Being Poor ...
what it actually entails. More from Body and Soul
, and from Making Light
, and from here's a whosit
And this article,
in which ...they were trying to rescue people with a helicopter and the people were so poor they were afraid it would cost too much to get a ride and they had no money for a "ticket." Dupree was shaken telling us the story. He just couldn't believe these people were afraid they'd be charged for a rescue. ...
posted by amberglow
on Sep 11, 2005 -
The real disaster in New Orleans.
David Aaronovitch of the London Times observes, "It isn’t the failure to act in New Orleans that is the story here, it’s the sheer, uninsured, uncared for, self-disenfranchised scale of the poverty that lies revealed. It looks like a scene from the Third World because that’s the truth. It’s a quiet disaster that ’s been going on for years." The truth is
the Lower Ninth Ward of New Orleans has a poverty level of 36.4 percent. A quarter of households have an annual income of less than $10,000, while half live on less than $20,000. Over half of the population in the ward is categorized as “not in the labor force,” mainly because they have ceased looking for work. The truth is that even on a normal day, New Orleans is a sad city.
"Sure, tourists think New Orleans is fun: you can drink and hop from strip club to strip club all night on Bourbon Street, and gamble all your money away at Harrah’s. But the city’s decline over the past three decades has left it impoverished and lacking the resources to build its economy from within. New Orleans can’t take care of itself even when it is not 80 percent underwater." The National Review is already blaming it
- predictably - on the breakdown of the family. Conservatives in America are already dismissing the problem, as they have for years. But to those outside the United States, the scale of poverty in the world's richest country comes as a shock.
posted by three blind mice
on Sep 4, 2005 -
Who here hasn't been a bit short before payday?
Jacob Ayrton of Calgary took out a payday loan of $500. Two weeks later he owed Payroll Loan Canada $606.32
(a $95 "brokerage fee" and 59% interest for a whopping 15,000% per annum charge.) Yesterday, an Alberta judge certified a class-action suit against so-called payday lenders with Mr. Ayrton as lead complainant. "These companies really exploit people who are vulnerable," said
his lawyer. A fast-growing franchise opportunity for investors, payday loan operations are facing increased scrutiny in Canada
and the U.S. (NC
posted by docgonzo
on Apr 27, 2005 -
Kofi Annan has issued his recommendations
for tackling poverty and promoting security and human rights, incorporating the greatest alterations to the UN and Security Council in history.
posted by Pretty_Generic
on Mar 21, 2005 -
"The gap between the worlds’s rich and poor has never been wider. Malnutrition, AIDS, conflict and illiteracy are a daily reality for millions."
This seems like an interesting endeavour, with people like Nelson Mandela involved, as well. I'm a bit of a cynic about this because one of the biggest endorsements has come from Gordon Brown
. He's a known quantity
, and I wonder if this is another P.R. run to bolster his international credentials.
Oh, and there's a possibility it could be blocked
before it gathers enough steam -- so much for Soft Power
posted by gsb
on Jan 31, 2005 -
Meet the Landlord.
Mr. Bobby Veal, a class act guy, decides to harass and rape mothers living alone on Section 8. Oh, but it gets better, when they refused sex and began to complain, he'd evict them, change the locks and keep their furniture inside. Even after an eventual trial and conviction, what are the women doing now? Living in cars, furniture stolen by Mr. Veal and waiting for the court settlement that many believe will never come. Poverty ain't pretty.
posted by geoff.
on Dec 3, 2004 -
Driven, immodest, intense and abrasive, Jeffrey Sachs is clearly a man on a mission
. That mission is ending global poverty in our lifetimes.
Can the man who once administered "shock therapy" to a reeling Russia, with tragic if predictable results, redeem himself? And even if the developed world somehow comes to a consensus that this is a project worth undertaking, would it work? (Apologies for yet another NYT
posted by adamgreenfield
on Nov 7, 2004 -
"All he has left now
to remember the grandson he once carried on his back is a stack of workbooks -- trigonometry, politics, history. Mr. Zheng does not recognize enough Chinese characters to read them. But he keeps the books as memorials." The best human interest story of the year, and a look into the lives of China's rural poor.
posted by Tlogmer
on Aug 1, 2004 -
Backyard Third World
John F. Kennedy saw it and pronounced it a shame on our nation. Lyndon B. Johnson tried to change it. The "compassionate conservatives" have exacerbated it. I wanted to share it with you. Isn't it time for real change? Hasn't the exploitation of this place and these people gone on long enough?
posted by nofundy
on Jul 26, 2004 -
Consider the scorecard. During Clinton's two terms, the median income for American families increased by a solid 15% after inflation, according to Census Bureau figures. But it rose even faster for African Americans (33%) and Hispanics (24%) than it did for whites (14%). The growth was so widely shared that from 1993 through 1999, families in the bottom fifth of the income distribution saw their incomes increase faster than those in the top 5%. By comparison, under President Reagan in the 1980s, those in the top 5% increased their income more than five times faster than the bottom 20%. Likewise, the poverty rate under Clinton fell 25%, the biggest eight-year decline since the 1960s. It fell even faster for particularly vulnerable groups like blacks, Hispanics and children. Again the contrast with Reagan is striking. During Reagan's two terms, the number of Americans in poverty fell by just 77,000. During Clinton's two terms, the number of Americans in poverty plummeted by 8.1 million. The number of children in poverty fell by 50,000 under Reagan. Under Clinton the number was 4.1 million. That's a ratio of 80 to 1.
Clinton's Biggest Gains Not on Conservative Critics' Radar
posted by y2karl
on Jun 29, 2004 -
Mad As Hell
First we had Al Gore letting loose with both barrels
at NYU, and now Bill Moyers drops the bomb on the poverty gap in this country
"The rich have the right to buy more homes than anyone else. They have the right to buy more cars than anyone else, more gizmos than anyone else, more clothes and vacations than anyone else. But they do not have the right to buy more democracy than anyone else."
P.S: Earth to Kerry: mebbe you want to talk to one of these guys, they seem to be on to something. Have one of your speech writers give them a call...
posted by piedrasyluz
on Jun 18, 2004 -
Low-Income Children At Risk "Low-income children are disproportionately exposed to a daunting array of adverse social and physical environmental conditions,"
according to Gary Evans of Cornell University. Evans reviewed almost 200 studies to document the environment of childhood poverty in the current issue of American Psychologist (Vol. 59:2, 77-92, 2004).
Public policy also tends to consider just one "magic bullet" at a time, Evans says. "To make a difference, we need to take a broader perspective for intervention.”
What public policy changes
would you suggest to protect and enrich the lives of children in low-income communities?
posted by mcgraw
on Apr 13, 2004 -
'is an institution that often evokes the harsh and squalid world of Oliver Twist
, but its story is also a fascinating mixture of social history, politics, economics and architecture.'
posted by plep
on Mar 3, 2004 -
If the poor get richer, does the world see progress?
The global "consumer class", defined by those who make $7,000 or more in local currency, is growing quickly but making it even more difficult for the worlds poor to get ahead. 1.7 billion belong to the consumer class while over 3 billion survive on less than $2 a day. Will the growing tide of new consumers in the developing world contribute to the solution of global poverty or simply add to the problem?
posted by stbalbach
on Feb 3, 2004 -
the working poor
A new book by Beth Shulman called The Betrayal of Work” argues that hard work is just not cutting it in America anymore. According to Shulman, even in the go-go ’90s one out of every four American workers made less than $8.70 an hour, an income equal to the government’s poverty level for a family of four. Many, if not most, of these workers have no health care, sick pay or retirement provisions.
posted by jbou
on Nov 30, 2003 -
Did you know that...
Aid fell in the 1990s—by nearly a third on a per capita basis in Sub-Saharan Africa? In Sub Saharan Africa, half the population lives on less than 1$ a day? At current rates Sub-Saharan Africa will not meet the poverty Goal until 2147? If all the food produced worldwide were distributed equally, every person would be able to consume 2,760 calories a day (hunger is defined as consuming fewer than 1,960 calories a day)? These and more facts can be found in the 2003 UN Human Development Report
posted by stonerose
on Jul 8, 2003 -
The bait and switch.
A last-minute revision by House and Senate leaders in the tax bill
that President Bush signed today will prevent millions of minimum-wage families from receiving the increased child credit that is in the measure.
posted by four panels
on May 29, 2003 -
From crematorium scandals
to pimp suits
and Ben Curtis
in between, the Chattanooga area has it all. Enter our latest wonder: Beer for the Homeless.com
. Created by a local Talk Radio DJ or two, the site is a serious attempt (ok, it's kinda tongue-in-cheek) to stop homeless citizens from hassling people for beer money. Well, they made their first delivery last week and have some photos and quote from their "clients".
posted by mkelley
on May 23, 2003 -
I was wrong. Free market trade policies hurt the poor.
“As leader of the delegation from the United Kingdom [to Seattle in 1999], I was convinced that the expansion of world trade had the potential to bring major benefits to developing countries and would be one of the key means by which world poverty would be tackled... I now believe that this approach is wrong and misguided.”
posted by raaka
on May 19, 2003 -
A Special Kind of Poverty
This great article appeared in yesterday's Washington Post Sunday Magazine. Its subject: the trials and tribulations of the poor seeking treatment for their infertility. I don't think I have to list the whole raft of issues this subject raises. As touching as it is thought-provoking.
posted by tommyspoon
on Apr 21, 2003 -
US income distribution moves towards 3rd world profile?
- US Census Bureau
data on growing family income inequality, 1947 to 2001. Also see: The
(for a graphic depiction of current US wealth distribution).
"The most egalitarian countries have a Gini index in the 20s. European
countries like Germany, Austria, Belgium, Hungary, Poland, Norway, and Sweden all fall in that
range, according to World Bank figures. Canada and Australia are just over 30. The United States
is around 40...Once inequality reaches 50 percent, disparities become glaringly obvious, to the
point where they undermine a society's sense of unity and common purpose....Sierra Leone takes
the prize. At 63 percent, it offers the world's most extreme example of inequality."
By multiple measures, income
in the US is rapidly increasing, and a substantial percentage of middle class Americans may be gradually sliding into poverty.
posted by troutfishing
on Jan 15, 2003 -
Poverty and the Welfare State: Dispelling the myths
This working paper (PDF file) states that "debates on poverty and welfare in Britain are full of myths." Among them (culled from the exec summary, since I'm still reading the paper):
1. The belief that poverty is long term and is passed from generation to generation is not consistent with the evidence.
2. Poverty is not caused by people behaving differently (although people act differently after they become poor), or by people having too many children, or by racial differences.
3. Scare stories about spiraling costs and abuse are greatly exaggerated.
4. Welfare does not encourage dependency.
Just in case anybody's writing a major paper over the holidays or anything.
I found this via the fantastic Canadian Social Research Links
(And if this came up in a previous post, I apologize; I searched on just about every relevant term I could think of.)
posted by 314/
on Dec 30, 2002 -
: the first in a New York Times
series on class in the United States. Princeton economics professor Paul Krugman declares the death of the middle class, pointing out disparities between the rich and the poor, examining efforts to cover up class makeup with quantile data, and probing the transformation of corporate executive ethics and influence. Even Glenn Reynolds
is taken to task for his Sweden-Mississippi per capita GDP comparison. Krugman's sources
are on the slim side, but the question must be asked: Are we living in a new Gilded Age? And, if so, how can citizens and government work to change things?
posted by ed
on Oct 20, 2002 -
Mike Males, Ph.D.,
professor of Sociology at UC Santa Cruz, author and pro-youth advocate, thinks kids are getting a bad rap these days. He is very fond of pointing out
that poverty and grown-ups are the biggest threats to teens today. His latest book, "Kids and Guns", is available for free online (HTML version
on his homepage, PDF version
at Common Courage Press). He even knocks
the drug policy reform movement for making the same "save the children" diatribes as their opponents. His site isn't exactly the prettiest thing I've ever seen, but I haven't been so engrossed by something on the web in a long, long time.
posted by botono9
on Oct 13, 2002 -
Beverly Hillbillies, Redux!
No... not a new movie, but a reality series under development by the shiny and shimmering Tiffany Network
. CBS scouts are scouring for a "rural, rustically telegenic" family to be whisked to a brand new home in Beverly Hills, and have a life of luxury bestowed upon them for a period of a year... cameras following them all the way. Crass exploitation of the poor when the gap between rich and poor gets larger and larger? Fun idea to see what happens when someone's dreams come true? Somewhere in the middle? What do people think?
posted by tittergrrl
on Aug 28, 2002 -