Overwhelming Evidence that Half of America is in or Near Poverty

Original photo: Housing is a Human Right March by Annette Dragon.


The Charles Koch Foundation recently released a commercial [3] that ranked [4] a near-poverty-level $34,000 family among the Top 1% of poor people in the world. Bud Konheim, CEO and co-founder of fashion company Nicole Miller, concurred [5]: "The guy that's making, oh my God, he's making $35,000 a year, why don't we try that out in India or some countries we can't even name. China, anyplace, the guy is wealthy."

Comments like these are condescending and self-righteous. They display an ignorance of the needs of lower-income and middle-income families in America. The costs of food and housing and education and health care and transportation and child care and taxes have been well-defined by organizations such as the Economic Policy Institute [6], which calculated that a U.S. family of three would require an average of about $48,000 a year to meet basic needs; and by the Working Poor Families Project [7], which estimates the income required for basic needs for a family of four at about $45,000. The median household income [8] is $51,000.

The following discussion pertains to the half of America that is in or near poverty, the people rarely seen by Congress.


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Why the Fight for Economic Justice Campaign is Important!

Robert Reich connects the dots to show how a range of positions, on issues ranging from the minimum wage to unemployment insurance to food stamps, work together to keep poor and working families in desperate situations -- and calls on all of us to do something about it.

We need you to join us in the Fight for Economic Justice.  Learn more about our campaigns here! If you aren't a member, join us here.


Why America Is Still a Deeply Racist Country

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The excerpt is rather lengthy, and takes a look at racial inequality with a focus on economic inequality. Focuses are on environment, including lack of public safety precautions and industrial pollution related illness in neighborhoods populated by blacks and Hispanics. The housing market and predatory lending is also examined, where lenders are more likely to give subprime loans to borrowers who are racial minorities, putting them at a higher risk of foreclosure. The criminal justice system and incarceration rates, particularly in the War on Drugs is also examined. 
--Courtney Miller

This is why we're broke!

So you think you've been getting raises at work every year for cost-of-living adjustments? This clip shows otherwise...

Clip from Inequality for all

INEQUALITY FOR ALL features Robert Reich—professor, best-selling author, and Clinton cabinet member—as he demonstrates how the widening income gap has a devastating impact on the American economy. The film is an intimate portrait of a man who's overcome a great deal of personal adversity and whose lifelong goal remains protecting those who are unable to protect themselves. Through his singular perspective, Reich explains how the massive consolidation of wealth by a precious few threatens the viability of the American workforce and the foundation of democracy itself.


Let’s Get This Class War Started

Part of building any substantial movement for social change is collective learning. To be more effective, more thoughtful, and more inspired activists and organizers, we need to always challenge ourselves to learn more and discuss our thoughts with one another as they relate to our efforts for social justice. 

This Praxis article was submitted by Bill McCoy. 

Let's Get this Class War Started

Published on Monday, October 21, 2013 by TruthDig.com

by Chris Hedges

“The rich are different from us,” F. Scott Fitzgerald is said to have remarked to Ernest Hemingway, to which Hemingway allegedly replied, “Yes, they have more money.”(Image: internationaltimes.it)

The exchange, although it never actually took place, sums up a wisdom Fitzgerald had that eluded Hemingway. The rich are different. The cocoon of wealth and privilege permits the rich to turn those around them into compliant workers, hangers-on, servants, flatterers and sycophants. Wealth breeds, as Fitzgerald illustrated in “The Great Gatsby” and his short story “The Rich Boy,” a class of people for whom human beings are disposable commodities. Colleagues, associates, employees, kitchen staff, servants, gardeners, tutors, personal trainers, even friends and family, bend to the whims of the wealthy or disappear. Once oligarchs achieve unchecked economic and political power, as they have in the United States, the citizens too become disposable. [more after the jump]

 

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Overcoming 'Overburden': The Climate Crisis and a Unified Left Agenda

 

Overcoming 'Overburden': The Climate Crisis and a Unified Left Agenda

Why unions need to join the climate fight

Published on Wednesday, September 4, 2013 by Common Dreams

The following remarks were delivered on September 1, 2013 at the founding convention of UNIFOR, a new mega union created by the Canadian Autoworkers and the Canadian Energy and Paper Workers Union, and provided to Common Dreams by the author for publication. 

I’m so very happy and honoured to be able to share this historic day with you.

The energy in this room -- and the hope the founding of this new union has inspired across the country – is contagious.

It feels like this could be the beginning of the fight back we have all been waiting for, the one that will chase Harper from power and restore the power of working people in Canada.

So welcome to the world UNIFOR.

A lot of your media coverage so far has focused on how big UNIFOR is -- the biggest private sector union in Canada. And when you are facing as many attacks as workers are in this country, being big can be very helpful. But big is not a victory in itself.

The victory comes when this giant platform you have just created becomes a place to think big, to dream big, to make big demands and take big actions. The kind of actions that will shift the public imagination and change our sense of what is possible.

And it’s that kind of “big” that I want to talk to you about today.

Some of you are familiar with a book I wrote called The Shock Doctrine. It argues that over the past 35 years, corporate interests have systematically exploited various forms of mass crises – economic shocks, natural disasters, wars – in order to ram through policies that enrich a small elite, by shredding regulations, cutting social spending and forcing large-scale privatizations.

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Unions seek to organize new work groups as membership and jobs decline

Written by: G. Jeffrey Aaron, Elmira Star-Gazette

With organized labor membership across the country continuing its decades-long decline, labor leaders are looking for new ways to boost the sagging numbers — and that includes looking to organize classes of workers who traditionally have not belonged to unions.

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Struggles to Remember this Labor Day

Today might have been the day for BBQs and parades but keep in mind the ongoing struggles of workers who are fighting for dignified employment and a living wage!

14 Worker Struggles To Pay Attention To This Labor Day

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