90.9 WBUR - Boston's NPR news station
Top Stories:
PLEDGE NOW
U.S. Child Poverty Is On The Rise

A big new report shows one in four children in America lives in poverty. We ask why and look at solutions.

Children play basketball at a park in Baltimore. (AP Photo/Patrick Semansky)

Children play basketball at a park in Baltimore. (Patrick Semansky/AP)

The latest numbers out of a big new national survey find almost one in four American children is now living in poverty. In the worst state, New Mexico, it’s 30 percent.

Even in an era of recession, these are deeply troubling numbers. For individual children, they mean deprivation in ways that can shape, limit an entire life. All this in an era when upward mobility has shut down.

For a country, it’s a tough indicator on the future.

This hour, On Point: Facing and fixing child poverty. What would it take?

– Tom Ashbrook

Guests

Laura Speer, director of the national KIDS COUNT project at the Annie E. Casey Foundation. (@laurabmore)

Kristin Seefeldt, professor of social work and researcher at the National Poverty Center at the University of Michigan. She’s the author of “Working After Welfare” and “America’s Poor and the Great Recession.”

Ron Haskins, senior fellow in economic studies and co-director of the Center on Children and Families at the Brookings Institution. He’s the senior editor of “The Future of Children,” a journal on policy issues that affect children and families, and former senior advisor to President Bush on Welfare Policy. He’s also the author of “Creating an Opportunity Society,” “Work Over Welfare: The Inside Story of the 1996 Welfare Reform Law” and “Getting Ahead or Losing Ground: Economic Mobility in America.”

Interview Highlights

Laura Speer on the prevalence of child poverty:

“23 percent of children are now living in households with incomes below the poverty line, which is about $22,000 for a family of four.”
– Laura Speer

“The child poverty rate increased between 2010 and 2011; 23 percent of children are now living in households with incomes below the poverty line, which is about $22,000 for a family of four — it’s a very low bar. And that represents about 16.4 million children in the country, about 3 million more than there were in 2005. We also know that the percent of children whose parents lack secure employment is higher now pre-recession; one out of three children don’t have a parent in the household who has full-time, year-round work, which is bad news for income, certainly, but it also has implications for the kinds of benefits that are available (like health care benefits especially) from a full-time job … 40 percent of kids in the U.S. in 2011 live in households where housing was simply costing too much. Economists estimate spending more than about 30 percent on income on housing — that’s too much. For four out of 10 kids in the U.S., that’s a reality, which has big impacts on overall household spending.

“One out of three children don’t have a parent in the household who has full-time, year-round work.”
– Laura Speer

There are variations across the country … in general, the states in the South, the southeast and the southwest, tend to have the worst outcomes on these indicators, pretty much across the board … States in the Northeast, specially the New England states, and the upper Midwest tend to have the best rankings … I think it’s a little bit surprising to people when we talk about which states are at the top of our economic well-being rankings. In the top five are North Dakota, Wyoming, South Dakota, Nebraska and Iowa … [The energy boom] certainly has something to do with it, but it’s more about employment. The parents tend to have very high employment rates, that cost of living is relatively low, so the housing cost burden (which is one our indicators) is not as high. And another indicator that we have in that domain is our idle teens. Teens have very strong connections to both school and work or work in those states. It has a lot to do with the economy and what’s happened with jobs and job availability in those places, but it also has to do with the cost of living.”

Lifetime impacts of include poverty poor academic achievement, health problems, substance abuse and mental illness. And that’s not all, Laura Speer said:

“It’s especially problematic for children who are in poverty for long periods of time. That’s one of the things the research has shown thus far is that when young people stay in those low-income situations for a long part of their childhood, those effects are even more sticky, so that’s a problem with the current recession for sure.”

Ron Haskins on government benefits and individual responsibility:

“A big part of the problem here … is individuals make lousy decisions and they’re bad for their future.”
– Ron Haskins

“This is a typical situation, that a poverty rate goes up when the economy’s bad … it will start to go down, but it won’t go as low as we would like it to go, that’s for sure. We have a high poverty rate in the United States, higher than most countries. Nonetheless — and we haven’t talked about this — government does a lot. We spend something like $1 trillion between the federal government and the states … on a whole range of programs. Probably government benefits reduce poverty maybe 34 percent, child poverty by maybe 34, 35 percent because of all the benefits, especially among low-income working families. And during recession, the safety net responded so effectively that the poverty rate, if you include government benefits (which are mostly not included in the official poverty rate) … poverty rate did not increase in 2009, full year of recession. So the government already does a lot, and a big part of the problem here, which also has not been mentioned, is individuals make lousy decisions and they’re bad for their future — they drop out of school, they have babies when they’re teenagers, they have babies before they get married. Many people don’t work or work part-time. Some of that’s the economy of course, but there’s also individual decisions involved. There’s a lot individuals can do to escape poverty; it isn’t just the economy burying down on them and causing all this trouble.”

“If you follow those three rules of finishing high school, getting a job, getting married, having babies — in that order — your chances of living in poverty during your adult years are about 2 percent. That’s an actual description of people in the American population. That leaves out of account a lot of factors, of course — individual initiative, family background, having an alcoholic parent — there are just so many things like that, but shouldn’t the message be to people to maximize your chances, be smart, finish school? This is what we tell our kids; we should expect the same thing of other people.”

Kristin Seefeldt on the government safety net and how it falls short:

“We don’t have a lot in place on the cash assistance side. You can use food stamps but you can’t pay your water bill with it.”
– Kristin Seefeldt

“Parts of the safety net did perform particularly well during the recession. Food stamps, for example — food stamp rolls increased, reached a lot of households, mitigated a lot of the food problems … on the other hand, we don’t have a lot in place on the cash assistance side. You can use food stamps but you can’t pay your water bill with it. And we’ve reformed our cash safety net system back in the ’90s when the economy was hot, and in many states, those caseloads — the Temporary Assistance For Needy Families program did not respond very well. For many people who are in the low-wage labor market, if they lose their jobs for a whole variety of reasons, they may not qualify for the unemployment insurance program that also has been very important during this recession for many folks who did lose their jobs. We do have parts of the safety net that work well; there are other places where there are still some holes.”

Ron Haskins on the importance of post-secondary education:

“Wages for people who have less than a four-year degree — so even people who complete a high school degree and even people who have some college without a four-year degree — all those groups’ average income has been declining during their prime earning years … You still make more with each additional step of education, but over the last 30 years, their wages have been declining. My point is that our economy is changing so that the jobs that pay $40, 60, 80,000 a year and above are jobs that require education — not always a four-year degree (there are lots of other ways to do it) but the day when a high school graduate could make a good wage and afford a house and so forth, those days are mostly gone. And the future is likely to continue in this direction. Education is really a key. We have to improve education. We have to convince kids to stay in school, to go beyond their high school degree, to get some kind of certification of a professional skill or a four-year college degree.”

Kristin Seefeldt on the reduced funding for education:

“Public school funding has been cut back, and that disproportionately affects kids who are low-income and who may already be in schools that are not doing all that well to begin with.”
– Kristin Seefeldt

“What worries me is that, again, some of the mechanisms … that have traditionally helped people become upwardly mobile — we’ve done a lot of disinvestment in public education. Especially in the last number of years since the Great Recession and its aftermath, and state budgets have been tight and many states have balanced budget requirements. Public school funding has been cut back, and that disproportionately affects kids who are low-income and who may already be in schools that are not doing all that well to begin with. I also talk about prevention. Early childhood investments we know can really make a difference … if you are poor when you are very young, birth to age 3, those negative impacts can last and be much deeper. But yet the response to the president’s call for more early childhood education, more pre-school for kids in this country has been very lukewarm. Yes, education can really matter, but we don’t seem to be putting a whole lot of our efforts behind that.”

Laura Speer on the importance of early childhood programs:

“Making sure that there are high-quality programs available and accessible to those parents who are struggling income-wise is critically important.”
– Laura Speer

“There’s a lot of evidence around the return on investment for early childhood interventions, especially high-quality early childhood programs starting from really birth and especially in those pre-school years, the 3- and 4-year-olds. Not only for the child but there’s also the added benefit of the fact that if you have a 3- or 4-year-old child and you want to work, that child needs to be in childcare. So if your options are putting them in a high-quality childcare program that you can’t afford or putting them in a low-quality program, you’re going to make those choices based on how much money you have in your pocket. Making sure that there are high-quality programs available and accessible to those parents who are struggling income-wise is critically important.”

Kristin Seefeldt on the structural problems and a raising the minimum wage:

“Recessions come and go, right? But we’ve had a recession in the midst of a pretty major structural shift. We are no longer a country where you could get a high school degree, get a job at a manufacturing plant and have a pretty decent middle-class life. There’s a much higher premium now on education, a lot of jobs that pay well require a lot of skills, a lot of investment in education … If we’re going to have these jobs on the low end that pay very little, are we willing then to say, yes, we should support folks who then maybe aren’t going to be able to put food on the table without some form of government assistance or are we going to put pressure on employers and, again, on the government too to do something about raising the minimum wage so that it becomes less of a minimum and more of a living wage?”

Laura Speer on wages, working and childcare:

“Without an increase in wages, there has to be government intervention in order to ensure that children of these [low-income] workers have every opportunity possible in order to succeed.”
– Laura Speer

“If you’d ask most people what it takes to raise a family, a wage at Walmart is not going to do it without any assistance, especially if you have anything that comes up in the medical sense, if you have got to provide childcare for your kids … The numbers don’t just add up … Without an increase in wages, there has to be government intervention in order to ensure that children of these workers have every opportunity possible in order to succeed. If you have got a 2-year-old and you have to go to work everyday, you can’t just leave that child at home. There has to be a childcare provider for them, and I think one of the fallouts that we’ve seen, especially from the state budget issues that have happened over the last several years, has been that there’s been decision to decrease funding for subsidized childcare for low-income people across the country by states who are making choices about how to balance budgets. The fallout on that side is that if you’re lucky enough to find a job during the last five years and you aren’t paid well enough to afford childcare, those subsidized childcare slots are just not there that were there before.”

From Tom’s Reading List

Annie E. Casey Foundation: 2013 KIDS COUNT Data Book: State Trends In Child Well-Being – “The child poverty rate increased to 23 percent in 2011, two years after the recession had ended. Even more disturbing is the fact that the poverty rate for very young children — those under 3 years old — was 26 percent.” (PDF)

The Wall Street Journal: Who Makes Up the ‘Working Poor’ in America? – “Roughly 46 million people in the U.S., or 15% of the population, lived below the official poverty line in 2011 ($11,484 for an individual or $23,021 for a family of four per year). About 10.4 million of them are considered part of the ‘working poor.’ That means they spent at least half the year in the labor force (working or looking for work), but they still fell below the poverty level.”

The New York Times: The Microeconomics Of Poverty Since 2007 – “Government safety net programs were put on steroids by the 2009 stimulus law, erasing incentives for a significant fraction of the unemployed.”

Please follow our community rules when engaging in comment discussion on this site.
  • http://www.facebook.com/futo.buddy Futo Buddy

    when you expand the lower class and eliminate the middle class this is bound to be a trend

    • John_in_Amherst

      Society is being milked of resources that could shape a better, more
      sustainable future for investor dividends and short term returns.  “Increasing economic inequality”sounds fairly sterile compared to phrases like “rising child poverty”.  To put it even more bluntly, “rising child poverty rate” translates into worsening health (sick kids), education (dull, kids unprepared for work and democracy), job opportunities (kids doomed to life in meaningless, boring and /or dangerous drudgery), hunger (anger and desperation) and ultimately social unrest (crime and riots).  What will it take for the rich and their bamboozled teapartier dupes to see that strong commitments to child welfare, economic equality and meritocracy are ultimately in their best interests?

      • DrewInGeorgia

        They don’t want “ultimately”, they want “Now!”.

      • http://www.facebook.com/futo.buddy Futo Buddy

        everyone’s jobs will be replaced by machines soon enough

  • Shag_Wevera

    Don’t forget all the children who don’t live in poverty, but will never be able to afford higher education.  If we don’t begin to pursue a more egalitarian society, we are reaching for oblivion.  Millions upon millions of hopeless and increasingly desperate people.

  • AC

    we are in the middle of a historical technological change. we do not need so many people to do the work we used to need done. there will be a turning point for the better, but i think there will be suffering inbetween until balance of ‘population’ to ‘jobs’ is reached…..

    • 1Brett1

      What you say makes a lot of sense. I wonder how long it will take for that balance to become a healthy reality and what it will look like specifically. Will it be decades or centuries? Will it mean more families choosing to be childless or only having one or two? Will natural trends be enough to curb such ratios between population and jobs?

      Many people currently either have no children or maybe only two; others have as many as three or four (even more). People also live longer than they used to. 

      The social standard of one couple having many children seemed to have a purpose for a long time (death at birth/early childhood; needing children to help with chores in an agricultural society, etc.). The “norm” seemed to continue long after infant and childhood mortality rates went down and long after agriculture was the main family money maker. Historically, it seems, people in cities began to have less children per family than people in rural areas. That phenomenon has leveled I believe toward there being little difference depending on city vs. rural trends.

      It would be interesting for a mathematician to come up with some semblance of a mathematical equation on what the proper rate of birth to death ratios versus job rates would be needed to achieve such a balance of population to jobs. 

      • AC

        also, it’s worldwide – not just America….
        http://techcrunch.com/2012/11/13/foxconn-allegedly-replacing-human-workers-with-robots/

        i’ve heard rumors the workers that were jumping from the sheer misery of this job are now committing suicide because they can not find work. don’t know if that’s true tho

        there have been several mathmatical models run. the old ‘balancers’ of plague, war, famine & migration are not very strong variables anymore either… 
        we could have a strong migration option if we could develop low energy space travel and locate additional water sources….i’d love to live in outer space!

        • AC

          now that i think of it, this show may be taking a look at the beginning of the next famine? not sure tho, since they can now grow protein sources in factories….

          • madnomad554

             Famine? There are 131 million houses in America, more than 100 million of those homes have enough yard space to grow food.

          • AC

            i think if you understand agriculture, which i only do on a rudimentary basis, you will find this statement is easy to say, much more difficult to do in reality. there are many variables to growing food, esp growing food that would allow for an actual healthy diet which could not possibly subsist of a singular crop, nevermind soil, water, fertilization, climate, natural insect infestations, etc…..it’s expensive!
            but i don’t think famine will be much of an issue, as i said, they can now grow protein sources in factories and it’s getting cheaper and more streamlined….tasty, meh, but it’ll keep you alive..

          • madnomad554

             Actually a good half of the food I eat, I grow myself. Far cheaper than buying food year round. This country spends 25 billion dollars per year on the lawn and garden industry and the garden part of that is mostly flowers and shrubs. Lawn mowers, weed eaters, leaf blowers…watering grass, watering shrubs…that’s whats expensive.

            This country grows corn for gasoline and now it is legally growing pot…but the soup kitchen flourishes. 

          • AC

            where do you live?

          • madnomad554

             Tenn…does that make a difference?

          • AC

            HUGE diff!!! try it in arizona….

          • AC

            or NYC!!

          • madnomad554

             Regarding Arizona, it has more than 300 golf courses. Lush green golf courses.

            And the climate actually allows for two growing seasons. A bit of online research indicates that having a food producing garden can be quite successful in that area.

            I lived in an apartment in the past and of course I could not grow any food. The point I’m driving at is that there are millions and millions of acres of land/property…the lawn, that is growing nothing but grass and no food. Even the poor can grow a fair amount of their food. My childhood was by societies standards, a very poor childhood, but we still had a very large garden.

          • AC

            i don’t think you’re aware of the battle over the water rights laws going on there, are you? it’s a historical problem and they still haven’t fixed it. i’m sorry, but you’re living in a relatively ‘lucky’ area of the planet in which to be somewhat self-sustainable, but it really isn’t so easy in many places. but these freight farm trucks may save the day – they’re pretty amazing! and drug dealers have been using them forever, so the tech is pretty advanced…

          • http://profile.yahoo.com/JXSANCUDPIKQSPID5KT2U4XK5Y TF

            Impoverished people are not known for having lots of time to do this. Especially the ones trying to make two-three crap jobs add up to one halfway decent job.

          • Rick Evans

             As long as 50% of food is going to waste while people are 50% more blobby than 50 years ago my last concern is a worldwide famine.

          • AC

            more blobby! lol!! poor quality consumables may be at fault here. food is such a weird complicated topic…

          • Rick Evans

            I grew up in the ’50s doing the family grocery shopping as my Saturday family ‘chore’. I assure you the produce and fresh food choices in the Bronx Safeways or A&Ps  were fewer then than Pathmark, Stop&Shop, and Western Beef today.

            No one forces people to go to the pseudo-cheaper fast food joints instead of learning to cook healthy.

            Much of today’s blobbiness is from ready access to fun foods and too much TV often paid for by people who could get if free with an antenna.

            I can an afford Comcast but choose to use an antenna.

          • http://profile.yahoo.com/JXSANCUDPIKQSPID5KT2U4XK5Y TF

            No one forces people to go to the pseudo-cheaper fast food joints instead of learning to cook healthy.

            You may not be aware of how limited food shopping is for a great swath of this country’s poor, and how much time it takes for someone who doesn’t drive to work past seven megamarts and three specialty stores each day*.

            (*That’s my commute. It makes shopping easy, almost fun. It doesn’t tire me out. I have one job and don’t worry about missing the last bus home and calling an expensive taxi.)

            When one is poor, time is something one cannot create by paying someone to do something else.

          • Rick Evans

             ”Well, that’s a problem with agricultural policy as a whole, and good for you to bring it up as part of the problem.”

            If you blamed the food industry for adver-pushing  unhealthy fun foods we might agree. See my response to AC. o

          • AC

            i think cable is a rip-off. i do netflix and xbox tv…

          • http://profile.yahoo.com/JXSANCUDPIKQSPID5KT2U4XK5Y TF

            Nice to hear that someone’s cut the cable.

            And even better that you’re not saying “poor people can do this too, just like I did.”

          • http://profile.yahoo.com/JXSANCUDPIKQSPID5KT2U4XK5Y TF

            Well, that’s a problem with agricultural policy as a whole, and good for you to bring it up as part of the problem.

            Plus “mal” and “under” are two different kinds of nourishment.

            But we just can’t say “average”.

            On the average, the economy is doing fine. But not for the poor, and that is creeping up the economic ladder.

            However, an economist will say “This stream averages a foot deep” seconds before he drowns.

        • 1Brett1

          Less casualties from plague, less from war, less from all manner of mortality, migration patterns being quite different than they used to be…

          Space would need to provide natural resources to positively effect poverty regarding population one would think. Technology would also provide another positive variable, in obvious ways, and could compensate for lack of natural resources in space.

      • brettearle

        Watch it, Brett…

        Otherwise, the Archdioces’s version of Snowden will descend down upon you……  

    • Tyranipocrit

       sounds like an excuse.  I think your dreaming.  It comes down to values.  Our economic system.  i worship of the rich–our stupidtiy and cowardliness for not revolting–revolving the social paradigm.  we make excuses eternally.

      • AC

        i have no friends on the far left or far right. i’ve known people like you, with the ‘revolution’ talk, you’re no more helpful then the ‘keep em down’ type. thanks, but i’ll keep dreaming, i might come up with an actual good idea:
        http://www.brilliantdreams.com/product/famous-dreams.htm

        • Tyranipocrit

          so you would do nothing. Doing nothing is a commitment to atrocity. There are many forms of revolution.

  • John Cedar

    It is pretty simple, we redefined poverty to mean 2 bathrooms, electricity, running water,500 square feet per occupant, a body mass index of 30, a cell phone, air conditioning, free medical care, able to afford cigarettes, snuff, tattoos and kick a$$ bass with spinners, free music, movies and wifi. Then we indoctrinate the masses into an entitlement mentality starting with the “right” to a free education but requiring nothing in the way of effort or sacrifice from them.

    Of course all of that is usless without a healthy dose of revisionist history to pretend that middle class lifestyle was way better back in 19-something-something.

    • 1Brett1

      Those cigarette-smoking, tattoo-wearing, cell-phone using, medical-care wanting, music-listening, movie-watching, internet-using, lazy-assed poor people!!! The poor should go to third world countries, then they would see just how lucky they are!! Amiright?!?!

      • brettearle

        Brett,

        There’s no stopping the ignorant, Right Wing mentality, when they wish to blame the victim, by pointing out the sins of a few.

        That’s all the Right’s got Left.

      • John Cedar

        Even a broken clock…
        But my contrast was with historical terms within our country while you went another route.
        And you also skipped right over the second world countries…the communistic Nordic countries. Our impoverished enjoy a higher standard of living than those countries too.

        You cannot make your empty arguments without Gini coefficients and other such nonsense.

        BTW…you left out the part where the music is free the movie is free thanks to the free internet.

        • 1Brett1

          Oooh, you were speaking in historical terms, AND you used the phrase “Gini coefficient”! I guess I am no match for your obvious superior intellect, or at least the pretentiousness of your superior intellect, anyway.

          As to history within our country, second world countries, Nordic countries, etc., your comment still has the same bigoted aroma, any way it’s puffed up.

          By the way, if you wish to see my comment as some sort of argument, it pertained more to the reactionary mentality of a myopic conservative; I’d say that sums up your comment more than twice a day.

          How dare the poor listen to music or watch movies! Besides, libraries should charge for internet use; it’d keep the riff-raff away from respectable people such as yourself! And next time some child in the US complains about going hungry today, you just remind the brat how children in Ethiopia only eat once every two days!  

        • jefe68

          I guess that’s why all the Scandinavian countries, not mention Canada and France all have better life expectancies than the US and infant mortality rates. The US has the highest infant mortality rate of the all the industrial nations.

          You seem to live in some kind of fantasy world not unlike Lake Wobegon. 

          • 1Brett1

            Except in his world none of the poor children are above average.

    • Shag_Wevera

      The poor just love being told how good they have it, I’ll bet.

    • http://profile.yahoo.com/JXSANCUDPIKQSPID5KT2U4XK5Y TF

      You forgot the bullshite about Obamaphones, because, let’s face it “poor people have cellphones” isn’t getting you into Objectivist Heaven anymore.

    • jefe68

      So I guess they should all be living in shanty towns or on the street and cardboard boxes. Mind you you are correct about some people having seriously misplaced priorities. However they are not the norm and the right likes to use this meme when the subject of poverty, and in this case children living in poverty, comes up.

      Your last sentence is so easy to refute. The revisionist history here seems to be coming from you.

      • http://profile.yahoo.com/JXSANCUDPIKQSPID5KT2U4XK5Y TF

        “I used to dream of living in a corridor…”

      • John Cedar

        So easy to refute, yet you did not bother to do so.

        Let them eat cake.
        Oh wait…they already eat cake…everyday.

        • jefe68

          What do you call the growth from post WW2 until the 80′s? There was a time when people made decent living and could afford a home, a car if they wanted one, and a decent middle class lifestyle. Then they could retire when they were 65. This is fast moving backwards towards the the norm of the 20′s and 30′s.

          I guess you would be happy if poor folk lived in cardboard and plywood shanties on the side of the road with no amenities.
          Or just let them beg in the streets as the do in third world nations.  

          I could go on but I think you should do your own homework in the rise and fall of the middle class. With them there is no economy.

    • DrewInGeorgia

      Those you constantly profess to despise are an unavoidable byproduct of the system you espouse. Keep on chasing that tail, surely you’ll catch hold of it one of these days.

    • hennorama

      John Cedar – you forgot to mention “microwave ovens” in your screed.

      Dolt.

      • 1Brett1

        “Screed” is the perfect descriptive word!

      • John Cedar

        You are correct. Yet another giant step up in the standard of living.

        BTW…your signature is not required on your comments.

      • jefe68

        Yeah, and fridges. It’s is amazing is it not, the level of conceit in that mans screed is only trumped by his ignorance.

  • alsordi

    As poster John Cedar points out, the poor in the USA don’t have it so bad. But like the middle class, their upward mobility has been severely impeded.

    AC points out that technology has replaced the poor in the workplace.  

    But the poor, middle class, and even illegal immigrants, have a very important job in the USofA   THEY ARE CONSUMERS !!

    • John Cedar

      The poor truly do have it bad. Usually poorness is caused by a dire medical situation, drug use or mental illness.

      It is the people in “poverty” that don’t have it so bad.
      Because modern leftist totalitarian illiberals made up a new definition for the word “poverty”.

  • 1Brett1

  • Fiscally_Responsible

    We need to declare a war on poverty and spend trillions of dollars to fix it!!!  Oh wait a minute.  We tried that in the 60s (and 70s, 80s, 90s, 00s, and 10s) and it didn’t work.  We probably didn’t spend enough money!

    • AC

      can’t you come up with a solution? otherwise, this just seems most unhelpful to bother pointing out.

      • HonestDebate1

        But don’t you think it’s important to point out what is not a solution?

        • AC

          true, if & when it has purpose. this sort of sarcasm solves nothing & gets to me. it’s rude to say ‘shut up’, but sometimes i want to :(

      • Ray in VT

        “Any jackass can kick a barn down, but it took a carpenter to build it.” – Sam Rayburn.

        • Fiscally_Responsible

          If it was a government funded barn, it actually took 100 carpenters to build it.  10 worked while the remaining 90 watched them work while they were discussing their generous pension benefits, early retirement package, exorbitant benefits packages, and union organization plans. 

          • Ray in VT

            And if it was a barn built by a church, then two guys with funny hats watched the kids of the barn builders and told them to keep quiet about what happened in the back of the rectory, while also condemning the private choices of anyone working on the barn or wanting to use it to everlasting damnation based upon an ancient myth.

          • jefe68

            Oh boy, the BS meter is on high here.

    • Shag_Wevera

      It’s a bummer that all these poor people are dragging you down.  Imagine how much better off you’d be without them.

      • Fiscally_Responsible

        Ineffective, wasteful government programs of every stripe are why we are all being dragged down to the bottom with a $17 trillion millstone called the “federal debt” tied around all of our necks.

    • NrthOfTheBorder

      What troubling is how easily we’ll spend on defense, or rush off to war, but kick and scream when it comes to taking risks aimed at creating a more equitable economy. 

        

      • Fiscally_Responsible

        I am all for clamping down on waste, fraud, and abuse no matter what sector of government spending it is in (defense, farming bills, etc. etc. etc.etc.).  As Thomas Jefferson warned us, when government officials learn that they just have to run the printing presses and print money, we are in deep trouble.

        • http://profile.yahoo.com/JXSANCUDPIKQSPID5KT2U4XK5Y TF

          Yet Libertarians can’t ever get the right to back off on WasteFraudAbuseEtcEtc in the defense department, especially when there’s a Republican in the White House.

          There’s a lesson in how you pretend you can influence the GOP, should you care to learn it.

        • hennorama

          Fiscally_Responsible – how can anyone “[clamp] down on waste, fraud, and abuse no matter what sector of government” when even the GAO can’t figure out where all the DOD money is being spent?

          “About 34 percent of the federal government’s reported total assets as of September 30, 2012, and approximately 21 percent of the federal government’s reported net cost for fiscal year 2012 relate to the Department of Defense (DOD), which received a disclaimer of opinion on its consolidated financial statements.”

          and

          “…serious financial management problems at DOD that have prevented its financial statements from being auditable…”

          and

          “DOD and the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) have consistently been unable to receive … audit opinions. Efforts are under way at both entities to address this situation. At DOD, following years of unsuccessful financial improvement efforts, the DOD Comptroller established the Financial Improvement and Audit Readiness (FIAR) Directorate to develop, manage, and implement a strategic approach for addressing internal control weaknesses and for achieving auditability, and to integrate those efforts with other improvement activities, such as the department’s business systems modernization efforts. DOD’s current FIAR strategy and methodology focus on two priorities—budgetary information and asset accountability—with an overall goal of preparing auditable departmentwide financial statements by September 30, 2017.”

          Yep, that’s right.

          The goal is to figure it all out, BY SEPTEMBER 30, 2017.

          The GAO report is here:
          http://www.gao.gov/assets/660/651357.pdf

      • thequietkid10

        For God’s sake enough with the defense meme

        We spend way too much on defense….WAY too much, but our defense expenditures make up approximately a quarter of our budget, 

        In 2013 our outlays for defense is 23% of our budget
        The rest of our federal budget

        3% goes to education
        24% goes to healthcare (i.e Medicaid for the poor and Medicare for the old)
        24% goes to pensions (mostly social security for the poor, injured and old)
        and 12 percent goes to Welfare

        http://www.usgovernmentspending.com/federal_budget_detail_fy14rs12013n_110#usgs302

  • HonestDebate1
    • Ray in VT

      Jobs that pay enough to live on would be a real solution.  The decline in the LFPR and the increase in the unemployment rate don’t make up for the decline in the percentage of company revenues going to workers.  Jobs would help, but better wages would help even more.

      • HonestDebate1

        We need both. What is lost is how many of those who do have jobs are settling for lower pay and fewer hours. But higher wages cannot be imposed through legislation (You did not suggest that) it must happen through market driven supply and demand. That cannot happen in this hostile to business environment.

        • http://profile.yahoo.com/JXSANCUDPIKQSPID5KT2U4XK5Y TF

          “Hostile to business environment.”

          Put down the Kool-Aid.

        • Ray in VT

          I don’t think that the current environment is hostile to business, despite so much of the griping that goes on from some sectors.  I think that one could make a much better argument that we have an environment that is hostile to labor, given the push for right to work for less laws, and how those measures have not been shown to increase jobs but do lead to lower wages.  Here in supposedly business-unfriendly Vermont, we have the 3rd lowest unemployment rate in the nation.  I’m not going to hold my breath waiting for supply and demand to drive up wages, given how technology has replaced many jobs and how many jobs have been shipped overseas.  Companies have found that they can squeeze more and more out of workers for the same or less pay, so they have no incentive to do otherwise as long as the executives are getting paid and the Street gets satisfied quarterly.

      • brettearle

        The `ole cliche of increasing salaries for public education teachers, while decreasing tenure of these same professionals, would ultimately pay off in dividends for future employment.

        It would take a while–but I think that, eventually, it would.

    • AC

      i agree, but i feel you can draw a direct correlation to technology replacing a good many jobs just in the last decade that this graph represents, & i feel the trend will continue. so the nature of ‘work’ has changed to not need as many people. usually i refer to milkmen, postal workers and bank tellers to reinforce this point.
      i mentioned below i think there will be much suffering as we are in the interim that will balance ‘work’ to ‘population’……

      • HonestDebate1

        Yes, I’ve seen your theory and IMO it has some merit but I think it has always been. And I also think there are more opportunities now than ever with global markets in the communications age. So I respect your opinion and it may be truer than I give it credit for but I tend to think it’s not as big of a factor.

        • AC

          i did say the ‘nature’ of work is changing; so then, even if this is not as strong a factor as i think, then at the outset we can say it is a problem that we have not properly educated our own countrymen to prepare to do this ‘new’ work, & maybe we can still do it now for the sakes of these kids? or forgo the older generation & strictly prepare the kids in poverty to get jobs at some point in the future? i think if we take into account the perils of poverty – violence, substance abuse, malnutrion etc, the majority of the kids in this position now may not make it….

      • brettearle

        AC–

        I’m going to “Toot My Own Horn” here.

        PBS NewsHour Website published a comment of mine, regarding this very topic: technology vs employment.

        Couldn’t agree with you more.

        • AC

          toot away! i’ve been trying to bring attention to this very issue myself. i think there are def solutions to soften the blow, but strangely, nobody seems as worried about it as i sometimes feel…

    • brettearle

       HD–

      I’m almost finished with the Global Jihad `diatribe’ of mine.  [Like many others, I do 20 projects at once....that's why it took me some time.]

      It’s not particularly earth-shattering–but I want to put it up for you to read, anyway.

      It’s a survey 101 course–and it comes with no charge (criminal or otherwise).

      I want to post it on the Syria War program “On Point” web page thread, at the top.   Look for it later, today…..

      Maybe before the afternoon.

      That OK?

      • HonestDebate1

        Thanks for the reminder I check for it.

        • brettearle

          Delayed.

          It’ll be there soon.

          Tonight, tomorrow, the day after….

    • jefe68

      The solution is well paying jobs at or above the living wage. Add to that a single payer not-for-profit health care system that is about health care and not the bottom line, then people can rise up out of poverty.

    • hennorama

      Gregg Smith – Indeed we have far too many people who want to work and who are unable to find a job, especially far too many who have been out of work for an extended period.

      As other posters have indicated, technological innovation is one significant reason for this. The resulting productivity gains have accrued almost exclusively to the benefit of business. Combined with the economic catastrophe of the Great Recession, jobs are more scarce.

      But the Labor Force Participation Rate’s (LFPR) twelve-plus year decline is due to multiple reasons, not just technological and productivity changes. LFPR is mostly influenced by long term factors – namely demographics and cultural changes. LFPR is only weakly procyclical. In other words, the LFPR changes are also related to the business cycle, but the strength of this correlation is much smaller than the long term factors above.

      -business cycle good = LFPR increase
      -business cycle poor = LFPR decrease

      There’s a dip after virtually every recession, but the Great Recession’s magnitude influenced the LFPR much more than more typical boom/bust recessions. Economists are struggling to explain this, as I’ve noted on multiple occasions.

      If one uses the link in your post, but instead changes the “From” year to 1948 (the earliest available), one can see that LFPR rose dramatically from the early 1960s through 1990. From the mini-peak around 1990, LFPR went mostly sideways until the massive economic boom of the late 1990s, finally peaking in 2000.

      The year 2000 coincides with baby boomers beginning to hit age 55 and retire en masse. LFPR growth moderated over the 1990s until the LFPR peaked in the year 2000, and then has declined ever since.

      Most of the increase has been due to cultural and demographic factors. The decline has also mostly been largely demographic and cultural.

      LFPR increased from the mid 1960s to 2000 due to:

      baby boomers entering workforce (demographics).
      women entering workforce (cultural shift).
      technological changes allowing workers to work until an older age (cultural/technological)

      LFPR declined since 2000 due to:

      baby boomers aging (demographics).
      fewer young people entering workforce – increased college enrollment (cultural shift).
      fewer college students working while in college (cultural & economics).

      So don’t freak out about the LFPR. It’s mostly demographics and culture.

      BTW, a little-known fact about the LFPR argues for increased immigration.

      Foreign-born workers, especially foreign-born men, participate in the labor force at a MUCH higher rate than native-born workers. According to the Bureau Of Labor Statistics:

      “In 2011, [the most recent year for which data is available,] the labor force participation rate of the foreign born was 67.0 percent. The labor force participation rate of the native born was 63.6 percent. The labor force participation rate of foreign-born men was 79.5 percent in 2011, compared with 68.8 percent for native-born men.

      Among women, 54.6 percent of the foreign born were labor force participants, compared with 58.7 percent of the native born.”

      See:
      http://www.bls.gov/news.release/forbrn.nr0.htm

    • brettearle

      Done.

      June 17th, at the top.

  • 1Brett1

    I suppose we can expect the usual neocon suspects with their predictable diatribes about lazy poor people today…

    • brettearle

      Yup.

      And every time they make that hackneyed case, it further weakens their argument.

  • madnomad554

    There are 3 billion people that live on less than $2.50 per day…most of which do not live in America. It’s embarrassing to hear how much Americans complain about what they don’t have, as apposed to showing some gratitude for what and how much they do have…especially those beating that 99% drum.

    Unless your talking about extreme poverty, outright starvation, homelessness and such the like, to suggest 25% live in poverty seems a bit extreme. Even the poor in America have enough income to mass consume, compared to half the population of the world.
     
    http://www.globalissues.org/article/26/poverty-facts-and-stats

    • AC

      we need accurate statistics, but i believe i read that homelessness and soup kitchen visitors have increased by a factor of 3 in the US since the turn of this century

      • John Cedar

        If you haven’t seen the guy in the soup kitchen taking a picture of the FLOTUS with his $500 blackberry, you are spending to much time on the “takers” websites and not enough time on the “makers” websites.

        • AC

          that’s nonsense, i AM a maker. & i never judge w/o more information. for instance, who was this person w/the $500 blackberry? was he a reporter, pr, a person who wanted to be close to the 1st lady? maybe he’s a volunteer for the day? also, here we have a program that donates all our old smartphones to charity. i think call wise, it’s only allowed to do 911, but the rest of the phone retains the software it came with as fully functional…

          • 1Brett1

            I’m surprised Mr. Cedar didn’t just out-and-out call it a “free Obama phone”! It’s one of their (neocons) memes.

          • http://profile.yahoo.com/JXSANCUDPIKQSPID5KT2U4XK5Y TF

            AC, I think you’re expending too much honest thought and effort for this particular thread.

        • AC

          also, what kind of moron spends $500 on a blackberry? sign a 2 year contract and get it for $99! i hate hate hate my blackberry, but it’s my work phone, so i have to keep it for now. they are going to start giving us discounts on our personal smart phones. i can not wait.

        • http://profile.yahoo.com/JXSANCUDPIKQSPID5KT2U4XK5Y TF

          Yeah, just your use of “takers” and “makers” puts you in a category of folks not to be taken serioiusly.

    • brettearle

      To deny serious poverty in a relatively wealthy nation is like suggesting that germs cannot lurk in a pristine and sterilized medical research laboratory.

      • madnomad554

         I am 44 and grew up in rural Tenn with two parents that didn’t have a high school diploma. My mother still used a hand fed roller type washing machine until the earlier 80′s. She never worked, my father was a farm equipment mechanic. By societies standards, my childhood was the poorest of the poor. But compared to half the population of the world, we had more than we needed.

        • John Cedar

          You were almost there until you mentioned the population in the world instead of the population in our country who are mislabeled as being in poverty.

          BTW…the correct description is to say your mother never worked OUTSIDE OF THE HOME.

  • alsordi

    The USA produces less and consumes more.  Walmart, McDonalds, Nike, Virgin Mobile, and even Ford and GM love the poor consumers,  whose “poverty” relative to other 3rd world countries, would be considered prosperity.

  • Ellen Dibble

    Someone yesterday was posting on a Facebook page that it costs a million dollars to raise one child.  I’m thinking if people without the million extra dollars did not have children, there would not be poor children, although still probably some poor adults.  

        From my experience, the toll on children of being among the bottom tier, the downtrodden, is more a matter of trajectory and values than of food, clothing, and shelter.  The families rely on social services to the extent that they are not really masters of their own fates, but clients of the state, unable to escape the dependency without giving up significant benefits that are lost pretty steeply as one climbs into the middle class.  Meanwhile, the same families, because of needing to maneuver under the radar, with untaxable exchanges and transactions, find themselves equally dependent on the kinds of protection and organization that are specifically Outside of the Law.  This makes for close-knit communities, but deeply flawed.  
        Single people, people without children, generally don’t have a place in these neighborhoods because they don’t qualify for the supports, Medicaid for instance, but many things that healthy communities manage to lavish on units that have children.  The lavishing doesn’t morph the whole community into anything upwardly  mobile, however.

  • 1Brett1

    Reliance on old economic models doesn’t seem to quite fit. We do know what it takes for people of middle and working classes to thrive, we just don’t quite know how to fit that knowledge into any paradigms other than what worked in the past. 

    Gobalization, while here to stay, has created as many problems as it has solved, and it has partly facilitated disparity among classes.

    It seems the meme about “creating jobs” is simplistic. There are plenty of low-level jobs with no benefits, no future, no skillset development, limited hours and low pay to go around. It is also more of an exception to say that people can pull themselves up in such circumstances. Entrepreneurship might be a way out for some, but most businesses fail and many people just don’t have the skills (or the personality) to be successful in business. 

    We need more better paying jobs for more people. I’m starting to be a little pessimistic about all of that, though. The usual platitudes about job creation and loosening regulation on business being the key to that are, well, platitudes. Banks are not lending money but sitting on their bottom line. Businesses have learned that they can maximize short-term profits by treating employees as completely expendable, reducing R+D, sending jobs offshore, and shifting functions from manufacturing to service (to name a few changes in business). 

    • brettearle

      I realize that this is somewhat off topic….But do you think the skittishness of Banks, these days, is not simply the residue and the specter of the 2007 collapse?

      [That, of course, is certainly part of it.]

      But it is, indeed, feeling that there are TOO many indices–with regard to the Economy (domestic and global or otherwise)–that are unstable, potentially, volatile, or that are too unpredictable.  

      • 1Brett1

        “…do you think the skittishness of Banks, these days, is not simply the residue and the specter of the 2007 collapse?”

        I might have thought that three or four years ago; I now think the 2007 collapse is used opportunistically for banks to not lend money where it would be stimulative. Also, banks did not use Stimulus money they were given to jump start small businesses; instead they sat on it. 

    • John_in_Amherst

       Globalization means a more homogenous economy throughout the world.  Standards of living, in aggregate, rise for developing countries and fall for more developed ones.  India and China have greatly reduced grinding poverty at the bottom of their economies, and raised the standard of living for their kids.  The opposite is happening here.  Globalization needs to happen not just in terms of corporations going global, but also in terms of human rights, unions, environmental regs, etc.  “Workers of the world unite” used to be the hyperbolic rhetoric of communism.  As union membership here falls (and with it relative wages and work-place protections) and the problems of increased consumerism and energy usage (read pollution & environmental degradation) rise in India and China, the “old saw” starts sounding a lot more germane…  Globalization has become the MO of corporations around the world, and as economic inequality rises, the “masses” need to realize they have common interests that aren’t being served by corporate economic success.

      • 1Brett1

        Excellent comment John; I agree with your assessment. With globalization, we see developing countries rising out of overwhelming abject poverty; we also see our economic power and stability diminish. Globalization is here to stay; however, we, as a world, seem to be using old paradigms to drive it along. Ultimately, what has happened to the US will happen to developing countries as they peak and valley along their economic paths. And, there are environmental concerns, human rights concerns, etc. Concerns that a burgeoning US over a century ago didn’t have as much concern over.  

  • Ellen Dibble

    I think the capitalist insistence on maximizing profit is at the root of this.  You maximize profit in health care (and it ends up costing the government and individuals, but the insurers still thrive).  You maximize profit in education in any way possible.  You try to get people to look to maximizing profit in the homes they own, giving a leg up to builders, realtors, etc., along the way benefiting bankers but not so much the US Treasury.  Oh, and there is profit to be made simply by churning done according to algorithms among investment funds with global reach.  All of this pushes money upward, upward, upward, making the USA look more and more wealthy.  It’s a rule for corporations with stockholders:  maximize profit.  And by the say, get the legislatures to enable that to the max.

        Is there any surprise that there is a move to make it profitable to care for the poor?  Even the poor in prison?  I think there’s profit even in that, and probably tax advantage.
        What is NOT an advantage to a profit-centered economy and culture is the fact this Tower of Providence is built for the cream, not for the skim milk.

  • TomK_in_Boston

    Easy 1-word ans to “why”: reaganomics

    2-word solution: end reaganomics

    • DrewInGeorgia

      Short and sweet, comment of the day and the show hasn’t even started. Please explain this to Honest Debate who says that the poor, poor businesses can’t pay a living wage because they have been forced to operate “in this hostile to business environment”.

    • thequietkid10

      Ronald Reagan stopped being President 25 years ago, no President since has been as conservative since Regan.  And looking at the unemployment and growth rates during his presidency compared to what we have now.  I wish we had Regan.

  • DrewInGeorgia

    To be honest, I’m surprised that the number is only one in four. Given the accelerated cannibalism of the  impoverished over the past decade I would have expect a much higher attrition rate.

    For the “But they’re all Cadillac driving welfare queens!” whiners among us: Are the children to blame for their parents selfish and destructive behavior? What number of children struggling daily with starvation do you find acceptable?

    • http://profile.yahoo.com/JXSANCUDPIKQSPID5KT2U4XK5Y TF

      Does that selfish behavior of parents who are poor really exist in the numerically demonstrable way some people would have you believe, Drew? Or is it just great optics on The Evening News?

      Because the rungs out of poverty are simply fewer and farther apart now than they were 40 years ago. And nothing succeeds in making impoverished adults like growing up in poverty.

      And the usual caveat applies: Poor people haven’t had a raise since (as you noted) the start of the Bush II recovery.

  • NrthOfTheBorder

    Exponential increases in wealth for the top 1%.  Executives and the well-connected paid hundreds of times the average wage while more and more children are raised in poverty. 

    We are returning to the middle ages as centuries of social and economic progress are swept away. 

    Any nation fool enough to let this happen invites an era of  social unrest, repression, and eventually, revolution.

    • creaker

      “Centuries” is a bit much – one would cover it (look at 1913). And most of it in the past 60.

      • NrthOfTheBorder

        Perhaps. Although look at what we’ve had to do away with since the 15th century: serfdom, child labor, indentured servitude, slavery – and to fight for: the 40 hr week, paid vacations, holidays, overtime, progressive taxation and so on. Not all of this in the last 100 years. 

    • John_in_Amherst

      The U.S. started “sending out the invitation” around1980, and rolled out the red carpet in 2000.

  • WorriedfortheCountry

    Given that OP highlights a 30% poverty rate in New Mexico, it begs the question how many of these are children of illegal aliens?

    Also, the US spends nearly $1T per year fighting poverty.  So why isn’t it working?  It appears that the problem isn’t how much we spend but how we spend it because it clearly isn’t working.

    “Combined with state and local spending, government spends $20,610 for every poor person in America, or $61,830 per poor family of three.”

    “Combined with state and local spending, government spends $20,610 for every poor person in America, or $61,830 per poor family of three.”

    “According to Obama administration projections, over the next 10 years, federal and state governments will spend $250,000 for every American currently living in poverty.”

    http://www.ncpa.org/sub/dpd/index.php?Article_ID=21816

    • http://profile.yahoo.com/JXSANCUDPIKQSPID5KT2U4XK5Y TF

      Funny, when I think of impoverished migrant workers, it begs the question, “How much of this is part of big agriculture’s business model of keeping workers poor, desparate and disposable?”

      At some point you just sound like a well-off asswipe who’s never had to decide between eating and heating. But don’t let that stop you.

      Because your precious think tanks have nothing to treat this, let alone solve it. Poverty is a feature to the InvisibleHand masters of the universe.

      PS Can someone get me some more trustworthy statistics than NCPA’s?

      • WorriedfortheCountry

        Don’t let facts get in the way of your personal attacks.

        • http://profile.yahoo.com/JXSANCUDPIKQSPID5KT2U4XK5Y TF

          Hahahaha.

          Can’t take any rebuttal, can you?

          This ain’t Fox News, chump.

    • creaker

      “Fighting poverty” has been a sham – put money into poor people’s hands and it gets spent. And that $1 trillion gets put into the hands of the wealthy and corporations. Which is the real driver for the “war on poverty”.

      But with $17 trillion now in debt, and capitalism hitting the end of its run, bread and circuses for the uber wealthy is coming to end – so they are turning down the spigots.

    • Steve_the_Repoman

      If your numbers are correct, and if the poor are still with us:

      Do you think that it is possible that:

          -the poor and middle class can be more efficiently
           mined for their remaining assets?

          

    • Steve__T

       That’s an increase of 4,390 over 10 years.

  • creaker

    When you stack up the past 70 years against history, prosperity distributed among such a high number of people was an anomaly caused from a lucky combination of new technologies, labor movements, wars, and the fear of socialist uprisings. Now we’re just moving back to the norm of kings and peasants.

    • TomK_in_Boston

      I’d say it was an anomaly caused by the economic policies of strong progressive taxation, strong corporate regulation, and a strong public/private partnership forged in the recovery from the Great Depression. Now that we saw how that worked, we’re fools for letting the romney types take it away. Doesn’t have to be this way.

    • Steve_the_Repoman

      Wars, plagues and judgment happen at opportune times for some.  Perhaps a good cleansing is what we need…

  • Renee Engine-Bangger

    Where are the Republicans talking about childhood poverty?

    Republicans seem to want women and families to have children whether or not they are able to support and care for them. Apparently they are more concerned with speculating if fetuses might feel pain rather than attending to children whom we know surely do.

    • M S

      Well, it doesn’t seem like Obama and the Democrats have done a thing about poverty either. Obama is way more interested in middle-class problems, drones, and letting illegals into the country to take resources that could otherwise go to poor American children and their families.

      • Renee Engine-Bangger

         Nonsense. Expand your frame of reference. The income gap has been increasing far longer than the last 5 years. Republicans love to blame the victim (while ironically whining that they are the victim).

        • M S

          Nonsense? Where am I wrong? And where was I blaming any poor person or ‘victim’? When was the last time you heard Obama say anything about poverty? I certainly can’t remember. Yes, the income gap has been growing, but the gap doesn’t really concern me. I’m concerned about decent paying jobs. Unfortunately, many of those once middle and lower-income jobs have been shipped to Mexico and overseas with the implementation of NAFTA under Clinton and Obama certainly can’t create a job to save his life.

          • Renee Engine-Bangger

            Nonsense because there are certain kinds of people who, for any problem or issue, immediately blame Obama (Clinton, et al) with your silly, cynical distorted view of history.

            My point was that childhood poverty (and poverty in general) is a much larger issue and trend than one term of the current President. Not caring about the income gap? Ok… gotcha.

          • M S

            Likewise, there are certain kinds of people who will never be able to cast blame on those for which it is deserved. A Democrat will never, never admit that NAFTA was bad industrial policy. And mind you, Obama has been President for years now, when can I ascribe blame, after he leaves office? That is just pathetic.

            And I say the gap of little importance is because my primary concern is whether the poor or middle income are able to live in a decent manner. I’m not worried about what the rich have and I don’t care to take away anything from anyone who has earned their wealth…that is the way people act under socialism.

          • Renee Engine-Bangger

            “..that is the way people act under socialism.”

            Socialism? Really? You’re just reading from the right wing playbook. Ugh. Think for yourself maybe.

            We are done here.

          • M S

            Yes, we’ve been done here and this nation is done, thanks to Obama and the rest of the nation destroyers.

          • Renee Engine-Bangger

            Right wingers are such drama queens, always playing the victim. Always good for a laugh.

          • M S

            Liberals are the onesthat always playthe racecard. How is that for drama?

          • http://profile.yahoo.com/JXSANCUDPIKQSPID5KT2U4XK5Y TF

            Poutrage much?

  • debhulbh

    We are a country scarred by a sabotaging, vitriolic, long-winded political scene and those scarred the most are the hungry, the children, the poor.
    Are we as a people not desperate to rediscover our own collective identity.
    Have we lost our soul, greedy bankers, greedy corporations turning a blind eye to poverty in their own backyard, in their own country.
    What gets lost in the process
    -the children
    - the poor
    - hungry
    What exists in our congress is an obstinate & petty-minded obsession with national self-sufficiency
    - a capacity for self-delusion
    -complacency 
    - an inert & stagnant conservatism
    & above all a propensity for moral evasiveness
    All of these are dangerously active in this country.
    What this does is it drives great people overseas to Norway or other countries, disillusioned by the stagnancy and lack of humanity
    Growing prison pollution, political stalemate,
    The children! the homeless! how can we turn our backs…
    “Give me your tired, your hungry, your poor…..”

  • marjkramer

    I think a living wage would solve so many problems.  A slight lifting of the minimum wage would help people not need so much government aid. Perhaps a dollar an hour to start. Please ask your experts about this campaign.

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Mike-Jones/100001340260805 Mike Jones

    childhood poverty is related to jobs of the parents. large corporations are so focused on their profits, that they fight for low minimum wages and ship good paying jobs overseas. this eventually leads to the hollowing out of the tree of America. big companies need to realize that what effects the poor in this country will eventually hurt them in the long run. we are all in this together!

  • creaker

    What does a shepherd do in good times? Take care of the sheep, invest time and money to make a bigger, stronger, healthier herd.

     What does a shepherd do in bad times? Eat the sheep.

    • Wahoo_wa

      Obama is bad but he’s not that bad!

      • creaker

        Obama is not the one in charge – it’s the handful of people who have the majority of the wealth. He just works for them.

    • donniethebrasco

       Michelle says, “Let them eat Kale.  What, they don’t want Kale?  Make them eat Kale.”

  • http://profile.yahoo.com/JXSANCUDPIKQSPID5KT2U4XK5Y TF

    Hey now, some people would describe the child Kaylee (sp?) as not hungry but motivated!

    Like the peasants in Paris in 1789.

    Just ask Ronald Reagan: Nothing induced alcoholism, domestic violence, family abandonment and hopelessness brought families together like a sustained bout of widespread poverty.

  • DrewInGeorgia

    Who has to pay the highest percentages relative to income for housing, food, transportation, education, healthcare, credit…to put it bluntly, everything? I’ve said it before but I’ll say it again:
    Those who can afford the least are consistently required to pay the most.

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=745185020 Cory Heaton

    He said the economy was slow react to the recession, but then he said the poverty didn’t go up in 2009 because of the safety net. Perhaps the poverty rate was affected more slowly too?

  • hennorama

    In 1964, in his first State of the Union speech, President Lyndon B. Johnson declared a “War On Poverty.”

    This ultimately resulted in programs such as Head Start, food stamps (now known as SNAP), work study, Medicare and Medicaid. These programs dramatically reduced the poverty rate for Americans aged 65 and
    older, but poverty for everyone else has RISEN since that time.

    Unfortunately, some politicians seem to have declared “War On The Poor,” in various ways, and seem to think the poor, and those with lower incomes, are irrelevant. (See Romney, Mitt and The 47%).

    Sources:
    http://www.npr.org/2012/09/12/161024133/a-snapshot-of-poverty-in-the-u-s?live=1 (graphs of poverty levels)

    http://www.fordham.edu/halsall/mod/1964johnson-warpoverty.html (LBJ’s War On Poverty speech)

  • debhulbh

    What we need to do is for those who are in a position to help MUST
    Adopt a poor family, in your poorest neighborhood, (and we do)
    Paint their house for them (and we do), tidy up their yard (and we do) (they are working too hard on minimum wage and simply cannot do it all).
    Do over their house, drop them off your clothing, furniture, donations etc. (all of this we do).
    But we obviously need MORE….
    We need
    - technical schools, 
    - more access to schooling/college for a broader population pool
    - jobs
    - cleaner neighborhoods
    - buildings allowed to sit there run down in neighborhoods equals negative energy, children passing by a derelict building going to school – certainly would not give one hope! 

    Then with some basics cleaned up this frees up time to think about getting an education, to dream, to take a class, you simply can not do that when you are trying to keep food on the table for your family.
    The majority of these people are good and decent hardworking people.
    I am sick hearing that these poor people abuse the system….that’s an evasive, deluded stance and fails these very people who need help. 
    It is a dereliction of duty for our government, municipalities to allow this to happen.
    Enough.

    • Steve__T

       Bless you for being a good neighbor.

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=560398097 Maura Hadaway

    Maybe if we had a minimum wage that was actually livable, this rate, and our government expenses, could go down.  Walmart, and other employers like them, are government subsidized companies as far as I am concerned.  Not to say that individual decisions don’t play a role as well but accountability should start at the top.

  • Bigtruck

    Wage inequality has to be dealt with. Jobs must be created. It will only serve the rich in the end. Some of us will not be so passive when our children tell us they are truly hungry.

    • Steve__T

       Your right and some poor guy goes to jail, kids go to child services and up for adoption, all for the theft of $3 worth of food.

  • debhulbh

    This man is deluded when he blames the poor for their situation.
    Step up and help, not try to explain away a very clear plain dereliction of duty.

  • rsokol

    Mr. Haskins has it all backwards: kids drop out of school, teenage girls get pregnant, teens get involved in drugs and criminal activity because they are living in poverty; he states that it is other way around, means these facts push them into poverty. And how can he call someone who sees dramatic problems rising an alarmist?

    • WorriedfortheCountry

       How does poverty cause pregnancy?  Is it a perverse incentive to receive  increased government benefits?

      • rsokol

        Life’s circumstances; lack of attention and supervision from parents, no communication about the lasting consequences of early pregnancy; to suggest that it is a calculated act to get government support sounds rather cynical.

        • WorriedfortheCountry

          It may ‘sound cynical’ but it is hard to argue with especially with the excellent points you made about ‘lasting consequences’.  It is clear these folks aren’t making rational decisions.

      • http://profile.yahoo.com/JXSANCUDPIKQSPID5KT2U4XK5Y TF

        Okay, I’ll take a shot: Growing up poor in a GOP-led state results in crap public education with sex ed containing abstinence-only bullflop, and therefore unwanted pregnancies.

        Funny how you haven’t figured that out. Actually, strike that–very predictable how you haven’t figured that out.

        • WorriedfortheCountry

           OK, I get it.  Teen pregnancy among the poor  isn’t an issue in Philadelphia, Chicago, Boston, NYC, etc.?  Are these cities and states run by Democrat administrations?

          Give me a break.  You are a partisan extraordinaire.

          • jefe68

            And you’re not?

          • http://profile.yahoo.com/JXSANCUDPIKQSPID5KT2U4XK5Y TF

            Abst-only is for shite. You can shut up about your “poor black pregnant teenagers” schtick, and the funny adjective “Democrat”.

            I’ll ask my “Jew Laywer” about your curious turn of phrase.

        • HonestDebate1

          Abstinence works every time it’s tried.

          • http://profile.yahoo.com/JXSANCUDPIKQSPID5KT2U4XK5Y TF

            Abstinence-only: The shite that works perfectly right up until the point it fails completely.

            Come back when you’re ready to talk like an adult.

          • brettearle

            Done.

            June 17th, at the top.

    • StilllHere

      It’s expensive being on drugs, wooing the ladies and occupying your time when not in school.  Not sure which comes first.

  • Casey Reyner

    How can the bottom recover when the only measure of the success of the economy is measuring the Dow and other markets?

  • debhulbh

    Poverty is a much tougher problem when it is ignored. Get real!

  • Casey Reyner

    Unemployment is going down because of long term unemployed giving up, not getting jobs.

    • Steve__T

      No they are taken off, when their unemployment payments run out. They no longer exist, even if they are still looking for work.

      • Casey Reyner

        That is exactly what I was saying.  They are taken of the list of unemployed as result the unemployment rate goes down.  It makes thinks look like they are getting better when they are not.

        • Steve__T

           Agreed

  • debhulbh

    I say stop ignoring the problem.

  • debhulbh

    The only alarm is that this man refuses to face head on the problem. That we have poor and that they NEED HELP.

  • DottieHigh

    Let’s hear some comments about the impact of poverty on student performance in high poverty urban schools. 

    Thanks.

    • MrWakiki

      how about added to t hat how teachers are now being judge (No Child Left Behind and Race to The Top) by these high poverty students

      • Wahoo_wa

        How about how the United States spends more than any other developed nation on education yet students are not performing and wages have not risen at the same rate as other nations?  Time to eliminate the summer vacations and get back to work teachers!  You’re failing!

  • Wahoo_wa

    One thing to consider is the choice to have children to begin with.  I have worked with several colleagues who sincerely admit that they cannot afford children yet they have more than one!  They then complain about the cost.  What’s worse is the sense of entitlement!  Some of them expect higher pay and some employers have even given higher pay to those who have children.  It can be mind boggling! In short: take responsibility for your own actions…your children deserve it!

    • debhulbh

      Are you actually serious? a sense of entitlement standing in a food line? are you really serious? or just not fully engaged with the actual facts? We call that a republican in my parts.
      I think that you need to stand in a food line and feel exactly what it is that that does to your very soul…
      Entitlement?..try it and see if you feel entitled.
      Check back in when you have done this and share exactly how entitled you feel.
      I would be most curious if you do not change your opinion when you have ALL of the facts.

      We must never call for something we could not endure ourselves.
      what a closed minded comment.

      • Wahoo_wa

        I am absolutely 100% serious.  It’s incredibly ignorant to make a choice in one’s life and then expect everyone else to come running to one’s aid particularly when that aid takes resources from others who need it, have worked for it and have earned it!

        “We must never call for something we could not endure ourselves.”  You mean like personal responsibility?

      • Wahoo_wa

        Oh…and just an aside:  you kinda don’t know me, my experience or my political affiliations.  I grew up in Section 8 housing; in a household that used food stamps (I still remember those huge buckets of peanut butter); was the child of a first generation parent who married and divorced often; and attended Head Start.  My immigrant grandparents were horrified at the choices my mother made in her life and held her responsible for them.  I attended public schools, worked damn hard to achieve a good academic record.  I then went on to attend college and graduate school by my own merit and fortitude.  I continue to work hard professionally.

        My mother made bad choices but I certainly wouldn’t have made the same choices…and I wouldn’t expect anyone to bail me out either!

        …and I am not registered with a party.  Common sense does not need a political affiliation.

        • StilllHere

          Deb apparently is not fully engaged with the actual facts, a Democrat party member of good standing no doubt.  Please don’t question her convenient narrative.

        • Steve__T

           You have had success in your life, but you are one out of many. How many of your friends made it out, and off section 8 and off of food stamps? I’m not saying you can help all but you received some, would you now deny others the same chance you got?

          • Wahoo_wa

            I would offer help on a limited time basis with clear milestones in place to judge motivation and goals.  A majority of my friends and acquaintances did escape the situation their parents’ put them in, but some chose not to make an effort.  Those that took initiative succeeded.

  • creaker

    Capitalism is dependent on growth to survive. I think we’re hitting the ceiling (you can’t grow forever), and the system is starting to fall apart. And the wealthy and powerful are now cannibalizing the system to insure their growth continues for the short term. Long term the whole system falls down, but no big real if you’re really rich.

    • nj_v2

      Yet OnPoint steadfastly refuses to host a even a program that gives serious attention to alternatives to the traditional, capitalist, “growth” economy

  • dmtspice

    Government assistance does not alleviate poverty, it just allows the kids  to survive.  Food stamps may provide food but does not cover soap, shampoo or laundry detergent.

    • debhulbh

      Precisely, people may have some food on the table with these food stamps,  but of what quality?…nothing of quality? and I mean that in the broader sense. We have got to give more, technical schools, opportunities, ….the list is endless

  • fionnmaccumhailus

    Now would be a good time to discuss Basic Guaranteed Income (BGI).

  • debhulbh

    We are a country scarred by a sabotaging, vitriolic, long-winded political scene and those scarred the most are the hungry, the children, the poor.Are we as a people not desperate to rediscover our own collective identity?Have we lost our soul? Greedy bankers, greedy corporations turning a blind eye to poverty in their own backyard, in their own country! accounts overseas?!What gets lost in the process?-the children- the poor- the hungryWhat exists in our congress is an obstinate & petty-minded obsession with national self-sufficiency- a capacity for self-delusion-complacency - an inert & stagnant conservatism& above all a propensity for moral evasiveness- All of these are dangerously active in this country.What this does, at the higher moral end, it drives great people overseas, on the other end children suffer. Yes good people who can help are leaving, disillusioned by the stagnancy and lack of humanity….Growing prison population, – (and yes when you lock up 2.5 million fathers children suffer) the political stalemate?!? on and on….
    And who suffers -The children… the homeless.. the hungry….
    We are not to turn our backs…
    What about our engraving at the shores to this once great country…..
    “Give me your tired, your hungry, your poor…..”

    • Steve__T

       I stand and applaud your statement.

  • http://profile.yahoo.com/JXSANCUDPIKQSPID5KT2U4XK5Y TF

    Am I the only one embarrassed for Republican Staffer Donny Ferguson? (Aide to Steve Stockwood, R-TX.)

    He’s the chump who calls himself the “champ of the SNAP challenge”, wherein he tried to live on SNAP benefits.

    Twenty-five Dem lawmakers had problems maintaining weight, concentrating, and being effective workers while buying food on the SNAP budget. And this was while recognizing they have plenty of benefits being healthy, having healthcare, housing, and other things that

    But “based on my personal
    experience with SNAP benefit limits we have room to cut about 12% more.”

    This right-winger needs Barbara Ehrenreich’s “Nickeled and Dimed” tour bad. Reeeeal bad.

    • hennorama

      Here’s what he bought:

      For $21.55 Ferguson purchased at Dollar Tree:

      Two boxes of Honeycomb cereal
      Three cans of red beans and rice
      Jar of peanut butter
      Bottle of grape jelly
      Loaf of whole wheat bread
      Two cans of refried beans
      Box of spaghetti
      Large can of pasta sauce
      Two liters of root beer
      Large box of popsicles
      24 servings of Wyler’s fruit drink mix
      Eight cups of applesauce
      Bag of pinto beans
      Bag of rice
      Bag of cookies

      For $6.03 at the Shoppers Food Warehouse next door Ferguson bought a gallon of milk and a box of maple and brown sugar oatmeal.

      Absolutely no fresh fruit or vegetables. All processed food, with the exceptions of “Bag of pinto beans, Bag of rice.”

      Source:
      http://stockman.house.gov/media-center/press-releases/stockman-staff-beating-snap-challenge

      • http://profile.yahoo.com/JXSANCUDPIKQSPID5KT2U4XK5Y TF

        That’s hilarious.

        I mean, he’s just like The Student Prince, or the idiot children in My Man Godfrey. He’s playing at being poor and common.

        If he gets food poisoning because of bargain shopping at the day-old food bin, do you think he’s going to use poor folks’ healthcare?

  • dlosen

    I’m pretty sure that these numbers are much worse for Black and Latino children. The racial gap is undoubtedly large. I’d like to hear about this, and if Annie Casey doesn’t track the numbers by race, why not? There is a legacy of racial discrimination, it’s not just the current economy. And that legacy is becoming harder to correct with the S.Ct rulings on voting rights and affirmative action. The affirmative action decision was very narrow, but still the current S. Ct is likely to make this issue much harder to address.

    • hennorama

      dlosen – As to child poverty by race/ethnicity, a recent Dept. Of Health and Human Services (HHS) Issue Brief indicated the following:

      “Today’s data indicate that there were 16.1 million children (persons under 18) living in poverty in 2011, not significantly changed from 2010. The child poverty rate was 21.9 percent, not significantly changed from the 2010 rate of 22.0 percent.

      “For African-American children, the poverty rate reported today was 37.4 percent for 2011. The rate for Hispanic children was 34.1 percent. For non-Hispanic, White children the rate was 12.5 percent.”

      The report used information on income and poverty in 2011, based on data released by the Census Bureau.

      There are some excellent charts in the Issue Brief, which is available here:

      http://aspe.hhs.gov/hsp/12/povertyandincomeest/ib.shtml

  • MurielV

    3 big problems in this country:

    1 . employers do not pay a living wage. 
    2. health insurance and health care costs are out of control.  
    3.  Access to good quality education is very uneven and even in wealthy towns where there is lots of money going into education, the quality of education, especially in math and science is still below that of comparable industrialized countries. 
    Without good quality education for everyone, opportunities are not spread evenly and the chance of poor people to get out of poverty are minimal.  Without affordable good preventative health care for everyone chronic diseases will overwhelm this country in the very near future and make people even poorer and unable to support themselves. 

  • DottieHigh

    College costs are huge.  So many college students graduate with 10′s of thousands of dollars in debt, that hurts their futures.
     

    • TomK_in_Boston

      States have stopped supporting State U so they can cut taxes on the romney types. Then State Us that were once nearly free start increasing tuition, then it’s easier for private Us to increase tuition. Tax cutting = class warfare.

  • MrWakiki

    I’m pretty much a liberal, but the guy who just called. He sounded like he was making pretty good money for my area. Two people making around $10 an hour. I think some questions have to be asked on what the money is being spent on. Where I live there is that 25% poverty, but the kids have iPods and atvs.. People on assistance with more disposable income than people working

    • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100000570151428 Jo Bleaux

      Some possibilities: medical expenses. having a car wrecked by an uninsured motorist when you’re only carrying liability insurance. having a house under water. losing a lease and having to move… There are all kinds of financial blows you can suffer that aren’t your fault and have nothing to do with wasting money.

    • jefe68

      In the Boston area that would not even cut it.
      After taxes and rent you would be lucky to have 10K in income left over for everything else.

  • Stacy21629

    I missed the caller’s name, but when Tom asks “How has this affected your kids?” and your answer is “I couldn’t afford for them to go to the pool?”  Good grief.  Food?  Clothing?  Health care?  Education?  But boo hoo they couldn’t go to the pool unless grammie paid for it?  Crisis!  Guess what – they aren’t entitled to going to the pool and it won’t affect their health and well-being.

    • http://www.thisoneisbroken.blogspot.com |k|

      Yeah, that wasn’t a great example of how it affects his kids.

      • http://profile.yahoo.com/JXSANCUDPIKQSPID5KT2U4XK5Y TF

        I think it is a good example of how kids are made happy and how parents enable it.

        As an adult I have time to think of recreational pleasures my parents provided my siblings and I, ordinary middle class suburbanites. I don’t mean the extravagances costing a lot of money, but rather the many little things that were mainly investments of my parents’ time and bother. Time they could spare because of their station in life. Bothers than I never calculated until I became an adult myself, and said “This was much more fun when I was a kid. Now I appreciate my Dad for doing it with me.”

        Packing up a family of six and going to the beach is a fun day out for kids, even if it can be a headache for parents. If you don’t live in a town on the coast, that less-than-two-movie-ticket price to a state park can be pretty dear, even with a picnic lunch packed from home.

        (And there’s a correlation between growing up poor and bad health results in adulthood. Exercise helps this.)

        • Steve_the_Repoman

          My favorite place to swim as a child was a flooded quarry that cost 10 cents to enter if you arrived in a car – it was free if you chose to walk in.

          I took my children there 2 days ago.
          The entrances were changed to allow for the selling of land deemed too attractive for the hoi polloi.

          Luxury condos overlook the quarry and surrounding woods – golf course to follow.

          • http://profile.yahoo.com/JXSANCUDPIKQSPID5KT2U4XK5Y TF

            Ah, parking–the controller of the hoi polloi. Greenwich, CT got in the news in a bad way for not allowing people to walk into their beach.

            In theory, all salt water up to the high tide mark is public land. (I realize that doesn’t include quarries.)

            There’s a whole show to be had on rich people cutting off riffraff’s access to what’s supposed to be public land and accessible by someone with the wherewithal and legs to hoof it.

    • debhulbh

      Petty and truly truly missing the point….
      A mind is a terrible thing to waste.
      A mind is like a parachute it only works when it is open.
      Open your parachute and heart. Please.

    • http://profile.yahoo.com/JXSANCUDPIKQSPID5KT2U4XK5Y TF

      You are beggaring poor children the price of going to a public pool. Just listen to yourself.

      Not a private club healthclub. Not a (more reasonably-priced) YMCA. Not a backyard pool. But the pools that are built with public dollars for all citizens to use for a nominal fee, which is pretty damn nominal to a middle-class household like mine but much more dear to someone lower-income.

      I’ll remember your screed the next time some old coot my dad’s age says “We grew up in the Depression. We were poor but we didn’t know it.”

      Why do kids not know they’re poor, proverbially speaking? Because, in the summer, they get to do childhood things: Play ball until it’s too dark to see. Splash around in a pool.

    • debhulbh

      Are you actually serious when you say that a child should NOT go to the pool or is not entitled to go to the pool???? Are you for real????
      or what planet have you just flew in from?
      I suggest you head right back there to your own kind?
      Otherwise open your heart and stay.
      Peace

      • Stacy21629

         No, all children are not entitled to go to the pool.  Are they entitled to bikes too?  Toys? Anything?  You going to buy all that for them?  I’m sorry this guy is in the situation he is in, but the caller used a complete non-essential as his example of how his kids are disenfranchised.

        • http://profile.yahoo.com/JXSANCUDPIKQSPID5KT2U4XK5Y TF

          Some people just love to appoint themselves judges of the poor.

          • 1Brett1

            Are there no workhouses?!?

          • HonestDebate1

            I don’t see much of that but 
            i do see a lot of judgement heaped on the rich.

          • http://profile.yahoo.com/JXSANCUDPIKQSPID5KT2U4XK5Y TF

            We give shiteloads to the rich, so boohoo about that. Cry me a fugging river.

            Even if that should that be the case, at the end of the day they’re still rich.

            Rich people get what they can while they can and society says (basically) “That’s how you get rich. That’s how you stay rich.”

            Poor people do that and it’s judgment time.

  • asheeba

    I owe more in student loans than I make in a year. A college education is not always the answer.

  • dlosen

    Please discuss the racial dynamics embedded in the issue of high poverty, and including education resource inequity.

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100000570151428 Jo Bleaux

    It’s true that people with college degrees make more. But, I’m not sure if I buy the causal link that many people read into this.  I think that being better off helps you finish college, more than finishing college makes you better off.

    • Wahoo_wa

      The college/education argument is a double edged sword.  If college is accessible to all, but there are no jobs to support that population, you end up with a population carrying big debt that they cannot repay…oh wait…that’s already where we are.

  • OnpointListener

    1.  Change trade policies to fair trade instead of free trade;

    2.  Raise Minimum Wage;

    3.  Single Payer Health Care for all – eliminating medicaid as it now exists, straining housing costs due to high property taxes that affects owners and renters; and

    4.  Cut tax loopholes and subsidies and use money on infrastructure.

    • DrewInGeorgia

      “straining housing costs due to high property taxes”

      Love the way you slid that in there. We are not becoming a Right to Rent Nation because of excessive property taxes. When you can’t qualify to purchase a home you are forced to rent. Demand increases, supply decreases. Rents soar. And what the heck do “high property taxes” have to do with implementation of a Single Payer Healthcare System?

  • sharlyne1

    So if the wages are declining how is the middle class not disappearing? Mr. Haskins you’re absolutely right that the poor are moving out of poverty, too bad the middle class is moving right in! Higher education is so expensive it’s unrealistic for poor kids to attend university. Even more so for middle class kids. As a nation we really need to think about a different economy and lifestyle. Capitalism is not egalitarian and it’s time we give up the pipe dream that we could get into that next economic tier and try to make the current tier an individual resides in genuinely affordable.

  • dlosen

    Structural racism is a contributing factor. Please discuss. The politics of poverty can’t be divorced from the politics of race in America. In sheer numbers, there are more poor Whites, but as a percentage of the population, poverty is skewed. Calling the poor lazy has both class and racial implications.

  • debhulbh

    The suck it up argument is an appalling dereliction of duty…it is absurd!

    • scotlandryan98

      I love this show, thank you

  • http://profile.yahoo.com/JXSANCUDPIKQSPID5KT2U4XK5Y TF

    Bethany’s deluding herself (caller at 52mins).

    Working hard and saving up money have almost nothing to do with each other for the working class in this country, especially when working at WalMart.

  • http://www.facebook.com/bpomfret Bonnie Pomfret

    It is obscene that a highly profitable corporation like Walmart is allowed to pay wages so low that the employee needs food stamps.  This is corporate welfare!    As a country we need to step up to the plate for human dignity and create a living minimum wage. There could be lower wages for teens or students, and others who do not support a household, but the low wage job must be livable for the head of household.

    • HonestDebate1

      Human dignity? In my view telling someone they are so worthless that their services are not worth market value so government will impose it on business, is not treating people with dignity. The only result will be fewer jobs for those who need them most.

      • Ray in VT

        I know.  How dare the big, bad government say that there is a base standard of living below which people should not fall.  Companies have always treated their workers well, and they willfully and gladly reformed in the old days whenever any bad practices came to the attention of the bosses and owners.   It should be up to corporations to decide what a person and their health and safety are worth.  I mean, just look at what a bang up job this company did:

        http://onpoint.wbur.org/2012/07/10/forced-labor-in-the-usa

        I guess that those people should have just taken the personal responsibility and gotten a better job.

        • HonestDebate1

          Non-sequitur, I was talking about minimum way, you’re talking Dickens land. Reductio Ad Absurdum

          • Ray in VT

            It’s too bad that Dickens Land continued to exist well into the 20th century in America, and Unions and government actions, through labor condition and pay/benefit reform, helped to largely to away with.  I’m sure, though, that if we got rid of the minimum wage and income supports that no one would be reduced to working under such conditions again, as companies would always to the right thing.

  • DrewInGeorgia

    Followed the game plan, checked off all the boxes.
    Yet here I am. Ignorance is Myth.

  • MrWakiki

    Wal*Mart. ha. 

    1) they don’t give full time or health insurance
    2) under cutting small business

    Wal*Mart costs America more than they save us.

    • creaker

      I read a study – one Walmart in WI, 300 employees. Paid so little they qualified for over $900k in government help. The rest of us pay so people can afford to work at Walmart.

      • Ray in VT

        We also pay so that Walmart can continue to pay millions to executives and dividends to stockholders.

        • HonestDebate1

          But is Walmart unique? Do we pay for the solar industry to fail? Do we pay for the Volt so GM can pay their workers? 

          • Ray in VT

            There’s a big difference between loans for innovative technologies or emergency situations to prevent major sectors of the economy from going under and the sort of low-wage economic practices that firms like Walmart has engaged in.

            By the way, didn’t you post that Forbes link last summer saying that GM was headed back into bankruptcy? How’s that working out?

          • HonestDebate1

            We subsidize Volts $7500 a piece, Obama was trying to raise it top 10K. My point stands.

          • Ray in VT

            In what way do we subsidize them at $7500 a piece?  I’m sure that you think that your point does stand, as you seem unwilling to admit that you’re full as b.s. no matter how absurd your argument or the sources upon which it is based.

            So, how is that GM headed back to bankruptcy going?

          • brettearle

            Done.

            June 17th, at the top.

      • HonestDebate1

        Maybe we should stop the government help.

        • Ray in VT

          And then what happens to those low income people just trying to scrape by?  We could always do that and raise the minimum wage to something liveable.  Problem solved.

          • HonestDebate1

            It is not the government’s job to set wages. If walmart didn’t pay enough then they would not have employees so they would have to pay more to get them. As long as government interferes this won’t happen. Raising the minimum wage ALWAYS hurts the poor. Always.

          • jefe68

            So the history of labor in this country means nothing to you? 

            If it was up to corporations they would pay less and treat workers like slaves if they could. If there were no regulations or laws about child labor what do think you would see?

            There are already scores of companies that have awful health and safety records. BP is on the top of that list and even with regulations nothing much happens except a slap on the wrist.

            Massey Energy is another one.

            The right has been chipping away at regulations for years with the help of ALEC and the Democrats have been spineless in stoping the downward spiral.

          • Ray in VT

            Oh, poor Jefe.  Don’t you know that companies will regulate themselves and do the right thing on issues such as worker safety, product safety and pollution, just so long as the gub’ment gets out of the way and lets them do it.

          • HonestDebate1

            Who said that?

          • Ray in VT

            Well, there is a guy or two around here who often argue along those lines, while criticizing government attempts to correct those abuses as red tape and job killing.

          • HonestDebate1

            You just went from minimum wage to safety and health; to an unregulated free-for-all.

            Does Massey Energy pay minimum wage? I’ll bet the floor sweeper gets more than minimum wage. 

            You are conflating.

          • Jean Piaget

            So what are you proposing? In their words: Always low wages. Always.

          • HonestDebate1

            I am suggesting that any adult who has not nurtured the skills to earn more than minimum wage is a total loser. 

          • Ray in VT

            It is part of the government’s job to provide for the general welfare, and for over 100 years that has included ensuring safe working environments and at least since FDR ensuring that labor isn’t getting abused by capital.  If corporations can’t or won’t take care of these things on their own, and they have proven time and again historically that they often will not, then the public should take action.  Once again you let some pie in the sky view of how things should work in your view and say that that is how they do, and that is not the case.  Should we merely remove supports and let people work for near starvation wages in order to vainly pursue some libertarian delusion of how society works?  I think not.  “Raising the minimum wage always hurts the poor.”  Yet another declaration of ideology that is not reality based, but, again, by all means, let us get rid of it and watch people race to the bottom.  Third World here we come.  Maybe raising the minimum wage isn’t the solution.  I’d be for taxing/fining profitable firms that don’t pay their workers enough to not qualify for benefits.  That way the public can recoup the costs that those firms are passing along to the public in order to prop up their profits or executive salaries.

          • HonestDebate1

            I’ve never seen the welfare clause twisted into a justification for government being able to tell me how much I must pay someone. 

            Yes, the poor are hut the most when the minimum wage is raised. Do you seriously not realize that? It’s not a novel concept.

            http://mercatus.org/expert_commentary/raising-minimum-wage-hurts-poor

            The minimum wage is an abomination. I’ll never understand why so many debate the issue as if it is what determines pay. It’s an entry level burger flipper number. 

          • Ray in VT

            I’ve never seen someone so unwilling to conceive of a government that should take action to work to attempt to achieve the sort of more perfect union described in our Constitution.  You’re right, I guess that the government should stand back and let people work in dangerous conditions and for wages that can only let them work for borderline starvation wages and live in slums.  That worked so well during the Gilded Age.  Thanks for the opinion piece, but the actual research is pretty unclear as to the impact on employment.  Such a position is referenced here, and I’ve seen references to other studies to say the saem:

            http://www.marketplace.org/topics/wealth-poverty/pay-day/does-minimum-wage-hurt-poor

    • TomK_in_Boston

      Don’t forget they buy all their goods from China. Wmt good summary of the problem.

      • brettearle

        And just think…..Walmart’s owner and founder accused Obama of cooking the books when there was an uptick in employment, shortly before the Election.

        There ought to be a special place in Regulation Hell for WalMart.

        • WorriedfortheCountry

           Owner?  Walmart is a publicly traded company.  If you own an index fund you own Walmart.

          • brettearle

            I stand corrected.

            I meant the ex-GE CEO.

            Don’t know why–but sometimes I get Jack Welch mixed up with Sam Walton.

          • TomK_in_Boston

            Haha, the same Talking Point used by Gomer in MA who always says “private equity” scams benefit workers via their pension funds etc. 

            Yep, no matter how some predator screws the USA, it’s OK if your pension fund has a tiny piece of the action, if you still have a pension fund. Stupid doesn’t begin…

      • StilllHere

        Except they don’t, but don’t let the facts get in the way of your false narrative.

        • TomK_in_Boston

          Feel free to correct me. Sorry if I missed some made in Bangladesh.

          So, stillhere, what fraction of Wmt’s sales are “made in USA”? I’d love to hear your answer.

    • StilllHere

      I wouldn’t shop anywhere else, the deals are too good.

      • Ray in VT

        So do you just ignore how they drive out local businesses and pressure companies to move American jobs overseas so that you can save a few cents on a pair of shoes (which are now made in Vietnam instead of here in the States)?  Such consumer behavior is what has led to some of these actions by companies.

        • StilllHere

          Who has the time to shop at eight local businesses when I can do one-stop shopping?!  I’ll bet you that 95% of what I buy there comes from the good ‘ol US of A.

          • Ray in VT

            I guess that everyone has their own priorities.  You can take the time to support the businesses of those in your community, or you can funnel your dollars out of town/state.

            I could go there and buy 100% American, but I probably couldn’t buy any clothes, shoes, linens, toys, etc.

          • StilllHere

            That’s not Wal-Mart’s fault.  They have a trivial share of the US clothing retail market.

          • Ray in VT

            So are you saying that you can’t find U.S. made clothing at Walmart, that the world’s largest retailer doesn’t affect the apparel market or that Walmart does not have a history of pressuring domestic suppliers to push jobs overseas?

          • hennorama

            “a trivial share of the US clothing retail market” in WalMart’s case means about 10% of the entire market, or  more than $18 Billion/year in the US alone.

            That figure is 1.2 times the annual sales of the top US specialty apparel retailer, The MarMaxx Group, and 1.75 times the sales of the #2 US specialty apparel retailer, Nordstrom, Inc.

          • StilllHere

            source?
            specialty retail seems inappropriately narrow
            What of Target and other mass retailers apparel sales?

          • hennorama

            StilllHere – TY for your response.

            The information was cobbled together from multiple sources as I recall, which is the main reason I didn’t include sources in my post.

            Including the specialty retailers was to demonstrate how big WMT’s share is, eclipsing the competition.

            WMT struggles with apparel, and generally limits what they sell to “basics” rather than “fashion” items.

            If they ever figure it out, the big specialists will be doomed.

          • StilllHere

            WMT is not a specialty retailer, what is the point comparing them to speciality retailers?  My original post referred to WMT’s share of all apparel retail.  Most mass merchandisers focus on basics, but it’s all part of the apparel market.

          • hennorama

            Asked and answered.

            If you wish to dispute my post, please feel free to present some data on the topic.

          • Jean Piaget

            Can I get in on that action?

          • StilllHere

            Any time.

          • jimino

            Give us some examples of US made goods you buy there.

  • creaker

    Surprise! We’re poor. The only reason we don’t have floods of homeless and hungry and shanty towns and violent labor movements is the government putting in enough of a floor to prevent a majority from falling all the way through to the bottom. But eventually they will have to pull the floor out, we can’t afford it anymore. And we’ll look much more like a third world country.

    Aid is not there to help the poor – it’s there to pacify the population.

    • http://profile.yahoo.com/JXSANCUDPIKQSPID5KT2U4XK5Y TF

      Maybe it does help the poor in a purely capitalistic manner.

      I mean, if capitalism is about anything, it’s about rational actors, isn’t it?

      And if I were poor, and public monies went to reducing the labor pool (the folks competing with me for jobs) in some places with some skills, wouldn’t I want that? Wouldn’t it be the smart thing for me to keep them on the dole and out of the labor market?

  • alex gambino

    The discussion is about childhood poverty. How do you make sure the money (support) gets to the child? Is oversight missing?

    • StilllHere

      Great question, I didn’t hear an answer.

    • donniethebrasco

      Free Markets are efficient distributors of goods and services.  Through housing subsidies, food subsidies, and income subsidies have skewed markets for these things and adversely affect people who collect benefits and compete with those who collect benefits.

      We should stop direct payments and create pilot areas that have minimal housing and healthy commissaries (beans, rice, kale, etc.) for poor to reduce overall costs and encourage leaving government support.

  • debhulbh

    a lack of a banking system for small peasant savers….the triviality of newspapers and theaters and so forth…
    get real people…
    Ibsen wrote about it back in 1867….

    • donniethebrasco

       It is an advantage to be among the “unbanked.”  You can more easily qualify for SSI and other government benefits.

      You also don’t have the government have a record of your money.

      Rich criminals launder their money as do poor methadone leeches.

  • scotlandryan98

    Your Father must have no debt, low housing payments and be living in a cheap rural area. We are making lower wages than my dad did working for Ford in the 70s. I agree we need to keep trying but have the coke brothers built this system for classes to fail? We need to do this on are own. 

    • StilllHere

      I think it was the pepsi sisters.

      • Ray in VT

        and don’t forget the machinations of Dr. Pepper.

    • donniethebrasco

       Do you mean the Koch brothers?

  • http://www.thisoneisbroken.blogspot.com |k|

    Exactly. I think Ron was totally wrong when he suggested that if you get an education and wait to have kids, you’ll be OK. There are lots of people with advanced degrees and zero children who are stuck without jobs.

    • StilllHere

      Advance degrees in what, something marketable?  Education for the sake of education doesn’t seem to make much sense in this economy.

    • Markus6

      Don’t think he said that. He struck me as a numbers guy who doesn’t talk in absolutes. So, at the risk of putting words in his mouth, I’m pretty sure his point was that your odds are significantly better if you get an education and wait to have kids. And I’m positive the stats back that. 

      Which doesn’t mean that everyone who does this, will be ok. Lots of other variables like health, what you’re degree is in, ambition … ok, I’m being obvious. 

      And to the point below, sadly, education for the sake of education seems to be a luxury. 

  • KhakiEnergy

    Just found out On Point is displacing one of my favorite WPR shows. I can’t listen to On Point because of the assaultive intro music – I have almost caused car accidents trying to shut if off FAST. Then it takes a while for pulse and blood pressure to come back to normal. (So do a show on the deleterious impact of percussive beat on people’s health and well-being?)

    • DrewInGeorgia

      Despicable.

    • jimino

      Oliver Sacks would be interested in what appears to be your unique neurological disorder.  Reminds me of the Kramer character’s reaction to Mary Hart’s voice in a Seinfeld episode.  Are you a hipster doofus too?

  • Markus6

    So a large part of the problem is unemployment and low paying jobs. Are the same people who are wringing their hands at how awful this is (and I agree it’s awful), the same ones who are for increasing immigration from poorer countries or at least allowing illegal immigrants to stay. 

    An amnesty now (for lack of a better term) probably won’t affect much because the immigrants already have taken the lower paying jobs. And I don’t blame them – I’d do the same if I were them. But it will be a clear message to the rest of the world that you should come here, work for a while, then be granted amnesty. 

    If the previous amnesty is an indication, that’s additional tens of millions that will be looking for work at low wages. I hear complaints about citizens not taking menial jobs. Maybe it’s because the pay is artificially lowered by a large supply of folks from third world countries. Basic economics.

    Obviously, it’s not the only factor. And I certainly don’t blame those who want to come here. But it surprises me that those who claim to care about the poor, don’t see the effect on them of our immigration policies. I suspect that ideology trumps everything. 

    • TomK_in_Boston
      • Markus6

        Appreciate the effort to bring some data in here. But there are so many variables that affect this. And I’ve seen so many studies that go in with a bias depending on who’s funding it, that hard to draw anything from just a graphic like this. 

        But now I’m jumping to conclusions. So, where did this come from and any details on the methodology?  Thanks.

        • hennorama

          Markus6 –

          Corporate Profits as a percentage of GDP are at or near an all-time high of just under 11%. Since 1970, corporate profit’s share of GDP has more than doubled (from 5% to almost 11%).

          Wages and Salaries as a percentage of GDP are at or near an all-time low of just over 44%. Since 1970, Wages and Salaries’ share of GDP has declined by nearly one fifth (from 54% to 44%).

          Coincident to the above, since 1970, union membership as a share of the U.S. workforce has declined by more than half (from about 25% to a bit over 11%).

          This chart shows Wages as a percentage of GDP (in red) and Corporate Profits as a percentage of GDP (in blue) using Federal Reserve Economic Data (FRED):

          • TomK_in_Boston

            Every data point shows the same thing: redistribution of income to the top. The only important question is how to stop it.

    • StilllHere

      And how do illegal immigrants already here contribute to poverty numbers?  Are they making the choice to be poor here rather than elsewhere, and, if so, why?

      • Markus6

        I’m guessing they do contribute to the numbers, but maybe not directly. And I say guessing because I don’t know the details of how poverty is measured. But the illegal immigrants have children who are citizens and I suspect that they contribute to the numbers. Although none of this is my point. My point is that this massive influx of cheap labor depresses wages and takes up jobs that citizens could have. And that this is an ideological blind spot for the left.

        To answer your other question, they probably aren’t making a choice to be poor here, but to be here. And, they’re certainly smart enough to figure that poor in the US (with or without a future of citizenship) is better than being poor in most third world countries. I certainly would.

    • hennorama

      Markus6 – you wrote “I hear complaints about citizens not taking menial
      jobs. Maybe it’s because the pay is artificially lowered by a large
      supply of folks from third world countries. Basic economics.”

      A few questions and counterpoints:

      To which “third world countries” are you referring?

      Did you know that, according to Forbes (using OECD data), the US ranks
      22nd for “Immigrant Inflow as % of Population” with annual
      average inflow of less than 1/2 of one percent of population (0.4%)?

      See:
      http://www.forbes.com/sites/modeledbehavior/2012/11/18/is-the-u-s-the-most-immigrant-friendly-country-in-the-world/

      Without immigrants, the US economy would grind to a halt. According to the
      Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS):

      “In 2012, there were 25.0 million foreign-born persons in the U.S. labor
      force, comprising 16.1 percent of the total. [This is up
      significantly from 1970, when this group totaled less than 5% of all
      workers.]

      “Hispanics accounted for 48.3 percent of the foreign-born labor force in 2012,
      and Asians accounted for 23.7 percent.

      “Foreign-born workers were more likely than native-born workers to be employed in
      service occupations; production, transportation, and material moving
      occupations; and natural resources, construction, and maintenance
      occupations.

      “The median usual weekly earnings of foreign-born full-time wage and
      salary workers were $625 in 2012, compared with $797 for their
      native-born counterparts.” [This works out to foreign-born workers
      earning about 78% of what native-born workers did]

      One argument for increased immigration is that foreign-born workers,
      especially foreign-born men, have a much higher Labor Force
      Participation Rate (LFPR) than do native-born workers. Again,
      according to the BLS:

      “In 2012, the labor force participation rate of the foreign born was 66.3
      percent, compared with 63.2

      percent
      for the native born. The labor force participation rate was 78.5
      percent for foreign-born men and

      68.6
      percent for native-born men. Among women, 54.8 percent of the foreign
      born were labor force

      participants,
      compared with 58.2 percent of the native born.”

      “The labor force participation rates for foreign-born blacks, Asians, and
      Hispanics were higher than for their native-born counterparts, while
      the rate for foreign-born whites was lower than the rate for
      native-born whites.”

      There are obvious differences based on educational attainment. Again,
      according to the BLS:

      “The earnings of both foreign-born and native-born workers increase with
      education. In 2012, foreign born workers age 25 and over with less
      than a high school education earned $428 per week, while those with a
      bachelor’s degree and higher earned about 2.7 times as much—$1,164
      per week. Among the native born, those with a bachelor’s degree
      and higher earned about 2.3 times as much as those with less than a
      high school education—$1,165 versus $510 per week.

      “Native-born
      workers earn more than the foreign-born at most educational
      attainment levels. The gap between the earnings of foreign-born and
      native-born workers closes at higher levels of education. For
      example, among high school graduates in 2012, full-time workers who
      were foreign born earned 81.5 percent as much as their native-born
      counterparts. Among those with a bachelor’s degree and higher, the
      earnings of foreign-born workers were essentially the same as the
      earnings of native-born workers.”

      Source:

      http://www.bls.gov/news.release/pdf/forbrn.pdf

      • Markus6

        Good stuff and I think almost all of it reinforces my point. 

        The only exception is the opinion at the beginning that without immigrants, the economy would grind to a halt. I don’t disagree with this, but I don’t know anyone with a brain that’s saying end all immigration and kick all the existing one’s out. So, yes, without immigrants, the economy would be hurt, but few would take this position anyway. 

        These issues so easily become binary – immigrants are good or bad. Well, I think that this issue like most depends on the degree. And right now, just based on the numbers, they’re hurting the job prospects and wages of the people that most folks on this forum say they care about. Ideology always seems to win. 

        • hennorama

          Markus6 – TY for your response.

          Allow me to repeat my first question, which you did not answer:

          To which “third world countries” are you referring?

          Also, one must consider that fears about “native” worker displacement and the impact on “native” wages may be unfounded. There are views from some economists and researchers, according to the The Economist, “that increased flows of people across borders could ignite global growth.”

          FTA:

          “Even a modest (and more practical) easing of restrictions could be very rewarding. Lant Pritchett of Harvard University estimates that just a 3% rise in the rich-world labour force through migration would yield annual benefits bigger than those from eliminating remaining trade barriers. The incorporation of women into the rich-world workforce provides an analogy: this expanded the labour supply and the scope for specialisation without displacing the “native” male workforce.”

          “Rich-world residents nonetheless worry that migrants will gain at their expense. Yet in a survey of research on the topic Francine Blau and Lawrence Kahn of Cornell University find that few studies turn up a negative impact on native wages. In a recent paper on western Europe Francesco D’Amuri of the Italian central bank and Giovanni Peri of the University of California, Davis find that immigration encourages natives to take more complex work. Such “job upgrades” are responsible for a 0.6% increase in native wages for each doubling in immigrant labour-force share. Where immigration disadvantages subsets of the population, Gordon Hanson of the University of California, San Diego reckons that charging an entry fee to migrants or their employers could help pay for training or benefits for those who lose out.”

          Repeating:

          “…immigration encourages natives to take more complex work. Such “job upgrades” are responsible for a 0.6% increase in native wages for each doubling in immigrant labour-force share.”

          See:
          http://www.economist.com/news/finance-and-economics/21566629-liberalising-migration-could-deliver-huge-boost-global-output-border-follies

  • donniethebrasco

    The main reason is that if you collect SSI, you can’t have more than $2,000 in your bank account.

  • ghm52

    Irregardless of the spineless Congress, where is the President on this? At least he could comment and try to shame them. They’re big into shaming of the poor, hungry, unemployed, women…

    And where is the media aside from NPR?

    Just think what might happen if FOXNews reported these stats without talking about “takers”.

  • donniethebrasco

     Michelle says, “Let them eat Kale.  What, they don’t want Kale?  Make them eat Kale.”

    • Ray in VT

      I know, now the Supreme Court says that the government can force us to buy broccoli.  What a travesty.  I say let the poor go without food, like the free market used to compel them to in hard times.  Frickin’ moochers.

      • thequietkid10

        You know, not given someone food is not the same as denying someone food.  I don’t think you people understand that.

        • Ray in VT

          Totally.  I was being facetious.

  • http://www.facebook.com/russell.ludwick Russell Ludwick

    the economy is getting worse, people who cannot afford children are still breeding.

    • brettearle

      Why couldn’t some parents, and future parents, have started with good economic prospects–and then fall on hard times?

      Can someone tell me that this doesn’t happen?

      Let’s not condemn one category of parents, without looking closer at specific personal circumstance–much less use the provocative term, “breeding”.

      It is not too politically correct to say that there are a number of alternative words with less pejorative connotations.

    • debhulbh

      These people who you describe as ‘breeding’?!?! Are you actually serious? Are you really really serious?
      These people live and breathe, they have a life, just as you and I do and are just as entitled to that precious life, with love and children and work and food and … All of the things that go with simpy living a life.
      That you would begrudge any man or woman the right to have a child, to have, to hold, to love, to cherish. It is simply astounding to me that you would make such a statement without checking your words first. Engaging your mind and heart is always better. Humanity calls for it.
      Do you actually hear yourself and have youbtruly lost your way thatyou cannot see that. Are these just some throwaway words/lines that you recite without engaging your heart?
      You are talking about people, living human beings like me and you who live and love and work and have families who love them and their children and youo make a statement that they are breeding?
      It is mindblowing stuff.
      Did or do you “breed”? If so why? ( not that I care one iota whether you did “breed” or not).
      Please in the future say these same words to yourself as if youare on the receiving end, it will open your heart and a whole new world.
      Peace.
      How does that feel”
      things thatbyou obviously take for granted because if you BREATHE. They have a heart and want to live and work and give to their children. For you to use such heartless language….well it speaks volumes.
      Open your heart to your fellow man, you will be amazed how wonderful they/we are.

  • kjfar

    I keep hearing as Ron Haskins said this morning that college graduates make more money and that people should stay in school. However I also hear that many college graduates cannot find jobs. I know many college educated people who have been laid off from jobs previously considered “safe”, for example special education, science teaching. This morning I read of many lawyers being laid off at a big law firm. I’ve also read of college degrees being required for entry-level clerical jobs. I would like to know if there is current research being done on this or whether all these statistics about higher earnings for the college educated are based on the past good economic times.  What jobs are out there now for the college educated that are not being filled?  If there are specific fields that have openings this is how government can help- by encouraging people through scholarships, incentives etc to fill these positions.

  • John Cedar

     The asset gap is important too. Of course if the people in  “poverty” lived like the one if 50 Americans who are millionaires described in “The Millionaire Next Door”, a lot of futures would be brigher.

  • Jean Piaget

    An often overlooked dynamic. The only reason that living standards have appeared to stay the same or rise for most Americans since wages decoupled from productivity around 1973 is simple: people have gone into massive personal debt.

    Companies used to train you, school you, invest in you. Now, workers have to go into debt to become minimally employable. All training costs have been offloaded to the worker, and financialized, profiteering education, training, and supply programs have only been to happy to rake in the money.

  • Ray in VT

    Yeah.  Right.  That is a great idea.  It is just too bad that it is not how the world works.

  • 1Brett1

    I just read through all of the comments. I may have missed it but there wasn’t a single comment by a conservative that wasn’t crass, callous, coarse, or crude…And that is just using adjectives that begin with “c”! 

    Is poverty absolutely, simply a predicament of one’s own doing, of laziness, of stupidity, of entitlement, of self-centered whining/not understanding how bad some have it in poor countries? Of failed liberal Democratic policy, of restrictions on business, of a presidential administration that intentionally is destroying the US to remake it as a socialist state? Is it all really that simplistic? 

    • jefe68

      To some it is. My take is a lot of what you are commenting on is made up narratives that are constantly being reenforced by a myopic world view.
      I think most of the right wingers here are either very nasty people or are posting the most outrageous things they can think of to get a reaction. I’m hoping it’s the latter not the former. If it turns out that some of the commenters are really as nasty as they sound, well at least I don’t have to live with them. I can’t imagine being that ignorant, intolerant and inane. I’m into the “i’s”…

      • 1Brett1

        I liked something you said earlier, too…I’d have to look for it to get the quote right and do it justice, but it was about how certain commenters have a whole array of prepared arguments, phrases, punch lines and come-backs to any issue discussed. It really is very predictable. They and their glib replies to topics become clichés. 

        You’ve been coming to this forum for a long time. Years ago, there were conservative posters who said one-dimensional stuff and so on. And, conversations would sometimes get heated, tempers would flare, etc. Sometimes conversations would devolve into name-calling and would disintegrate. But, a lot of thoughtful discourse would happen too. Even among those who fundamentally disagreed, they could and would bring forth something that expressed an array of opinion stimulating even if people didn’t quite concede anything to the “other” side, so to speak.

        It seems most of the conservatives who have regularly come here for the last few years have turned discussion into a contest, a lockstep of solidarity with fellow conservatives, a script, a reduced pat argument of their own positions, and a lot of reducing opposing viewpoints to their lowest forms. What’s weird is most of the conservatives on this forum go out of their way to malign, On Point, Ashbrook, NPR, the liberal commenters on this forum, etc., yet they come back everyday, all day, even on weekends. It is a crusade mentality, a bullying mentality, and even at times it seems almost masochistic; who would spend so much time with a medium they detested?…It’s just weird.   

        • jefe68

          It’s more of a divide. The America that a lot of Conservatives want is not the same as the one I or you want. That’s all well and good. But what I see and have read of the GOP is a party that is against the rights of woman, against the rights of minorities and are out to undermine the working and middle classes. Just read the GOP political platform from their last convention. From repealing the 16th Amendment to policing universities for liberal bias and reconsidering the gold standard are just a few of the wacky ideas they had in it.

          I’ve given up on trying to have any sensible dialogue on global warming. The typical response is Al Gore blah, blah, blah.

          The below video is of Glenn Loury and Mark Blyth, both economics professors at Brown University. Mr. Blyth is so very spot on and it’s interesting how he simply debunks the right wing idea of austerity.

          http://bloggingheads.tv/videos/19067?in=07:56&out=11:25

      • http://profile.yahoo.com/JXSANCUDPIKQSPID5KT2U4XK5Y TF

        I think most of the right wingers here are… posting the most outrageous things they can think of to get a
        reaction.

        The problem with that is that public radio is ever susceptible to moving the goalposts so as to not piss off any rightwing nuts.

        • jefe68

          So what do think they should do? 
          Stop people from posting? 
          I don’t have a problem with nutty comments. I’m big supporter of the 1st Amendment and all the others as well.

          In my opinion the out to lunch crowd just look like fools to people with some semblance of common sense and to their compadres, well they can do no wrong. 

          • http://profile.yahoo.com/JXSANCUDPIKQSPID5KT2U4XK5Y TF

            Nah, not stop people from posting.

            I have one tack, you have another, and they’re both of merit.

            My opinion about “just look like fools” lines up with yours, for all normal observers.

            But doesn’t include public radio. NPR is on record as “wanting to appeal to rightwingers”. No matter the effect on its output, NPR wants those who hate them if NPR are doing a good job of jounalism to like them.

            That desired outcome will not happen, but NPR can piss away what remains of its reputation in pursuit of it.

    • OnPointComments

      I don’t believe that poverty is absolutely simply a predicatment of one’s own doing.  I think a statement from the Forbes article I referenced in a comment is very likely accurate, because I’ve read and seen it many times before:  “Poverty in America is negligible among those who do only three things – finish high school, upon graduation take whatever job is available and keep working, and get married before having children. That in itself is a good strategy for ending poverty in America.”

      • http://profile.yahoo.com/JXSANCUDPIKQSPID5KT2U4XK5Y TF

        Please keep telling that to everyone who’s doing that and got screwed of their life savings by some Master of the Universe.

        And at what point does Person X in poverty have to care about ending PovertyInAmerica?

        We don’t demand of rich people anything except ending Poverty in a Rich Person’s Household.

      • 1Brett1

        Sounds good…I mean, that sounded good about, oh, forty or fifty years ago.

        • OnPointComments

          I think the problem is more recent than forty or fifty years ago:
           
          “The War on Poverty was also associated with the breakup of lower income families…coinciding with the War on Poverty, the black out-of-wedlock birth rate soared from 28% in 1965, to 49% in 1975, to 65% in 1990, to about 70% in 1995, where it remains today. This effect has not been limited to blacks. Among whites, out-of-wedlock births soared from 4% in 1965, to 11% in 1980, 21% in 1990, and 25% in 1995, where it also remains today. Among white high school dropouts, the out-of-wedlock birth rate is 48%. Among Americans overall, out-of-wedlock births soared from 7% when the War on Poverty began to 39% today.”

          • 1Brett1

            I was speaking about your “solution”  not the problems associated with poverty when I was saying 40 or 50 years ago.

            Looks as though out of wedlock births have hit a plateau since 1995 and have been stable for almost 20 years. Sounds as though it is higher among those who are under-educated….It stands to reason that those who are high school dropouts and have children without spousal monetary support, etc., would tend to be in poverty. Does this cause poverty? Or is poverty a characteristic of many of those whose lack of education only allows them low-level jobs? 

            Also–and I’m not saying out of wedlock births are not something that does not coincide with poverty–is there a direct correlation between out of wedlock births rising and poverty rates rising? Is there a causation between out of wedlock births and poverty? Or is this merely another symptom of many in poverty. Many people who have children out of wedlock also have money to take care of them and also are not in poverty. What is the difference with them? Is it education? Could it be a number of factors? 

            Could the phenomenon of out of wedlock births also coincide with the general decline of the US economy itself? I mean anything that has been on the incline since “the war on poverty” would coincide with out of wedlock births. 

      • nj_v2

        “finish high school”

        Yeah, good luck with that.

        What does the Forbes article have to say about this…

        http://cumberlink.com/news/national/philadelphia-schools-hunger-strike-hits-th-day/article_39ccfedf-196a-50b5-b62a-17426807d798.html

        Philadelphia schools hunger strike hits 8th day

        Ten thousand unused musical instruments. No sports or art programs. No assistant principals, counselors, cafeteria aides or secretaries.

        That’s what the Philadelphia public schools will look like in September without a major cash infusion. And while the devastating consequences of the district’s $304 million deficit have been widely reported for weeks, parent Mike Mullins thought people still didn’t get it.

        So for the past eight days, he’s been on a hunger strike.

        “What led us here was the catastrophic budget they put out which devastates the schools and our city, but specifically eliminates _ just completely abandons _ all of the safety monitors in lunchrooms and in recess,” Mullins said Monday.…

        (snipped)

        No shortage of money for death, destruction, and foreign domination, though, including $12.6  billion a year for new Navy F-35C Lighting II fighter aircraft, if they can get the thing to work.

        http://www.latimes.com/business/la-fi-0612-fighter-jet-testing-20130612-dto,0,4701367.htmlstory

        What does the Forbes article have to say about that?

        • http://www.facebook.com/futo.buddy Futo Buddy

          how will they ever graduate without lunchroom monitors?
          yet another reason why schools will be online within a decade

  • 2Gary2

    This is a direct result of conservative policy and their favoring the 1% above everything else.  Simply look at the Paul Ryan plan. Conservatives literally take food from the mouths of children and give it to the rich with tax cuts.  This is not hyperbole but truth.

    • StilllHere

      What about rich children, they don’t have to eat?

      • jefe68

        You’re a disgusting little man.

        • brettearle

          Don’t go for the bait.

          He’s simply trying to get a rise out of you.

          • jefe68

            I know. He wont respond, which is fine. He’s still an awful little sad person though, at least that’s how it comes across. Could all be an act for I know.

    • William

       The Democrats and Republicans pretty much are in lock step with favoring wealthy or elites in this country. There are some exceptions like Barry Sanders but the wealthy have paid off both parties and ensure they have a seat at the table when it comes to getting the “goodies”.

       You have to admit, Liberals promised the nation that the “Great Society” programs would solve the poverty problem in this nation and despite trillions of dollars spent, we have not seen much progress.

      • jefe68

        It’s Bernie Sanders, but you are right on one level. However the GOP is more inclined to strip every semblance of all social safety-net programs and I’ll include SS, Medicare, and Medicaid small enough to drown in a bathtub. 

        The Great Society programs were not designed to end poverty, but to give people a lift out of it.
        The sad thing is, and one of the largest facts that I see all right wingers leave out, is the cost of the Viet Nam war and how it pretty much put an end to most of the programs and or they were severely underfunded. 

        • William

           I would have to disagree. Bush II got his prescription drug program for seniors and was a big spending on anything that came across his desk.
           Even Obama has called for entitlement reforms so it is not a GOP thing to decrease entitlements.
           
           The Vietnam War, well, lay that into JFK’s lap. Great Society programs were fully funded with Social Security money via LBJ’s policy of “all the money is mine” and he spent it.

           We spent nearly a trillion dollars on various poverty programs at the federal level last year. Toss in local and state plus what charities spend, we have to admit that there is no lack of funds.

          • http://profile.yahoo.com/JXSANCUDPIKQSPID5KT2U4XK5Y TF

            “We have to admit there is no lack of funds”?

            As Daffy Duck would say, you have pronoun trouble. Clear big oogedyboogedy numbers only make people go “wooooo” on Fox News.

            PS Is that with or without the funds spent to enable people to hold down crap jobs at Walmart?

          • William

            You are always so angry…deal with it.

          • HonestDebate1

            Daffy Duck is a stinkin’ liberal.

          • nj_v2

            ^ Too stupid for words, really.

          • William

            You enjoy making a fool of yourself?

          • hennorama

            William – you wrote “We spent nearly a trillion dollars on various poverty programs at the federal level last year.”

            This is completely false.

          • William

             How much was spent?

          • hennorama

            William – TY for your response.

            You have probably confused or misread the figure that is being bandied about all over the Web – “the US spends nearly $1T per year fighting poverty.”

            To get to this inflated figure, one must first redefine “fighting poverty” and/or the word “welfare,” AND THEN lump the redefined Federal figures together with the redefined amounts that state and local governments spend. Of course, the amounts state and local governments spend is almost never documented or defined, making the figures nearly unverifiable.

            The source of this figure, as far as I can tell, is a “Policy Analysis” from the Cato Institute. This “analysis” relies on “Author’s calculations” in more than a dozen instances, and includes such things as Pell Grants, Section 502 Housing Loans, and Grants to Local Education Agencies and Schools as “welfare spending.”

            The author claims that “this year [2011 or 2012, it's unclear as to which] the federal government will spend more than $668 billion on at least 126 different programs to fight poverty. And that does not even begin to count welfare spending by state and local governments, which adds $284 billion to that figure.”

            See:http://www.cato.org/sites/cato.org/files/pubs/pdf/PA694.pdf

          • jefe68

            No Johnson did not spend SS money. Where did you get this idea from?
            The Vietnam war sucked up a lot of revenue, a lot. Where still paying for all the health problems the vets are going through as well.

  • marygrav

    It’s about time some real news came on OP and the nonsense of Snowden and IRS shinanigan too a back seat.  As for Snowden, if you do not know that the US government has been listening in on your phone calls and reading you email, you are to stupid to use both.  This domestic spying is how they caught the attempted bomber who was going to cross into Washington State from Canada with a trunk load of dynamite.  This was way before 9/11.  The CIA always listen in on international calls.  And if you believe that any IT company can say NO! to a suppina, then buy yourself a bridge.

    Child poverty in the riches country in the world is news, not BS.  We owe our present poverty to the Neoconservative memebers of the House.  And especially to Congressman Steve King of Iowa’s 5th District.  He is a ranking memeber of the House who serves on the Agricultural Committee and has vowed to cut Food Stamps.  Republican King is a avowed opponent of Barack Obama and brags about it.  He is proud of he record of beinging against the President and any plans he makes to pull the people out of Recession, even if he has to wreck the economy and starve the people.

    King combined with Governor Terry Branstad believe that even if you are barefoot, you should be able to pull yourself up by your own bootstraps.  They both seem to hate the poor and the poor in Iowa are predomently White, not Black like Rick Santorum imagines.

    The majority of work here in Iowa is minimum wage and the majority of people work 2 jobs, and that is not enough to bring a family or single person up to the poverty line.

    The BBC has called it right.  Hunger and povertyof our children is the greatest shame that America is facing.  But instead of dealing with it, Congress, the GOP House prefers to claim that it will be the deficits that will colapse the country, not the internal hypocrisy of saying the US is the Greatest Country in the World, and in experssion like GOD BLESS AMERICA, when it can see its children starve.

    The 1% do not want to understand that they need a healthy population to defend them and their wealth.  If children are malnurished in their famative years, they will grow into unheathy adults and will not be able to form the army that the 1% relies on to bully the rest of the world into doing their will.

    Like the Guest says, there are ways out of poverty, but bank robbying is not available to everyone unless you work on Wall Street.

  • hypocracy1

    EAT THE RICH

    • StilllHere

      I’m a vegetarian.

      • nj_v2

        Nah, you’re a troll.

  • OnPointComments

    It’s important to note what the definition of “living in poverty” means:  A family is counted as poor if its pretax money income is below its poverty threshold. Money income does not include noncash benefits such as public housing, Medicaid, employer-provided health insurance and food stamps.
     
    There is a safety net for those living in poverty.  As stated in Forbes:
     
    “America’s welfare empire encompasses close to 200 or more federal/state programs, including 23 low income health programs, 27 low income housing programs, 30 employment and training programs, 34 social services programs, at least 13 food and nutrition programs, and 24 low income child care programs, among others.
     
    “Federal and state governments spend a trillion dollars a year just on these means tested welfare programs, which does not include Social and Medicare. That is more than we spend on national defense. It adds up to roughly $17,000 per person in poverty, over $50,000 for a poor family of three. The Census Bureau estimates that our current welfare spending totals four times what would be necessary just to give all of the poor the cash to bring them up to the poverty line, eliminating all poverty in America. A recent book by Charles Murray, In These Hands, further documents that.”
     
    http://www.forbes.com/sites/peterferrara/2013/06/23/welfare-state-doesnt-adequately-describe-how-much-americas-poor-control-your-wallet/

    • nj_v2

      Haha!!

      Forbes writing about poverty can be taken about as seriously as Smokers magazine discussing lung cancer.

    • 1Brett1

      OPC, a quick cursory check of Forbes’ numbers, even among the top conservative sites, shows numbers that fluctuate considerably from site to site. So, who’s conservative numbers to go with, aye? And I didn’t even go to any liberal sites…

      Your first paragraph seems to want to make some kind of point…what is it exactly? That counting the numbers of people currently considered in poverty is really some accounting manipulation? That people in poverty aren’t actually poor at all, live quite well and are well provided for? 

      • OnPointComments

        The point of my first paragraph is that the government provides a trillion dollars a year to help people in poverty.  The people living in poverty are poor, and they receive assistance from government programs that provide housing, food, medical care, and other essentials.  Many of the comments on here seem to assume that people in poverty don’t receive any government assistance and are left to totally fend for themselves; that’s not true.

    • http://www.facebook.com/futo.buddy Futo Buddy

      but then who would keep all the prisons and welfare administrators and such in business?

  • Wahoo_wa

    Something that I found troublesome about the title and abstract for this broadcast was the term “child poverty.”  Children can not be poor…nor can they be rich.  It is the household in which they live, and more-specifically, their parents that are poor or rich.  By focusing on the children the real questions are avoided: What decisions did the parents make that put these children at risk?  Should these parents have even had children?  Why are we no longer teaching personal responsibility to our children?

    • 1Brett1

      All through history a lot of people had children who should not have had children. Children in poverty is not a new phenomenon by any stretch of the imagination. Were children taught personal responsibility only during times of prosperity in the US? Is that the difference between some undefined time in the past and now?

      Are the questions you ask in your comment the only questions that come to your mind?

    • tbphkm33

      So, are you saying that unless you have a solid life plan, you should refrain from sex just in case it results in kids you cannot afford?  

      I think the overall point is that the U.S. economy is failing a lot of people.  Individuals who in the past could work hard and provide for a family.  Today that is a harder reality.  

      No, individuals who simplistically blame the parents for having kids should broaden their horizons.  I would suggest for two weeks turn off the cable TV and Internet, get rid of all the junk in the kitchen – no eating at restaurants.  Try to get by on what a similar family size would have to spend on food if they were in poverty.  I believe, some $100 too feed a family of four for a week.  

      Get off your duff and your soap box, try it, report back how successful you were.  At least you will have renewed respect for the poor. 

      • Wahoo_wa

        Sorry…your psycho babble doesn’t work on me.  I grew up in poverty.  It is about personal responsibility and effort. I would also say that most people who have the “poor people are victims” mentality have not seen or lived in poverty. Most people I know who espouse that opinion grew up in comfortable middle class surroundings.

        • brettearle

          Just because you rose from adversity doesn’t mean others can do it, in the same way or successfully.

          It is a narrowed view to think that just because you can do it, that everyone else, from modest backgrounds, can do it too.

          It’s as if you’ve worked hard, have “paid your dues”, so to speak…..

          And that, that must mean everyone else, from similar backgrounds, must be able to pay the same price….or CAN pay the same price.

          Your view is narrowed, egotistical, and without enough compassion for each individual’s challenge being different, with a different threshold for adversity and the capacity to overcome it.

          If anything, in my view, you should have more understanding and compassion, for those who come from adverse conditions.

          • Wahoo_wa

            Personally I think the view that coddles and keeps those who are poor in their situation by providing little to no incentive to better themselves or take responsibility is narrowed egotistical and without compassion.  It assumes there is no way out so, hey, why bother, right?

          • jefe68

            You do know if children do not have a good diet that their brains wont develop and in that lies the rub of the effects of poverty. 

            That you seem fit to accuse people of coddling the poor sounds like a Libertarian screed other than a informed critique. For most people living in poverty in this nation there is no way out. But that’s more to do with our wages being flat and the incomes of all other than say the top 10% staying flat or falling. 

            If I’m correct what you seems to be advocating for is doing nothing. Let people who are living in poverty do with less.
            That is the more they struggle the more they will succede? This is your theory?

          • Wahoo_wa

            I believe in limited publicly funded support with clear oversight and measurable goals that leads to self sufficiency.  Not unlike unemployment insurance.  Anything above that should be privately funded through charitable organizations.

            I also advocate a shift in our culture that would put more emphasis on personal responsibility and less emphasis on the nanny state solution.

            It shouldn’t come as a surprise that those values have been strongly influenced by my immigrant grandparents.

          • Doubting_Thomas12

            You’ve seen one side of the equation. But so have I. The best way out is to move out of that area so you’re not surrounded by the problems you speak of.

            It’s equally foolish to just give everyone substantially more than what’s needed to live uncomfortably. This goes for the unbelievable handouts that the rich have access too as well, by the way. I’ve seen that side of the equation as well, and it produces the same kind of narcissistic parasites that they view the collective poor as.

      • brettearle

        Well said.

    • brettearle

       Parents can’t always anticipate Economic hard times–or any other hard times, for that matter.

    • disqus_fw2Bu1dEsd

      Oh a good ol’ fashion (sic) vaginal ultrasound, along with prayer, should solve the problem. You go tell the children in Mississippi they’re not poor.

    • Doubting_Thomas12

      Yet they’re there and we have to deal with them. The parents may have made mistakes, but unless you want to take their children away or kill them, we’ll have a massive problem on our hands.

      There should be disparity based on how hard and how smart someone works. But when you get too much disparity, you get ever increasing violence based on underlying social problems, until eventually, a particularly bloody revolution.

  • 1Brett1

    Here’s something funny. Whenever I get an email alert that I’ve received a reply to one of my comments, the liberal replies go to my inbox; the conservative replies go to my spam folder!!

    • brettearle

       It’s a Vast Left-Wing Conspiracy

  • nj_v2

    (edit, post misplaced by lame message software)

    • hennorama

      “it’s a pissah …”

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100000678675397 Jen Chapman

    Food stamps and other government benefits received by the working poor are subsidizing the greedy corporations who don’t pay their full-time workers enough to cover basic needs like food and shelter.   So who is getting the “government handout?”

    • http://www.facebook.com/futo.buddy Futo Buddy

      walmart gets something like half of all food stamp money

  • hennorama

    diskusser1 – “Everyone” should have “Personal Responsibility!”?

    Does “Everyone” include the children, disabled, blind, elderly, weak, ill, injured and/or all those who are unable to support or care for themselves?

    Exactly what “Personal Responsibility!” should they exercise so each one “gets what he/she deserves”?

  • Bert36

    I appreciate very much your broadcast.
    I am suggesting that you broaden the perspective, though. Families living in poverty these days live in neighborhoods that are full of violence, insufficient housing, daily incidents of racism and sexual violence against students, with very few support systems (as mentioned) including few grocery stores, daycare centers, few medical groups, community centers etc., above all run down school buildings that defy description, no after school programs, not enough groups such as sport or music groups that would organize the kids. The kids are already disadvantaged by age three, often because their parents work two jobs and the care is insufficient as mentioned in the program. We should not be surprised that by high school age many of the children are members of gangs, often drug addicted, and drop out of high school (in some areas less than a third of the kids that started 9th grade graduate from high school!). 
    Not surprisingly, yet shockingly there is a “pipeline” straight from unfinished school to prison.
    Please, follow up your excellent broadcast with one that describes initiatives (at least in New Jersey) of devoted professionals and families to marshall the resources of families and personal networks to get kids to graduate and into college, i.e. out of poverty.
    Thank you. 
    Dr. Norbert A. Wetzel   norbertwetzel@cfcsj.net

  • Tyranipocrit

     our worship of the rich.

  • Paducah72

    To reduce poverty government should:

    1) Restore Glass Steagall to prevent another banking crisis
    2) Restore reciprocal trade agreements (if china charges 25% on imports, so do we)
    3) Stop raising the cap on H-1B visas and instead, partner with corporations to create apprenticeships
    4) End the corporate income tax, (many multinationals don’t pay it anyway)
    5) and tax asset income the same as wage income to make up the difference.

    • Doubting_Thomas12

      This could have plenty of bipartisan support. Pity the banks still have too many cronies in congress for it to ever make it anywhere it could actually help restore our freedom, our liberty, and our prosperity.

  • debhulbh

    Why thank you, kind sir. Small part that we all play makes up the whole.
    Peace

  • debhulbh

    Eeew cynical and nasty….shudder

  • debhulbh

    Yes. Engaging with amd helping our fellow man is always worth it.

  • debhulbh

    Bless you.

  • debhulbh

    That you would begrudge a child, any child access to a pool, to a bike, toys???? Really? Seriously? For real? I can’t believe that you can possibly mean that a child any any child,should should not have toys or swim in the summer or anytime or have a bike?
    Have you lost your mind? Is your heart so closed? step back and listen to the creuelty that rips from ‘your’ words.
    Yes it seems as if it was placed there by pain, but to want to take from a child or not give to a child because you had to work hard. Listen we all work hard ALL of us.

    These people whom you judge so harshly, live and breathe, they have a life, just as you and I do and are just as entitled to that precious life, with love and children and work and food and … All of the things that go with simpy living a life.
    That you would begrudge any man or woman child a toy, a bike, a swim, the right to have a child, to have, to hold, to love, to cherish. It is simply astounding to me that you would make such a statement without checking your words first. Engaging your mind, would serve yo and engaging heart first is always better. Humanity calls for it.
    Do you actually hear yourself and have you truly lost your way, stepped off of the path of humanity, that you cannot see that? Are these just some throwaway words/lines that you recite/ throw out, regardless of whose heart it breaks, without engaging your own heart? Have you checked lately is it still beating? Because with language such as that people must run from you.
    You are talking about people, living human beings like me and you who live and love and work and have families. They have families who love them and their children, I wish you had it as they/we do, because if you had you would never begrudge another this gift. You would not say this, you would not make such an outlandish cruel statement.
    It is mindblowing stuff.
    Did or do you have a bike or toys as a child? If so why? ( not that I care one iota whether you did or not, as you obviously don’t see the love and care in that for any child).
    Please in the future say these same words to yourself as if you are on the receiving end, it will open your heart and a whole new world.
    You don not deserve a bike, a toy, a swim, stand a child any child in front of you and say this to a child and tell me how that makes you feel. I would be curious, firstly would you be so cruel as to do that and secondly would you not cry at the inhumanitybof it. Telling a child they dont deserve a toy a bike a swim.
    Stop and think before you shoot off your vitriolic words, it will serve you and your life and your suffering family better.
    Peace.
    That is small isolating language and methinks you have isolated yourself with language such as this. Because if you live and BREATHE and have a heart you will/would know this . These precious human beings our fellow man have a heart and want to live and work and give to their children. For you to use such heartless language….well it speaks volumes.
    Open your heart to your fellow man, you will be amazed how wonderful they/we are.

  • debhulbh

    If you lived through and endured all of this, then how can you with your heart bruised and tossed and torn from your life, not want to help another? You who have suffered and endured, overcame, surely would you not open your heart to another person in pain ( these people are you back then….can you not see that?)
    You were there, you lived it, would you have wanted someone to come and trample all over you, call you a leech, and all sorts of inhumane names? Were you a leech or were you just struggling to survive what life had handed you through no fault of your own?
    What would that have done to your soul?
    You first handedly benefitted from the very programs that you are calling for to be dismantled, you got food assistance ( buckets of pnut butter), Head Start, public school, these are the programs that thebrepublicans are calling for to be dismantled? Are you fully engaged or simply ignoring the truth and the facts?
    I simply dont get it, thatyou befitted from it, u gotnthose things becasue u obviously needed a helping hand yet you dont wantothers to have it?
    What religion is that?
    It is not mine.
    I believe in helping another always, always and forever.
    You got a helping hand, do not begrudge a hardworking mother, child, father a helping hand. Give it and give it with no conditions.
    How would youfeel, if I said that you did not derserve that bucket of pnut butter, or to attend headstart or to benefit from public schools, how wouod you feel?
    these are soical safety nets designed by people who know and care about what they are doing to help the poor and downtrodden. Rich and wealthy are trying to dismantle them, do you not get that.
    Sunds a if younhave accumulated great wealth and do not wantto give up anybof it. But if not then NEVER begrudge a suffering sould a food stamp, a bucket of pnut butter, head sgart for thie suffering children or public school.
    If not ? Then I suggest you start reading and listening and accumulating more facts as the facts will open your eyes and your heart.

    Didnt you have enough to contend with, would you have benefited by someone coming along and reaching out to you? Why would you not want that for any child, man, woman?
    I simply do not understand your harsh standing.
    You have obviously had a tough kife but you got through itand suffering and wantto give to them instead od stand on the sidelines and whipnthem.These people who you describe as ‘breeding’?!?! Are you actually serious? Are you really really serious?
    These people live and breathe, they have a life, just as you and I do and are just as entitled to that precious life, with love and children and work and food and … All of the things that go with simpy living a life.
    That you would begrudge any man or woman the right to have a child, to have, to hold, to love, to cherish. It is simply astounding to me that you would make such a statement without checking your words first. Engaging your mind and heart is always better. Humanity calls for it.
    Do you actually hear yourself and have you truly lost your way, stepped off of the path of humanity, that you cannot see that? Are these just some throwaway words/lines that you recite/ throw out, regardless of whose heart it breaks, without engaging your own heart? Have you checked lately is it still alive?
    You are talking about people, living human beings like me and you who live and love and work and have families. They have families who love them and their children, I wish you had it as they/we do, because if you dhad it you would never begrudge another this gift. You would not say this, you would not make such an outlandish cruel statement that they are breeding?
    It is mindblowing stuff.
    Did or do you “breed”? If so why? ( not that I care one iota whether you did “breed” or not).
    Please in the future say these same words to yourself as if you are on the receiving end, it will open your heart and a whole new world.
    Peace.
    How does it fee to be described as “breeding” when you have children?
    Something that you obviously take for granted or have no regard for, because if you truly truly did you would not make an outlandish statement like that. That is small isolating language and methinks you have isolated yourself with language such as this. Because if you live and BREATHE and have a heart you will/would know this . These precious human beings our fellow man have a heart and want to live and work and give to their children. For you to use such heartless language….well it speaks volumes.
    Open your heart to your fellow man, you will be amazed how wonderful they/we are.

  • debhulbh

    You say you didn’ expect anyone to come and bail you out, how would you? you were a suffering child. But someone did come along and help you out in thenform of pbut butter and head start and public schools, whether you choose to recognize that fact or not. Well that is your issue now.. You got what the sytems was set up to do and you benefited from it. It helped you, you needed a helping hand, you deserved it, younwere struggling, do not then with Pain in your heart denybanother child what gave you a chance and an opportunity to break out of what seems as a really difficult time. You made it on your own strength, your own volition and with some help.
    We ALL need help, no matter what the guise, we all need a helping hand, a friend, a smile, some kindness, some pnut butter, access to public pool, access to good and better public school, we have got to give back to the poor so that they can, just like you did and do, overcome, unfortunate harsh circumstances out side of their control.
    Open you mind, your heart and your intellect.
    Don’t be duped, don’t allow yourself to be fed a diet of lies from those who wish to demantle safety nets for those who need them And need them they do. You needed it, didn’t you?. Or are you saying that you didnt need it but that you actually took advantage and were a leeach.? Is that what you are saying? That u took advantage and didnt really need the help? Because that is what your own words are screaming, ” dont help them” throw them on the rubbish heap, how would younhave felt if someone said thatabout you when you were sttruggling?
    Yur words must always be carefully chosen, youo come across as an angry heartless person. But your story tells me something else.
    Honor your own humanit and give back
    Tell your story in truth, dont hide from it. Meet it embrace it and sing it loud. You, with your story are the very person who should advocate for those who are less well off, those suffering, those in pain, those working minimum wage, you can be the voice for them. That is what we try to do here in this forum and in conversation with ourfamily, neighbours, in coffee shops, anyone we meetbwhonwe can influence to help another less well off, unfortunate.
    Welcome.
    You lived it, you benefitted from it, let others do likewise. They deserve it, just as you did and it will lift them through the hard times and they will get through to the other side, just as you did.
    NEVER begrudge a less well off person a helping hand.
    Their life is hard and suffering, justas yours was, do not judge them, youare then judgong your own true self, do not beat them, do not beat up yourself, they are you and you are them. Do not beat them when they are down.
    Peace to you and yours.
    dont

  • Eva S

    I’ve lived in Baltimore and I am shocked by the amount of poverty, filth and rats in the city. This is a 3rd world ghetto town.

  • Imran Nasrullah

    We have an imperative on many fronts – moral, competitiveness, general welfare – to do everything we can to improve the lives of children. Relying on the economy to recover is a cop-out, as a child’s wellbeing, including their intellectual, mental, emotional and physical growth cannot wait for an economy to recover.  As a great nation, what does it say when we leave a quarter of the children to grow in poverty? Many of the American exceptionalists will tout how great a country we are, and that we are not a bunch of Socialists, yet they lack the compassion to take care of their own.  Socialists countries like Sweden at least believe in taking care of their own.  The niggardliness and self-righteousness of right wing conservatives belies our generosity as a people.  Blaming the poor for being poor and saying our government must have little to do with their welfare because we will be a “welfare” state is the height of avarice.  Children should never suffer for the misfortunate or mistakes of parents.

  • Steve__T

     Heritage Foundation Head Start Scholar Fares Poorly Against Adorable 10-Year-Old

    http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2013/06/27/heritage-foundation-head-start_n_3506475.html?ref=topbar

  • Regular_Listener

    I wonder to what degree this is connected to the issue of people who are already in poverty having children, i.e. children who are born into poverty?  Maybe this is something that needs to be addressed.  

    I also wonder if it this problem of improverished children is connnected in some way to the ethnic and cultural backgrounds of the parents. E.g., are people from certain kinds of backgrounds who are experiencing poverty more likely to have children than people from other backgrounds who are also contending with low incomes, joblessness, et cetera? And if so, should it even be acknowledged or should anything be done about it?

  • Regular_Listener

    I also wonder if there is a connection between child poverty and illegal immigration.  Are the illegals and children of illegals included in these figures?   What percentage of these people are also living in poverty?   Are they more or less likely than U.S. citizens to have children who are born into poverty?   And should this have an impact on the current debate over how to change our immigration laws?  

  • Regular_Listener

    Mr. Haskins says every income group has been doing better since 1979???  That is the first time I’m hearing this!  Maybe we should thank him for the good news.

  • pbr90

    If you fix the boardroom, the planet will fix itself. Employers should stop whining, and send their employees home to play ball with their kids without docking their pay, and the planet will fix itself, one family at a time…..because it takes every village…to raise smart kids and wealthy nations!

  • Pingback: The Poverty-Abuse Connection | Ginger Kadlec: 4UrKids™

ONPOINT
TODAY
Apr 23, 2014
In this Thursday, Dec. 20, 2012, file photo, Chet Kanojia, founder and CEO of Aereo, Inc., shows a tablet displaying his company's technology, in New York. Aereo is one of several startups created to deliver traditional media over the Internet without licensing agreements. (AP)

The Supreme Court looks at Aereo, the little startup that could cut your cable cord and up-end TV as we’ve known it. We look at the battle. Plus: a state ban on affirmative action in college admissions is upheld. We’ll examine the implications.

Apr 23, 2014
Attendees of the 2013 Argentina International Coaching Federation meet for networking and coaching training. (ICF)

The booming business of life coaches. Everybody seems to have one these days. Therapists are feeling the pinch. We look at the life coach craze.

RECENT
SHOWS
Apr 22, 2014
This undated handout photo, taken in 2001, provided by the Museum of the Rockies shows a bronze cast of the Tyrannosaurus rex skeleton known as the Wankel T.rex, in front of the Museum of the Rockies at Montana State University in Bozeman, Mont. (AP)

As a new Tyrannosaurus Rex arrives at the Smithsonian, we’ll look at its home – pre-historic Montana – and the age when dinosaurs ruled the Earth.

 
Apr 22, 2014
Security forces inspect the site of a suicide attack in the town of Suwayrah, 25 miles (40 kilometers) south of Baghdad, Iraq, Monday, April 21, 2014. Suicide bombings and other attacks across Iraq killed and wounded dozens on Monday, officials said, the latest in an uptick in violence as the country counts down to crucial parliament elections later this month. (AP)

We look at Iraq now, two years after Americans boots marched out. New elections next week, and the country on the verge of all-out civil war.

On Point Blog
On Point Blog
The Week In Seven Soundbites: April 18, 2014
Friday, Apr 18, 2014

Holy week with an unholy shooter. South Koreans scramble to save hundreds. Putin plays to the crowd in questioning. Seven days gave us seven sounds.

More »
Comment
 
Our Week In The Web: April 18, 2014
Friday, Apr 18, 2014

Space moon oceans, Gabriel García Márquez and the problems with depressing weeks in the news. Also: important / unnecessary infographics that help explain everyone’s favorite 1980′s power ballad.

More »
Comment
 
Some Tools And Tricks For College Financial Aid
Thursday, Apr 17, 2014

Some helpful links and tools for navigating FAFSA and other college financial aid tools.

More »
Comment