Category Archives: poverty

Is the U.S. Still a ‘Land of Opportunity’? – Room for Debate – NYTimes.com

Is the U.S. Still a ‘Land of Opportunity’? – Room for Debate – NYTimes.com.

Room for Debate Home

Updated January 8, 2012 9:02 PM

Is the U.S. Still a ‘Land of Opportunity’?

There is a growing consensus that it is harder to move up the economic ladder in the United States than in many other places, like Canada. Should more Americans consider leaving the U.S. to get ahead? Or can the U.S. make changes to be more of a “land of opportunity”?

[…]

Read the full debate here: The New York Times – Room for Debate

Advertisements

Leave a comment

Filed under inequality, politics, poverty, society, USA

America’s Unlevel Field – NYTimes.com

America’s Unlevel Field – NYTimes.com.

Op-Ed Columnist

America’s Unlevel Field

Last month President Obama gave a speech invoking the spirit of Teddy Roosevelt on behalf of progressive ideals — and Republicans were not happy. Mitt Romney, in particular, insisted that where Roosevelt believed that “government should level the playing field to create equal opportunities,” Mr. Obama believes that “government should create equal outcomes,” that we should have a society where “everyone receives the same or similar rewards, regardless of education, effort and willingness to take risk.”

[…]

Let’s talk for a minute about the actual state of the playing field.

Americans are much more likely than citizens of other nations to believe that they live in a meritocracy. But this self-image is a fantasy: as a report in The Times last week pointed out, America actually stands out as the advanced country in which it matters most who your parents were, the country in which those born on one of society’s lower rungs have the least chance of climbing to the top or even to the middle.

[…]

Read the full article here: The New York Times

Leave a comment

Filed under charter schools, college, economy, education, inequality, medical care, Obama Presidency, politics, poverty, society, the rich, unemployment, USA, welfare

Wide obesity gap between affluent city, lower-income one in L.A. County – latimes.com

Wide obesity gap between affluent city, lower-income one in L.A. County – latimes.com.

A vast child obesity gap between affluent city, lower-income one

Manhattan Beach has the lowest child obesity rate in L.A. County, Bell Gardens the highest. Their demographics are starkly different, and residents’ perceptions on the issue can contrast sharply.

Doris Chang limits her three sons’ intake of sweets and doesn’t feed them any processed or frozen food. At their Manhattan Beach home, she monitors the boys’ time in front of the television and keeps them busy with baseball, basketball and karate.

About 20 miles to the northeast, Lorena Hernandez takes her 6-year-old daughter to McDonald’s at least twice a week and frequently gives her Kool-Aid and soda. They go to the park often, but when they are in their Bell Gardens home, the television is usually on.

The families’ divergent attitudes toward food and exercise reflect just part of the challenge facing officials as they try to close a vast and costly gap in obesity rates across the region.

[…]

Read the full story here: The Los Angeles Times

Leave a comment

Filed under eating (habits), food, health, health, inequality, obesity, poverty, society, USA

Inconvenient Income Inequality – NYTimes.com

Inconvenient Income Inequality – NYTimes.com.

Op-Ed Columnist

Inconvenient Income Inequality

Is income inequality becoming the new global warming? In other words, is this another case where the facts of an existential threat lose traction among a weary American public as deniers attempt to reduce them to partisan opinions?

It’s beginning to seem so.

A Gallup poll released on Thursday found that, after rising rather steadily for the past two decades, the percentage of Americans who said that the country is divided into “haves” and “have-nots” took the largest drop since the question was asked.

This happened even as the percentage of Americans who grouped themselves under either label stayed relatively constant. Nearly 6 in 10 Americans still see themselves as the haves, while only about a third see themselves as the have-nots. The numbers have been in that range for a decade.

This is the new American delusion. The facts point to a very different reality.

[…]

Read the full story here: The New York Times

Leave a comment

Filed under inequality, poverty, society, USA

Census: 1 in 2 Americans are Poor or Low Income

Census: 1 in 2 Americans are Poor or Low Income.

Census: Half of Americans are Poor or Low Income

New data shows that more and more Americans are falling into poverty.

New census data gives some confirmation to the notion of a disappearing middle class: Nearly 1 in 2 Americans are now officially either low income or impoverished, the Associated Press reports.
[…]
Read the full story here: Slate Magazine

Leave a comment

Filed under inequality, poverty, society, USA

The Unaddressed Link Between Poverty and Education – NYTimes.com

The Unaddressed Link Between Poverty and Education – NYTimes.com.

Op-Ed Contributors

Class Matters. Why Won’t We Admit It?

NO one seriously disputes the fact that students from disadvantaged households perform less well in school, on average, than their peers from more advantaged backgrounds. But rather than confront this fact of life head-on, our policy makers mistakenly continue to reason that, since they cannot change the backgrounds of students, they should focus on things they can control.

[…]

Read the full story here: The New York Times

Leave a comment

Filed under education, inequality, poverty, society, USA

Opinion: The Gingrich who stole Christmas – The Washington Post

Opinion: The Gingrich who stole Christmas – The Washington Post.

Opinion: The Gingrich who stole Christmas

By Mary C. Curtis, Published: December 5 | Updated: Tuesday, December 6, 6:00 AM

[…]

Gingrich’s image of poor homes would be laughable if it weren’t so widely and perniciously accepted among those who have never set foot in one. The stereotype that wealth is a reward for good behavior and poverty is more character flaw than economic circumstance is ubiquitous. You can see why wealthy types who sent manufacturing jobs overseas and manipulated financial systems for their benefit would find Gingrich’s words appealing; they eliminate any cause and effect between their actions and a growing poverty rate.

[…]

Read the full story here: The Washington Post

Leave a comment

Filed under discrimination, minorities, politics, poverty, society, USA

The American Spectator : The New Welfare Swindle

The American Spectator : The New Welfare Swindle.

The New Welfare Swindle

SSI has replaced AFDC as the New Welfare.

Ever since I moved to the inner city one thing has puzzled me more than any other, and that is how my low-income neighbors get by. Assuming they aren’t doing anything illegal, how do they afford their homes, their meals, their gadgets, their cars?

Few seem to work, even part time, for they are home in the morning when I leave for work, home if I stop by for lunch, and home when I return in the evening. They can’t work the graveyard shift, for they keep me up half the night with their raucous music. I am left to conclude that they seldom, if ever work. Therefore, their funds must come from elsewhere. And none of them strike me as a trust fund baby.

The best I can figure is they make do with a patchwork of welfare programs. Besides, Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF), which expires after five years, there is housing assistance, WIC (Women, Infants and Children) and Medicaid. There are food stamps, which also can be sold in parking lots for cash, and various lesser programs, such as heating assistance.

[…]

Read the full story here: The American Spectator

Leave a comment

Filed under poverty, society, USA, welfare

Oligarchy, American Style – NYTimes.com

Oligarchy, American Style – NYTimes.com.

Op-Ed Columnist

Oligarchy, American Style

Inequality is back in the news, largely thanks to Occupy Wall Street, but with an assist from the Congressional Budget Office. And you know what that means: It’s time to roll out the obfuscators!

Anyone who has tracked this issue over time knows what I mean. Whenever growing income disparities threaten to come into focus, a reliable set of defenders tries to bring back the blur. Think tanks put out reports claiming that inequality isn’t really rising, or that it doesn’t matter. Pundits try to put a more benign face on the phenomenon, claiming that it’s not really the wealthy few versus the rest, it’s the educated versus the less educated.

So what you need to know is that all of these claims are basically attempts to obscure the stark reality: We have a society in which money is increasingly concentrated in the hands of a few people, and in which that concentration of income and wealth threatens to make us a democracy in name only.

[…]

Read the full story here: The New York Times

Leave a comment

Filed under inequality, poverty, society, USA

After-school programs for low-income students help to add some stability in their lives | The American Independent

After-school programs for low-income students help to add some stability in their lives | The American Independent.

After-school programs add some stability in lives of low-income students

By Mikhail Zinshteyn (@mzinshteyn) | 10.31.11 | 4:33 pm

Katherine Ivette Cuellar Moreno was the only one of the 13 sixth-grade girls asked to explain why they want to take part in an Alexandria, Virginia-based after-school program called SOHO who typed her response. The rest were hand-written, and one was submitted in pencil.After participating in a trial session for one day, kids had to show their enthusiasm to take part in the program for the rest of the school year. While meant to help students in need, kids need to demonstrate they want the help.SOHO stands for Space of Her Own, a joint venture between the local Court Service Unit and the non-profit Art League. The program meets once a week, and has two locations in Alexandria and one in Richmond. Depending on the location, fifth- or sixth-grade girls are paired with a mentor and an art instructor.

[…]

Read the full story here: The American Independent

 

Leave a comment

Filed under adolescents, crime, education, poverty, society, USA