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Health Care & Environment
11.15 The long read: The plastic backlash: what's behind our sudden rage – and will it make a difference? [the world wants to throw-up...]
11.15 Claws out: crab fishermen sue 30 oil firms over climate change [workers are waking-up...]
11.15 Trump administration to cut air pollution from heavy-duty trucks [behaving ignorantly again...]
11.12 This Land is Your Land: The Zinke effect: how the US interior department became a tool of industry [behaving ignorantly again...]
11.11 Trump responds to worst fires in California’s history by threatening to withhold federal aid [behaving ignorantly again...]
11.11 Interior department sued for ‘secretive process’ in at-risk species assessment [behaving ignorantly again...]
11.11 Keystone XL pipeline: judge rules government 'jumped the gun' and orders halt [behaving ignorantly again...]
News Media Matters
US Politics, Policy & 'Culture'
11.15 Democrats Won Big. Can They Go Bold, Too? [it's about suppressing the influence and leadership by Republican-like Democrats who counsel 'íncremental' (no) change, such as Nancy Pelosi, Steny Hoyer, Hillary Clinton, Chuck Shumer and Joe Biden]
11.15 Pentagon Officials Forced to Make Fewer Public Appearances to Avoid Provoking Trump [...by revealing Trump's huuuge ignorance]
11.15 REPUBLICANS USED A BILL ABOUT WOLVES TO AVOID A VOTE ON YEMEN WAR [if there are 'defense industry' profits to be made—including congress-critter insider-trading—and political 'donations' to be had, we mustn't stop killing innocent civilians!]
11.09 Trump administration blocks asylum claims by those crossing border illegally [Making America Less Great Again...]
11.14 The Guardian view on Yemen’s misery: the west is complicit [WAR CRIMES]
11.10 US stops refuelling of Saudi-led coalition aircraft in Yemen war [But there are a few children still alive. It's too soon!]
Economics, Crony Capitalism
11.15 The Earth is in a death spiral. It will take radical action to save us [fossil fuel burning, un-recyclable plastic production/use and methane gas release must cease ASAP.]
International & Futurism
11.15 Cuba to pull doctors out of Brazil after President-elect Bolsonaro comments [terms must be negotiated for fairness to Cuba's health professionals without disruption of healthcare for Brazil's poor]
11.14 'Appalling' Khashoggi audio shocked Saudi intelligence – Erdogan [Exposing a psychopath?]
Illinois: A State in Crisis
Saturday, 5 June 2010
Over 1.5 million Illinoisans are impoverished (44% of them in extreme poverty), or 12.2% of the population. Another 16% are at risk, or over 3.5 million people. Among them are over half a million children and one-third of the state's Blacks, another half million. Given the woefully out-of-date federal $22,000 poverty threshold for a family of four, the true problem is far greater.
This writer's earlier articles addressed greater social misery in America than since the Great Depression, because of unemployment, homelessness, hunger, bankruptcies, despair, and rising poverty levels.
According to the National Academy of Science, 47.4 million Americans were impoverished in 2008, 15% of the population, but the true number is much higher since the government's income threshold is $22,000 for a family of four, way short of what's needed throughout urban America where even half again as much is too little.
Illinois is a microcosm of the nation. Facing the largest per capital budget deficit in America, equal to half its operating budget, it's in deep crisis, one of many problems being poverty, the issue the Heartland Alliance addressed in its May 5 report titled, "2010 Report on Illinois Poverty," deepening under budget-balancing social safety net cuts, making a bad situation worse for growing numbers throughout the state, suffering under dire economic conditions, exacerbated by bad public policy.
The Heartland Alliance "advances the human rights and responds to the human needs of endangered populations - particularly the poor, the isolated, and the displaced (in search for) a more just global society" - no easy task in today's environment, in Illinois or throughout the nation, given that 32 states are officially insolvent, including Illinois, and nearly all of them are severely challenged.
Years of Mismanagement Pushed Illinois Over the Edge
The state's budget crisis threatens vital services like food stamps and unemployment insurance, besides healthcare, education, and various programs for the needy, under consideration for cuts or elimination.
The combination of material hardship and high unemployment threatens to impact Illinois' economy for years, yet will worsen from draconian counterproductive measures, the very policies earlier enacted with new ones being considered.
Illinois Poverty in 2008
Based on US Census poverty guidelines, over 1.5 million Illinoisans are impoverished (44% of them in extreme poverty), or 12.2% of the population. Another 16% are at risk, a potential 28.2% total, or over 3.5 million people, and those numbers are conservative. Among them are over half a million children and one-third of the state's Blacks, another half million.
Given the woefully out-of-date federal $22,000 threshold for a family of four, the true problem is far greater, likely double the official numbers or higher, showing dire Illinois conditions that reflect the state of the nation - worsening, not improving.
Other Heartland figures show:
Heartland noted that its project began earlier when America was prosperous and future prospects looked favorable. Their recent annual reports caution that earlier good times haven't continued, nor were all boats lifted while they lasted.
Today's situation is dire. "The Great Recession has crumbled economic stability for millions of families" though loss of jobs, incomes and benefits, homes, businesses, savings and futures. And as always, those hardest hit will be slowest to recover, and many won't ever make it.
Most study data was the latest available through 2008, so didn't fully capture today's conditions. Nonetheless, "the magnitude of hardship reflected here is staggering," and suggests much worse ahead next year.
For growing numbers in need, what's coming "will be nothing short of devastating" because lawmakers are fighting hard times counterproductively, cutting back when stimulus is needed. The result, of course, is predictable - hard times for years to come. Perverse governance is the problem, harming millions of the most vulnerable, their numbers growing exponentially because nothing is being done to help them - in Illinois or nationally.
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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 June 5, 2010.