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August 30, 2005

US poverty rate up to 12.7%

The US poverty rate rose for the fourth consecutive year, according to the Census Bureau. Thirty-seven million Americans lived in poverty last year, an increase of 1.1 million over 2003. [NYT permalink]


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They're only bringing this up because Bush is president. When the poverty rate was falling under Clinton, they never said anything about the poverty rate rising.

Fucking MSM.

I fully expect a resurgence of "we've got the fattest children in poverty in the world!" jackasses with their foam #1 fingers very shortly. So what if they're fat on hormones, chemicals, corn syrup, and shitty bologna?

Like everything else that has come out of the Bush administration about the economy being so good... its all a pack of lies and distortions of the truth.

The Federal Reserve in Boston did a study of the numbers on unemployment about two months ago and found that the official rate of 5% was off by about 1 to 3%. Now the numbers are getting worse and this poverty figure verifies it.

We have record bankruptcies, record home foreclosures, and stagnate wages. If you can’t do the math shame on you because Bush and Co. are cooking the books.

For your reading pleasure:

A report by economist Kathrine Bradbury of the Boston Federal Reserve Bank suggests unemployment is much higher than Labor Dept statistics report, due to lack of rebound in labor force participation. This would help explain why real wage growth is stagnate, though we are supposed to be at "full employment" (i.e. 95%).

WASHINGTON (MarketWatch) - The current low U.S. unemployment rate probably understates the true level of joblessness by 1 to 3 percentage points, the senior economist at the Boston Federal Reserve says.

Millions of potential workers who dropped out of the labor force during the recession four years ago have not returned as expected and are thus not counted in the official unemployment statistics, said Katharine Bradbury in a paper published by the Boston Fed. Read the study.

The jobless rate fell to 5% in June the lowest level since the terror attacks of September 2001.

Labor force participation rates "have not recovered as much as usual and the discrepancies are large," she wrote.

PS. A very close friend, who is a strong Bush and GOP supporter used to argue with me about this. Then his company arbitrarily cut his salary by 25% and his wife who worked for IBM got layed off when they moved her job to China. He doesn't say much any more.

Want to do something that will have an immediate impact on poverty and suffering?

The greatest natural disaster ever to happen in the US just occurred yesterday in several southern states. The loss of life and property is staggering, tragic beyond measure and still mounting.

Refugees will be homeless and in need of the necessities of life for weeks and in some cases months. Any contribution no matter how small will be sorely needed, greatly appreciated and can be done through legitimate charities such as the American Red Cross or the Salvation Army.

How about a blog-a-thon for the relief of the 'American Tsunami'?

Good idea, notyou. I'm going to post a link to the Red Cross right away. If you want to suggest other worthy organizations/efforts underway in the stricken areas, please post those in the comments or send me an email with the relevant info.

Thanks Lindsay,

I live in central Louisiana and we were personally unaffected by storm damage. We are still waiting for word from or about my oldest (deceased) brother's children and an elderly uncle who live near Pass Christian, Mississippi. Phones are out, cell phone towers have been knocked out; and, where there is service, calls cannot go through readily due to high traffic volume.

We have personally taken in refugees (and their pets). Our home is a large Victorian and will eventually become a B&B, but many other individuals with much less room are also squeezing in refugees. It is heartening to see people galvanized in a worthwhile cause and pitching in at great inconvenience to themselves. Municipalities and churches are providing shelter in convention centers, coliseums, various halls, etc. Individuals are also allowing people to park and hook up RV's and travel trailers on their properties, etc. It is likely that there will be an opening of unused local military barracks for an indefinite period of time as housing.

People are also assisting with pets (boarding, feeding, running emergency shelters, etc.) If you want to help with animals, too, the animal chat board on eBay is a good place for organizations and links--some of the sweetest people online.

Local businesses and individuals are donating money to buy and are taking up collections of groceries, clothing, toiletries, infant supplies, etc. Everyone is helping as shelters are overflowing and many of the refugees are low on funds. Our financially strapped local school district (worring about the money later) has already begun enrolling refugee children (estimated to possibly as many as 5,000 begore this thing is over) because it will give them a place of security and structure, occupy their minds, and also feed them breakfast and lunch (a big help). Many will be here for weeks, as NOLA is not likely to have schools operational until December according to some sources. December!

Local medical professionals are working overtime. My oldest daughter is a family medicine nurse practitioner in Baton Rouge. She stayed (safely) and has been on call 24 hours a day as needed because hundreds of patients have been moved to Baton Rouge hospitals and nursing homes from NOLA, and more are expected as rescue continues. There may be a need for volunteer medical help from out of area, but those who can volunteer should probably do so through the Red Cross. Blood can always be donated.

Volunteers to the area to help clean up should wait until the 'all clear' from Civil Defense agencies. It is not yet safe, as flood waters are standing and the destruction to roads and infrastructure is beyond belief. You can believe that the flood waters in the areas adjacent to swamps will have snakes, alligators and other disturbed and potentially dangerous critters in them in addition to the expected pollution. Mosquitoes and flies are going to be a nighmare in and of themselves.

In my opinion, both Republicans and Democrats should put aside partisan infighting at this time and bring unbearable pressure on their wealthy contributors to cut loose the purse strings in a substantial way. Constituent pressure should be brought to bear on Ken Mehlman and Howard Dean to start agressively leveraging the wealthy of both parties to give to relief efforts. Let's see who the patriots really are. Eh?

Wal-Mart has said it will contribute a million. Wal-Mart needs to be 'shamed' in a big way. Hell, Sandra Bullock gave that much for Tsunami relief, and Wal-Mart has to make her financial assets look paltry by comparison. And, speaking of Ms. Bullock, what about the rest of the entertainment industry...what can it do? Let's ask it.

Perhaps the best way for people (like yourself),who are far away and probably not wealthy, to help is to go to the websites for the Red Cross, FEMA, or Salvation Army to see what they are requesting and just do what you feel you can. You could also help by keeping attention focused on this disaster in the future. Attention to this does not need to go away soon, and blogs (no matter what their topic or political beliefs) are one way to help see that it does not. Perhaps bloggers could lock Katrina threads at the top of their rolls and keep readers updated about progress.

I sent donations to the Red Cross and the Salvation Army. I've had personal experience with them in disasters before and they are really committed.

"In my opinion, both Republicans and Democrats should put aside partisan infighting at this time and bring unbearable pressure on their wealthy contributors to cut loose the purse strings in a substantial way. Constituent pressure should be brought to bear on Ken Mehlman and Howard Dean to start agressively leveraging the wealthy of both parties to give to relief efforts. Let's see who the patriots really are. Eh?"

In listening to the survivors down their many of them had hurricane insurance coverage, but not flood insurance. The record storm surge caught many of them off guard.

FEMA funds are going to be made available, but many home owners and businesses are going to be forced into bankruptcy.

A good start to helping them rebuild in the months ahead would be to repeal the new bankruptcy laws that are about to go into effect as they will prohibit many of these folks from getting out from under the huge debts that they are going to incur in the many months ahead. They deserve a fresh start.


Your comment about repealing the new bankruptcy law is right on. Maybe Lindsay and a host of other bloggers can tackle generating some massive publicity for that issue.

The needs of these desperate and suffering Americans are issues on which liberal, moderate, and conservative Americans must unite to work together at this time. Differences need to be set aside and sleeves need to be rolled up.

Remember, too, the frustration that our troops overseas must feel right now, especially those with family in the affected areas. Let's give them all the moral support we can on this issue.


For the record... 47 Democrats went with the GOP to get that bankruptcy law passed. It was a give away to the banks and credit card companies.

It didn't break down on party lines, it was the congressional whores at the corporate trough feeding.

It time to give all of the people a break. This is not business as usual and lots of people who thought they were in an "upper economic class" just lost everything.

It is my hope that we can start to rediscover our common American roots through this.

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