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Inequality and Poverty American Style

Society & Culture  (tags: Inequality, poverty )

- 1956 days ago -
In a world where 'the market' is believed to be infallible and all knowing; where all doing is motivated for profit, a socially divisive unjust system is seen as a commodity fit to be traded and sold no matter the human cost and environmental impact.

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Dana Clay (33)
Friday December 14, 2012, 12:25 pm
Its amazing that greed drives the hearts of people in the ways that it does. Theres no such thing is enough, no matter how much they have. If they had to live poorly, live like "normal" people, from paycheck to paycheck and worry about making ends meet, especially with children involved, I seriously wonder if they would feel different in their views of how differently the middle and lower classes are treated. So many do not care if children go to bed hungry, or if women are homeless or men suffering after having fought in wars. And for those who are Native American, it is ten times worse, since our rights have never been honored, with treaty after treaty having been tossed aside. its just a sad world. All the way around.

Gina Caracci (219)
Friday December 14, 2012, 4:38 pm
Until people get together and get angry it will only get worse. and it will, of that I have NO doubt.
The occupy movement needs to strengthen and those against it need to open their eyes to the fact that they are also one step away from having nothing..they need to stop listening to that right wing rhetoric and SEE what is REALLY happening!.
People are too greedy/selfish for their own good.
I just hope what goes around REALLY come back and bites the greedy/selfish in the ass.

l L (1)
Friday December 14, 2012, 5:28 pm
Thank you for the article D..

Yes what it says is so true. Several points I want to point out on the information....One; we watch Washington and their so called fiscal cliff and the many more sacrifices expected of us lessor peoples, while the same ole same ole is being sprewed out for us to further digest.
I don't get their method of measurements as far as income. I have resolved it within myself that all incoming incomes are not publicly acknowledged... That is they are taking more in than they let on. They act like the monies coming in are solely our personal income taxations, when it isn't. I listened to the conversations for months and said nothing, cause I see thru the flawed reasoning.
As well; everytime we go thru this charade, the republicans get every kickback and concessions plus more than what they ask.
Programs have already been cut back and they have already taken from medicare and Social Security and other domestic programs before the fiscal so called cliff.(these last 4 years is proof enough, especially this year.
My question is; when does all that previous activity solve any problems that are always so dire?
Seems like something should have proven a good point by now... since they keep making the same argument...
Another thing is their arguments and their attitutes.. Just like the articles says everything for them with their understanding as why they are deserving and the rest of us shouldn't have the attitude to expect anything fair and reasonable. You would think, they would be proud to make sure the home front is taken care of before anything else. Not them.
It get's old.. It gets tiring.If you are human.. you understand what it like to be human.. The ones with the power who are so heartless and say things like cut back on the domestic homefront, not caring about the hardships they are further puttin on American families and don't care what happens to us, just we saved money. Not the tragedies you caused on all levlels. Stop look and listen about their attitudes about hurracane Sandy emrgency federal funds they are holding up.

I call these persons "things" not human beings. Human beings would care about people, families, children, the sick and aged,disabled, the un and underemployed.

So I look at Washington and shake my head on them.. They should know better..
However; we all know behind the mentality of it all is, to destroy our government, now that it is all-inclusive.. change the rules, just when people got their feet under the table.. Work to get rid of education and re attack teachers and unions again and continue the dogma anyway they can about our expectation that our government has certain responsibilities for it's own as a civilized civilazation and a republic democracy
By the results of the last election and the aftermath and everything they tell us.. no telling what is going on. We have sore losers and a systematic agenda that has been in place for the longest..
I say; what next?
I wonde;r if they make things the way they want it, will it be bad for them, and not turn out the way they think it will for them.?
Surely all of us should not be surprized; they are still on course to wreck America from what we know it as.
Anyone with half a brain, can see thu this forrest. Just get tired of pointing things out and got to find a way to deal with these "things" and their plans.
Alot of good going on but not enough. Not enough to repair the damage being done.

When things go wrong in this country, I find from the top, there are words of caring and we should show love... Where is the "love" on the domestic front for the peoples of America when making these policies that affect lives and livihoods and qualities of life?

I don't see it. AT the national level is where the money game is implimented and controlled and we can play it anyway we see fit to make sure the homefront is taken care of. But no we would rather hoard the so called monies and starve families and insult them and change the rules suddenly and demand that all line up without a whimper.
Well... and again
Waiting to exhale again.

Darlene W (303)
Friday December 14, 2012, 5:46 pm
OCCUPY USA -- won't be long the way things are going. All in favor -- YEAH!!!!!! Bless all who love Mother Earth and her inhabitants--

Christeen A (370)
Friday December 14, 2012, 5:59 pm
Greed is the motherload of our problems. Thank you for sharing.

Mary T (178)
Friday December 14, 2012, 7:22 pm
Thanks Dandelion for the article, The test of our progress is not whether we add more to the abundance of those who have enough, It is whether enough for those who to little F.D.R.

Sandra M Z (114)
Friday December 14, 2012, 10:27 pm
Thank you for this article Sheryl.


Edwin M (346)
Friday December 14, 2012, 11:35 pm
Thank you Sheryl, I don't know where we are headed, in the 60's we seemed to be evolving toward a more loving, spiritual race but somewhere between then and now greed became the motivating force and continues to be to this day.

Carol Dreeszen (346)
Friday December 14, 2012, 11:39 pm
I will say I do not have a problem with someone who has truly worked their butt off in order to become rich or prosperous. If they worked for and earned it then it's theirs and nobody IMO should begrudge them because they have more than someone else. I DO have a problem with those who just because they are not capable of living the life style that some do because they were not as fortunate as some others were in their life to become envious or angry because they do not have what someone else does. What I would really like to see is the Food Stamp program gone over with a fine tooth comb and those who are abusing that along with with the Welfare system be thrown in jail and made to pay back what has been stolen! There is so much abuse and fraud in the Food Stamp program it is pathetic!!!! It makes my blood boil when people can't see this or refuse to see it and yet complain they want to keep the Food Stamp program going. There are also other programs that need to be gone over and throw out those who are abusing the programs. THEN there might be a chance that they will be helpful to those who REALLY need the help! I have no problem helping someone who REALLY needs the help. I DO have a problem with those who are lazy and will use and abuse the a matter a fact it makes me want to scream with anger at them! Here is an article I just found on the abuse of the Food Stamp program!!

BALTIMORE (WMAR) - Food stamps represent one of the fastest growing federal programs in the U.S., 46 million Americans now receive assistance, but, it's a program ripe for abuse.

Although the feds bust hundreds of retailers each year for food stamp fraud, some disqualified store owners still accept food stamps.

Cases of beer, cartons of cigarettes, even cold hard cash to buy big-ticket times, is how hundreds of your tax dollars are spent each year in a slick food stamp scheme.

"Sometimes it's the good themselves that are contraband," says Michael Tanner with the CATO Institute. "Sometimes you get cash back."

Tanner studies the governments' food stamp program for the CATO Institute, a Washington think tank. Tanner says it's easy to use food stamps illegally and the federal government knows it.

Each year, the government has about 1,000 retailers nationwide for fraud. In the Baltimore area alone, agents have permanently disqualified 39 store owners since 2006.

"The food stamp program has always had one of the highest rates of waste, fraud and abuse," said Tanner.

An ABC 2 News investigation has revealed that some of the same vendors who were busted are wrongly readmitted to the program as many as four times. We found nearly a third of the disbarred sites were approved to trade in food stamps again.

We confronted Ijaz Hussein, who owns a food mart in Remington. A co-owner of the store was busted last year and banned from the program. Less than one year later, our partners at the Scripps Howard News Service confirmed the store was accepting food stamps and alerted the U.S. Department of Agriculture.

"That store has been notified and that store is going to be taken out of the program," said Kevin Concannon with the Department of Agriculture.

Concannon, heads the USDA's food stamp program, and says the agency has cracked down considerable on fraud in recent years.

When we returned to the food mart last month, store employees said they no longer accept food stamps.

"Back in the era of paper coupons, the fraud of trafficking rate ran in the 4% range. Since we've gone to the electronic cards, it runs more in the 1% range," said Concannon.

The Electronic Benefit Transfer Cards (EBT) are replenished monthly with taxpayer dollars and are supposed to track purchases so recipients can't buy banned items.

With help from store employees, customers can easily game the system. A clerk would ring up a case of beer as a box of cereal or charge $50 on the card and give the customer $25 in return.

The exchange rate favors the store and could bring in a whopping $50,000 extra per month, according to a 2009 federal indictment involving food stamp fraud.

If caught, store owners are forever barred from participating in the program, but we cross-referenced public documents to find that merchants skirted the ban by using various aliases.

Analysts say it can be easier for the government to let the scams continue.

Tanner says that "In many cases it's more cost, effort, political pain and potential blow back in the community than it is worth to solve the problem."

As a result of our investigation, Congressman Darrell Issa, Chairman of the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform, says he will direct congress to crack down on the issue.

"Thanks for uncovering this," said Congressman Issa. "This makes a difference when we have watchdogs who have done their homework and allow us to do the rest of the job for you."

Congressman Issa says he will hold hearings next week on the alleged abuses. He also sent a letter asking USDA officials to explain how they will prevent banned food stamp merchants from reentering the program.

Read more:

In the past several days I saw on facebook a receipt that someone had thrown away in a parking lot at a store and it was fromn Food Stamps that had been used....this is suppose to be for poor people..correct!? The only thing on the bill that was tallied up was Lobster Tails and Steaks!!!!!!!!! Now who is so damn poor that they can afford to use tax payer dollars to buy Lobster Tails and Steaks for a meal when you are suppose to be on a LOW budget and get the most for your money!?!? It's called GREED...ABUSE..and THEFT of the system! There is no gratification from those who use this system when something like this happens!! This is someone who has the "entitlement" mentality of "You owe me!" ...which is so very pathetically sick!!!

Ben O (171)
Saturday December 15, 2012, 4:09 am
"More people are living in poverty in America now, than at any time since 1959 when data was first collected, with around 43 millions, a 70% increase in five years..."
Living "The American Dream"...???

Sheryl G (363)
Saturday December 15, 2012, 6:00 am
Although I don't dispute that some who are on Food Stamps maybe scamming the system the majority of the those who are on the system are truly in need of the program. We are talking food here so although the individual fraud cases need to be investigated and dealt with we should not be so harsh upon the truly in need. The reason Food Stamps has increased is due to the fact that fewer are employed due to a decline in our economy.

Now in the scheme of things, the welfare fraud is very low over all in tax payer monies that is abused, what about the Corporate abuse? Is why I placed a story on about Whirlpool and that abuse of our taxes is certainly not at all limited to Whirlpool. For those who did not view the short video I think it is something to watch and the link I place below.

All I am saying is let us be balanced in who is robbing the tax monies and for how much, someone who may get a few hundred a month on Food Stamps or a Corporation that gets millions of dollars and doesn't uphold their end of the bargain. If Whirlpool had left the jobs in the town it had promised when it took the tax monies then there would be jobs for the people and they wouldn't need to be on Food Stamps.
DeIndustrialization of American the Whirlpool Way

Devon Leonard (54)
Saturday December 15, 2012, 9:55 pm
I don't think 1 stockholder at Whirlpool has ever put their children to sleep hungry. Anyone who has understands what faces people today. Thank goodness we have a safety net with programs such as foodstamps. We are a super power and the richest country in the world and there are many among us who still don't go and see the Dr when they need to because they have no insurance or not enough money to do so otherwise.
Whirlpool and companies like them do not stand for whats right...for what has integrity...or for what we should emulate or teach our children to follow in the footsteps of...! Their wallets may be full of gold but they are hollow people. All that glitters is not gold. They need to be held accountable for these actions.
Thanx Dandelion for posting this.............

SusanAWAY Allen (219)
Sunday December 16, 2012, 12:41 am
Thanks for the article. Shared.

Sheryl G (363)
Sunday December 16, 2012, 6:24 am
You are welcome Devon, thanks for sharing Susan, and I appreciate all those who took the time to watch the video and to learn. Education is always our key.

Daniel Partlow (179)
Sunday December 16, 2012, 6:33 am
There is just no corporate accountability. Corruption is the norm and " the people" are on the way short end of the stick!

l L (1)
Monday December 17, 2012, 9:42 am
I don't begrudge people getting a hand-out. Nor would I champion going over a program to supply a basic need, to be gone over with a fine tooth comb over and over again to find people to humilliate for needing such a program.
Seems to always be the "attitude of those whose basic needs are met vses those who have the need.
The ones who have manage to always protect themselves and theirs and will never "allow anything" to come between them and theirs.
Their focus always seems to be on the underclass of people, who are subject to their achemes and scams and only good for their drummed up wars.
After that; those same, people are even so heartless, not to even feel the wounded warrior is deseerving to be taken care of after the drumbeat of war warrior has been satisfied.
Pull yourself up by your own boot straps and what is wrong with you, you caused it... It is your problem.

You keep picking on the poor and others on the bottom of the food chain. High prices.. stuff so unaffordable.. Homes... shelter;; taxations and scams of corporate america and trying to stay or get employed.

No I am not bent out of shape about food stamps and those who need it. We can't do enough. A city set upon a hill, a shining light and in this country America; we have homeless hungry people. Food going to waste and the pigs of waste and gluttony with the nerve to complain about FOOD STAMPS. ( A play on words).
Thx for the Post D.
If our attiude about our fellow man, doesn't change, we cause our own problems and maybe some other country will be seen as "the city sitting on a hill for all to run to and reverence".

Nancy M (197)
Monday December 17, 2012, 9:53 am
I would rather give someone a job than a handout. Yet it seems that handouts are all most of us can give.

Until that CEO salary to wage ratio is fixed, our economy will not get fixed.

"More people are living in poverty in America now, than at any time since 1959 when data was first collected, with around 43 millions (August 2012 figures) a 70% increase in five years, relying on the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program - Food Stamps for their meals. The 15% figure may be an understatement as the income level used by the government to define poverty increases based on the rate of inflation. The threshold established for a family of four in 2011 was $23,021 per annum, extreme poverty where 21 million Americans live - $11,000. "

23,021 won't pay rent for the family of four. Ridiculous the way that the government calculates this, and the rate of inflation.

l L (1)
Monday December 17, 2012, 9:58 am
Food Stamps and the attention given to it by this last election was the bully pulpit to get elected to hve some one to demonise as the problem. And they knew how to throw the bums out.
What was sad is this peoplbe on the republican ticket are all people who benefitted from the problems of the financial crises of wall street before, during and after. What nerve.
We like little sheep fell right in line and helped them, knowing the reason full well why more people/families were on food stamps were the conditions that befell this country after them and the Bush era and the wars and contempt and neglect. What a sham.
When will we learn? We can't reason with them and they are locked on course to taking America apart and if you cry foul; they even have a comeback for that.
I am tired of the food stamp attack to demonize.
We should hae responded... our nation is in crisis... we are a city set upon a hill.. we take care of our own... we see that they have their basic human needs.. It helps build the human condition and makes for good character and a sense of belonging. We help the world an take care of home.. We see to our own.. The truth of the matter is our attitde stinks. We don't take care of our own.. We keep our boot to their necks and make sure they understand how much better than them we are. This is my opinion. This is how I feel about the matter. Food is a basic need for life.

Nancy M (197)
Monday December 17, 2012, 10:04 am
Yes, food stamps and the 47%. Most of whom are working and still needing help. In a sense, we are subsidizing Walmart. Anyone who is concerned/ alarmed about those statistics should look to that CEO salary to working class wage for each company and blame them.

l L (1)
Monday December 17, 2012, 10:11 am
Nancy; it is in my heart and purpose for life to stand in the gap and find my place to do more.

In my "faith" My God would be pleased with me and I feel good about myself. Thats me. I have been in many situations in my life.
I never forget the bridges that have brought me over and thru... and... it had made me want to be a bridge as well.
You never understand what it is like be be without.. unless you have been in those shoes...
You never know what a child thinks or feels unless you were a child..
Same thing with parenting and any other role in this life..
If we want human life to be more than an existence.. battling the right to live and be and mature..vses being on a plateau able to enjoy living and all it may ffer to the good. We don't get there cause we are fighting over the rights to the basics of life. Food.. Clothing.. Shelter..respect.. death and destruction are what is prominence.

l L (1)
Monday December 17, 2012, 10:37 am
Nancy;; we know what the problems are.. people like all of us who are human and understand.. what it means to live on this planet and all that comes with it..
I am at the point that those who mastered(?) to have more, more and more.. It's gets to no longer be about the money or possessions,, it's ego, control and the need to be worshipped. But we all go thru the same stuff.. We get sick and die and need people to come to our rescue in time. I believe and have come to accept many things are going on in this life, over our heads.... of understanding.

Nancy M (197)
Monday December 17, 2012, 10:42 am
Lyn, I agree that most of us do knwo the problems. Some are still in denial feeling that CEOs "earn" their money. Some still feel that ANYONE can work their way to the top.

Do you have any answers Lyn?

Lois Jordan (63)
Monday December 17, 2012, 4:27 pm
I object to an entire party, (the GOP), who will starve the children and elderly to continue tax cuts for the wealthiest. The tiny amount of fraud and abuse in the food stamp industry, (banks are profiting from food stamps), is nothing compared to the waste and fraud within the Pentagon war machine....or the trillions of dollars the Banksters have sucked out of taxpayers.

Sheryl G (363)
Monday December 17, 2012, 4:40 pm
I agree 100% with you Lois, well stated and I'm afraid I'm out of green stars for you.

Tamara H (185)
Monday December 17, 2012, 4:52 pm
The plight of so many is the bane of the greedy few.

Sheryl G (363)
Monday December 17, 2012, 5:17 pm
And the masses must rise up to conquer this inequality. Remember the millions on the VietNam War? The Million Man March? There was a time when the people stood up for what they felt in their hearts. They got us lazy with the I-phones and computer games.

LaurenBackSoon Kozen (173)
Monday December 17, 2012, 6:46 pm
Noted. Thanks for posting Dandelion.

l L (1)
Tuesday December 18, 2012, 8:22 pm
Nancy; I wish I did have answers and could change things.
But what you find is we all come from different backgrounds and paths and understandings.

I can be deceived into thinking we are all on the same page .. we are not..
The appearance is we might be. But the truth is we are not...
I.e when we started out four years ago; I was so gunho and was sure we could fix this crisis and we all would get on track and be okay.
What I found; we were not on the same page. Not everyone was concerned about a crisis.

Even tho the election happened again; I find that it is the same thing over again.. Republicans!

There are so many things going on. I see positives but the undertones are signs of destructions and demise

I hate to sound like this but I am leery. I am doing what I can. I wnt to do more. Thats one reason why I am fighting for my health, so I can help more, with others out there. Thats what's in my heart.
And Nancy; everyone who has good ness in their hearts are giving it all they got to save our world and our way of life, for the better. God help us. I call them 'things', that's how i handle it cause there seems to be no right ,wrong is right.
Do you have any ideas Nancy?

Nancy M (197)
Wednesday December 19, 2012, 11:19 am
I do wish that many would STOP rewarding just the rich and reward every who works hard. Messed up mind set in some minds these days. WHile our "standard of living" is greater than in many places all I see it it dropping.

Yes, we used to be a city on a hill. We are losing that. I do wish we could get it back.

Past Member (0)
Tuesday January 15, 2013, 5:23 pm
We used to call nations that had such extreme inequality, "banana republics." Now, it looks like we are the biggest, rankest banana of them all.

Sheryl G (363)
Wednesday January 16, 2013, 10:40 am
You got that one right Brian.
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