Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Poverty

Good piece from one of a handful of politicians that is willing to speak truth to power - Senator Bernie Sanders -

Is Poverty a Death Sentence?

A couple of points I would highlight:

First his diagnosis of the problem is 100% accurate and NOBODY in the main stream media, pundits, or politicians will acknowledge it...

"As a result of the greed, recklessness and illegal behavior of Wall Street we are now in the midst of the worst economic downturn since the 1930s. Millions of workers have lost their jobs and have slipped out of the middle class and into poverty. Poverty is increasing."

He's absolutely correct. The power elite on Wall Street placed a ton of money on the roulette wheel and lost it, we decided they deserved to be rich so we gave them their money back and transferred their losses to our books. The result is that we are in a recession and they all vacationed in Europe and the Hampton's this summer and looked their noses down on the rest of the world. (The real kicker is we didn't fix the system and they can do it again any damn time they want)

Secondly, the results have been catastrophic, creating more people in poverty than ever before -

"There are 46 million Americans -- about one in six -- living below the poverty line. That's the largest number on record, according to a new report released Tuesday by the Census Bureau. About 49.9 million Americans lacked health insurance, the report also said. That number has soared by 13.3 million since 2000.

Moreover, according to the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development, the United States has both the highest overall poverty rate and the highest childhood poverty rate of any major industrialized country on earth. This comes at a time when the U.S. also has the most unequal distribution of wealth and income of any major country on earth with the top 1 percent earning more than the bottom 50 percent.

According to the latest figures from the OECD, 21.6 percent of American children live in poverty. This compares to 3.7 percent in Denmark, 5 percent in Finland, 5.5 percent in Norway 6.9 percent in Slovenia, 7 percent in Sweden, 7.2 percent Hungary, 8.3 percent in Germany, 8.8 percent in the Czech Republic, 9.3 percent in France, 9.4 percent in Switzerland. I suppose we can take some comfort in that our numbers are not quite as bad as Turkey (23.5 percent), Chile (24 percent) and Mexico (25.8 percent)."

Finally, we are all sitting on our asses while politicians have decided the way to fix this mess is to throw more people into poverty, and the results will be that people will die -

"Further, despite the reality that our deficit problem has been caused by the recession and declining revenue, two unpaid for wars and tax breaks for the wealthy, there are some in Congress who wish to decimate the existing safety net which provides a modicum of security for the elderly, the sick, the children and lower income people."...

"...poverty in America today leads not only to anxiety, unhappiness, discomfort and a lack of material goods. It leads to death. Poverty in America today is a death sentence for tens and tens of thousands of our people which is why the high childhood poverty rate in our country is such an outrage."• At a time when we are seeing major medical breakthroughs in cancer and other terrible diseases for the people who can afford those treatments, the reality is that life expectancy for low-income women has declined over the past 20 years in 313 counties in our country. In other words, in some areas of America, women are now dying at a younger age than they used to.

• In America today, people in the highest income group level, the top 20 percent, live, on average, at least 6.5 years longer than those in the lowest income group. Let me repeat that. If you are poor in America you will live 6.5 years less than if you are wealthy or upper-middle class.

• In America today, adult men and women who have graduated from college can expect to live at least 5 years longer than people who have not finished high school.

• In America today tens of thousands of our fellow citizens die unnecessarily because they cannot get the medical care they need. According to Reuters (September 17, 2009), nearly 45,000 people die in the United States each year -- one every 12 minutes -- in large part because they lack health insurance and cannot get good care. Harvard Medical School researchers found in an analysis released on Thursday."

• In 2009, the infant mortality rate for African American infants was twice that of white infants."

Absolutely infuriating... watch Bernie in the video below, then get off your ass and fight the bastards that started this mess and the draconian policies they are proposing.

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