Americans Should be Envious: “Why Infants May Be More Likely to Die in America Than Cuba”

nyti.ms/2HieZUR

A great op-Ed by Nick Kristoff at the NYT explaining how, though lacking in first rate medical technology, the infant mortality rates are actually lower in Cuba. We could take away many good practices from the Socialist, island nation so close to our shores.

Social Protest Lit.: Pres. Abraham Lincoln “Working and Taking”

indexTaken from the Lincoln -Douglas debates from Civil War Pres. Abraham Lincoln entitled “Working and Taking” from Book V called “Revolt.” This chapter is summarized as to pertain to “The struggle to abolish injustice; the battle cries of the new army which is gathering for the deliverance of humanity.”

That is the real issue that will continue in this country when these poor tongues of Judge Douglas and myself shall be silent. It is the eternal struggle between these two principles that have stood the face to face from the beginning of time. The one is the common right of humanity, the other the divine right of kings. It is the same principle in whatever shape it develops itself. It is the same spirit that says “you toil and work and earn bread and I’ll eat it.”

 

Social Protest Lit: George Bernard Shaw, Preface to “Major Barbara”

indexThe preface to “Major Barbara” from George Bernard Shaw from Book IV called “Out of The Depths.” This chapter is focused on man’s pursuit of remedy for social injustice:

The thoughtless wickedness with which we scatter sentences of imprisonment, torture in the solitary cell and on the plank bed, and flogging, and moral invalids and energetic rebels, is as nothing compared to the stupid levity with which we tolerate poverty as a if it were either a wholesome tonic for lazy people or less a virtue to be embraced as St. Francis embraced it. If a man is indolent, let him be poor. If he is drunken, let him be poor. If he is not a gentleman, let him be poor. If he is addicted to the fine arts or to pure science instead of trade and finance, let him be poor. If he chooses to spend his urban eighteen shillings a week or his agricultural thirteen shillings a week on his beer and his family instead of saving it up for his old age, let him be poor. Serves him right! Also-somewhat inconsistently-blessed are the poor!

Now what does this Let Him Be Poor mean? It means let him be weak. Let him be ignorant. Let him be a nucleus of disease. Let him be a standing exhibition and example of ugliness and dirt. Let him have rickety children. Let him be cheap and let him drag his fellows down to his price by selling himself to do their work. Let his habitations turn our cities into poisonous congeries of slums. Let his daughters infect our young men with the diseases of the streets and his sons revenge him by turning the nation’s manhood into scrofula, cowardice, cruelty, hypocrisy, political imbecility, and all the other fruits of oppression and malnutrition. Let the undeserving become still less deserving; and let the deserving lay up for himself, not treasures in heaven, but horrors in hell upon earth. This being so, is it really wise to let him be poor? Would he not do ten time less harm as a prosperous burglar, incendiary, ravisher, or murderer, to the utmost limits of humanity’s comparatively negligible impulses in these directions? Suppose we were to abolish all penalties for such activities, and decide that poverty is the one thing we will not tolerate-that every adult with less than, say, 365 pounds a year, shall be painlessly but inexorably killed, and every hungry half naked child forcibly fattened and clothed, would not that be and enormous improvement on our existing system, which has already destroyed so many civilizations, and is visibly destroying ours in the same way?

 

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Sen. Rand Paul for Easing Voter Restrictions

rand-master675Living in Kentucky, I get a lot of news of Republican and Tea Party favorite Sen. Rand Paul, and it’s usually disappointing. But in a meeting in Memphis, TN (where there is a heavily African-American population) Sen. Paul came out for less restrictive voting laws.

According to an article in the NYT, he said these restrictions insults blacks and the poor who usually have a harder time obtaining an I.D. which are required by these new laws.

But as the last couple of paragraphs in the report states with quotes from G.A.Hardaway of the Tennessee General Assembly, is this a cynical ploy by Sen. Paul to make the GOP look like a kinder, gentler party which respects people with a lower socio-economic status?

Read Here.

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Are The Poor Better Off?

POOR-master675Another great article in the NYT that was written by Annie Lowrey explains that though many poor families have more material wealth in terms of TV’s, smartphones, and an Internet connection compared to past times, they are becoming worse off in terms of economic inequality.

She explains that the reason for this “material abundance” for the lower SES population is due to the falling prices of goods as a result of global economics. But when it comes to expenses critical to moving out of poverty such as education costs, healthcare, and minimum wage jobs, their outlook is bleak.

Read Here.

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Ryan Takes On Poverty

PaulRyanAP-500x333An interesting article in the Washington Post on Rep. Paul Ryan’s (former VP candidate under Mitt Romney) efforts to focus on helping impoverished Americans.

Though I do not agree with much of Ryan’s proposed policies (as few as there are), it’s a fascinating look at what the party of the rich propose to help end poverty in America.

Read Here. 

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Krugman on “The War On The Poor”

Krugman_New-articleInlineA good op-ed by Paul Krugman in the NYT on the “war on the poor” being fought by the GOP.

Read Here.

Food Stamp Cut Will Be “Catastrophic”

Carmen Centeno NYCPA MUST-READ article in The Guardian on how the expiration of a 2009 stimulus package, which increased SNAP payments (Food Stamps) for millions of disadvantaged Americans, is about to have a “close to catastrophic” affect on the Nation’s poor.

Now the Right-wing population of this country believe that a bunch of “Welfare Queens” (a mythical creature no one can find in their indigenous ghettos) and slackers, who sit at home all day doing drugs, get a free ride with SNAP. They think that recipients should pull themselves up by their own bootstraps and get a job.

But the fact is that the vast majority of SNAP benefits go two three classes of people: the elderly, the disabled, and the working poor. And those who will be most affected will be the children of said peoples.

What is at hand here is the conservatives want to use hungry children as “poking sticks” to get people to find some illusory good jobs. This sounds just like 19th century liberalism, which could not be more cruel. Ask a socially democratic Europe!

But in an effort to provide full disclosure, I have friends, coworkers, and family who receive SNAP benefits. So the effects of these cuts may be written on the face of the children that populate my social world.

I just can’t have this and remain quiet.

Thank You and Read Here.

 

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Rich Politicians’ Supposed Impoverished Past A Joke

A good article here from the Post by Richard Cohen on how at the RNC & DNC, politicians and their wives tried to identify with “common people” by reminiscing about their supposed days of poverty. Cohen, though, points out how they all had some advantage with which to escape a life of being poor that most of impoverished people do not have the luxury of possessing.

Read Here.

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Kansas City, Kan. Poor Fight for High-Speed Internet

A great article in the NYT about how in Kansas City, Kan., the poor area of town is being denied high-speed internet access due to a lack of money, understanding of the service, and various other reasons that would affect the effort in any mostly black, urban center across this nation.

But in the east-end of K.C., there are drives of various sorts and grants provided for users organized by local citizens and leaders with Google in the community.  These drives are the best way to get access to recent technology to the poor which could help bridge the gap between the haves and the have-nots in K.C.

Read Here.

 

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