As forclosures rise, so do tent cities filled with Americans.
Across the country, tent cities are rising everywhere. From California
, where foreclosures are taking over 60,000 homes per month, to Vegas
, where hungry children sleep in the glittered dust of the wealthy, to St. Petersburg, Florida where the cops are destroying the tents of the homeless
to make them leave the city, to the suburbs
, hunger, and poverty
are on the rise. The government's response? Change how "homeless" is defined
, so that the numbers appear to be decreasing at the same time that tents are springing up all over the country. [more inside]
posted by dejah420
on Nov 7, 2008 -
Many poor Haitians, driven over the edge by world rising food prices, are now eating cakes of mud, salt and shortening
in order to survive. This article
in the September issue of National Geographic describes how, thanks to history and other factors such as hurricanes, Haiti has lost its ability to feed itself; more than 90% of the country is deforested. The picture caption in the print version, not seen online, uses the word "clay" instead of "dirt". Bill Quigley wrote about the U.S. role in Haiti's food riots
, which claimed six lives last spring.
posted by Melismata
on Oct 10, 2008 -
It was a mass protest
held outside the halls of Washington. Led, or at least it was supposed to be, by Martin Luther King Jr.
(before he was assassinated) it was going to show the world the glaring divide
that existed between the Rich and the Poor
of America. Black, White, Red, Yellow
--they all gathered from all over the US, to stay together for six weeks, outside the Capitol, and inform
the public about what life in America could sometimes mean, if you were not considered economically, socially or racially acceptable. Unfortunately, the problem still persists
, even today.
posted by hadjiboy
on Aug 10, 2008 -
"Nobody in the antipoverty community and nobody in city leadership was going to welcome the news that the noble experiment that they’d been engaged in for the past decade had been bringing the city down, in ways they’d never expected. But the connection was too obvious to ignore, and Betts and Janikowski figured that the same thing must be happening all around the country."
American Murder Mystery
. Page 2
. Page 3
. Page 4
posted by wittgenstein
on Jul 7, 2008 -
The new face of hunger
-- “World agriculture has entered a new, unsustainable and politically risky period” says the International Food Policy Research Institute. Food riots have erupted in countries all along the equator because of soaring food commodity prices. So, where does the world get more food? If the extra supplies are to come mainly from large farmers in America and Europe, then they may be trapped in a farm subsidy Catch-22
. Increase production per acre? We just learned about the myth of GM crops (previously of MeFi
). All of this is why some are just sitting out Earth Day
posted by netbros
on Apr 22, 2008 -
monitors the progress of efforts, articulated in numerous international agreements (1 2 3
), to end poverty and increase equality worldwide. By coordinating the reports of a network of citizens' organizations
, Social Watch aims to keep tabs on progress toward specific initiatives in each country, lobbying national governments as appropriate. Search by country
for a snapshot of social and economic progress. Browse various measures
of stability and meaningful development. Lots more, including meaty, well-documented reports and statistics, and holy crapola, nice graphics.
posted by Rykey
on Apr 5, 2008 -
The Every Child Matters Education Fund
, a non-profit organization that lobbies for better education and services for children, released a report
(audio accompanies link text) this week that reveals that geography is as important as race and class in determining which children succeed, and which fail.
The five highest ranking states, based on such factors as child poverty, infant mortality rates, juvenile incarceration rates and the like, were all in New England, with Vermont on top. The bottom five were all in the central South, with Louisiana coming in last... States with a high tax burden did a far better job of minimizing childhood poverty than low-taxing states.
Via John Ibbitson
in the Globe and Mail [more inside]
posted by KokuRyu
on Apr 4, 2008 -
"In a test
of the American Dream, Adam Shepard started life from scratch with the clothes on his back and twenty-five dollars. Ten months later, he had an apartment, a car, and a small savings." Introduction
to the book which arose from his "journey", which was inspired by Barbara Ehrenreich
. [more inside]
posted by Rumple
on Feb 15, 2008 -
A State Street Family Album -
State Street in Madison, Wisconsin is a half mile link between the Capitol dome and the campus of the University of Wisconsin. Tree lined, traffic restricted, shops of all manner, State Street represents an almost picture postcard ideal. It is also home to the Family. In the 30's they might have ridden the rails
, now they are hanging out in the Peace Park. Glenn Austin has documented their community.
posted by caddis
on Aug 13, 2007 -
The Happy Planet Index
presents an alternative to GDP for measuring standard of living. It ranks countries by measuring life expectancy and self-reported life satisfaction against an "ecological footprint" needed to support that country's lifestyle. The press release
claims that well-being is not based on high levels of consumption, but many don't agree
. Full report in PDF here
. Vanuatu tops the charts, while Zimbabwe and Swaziland lie at bottom. Critiques here
, and here
. A critique of happiness indices generally here.
posted by shivohum
on Jun 3, 2007 -
Where's the money?
[YouTube] In a short interview with the BBC, Bob Geldof and Bono discuss ongoing efforts to get G8 members to fulfil commitments made at the Gleneagles summit, their own credibility or lack of, and whether or not the current focus on climate change is taking attention away from the situation in Africa. This Guardian article
has more details.
posted by teleskiving
on May 16, 2007 -
"I'm not from here, so when I was told that what these boys do in the fields makes 'em fast, I didn't believe it." Welcome to Muck City
posted by kyleg
on Apr 16, 2007 -
A memorial to the many dead.
Here in Oakland, California
, the murder rate has gone out of control.
The incoming mayor
has not articulated any clear plan for reducing violence. And the current one, having only seen violence increase here, is going on to become the state Attorney General
Amid the challenges Oaklanders face - gentrification
, a lack of meaningful work opportunities
, and a history of a devistating drug trade
, there are some efforts to make change: here
, here, here
, and here
posted by serazin
on Dec 19, 2006 -
Clean water is a right:
"The United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) published its annual report on human development
. It denounces the world's complacent disregard for such unglamorous subjects as standpipes, latrines and the 1.8m children who die each year from diarrhoea because the authorities cannot keep their drinking water separate from their faeces. The study
is both coldly analytical and angry..."
posted by kliuless
on Nov 24, 2006 -
I sometimes look up at the bit of blue sky
High over my head, with a tear in my eye.
Surrounded by walls that are too high to climb,
Confined like a felon without any crime...
posted by Miko
on Sep 18, 2006 -
Ilha Das Flores video
"A tomato is planted, harvested and sold at a supermarket, but it rots and ends up in the trash. The end?
No. ISLAND OF FLOWERS follows it up until its real end, among animals, trash, women and children. And then the difference between tomatoes, pigs and human beings becomes clear."
A remarkable and devastating 12 minute film from director Jorge Furtado
posted by maryh
on Aug 18, 2006 -
Inner City Youth, London
"In 2002, Simon Wheatley
began photographing London's publich housing developments...and was able to obtain a level of intimacy with his subjects that provides a true picture of the daunting project of growing up in the intimate confines of drug use, societal neglect, and poverty."
This (Flash-based) narrated slideshow features Wheatley's work, and is a look at the culture...and also the music (grime
) "as an artistic response to the place and circumstance, an expression of the violence, bleakness, and neglect..." (via Future Feeder
posted by tpl1212
on Jul 20, 2006 -
Maid for a Month
. On February 1, Ontario raised its minimum wage from $7.45 to $7.75 per hour. Well-known Toronto Globe and Mail
writer Jan Wong: "I thought the best way to tell the story of that 30-cent raise was to work — and live — at the bottom of the food chain. I would find a low-paying job, a low-rent apartment and, single-mom-like, take my boys
with me for the month and see how we survived."
posted by russilwvong
on May 1, 2006 -