Tag Archives: economy

the definition of poverty.

In support of Blog Action Day, we should all take an opportunity to reflect on the reality of poverty. I definitely think there are two types of people when it comes to the issue of poverty: those who acknowledge it and have seen proof of it’s existence (and in some sense can probably relate), and those who exile the idea from their minds and simply sweep it under the rug. The basic idea of poverty is that you are unable to afford necessities. The homeless vagrants standing out front of 7-11 asking for change certainly exhibit traits of being poor. But, the reality is – people who have jobs, have cars, rent houses, have children, and vote – are also poor.

Every year the federal government is nice enough to tell us who is poor and who is not. For 2007, the imaginary poverty line for a single person under the age of 65 was set at $10,787 – and at $21,027 for a family of four. By this logic, someone who makes an astounding $15,000/year is actually fairly well off.  But, with the average rent/mortgage payment in the U.S. hovering near $700 each month – how can someone making 11K per year not be poor, when devoting nearly 75% of their income just to the basic principle of shelter? I can remember being in this income bracket, with nothing but a 5 lb box of rice to tide me over – everything else was a luxury.  How can someone muster up the gas money, application fee, and cost of books to go to college when a gallon of gas is equivalent to what they make in 60 minutes of work?

It’s time that the ‘powers that be realistically’ address the definition of poverty.

In the meantime, read George Clason’s “The Richest Man in Babylon” (pdf).

Find out what you can do to take a stand against poverty in your community.

And of course, whether rich or poor, don’t forget to vote November 4th.

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why so quiet on $612 billion bill that nearly equals bail-out proposal?

The Real News Network reported on October 4th about the most recent landmark spending budget passed by Congress that nearly rivals the $700 billion bail-out proposal, but comes no where near as close in regards to media coverage:

While debate over the Paulson bailout package dominated the headlines, the US Congress quietly passed a landmark $615 billion defense spending bill.  One of the few people to comment on the measure was Chalmers Johnson, in his article “We have the money.”  Chalmers explains to Real News Network’s Senior Editor Paul Jay how the military-industrial complex is a driving force behind the current financial crisis and a determinant of much of what happens in Washington.  He also criticizes the omission of the military-industrial complex from the political discourse determined by the two major parties and the media.

It’s clear that the US media has absolutely no respect for their profession and what it is supposed to represent in society.  With the uprising of information and ideas shared across the world wide web, it’s time we drown out those giant media conglomerates on the internet.  Let them have the TV and radio, and let’s all tune out.

Related article: America’s next president will inherit more than a financial catastrophe when he assumes office.

Update: AIG execs spend $500K at luxury spa weekend after receiving government bail out sums of $85 billion

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read the economic bail-out proposal.

Download the US Government Economic Bail-Out Proprosal (pdf)

With reports that George W. Bush and Ron Paulson’s initial plan was only 3 pages in length, I suppose this 451 page monstrosity is a bit of an upgrade, or maybe just a bunch of legal jargon meant to hide the hidden gems.

Either way, SOMEONE (other than just our congressman’s least favorite assistant) has to read it…I’m not saying it’s going to be me. I say we get 451 people together and each read a page, then we discuss it amongst ourselves.

I call dibs on page 227.

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ron paul speaks on the banking rescue plan

You can’t have a bad system and think..oh, we’re gonna have brilliant regulators and prevent all of the bad things. -Ron Paul

Update: I just came across Ron Paul’s written statement and additional conversation with a very bored-looking Ben Bernanke at a newly discovered blog, Cultural Capitalism.

Update #2: Rep. Marcy Kaptur (D)-Ohio shows us at least that we can all discuss it openly, in terms that the people can all understand.  My biggest complaint would be that the administration is acting as if not only can Congress and all of our state’s politicians not understand the issues and fixes, but neither can the people. Someone needs to compile some footage of average Americans discussing it all so the government can see – we are just as smart as you are, and we probably read more.

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