Sunday Thoughts

Retirement!

AS a Baby Boomer I am enjoying my retirement but sadly too many Americans cannot say the same thing…..too many find themselves in poverty after retirement….we all have heard about the elderly couple that has resorted to eating cat food….right?

This is a situation that should never have happened…..originally Social Security was to help prevent this but too many cowardly presidents, both parties, have seen fit to tap the SS funds to pay for pet projects.

Retirement should NEVER mean poverty!

Vivian Majors spent her life cleaning houses while her husband, Martin, worked as a carpenter.

Their bodies broke down in their 60s. Martin now lives in a nursing home and has Parkinson’s disease. Vivian, now 71, lives on her own and ekes by on a $960 in social security, plus $50 in food stamps.

Hardened by years of physically taxing work that left her hovering around the poverty line, Majors, now retired, is girding herself for more years of financial hardship.

Social Security supposedly wiped out the scourge of old-age poverty. But inequality has widened the gap between the secure and insecure in all age groups, exposing American seniors to financial distress in ways that often go unnoticed.

According to research from the University of Massachusetts Boston, material hardship bedevils millions of Americans like Majors.

https://www.commondreams.org/views/2019/07/29/retirement-shouldnt-mean-poverty

The big news of the day is the mass shooting at a Walmart in El Paso,,,,,,,

A suspect is in custody after a mass shooting left 20 people dead at a Texas Walmart on Saturday, the New York Times reports. Police say a gunman entered the store with an AK-47-style rifle and opened fire just before 11am, injuring 26 others and causing general panic before giving himself up to police. Officials are considering capital murder charges for the man in custody, 21-year-old Patrick Crusius, and are reading an anti-immigrant manifesto to see whether the gunman wrote it—which could turn the massacre into a terrorist act or federal hate crime. “Hispanics will take control of the local and state government of my beloved Texas, changing policy to better suit their needs,” reads the manifesto, which says more Hispanics will make Texas “a Democrat stronghold.”

Over 1,000 customers and 100 employees were in the store at the time, including children holding a fundraiser, who were among those shot by the gunman, the El Paso Timesreports. “We heard shots and saw smoke,” says an eyewitness who works at McDonald’s in the store. “I saw a man on the floor full of blood.” A customer says he saw “people crying: children, old people, all in shock,” including a baby partly covered in blood. Nearby hospitals are treating the wounded, whose conditions and ages vary widely. The New York Times notes that El Paso is a mostly Hispanic city that has been flooded with thousands of Central American migrant families in recent months. “Terrible shootings in El Paso, Texas,” President Trump tweeted. “Reports are very bad, many killed.”

While the country was hearing all about this particular shooting there was more news….some mass shooting was a popular activity for the weekend…..

https://www.daytondailynews.com/news/crime–law/police-responding-active-shooting-oregon-district/dHOvgFCs726CylnDLdZQxM/

10 dead, including suspect, in Dayton, Ohio mass shooting

The sad part about this other than the loss of life is that society is so nonchalant about these attacks….it has become so commonplace that few seem to care.

I cannot wait to see what worthless reporting will do to change things.

I’m disgusted!

“Lego Ergo Sum”

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Poverty Creeps

The political slogans of the day are all about how well the country is doing….how well the workers are doing….and that a better future is on the horizon…..

The news does not bear out the “good news” that all the Right politicos want you to believe….how shall I say that so there is NO confusing?

They are LYING!

The U.S. poverty rate in 2016 was between 12.7 and 14.0 percent. But the poverty threshold is based on an outmoded formula from the 1960s. According to the Congressional Research Service (CRS), the threshold should be THREE TIMES HIGHER today. And it could be even higher if the true nature of poverty is considered.

There is poverty in the diminishing quality of life for Americans who are unable to pay for medical treatment during years of declining health, and instead turn to life-threatening opioid painkillers, readily available in a nation with less than 5 percent of the world’s population and 30 percent of the world’s opioid consumption. Poverty is the lack of community support in a winner-take-all society; the stress of overwhelming debt; the steady decline of jobs that pay enough to support a family; the inability to afford a move to a desired neighborhood; the deadening impact of inequality on physical and mental well-being. The United Nations describes America as a nation near the bottom of the developed world in safety net support and economic mobility, with the highest infant mortality rate in the developed world, the world’s highest incarceration rate, and the highest obesity levels. Low-income Americans are often surrounded by food deserts, with insufficient access to clean water and sanitation, and with the pollutionlevels of third-world countries. The poorest among us are even susceptible — unbelievably — to rare tropical diseases and once-eradicated scourges like hookworm.

http://theantimedia.com/half-of-americans-poverty/

This should be unacceptable to the Right….but as usual they cannot see past the rhetoric of their leaders…..leaders that owe their souls as well as their politics to the people with the deep pockets….for lobbying, not for worker wages.

This article is just an FYI……sad that it occurs in the greatest country on the planet…..and contrary to popular Right wing beliefs….these people are not lazy or slackers or any other insult they want to throw…..they are Americans.  Period!

https://southerlymag.org/2018/07/05/the-rural-souths-invisible-public-health-crisis/

Markets do not make the economy strong….it makes those crooks running corporations wealthy….not the people.

Why Do Some Americans Stay Poor

There is one aspect of American society that confuses many people especially those in other countries…..American poverty.

Many sociologists, economist and other social scientists have tried to explain this situation….few succeed.  This blogger tried to answer the question of Why Poverty 10 years ago….as I said….tried.

https://lobotero.com/2008/09/29/why-is-poverty-a-dirty-word/

It is a nagging question.  There are many myths to go with the question….the biggest of these is the answer that these poor people are freeloaders that do not want to work and all they do is take from the taxpayer.

It is a simple explanation that fits the narrative from the Reagan conserv years.  It was a myth then and it remains a myth today.  So why do some Americans stay poor?

In his State of the Union address, President Trump said “there has never been a better time to start living the American Dream.” But the new 2018 Prosperity Now Scorecard and its accompanying report says that isn’t so for low-income Americans.

“The system is, by just about all measures, stacked against those with low incomes and low wealth for the benefit of the wealthiest,” says the report from the nonpartisan but left-leaning Prosperity Now nonprofit, which provides research and recommendations regarding Americans with limited incomes.

One example: low-income people are ineligible for federal programs such as SNAP (food stamps) and TANF (Temporary Assistance for Needy Families) if they amass “even modest savings,” the report noted. Prosperity Now calls policies like this “a roadblock on the path to saving.

https://www.marketwatch.com/story/this-is-the-real-reason-many-americans-stay-poor-2018-02-13

There is a considerable controversy about poverty and its relationship within inequality. From one point of view, any society with inequality is bound to have poverty. In other words, poverty is more likely to occur in a society which accepts inequality. Sociologists who adopt a relative definition of poverty accept that for the eradication of poverty, it is necessary to first abolish all inequality in income.

Now we know that the abolition of inequality in this country is never going to occur under this governmental standard.  Not too damn many Americans are poor because they want to be so…the system is the problem and a system change is not very damn likely.  Ergo the poor will remain poor and the wealthy will just continue to be exploitative and wealthier.

Closing Thought–08Feb18

After many decades of social activism there is one problem that could have been eliminated but there was never any seriousness to do so…..poverty.

And the poverty that irks me the most is child poverty……and the fact that it still exist is indefensible…..

The Trump administration’s proposals on the annual budget, the efforts to repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act (Obamacare), and restructuring of the tax system all point to a sad and even tragic conclusion. The poor will be poorer, dilapidated towns will continue to crumble, and crime will rise; but worst of all, our underprivileged children will be weaker, suffering from a lack of medical care and malnutrition with little or no prospect for better and brighter tomorrows.

The state of poverty in the United States, particularly among children, is abhorrent and scandalous, putting America, the richest and most powerful country in the world, in a shameful light. Successive American administrations are guilty of outrageous negligence toward poor children and have inflicted incalculable damage to millions who continue to suffer, causing a tremendous loss of human resources and productivity to the country.

https://www.huffingtonpost.com/entry/child-poverty-in-america-is-indefensible_us_59f21fabe4b06acda25f485c

I wish that I could have help end child poverty but all my hard work did little……sad to say that all everyone’s hard work has done little to eliminate the scourge of poverty.

Bye now…..until tomorrow……be safe, be well…..chuq

Closing Thought–11Dec17

Debilitating poverty……open sewage……poor education…..sounds like most Third World nations, right?

Maybe so but in this case it is some of the stuff a UN investigator on poverty found in rural Alabama……yes, right here in the US of A……

A United Nations official investigating poverty in the United States was shocked at the level of environmental degradation in some areas of rural Alabama, saying he had never seen anything like it in the developed world.

“I think it’s very uncommon in the First World. This is not a sight that one normally sees. I’d have to say that I haven’t seen this,” Philip Alston, the U.N.’s Special Rapporteur on extreme poverty and human rights, told Connor Sheets of AL.com earlier this week as they toured a community in Butler County where raw sewage flows from homes through exposed PVC pipes and into open trenches and pits.

The tour through Alabama’s rural communities is part of a two-week investigation by the U.N. on poverty and human rights abuses in the United States. So far, U.N. investigators have visited cities and towns in California and Alabama, and will soon travel to Puerto Rico, Washington, D.C., and West Virginia.

https://www.rawstory.com/2017/12/raw-sewage-hookworm-and-civil-rights-un-official-shocked-at-poverty-in-rural-alabama/

This in the “greatest” country in the world…….how pathetic is this?

That is it for me for today…..same time tomorrow….same blog…..be well….be safe……chuq

Hillary Has a Plan For Poverty

I have had my fill of gossip in this election…..this is a reoccurring phenom in every election since Jefferson….it is getting sickening.

Instead of mentioning her plan for poverty on the campaign trail she issued an op-ed in NYTimes…….

Hillary Clinton penned an op-ed in today’s New York Times outlining her anti-poverty plan. She often talks about issues related to poverty, but this may be the first time in the general election that she has put forth a plan to address it. (she has been running for a year or more and it is important now…why?)

Clinton writes:

The best way to help families lift themselves out of poverty is to make it easier to find good-paying jobs. As president, one of my top priorities will be increasing economic growth that’s strong, fair and lasting. I will work with Democrats and Republicans to make a historic investment in good-paying jobs — jobs in infrastructure and manufacturing, technology and innovation, small businesses and clean energy. And we need to make sure that hard work is rewarded by raising the minimum wage and finally guaranteeing equal pay for women. (what part of this is a plan?  Sounds like the same platitudes we always hear)

Source: Clinton’s anti-poverty plan – AEI | Poverty Studies Blog » AEIdeas

The American Enterprise Institute…..whose main concern is the maximizing of corporate profits…..

These are the same promises we always hear at election time…..where is the plan to actually get this done?

But to be fair…here is a link to the original report……

Source: Full-Report.pdf

It is a lengthy report and if you read it then tell me where the promise can be fulfilled.

All this is just a re-hash of the bullshit from the DLC in the 1990’s……her plan will benefit no one but corporate interests…..

Please DO NOT be fooled by the bullshit passed off as a “plan”.

But speaking of a job…..let’s say Clinton wins the election and you would like a job in the White House….what must you do?

If you’re wondering how to get a job in a Hillary Clinton White House, start by reading campaign chairman John Podesta’s hacked emails.

From a billionaire plugging a federal official for a cabinet appointment to Podesta himself plugging the daughter of a friend for an internship, the trove of Podesta’s correspondence posted by WikiLeaks is a portrait of Washington insiderism, showing powerful people turning into supplicants using connections and flattery.

In other words…DREAM ON!
I am out….gone to start my weekend…..hope all have a wonderful weekend….

“A Chicken In Every Pot”

Where have you heard that statement, right?  Well back in the 1920’s it was a political campaign slogan for the “Kingfish”, Huey Long…..(your history lesson for the day)…..

But chickens made another entry into the dialog somewhere…..Libya of the 1960’s when Mr. Qaddafi came to power….he built roads, water systems, housing, education to improve the lives of ALL Libyans…..but when he is mentioned the most predominant ideas was his support for international terrorism (think Lockerbie–Pan Am 103)…….but when he is analyzed they call him crazy, mad, insane, do-dah….and the one thing they point to was his insistence that All Libyans…be given the hardware to raise chickens in their homes….crazy idea right?

Like everything else…crazy ideas are just recycled under another label and passed onto the people….

Bill Gates recently offered to donate 100,000 hens to poor countries around the world, but one South American nation looked his gift chickens in the mouth and began squawking. “How can he think we are living 500 years ago, in the middle of the jungle not knowing how to produce?” Cesar Cocarico, Bolivia’s development minister, told reporters, per Reuters. “Respectfully, he should stop talking about Bolivia.” Cocarico also described Gates’ poultry philanthropy—mainly extended to impoverished nations in sub-Saharan Africa—as “offensive,” saying Gates should “apologize” once he’s done a little more research into how well Bolivia does on the chicken front by itself, the Financial Times reports, via the Verge. He has a point: The country produces about 197 million chickens annually, with the ability to ship about 36 million of them to other nations, a local poultry group says. And data from the Bolivian Institute of Foreign Trade notes the country saw a significant increase in the production of chicken meat and eggs from 2008 to 2013.

Gates announced his “Coop Dreams” program earlier this month, noting he’d met, through his work with the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, plenty of poor people who raised the birds and that “it’s pretty clear to me that just about anyone who’s living in extreme poverty is better off if they have chickens.” He goes on to say that chickens are a cheap investment with easy maintenance and decent ROI, the eggs they pop out help keep kids healthy, and they “empower women” (a belief his wife apparently shares). “It sounds funny, but I mean it when I say that I am excited about chickens,” his post concludes. An enthusiasm obviously not shared (at least when it comes to his donation) by what Gizmodo labels Bolivia’s “leftist, anti-imperialist government.” Bolivians “do not need any gifted chicks in order to live—we have dignity,” Cocarico sniffed.

So a bad idea in the 60’s is now a good idea because some pampered tool comes up with it?

At least the people of Bolivia put this wealthy dick in his place……finally someone that will stand up to this type of idiot….kudos to them.