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Health Care & Environment
12.17 Brazilian police foil million-dollar fraud to export precious wood to China [clear-cutting forests harshly impacts all life above and below ground-level for decades; it decreases oxygen production and seguestration of CO2 and increases area, frequency and duration of drought]
12.13 English rivers polluted by powerful insecticides, first tests reveal [Are similar tests of U.S. waters conducted by the EPA anymore? We think not...]
News Media Matters
12.17 A Report to Our Readers
US Politics, Policy & 'Culture'
12.17 'Making America Stupid Again': Outrage Over Forbidden 7 Words You Can't Say at Trump's CDC [“Stupid is as stupid does.” –Forrest Gump]
12.16 Poverty in US set to increase due to Donald Trump's policies, says UN official [oligarchy-controlled countries are wonderful for the very rich]
12.16 Republicans Despise the Working Class [oligarchy-controlled countries are wonderful for the very rich]
12.17 Venue of last resort: the climate lawsuits threatening the future of big oil [something else Republicans are packing the courts for...]
12.15 Who Pays for Judicial Races? The Politics of Judicial Elections 2015-16 [desperately packing the courts at all levels to protect white power & unregulated capitalism]
12.13 US Concern Over 'Pervasive' High-Level Corruption Surging Under Trump: Poll [anyone surprised?]
12.17 Trump’s Misuse of Intelligence on Iran [immoral behavior that could lead to War]
Economics, Crony Capitalism
12.17 How a Philadelphia nun became the unlikely face of conscientious capitalism [Why don't we teach morality in Law & Business schools?]
12.16 The Republican Tax Bill Provides Huge Benefits to People Who Don’t Work. But Only if They’re Rich. [oligarchy-controlled countries are wonderful for the very rich]
12.16 The United States Is Now as Unequal as Russia. And That’s Before the Tax Bill. [oligarchy-controlled countries are wonderful for the very rich]
12.16 EU to force firms to reveal true owners in wake of Panama Papers [what are the chances oligarchy-controlled countries (esp. America and Russia) ever agree to fight tax evasion and money landering? International agencies must all mandate common regulations as a condition for UN membership, trade agreements, world bank loans, etc.]
12.15 FCC Chair Ajit Pai 'Shows Just How Dumb He Thinks Americans Are' With Video Mocking Net Neutrality [he won't discuss how giving more monopoly power to cable ISPs will increase consumer costs and stifle innovation]
12.13 The “Death Tax” Cargo Cult [we lack for morals and sanity in U.S. media & politics]
International & Futurism
12.17 Africa’s new elite force: women gunning for poachers and fighting for a better life [a good model that converts victims of abuse and cruelty into positive activists with good jobs...]
12.14 Israeli undercover soldiers seen arresting Palestinian protesters [Palestinians need more and better weapons for a fair fight]
Growing Hunger in America
Money For Imperial Wars & Wall Street Deemed More Important
Tuesday, 9 February 2010
Despite a growing national crisis, Obama proposed a budget freezing social spending for three years, a de facto cut in real terms. At the same time, he lets Wall Street keep pillaging, plans more wealth transfers to the rich, and proposed the largest ever defense and homeland security budgets, leaving little for cash-strapped states and growing millions of desperate people.
In January 2010, Feeding America (FA, formerly America's Second Harvest) released its disturbing new report on growing hunger titled, "Hunger in America 2010." The Chicago-based organization is the nation's "leading domestic hunger-relief charity," serving the needy "through a nationwide network of member food banks, over 200 in all 50 states, the District of Columbia and Puerto Rico."
Its study is based on interviews with over 62,000 clients served by the FA network, as well as information provided by 37,000 FA agencies - emergency food providers, including food pantries, soup kitchens, and emergency shelters for short-term residents.
FA's system serves an estimated 37 million people annually, up 46% since 2005, including 33.9 million pantry users, 1.8 million kitchen ones, and 1.3 million in shelters.
About 5.7 million people (or 1 in 50) get emergency food aid from the system in any given week, an increase of 27% since 2005, and one in eight Americans (37 million people, including 14 million children and three million seniors) are food insecure, meaning they don't get enough to eat. As a result, they need emergency help from food banks throughout the country. The latest data represent "a staggering 46 percent increase since" FA's 2006 study.
FA calls food insecurity "a complex, multifaceted phenomenon that varies along a continuum of successive stages as it becomes more severe." In contrast, food security enables "access by all people at all times to enough food for an active, health life."
FA agencies serve households across America:
Overall, 75% of client households are food insecure (based on the government's food security scale), an increase from 70% in 2005; 39% of households have low food security; 36% very low.
Client households with children are 78% food insecure, up from 73% in 2005. "Many clients report having to choose between food and other necessities:"
As in 2005, 29% of households report at least one member in poor health. Most clients are grateful for FA help - 92% very or somewhat satisfied and 93% with food quality. The FA network includes about 33,500 food pantries, 4,500 soup kitchens, and 3,600 emergency shelters, up 13% for pantries from 2005, and down 20% for kitchens and shelters.
Faith-based agencies run 72% of pantries, 62% of kitchens, and 39% of shelters. Some also offer other services.
Sources of Food Provided:
FA's president and CEO, Vicki Escarra said:
In November 2009, the US Department of Agriculture's Economic Research Service (USDA) reported that 49 million Americans, including 17 million children, are food insecure; that is, they "had difficulty providing enough food for all their (family) members due to a lack of resources. The prevalence of food insecurity was....the highest observed since nationally representative food security surveys were initiated in 1995."
In September 2009, the US Census Bureau reported rising poverty, falling incomes, and growing numbers of uninsured US households. Even by the Bureau's conservative estimates, 39.8 million Americans were impoverished, the highest level since 1960, and 17.1 million lived in extreme poverty at below one-half the official threshold.
A revised October 2009 Census analysis showed 47.4 million (15.8% of the population, including one-fifth of the elderly) below the poverty line, much higher than the above figure and rising.
The official poverty level for a family of four is $21,203, a way outdated threshold developed over 40 years ago. In 2007, the Economic Policy Institute (EPI) said a family of four in Peoria, IL needed $42,900 to be above poverty. In Chicago, it was $49,000 and in New York nearly $72,000. The same reality exists in large and smaller cities throughout America.
A recent Brookings Institute report titled, "The Effects of the Recession on Child Poverty" was equally disturbing, showing one in five US children under age 18 in families below the official poverty level, based on September 2009 Census data. According to Brookings' Julia Isaacs:
Census 2008 information "lag considerably behind current economic conditions. Job losses and wage reductions occurring in 2009 were obviously not captured. In addition, many adverse events in 2008 were only partially captured."
As a result, current conditions are far worse than reported and will keep deteriorating ahead, for at least several years according to Isaacs. She called the situation "sobering."
It showed in late November when reported food stamp usage was at record levels, and according to a study by Cornell University's Thomas Hirschl and Washington University in St. Louis' Mark Rank, half the children in America will need food stamps at some point in their childhood, 90% for black children.
Despite a growing national crisis, Obama proposed less, not more, saying "our fiscal situation remains unacceptable," not growing poverty, homelessness, hunger and despair at levels not seen since the 1930s.
On February 1, he sent Congress a budget freezing social spending for three years, a de facto cut in real terms. At the same time, he lets Wall Street keep pillaging, plans more wealth transfers to the rich, and proposed the largest ever defense and homeland security budgets, leaving little for cash-strapped states and growing millions of desperate people out of luck and on their own.
Listen to Lendman's cutting-edge discussions with distinguished guests on the Progressive Radio News Hour on the Progressive Radio Network Thursdays at 10AM US Central time and Saturdays and Sundays at noon. All programs are archived for easy listening.
Mr. Lendman's stories are republished in the Baltimore Chronicle with permission of the author.
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Baltimore News Network, Inc., sponsor of this web site, is a nonprofit organization and does not make political endorsements. The opinions expressed in stories posted on this web site are the authors' own.This story was published on February 9, 2010.
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