfare “Reform” Laws Deepen, Perpetuate Poverty

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Sherwood Ross: In passing TANF, Congress and Bill Clinton made good on their promise to ‘end welfare as we know it.’ It’s time to end welfare reform as we know it instead.

Retirement: Sitting on a One-Legged Stool

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Vivian Rothstein: According to the American Association of Retired People (AARP), a frightening 35 percent of Americans over 65 currently rely only on Social Security (an average person gets benefits of $14,000/year) to survive.

The Moral Question

Robert Reich: The appropriation bill the House passed June 16 would deny benefits to more than 700,000 eligible low-income women and young children next year. What kind of country are we living in?

The Texas Economic Model

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Steve Hochstadt: Republicans don’t mention poverty, because they don’t plan to do anything about it. The millions of poor Americans are invisible to Republican politicians. They pretend that trickle-down economics will reach the poor, but it hasn’t and won’t.

Smiley, West’s Anti-Poverty Theme Isn’t Hiding Anti-Obama Sentiment

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Anthony Asadullah Samad: Poverty’s important, but it must be addressed in the context of lifting the nation. The Poverty Tour, masked as a stealth anti-Obama campaign, is no way to get it addressed. For all of our sakes, let the megalomania stop and the healing begin, my friend.

The Perils for Obama of Not Talking About Poverty in America

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Joseph Palermo: By not speaking about the poor and poverty in America President Obama allows the Reagan era “welfare queen” construct to go unchallenged and, even worse, creates a vacuum that’s already being filled by right-wing pseudo-scholars.

The Children Who Feed Us

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Dick Price: The documentary “The Harvest/La Consecha” puts a human face on the 400,000 children who help harvest America’s crops as migrant farm workers season after season.

‘Let Them Eat Cake’ 2011-Style

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Mariah Adin: As a record number of Americans live below the poverty line to claim that poor children are doing well because they grow up to be “one inch taller and 10 pounds heavier than the GIs… in World War II” or that “the poorest Americans today live a better life than all but the richest persons a hundred years ago” only serves to show how awful it was one hundred years ago, not how wonderful it is today.

Famine Strikes Again: Will America Respond?

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William Lambers: East Africa is in the throes of famine. U.S. relief efforts over the past century show that we have always been willing to respond to humanitarian crises.

Our Fellow Felons

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Hannah Petrie: Even though the rates of drug-dealing and drug-using occurs equally among different races – (think weed here) whites deal to whites, blacks deal to blacks, Hispanics to Hispanics – it’s the people of color who get busted. And once you’re labeled a felon – and denied access to employment, housing, and other rights — your chances of returning to a straight and normal life are extremely low. It is a system designed to keep felons felons.

More Riches for the Rich

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Steve Hochstadt: But neither party has tried very hard to protect the poorest Americans from the outsized greed of the wealthy. About half of all members of Congress are millionaires, and all of them are beholden to the very wealthy for donations to their constant campaigning.

Keeping Public Schools Public

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Craig Williams: As progressives, we should also argue that educators need more funding just to deal with the increased poverty created in large part by the private sector.

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