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.

Rescue The Middle Class: Save Capitalism

Saving Capitalism

Robert Reich: Business leaders know the U.S. economy can’t get out of first gear as long as wages are declining. And their own businesses can’t succeed over the long term without a buoyant and growing middle class.

The Next U.S. War Should Target Poverty

Obama Targets Poverty

Randy Shaw: On issue after issue—education, housing, health care, transportation, student debt—the American people are being shortchanged because Beltway wisdom says that the U.S. cannot “afford” solutions.

3 Biggest Right-Wing Lies About Poverty

Lies About Poverty

Robert Reich: So why do so many right-wing Republicans tell these three lies? Because they make it almost impossible to focus on what the poor really need – good-paying jobs, adequate safety nets, and excellent schools.

On Being Homeless in Venice

venice homeless

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

grocery-shopping-351

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

greyhound-350'

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.

Real Faces of the Minimum Wage

minimum wage workers

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

Dorothy-Day-590

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

mark naison

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

teacher student

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

Homeless in Los Angeles

homeless man in los angeles

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.

Retirement: Sitting on a One-Legged Stool

fdr social security agency

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 Children Who Feed Us

the harvest

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

Marian Adin

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.

Our Fellow Felons

hannah petrie

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.

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