Inequity Out Of Balance...
How Change Changes
After the vote for the President of the United States, things began to look different. He signed some Bills through and pushed hard for the Stimulus Package, which got a raucous Start. Only three Republicans voted for the Stim, and the rest offered 'Nays'. The Democratic process through the voting citizenry gave Obama the nod, and the Electoral College Approved. Obama, the Commander in Chief assumed his duties with the majority of the people, in the voting booth acquiescing to his call for Change.
The Republican Party set the tone by opposing the Stim, the denial, the rest has been nothing but denial, opposition, criticism, labeling, threatening, and wishing that Obama fails, his health care is going to kill the elderly, fear mongering, disrupting some democratic Senators Town Hall meetings, denying other participants their right to ask about the Health Care Bill, interrupting Senators whenever they tried to answer question, Booing down any answers given to the 'angry' Town Hall participants in agitated melee.
The economy was tanking and the Infrastructure on the roads was crumbling and falling into serious disrepair; the schools were crumbling and failing; Wall Street Stocks were plunging; Banks and other Financial institutions were going bankrupt and shutting down; millions of mortgages were in default and people were losing their houses, their jobs; some losing their Healthcare and others facing rising Health care expenses; the automobile industry in serious bankruptcy.
Food prices are rising(people nowadays resorting to eating 'poor' food); food lines increasing all over the country; millions of people homeless; some are facing the prospect of coming to the end of receipt of their unemployment checks; production and job creation were zero-except for the existing companies; the age of plenty was nigh and ending, and now we have to pick up the crumbs to rebuild the United States. It is in carrying out this prospect of re-building that we are seeing some varied responses and behaviors. Trying to reinstate the old order controlled by the status quo is proving to be formidable.
The Way of Civilization
Civilizations are measured by the way they handle their most vulnerable denizens. History teaches us how those civilization came, the heights they peaked to and the causes of their demise. Each has its own pitfalls, and all end up in chaos. These civilizations become our hindsight in attempting to reset our wobbling society.
Denying that things have changed and we need to change them for the better is repeating the errors and those mistakes we have learned from the historical past. If we have learned anything, we now know that their denizens living conditions plummeted; the army of these civilization weakened and were crushed by their rivals; the leadership was corrupt, decadent and self-serving.
Assassinations, backstabbing, lawlessness and governmental dysfunction the rule and law.
Maybe our civilization will not be attacked by the hordes from somewhere, but we seem to be imploding. The core of our civilization, the economy, production, employment, banks, Wall Street, housing, education, savings, health, infrastructure, crime, racism, drugs, war, has all collapsed and affected the rest, leaving us weak, and disorientated.
We are out of wack because we have never seen such collapse since the 1930s, its been told. The inner-belly of the civilization has been eroded and decimated. Something new has to be invented, a new society has to raise form the ambers of yesteryear debacle.
The wars in Iraq and Afghanistan are some of the issues that need to be wrapped-up. They are a no win situation. The Bazillions that go into the Military Industrial Complex are unconscionable. War is not the only way to save the United states economy. General Eisenhower said:
"This conjunction of an immense Military Establishment and a large arms industry is new in the American experience. The total influence-economic, political, even spiritual-is felt in every city, every statehouse, every office of the federal Government. We recognize the imperative need for this development, yet, we must not fail to comprehend its grave implications.
Our toil, resources, and livelihood are all involved; so is the very structure of our society. In the councils of government we must guard against the acquisitions of unwarranted influence whether sought or unsought by the Military Industrial Complex. We need to at least have a better and much more fuller understanding of the machinations of war and our present state of the economy.
Vitriolic and Divided Speech
There's a deeply felt apprehension about the resurgence of racial violence and the rise in the incidence of verbal and symbolic assault and harassment to which blacks and other traditionally subjugated and excluded groups are subjected. In these times, the problem is that liberty of free speech is in conflict with the elimination of racism. This has placed the bigots on the moral high ground and has fanned the rising flames of racism.
The real victims have been shown little understanding of their injuries, and we have abandoned those whose race, gender and sexual preference continues to make them second-class citizens. By understanding that it is necessary to eliminate the system of signs and symbols signaling the inferiority of blacks, the we must stop proclaiming that all racist speech stopping short of racist violence must be defended. Racist speech is an assault and serves as a preemptive strike.
The invective is experienced as a blow, not as a proffered idea, and once the blow is struck. Racist posters. Flyers and graffiti injure the victim who realize that even if they fight, they are bound to lose. There's no meaningful dialogue on how to reconcile our commitment to equality and free speech until there's an acknowledgement that real harm is inflicted and this harm is far from trivial.
Whenever we tolerate racist speech, for the importance of maintaining social tolerance, we are asking the subordinated minorities to bear the burden for the good of all. Disapproving of a particular form of communication is not enough to justify prohibiting it. We are faced with conflict between our commitment to free speech and our desire to foster a community founded on mutual respect.
Racism is the Achilles heel of this budding democracy. The economy of the United states was founded on the labor of African slave. This led to the dehumanization of Africans from Africa. They were regarded as man, and had no right to anything-chattel slavery. The Dred Scot decision is part of the racism that has permeated the core of American society and its enslaving codes.
As a democracy I repeat, a civilization like ours, as all others have been, is judged on how it treats its most vulnerable citizens. These were not only made slaves, but were segregated against based on their skin, national origin and the whole bit. Other nationalities have suffered to some form of segregation, but the slaves have endured the brunt of being former slaves, africans and deserving of no respect from their enslavers and are constantly reminded of it in many other undisguised way in latter-day America.
This kind of treatment of the poor and the down-trodden has never bidden well for any civilization in the history of mankind. Most times the racist attitudes blame immigrants by stating that America is being 'overrun by immigrants,' 'Immigrants take jobs from US citizens; 'Immigrants are draining on society's resources'; 'Aliens refuse to assimilate, and are depriving us of our cultural and political unity'; and that, 'Noncitizen immigrants are not entitled to Constitutional Rights.
The objects of prejudice are of course no longer Irish Catholics and Germans; 140 years later, "They" have become "us." The new "they" — because it seems "we" must always have a "they" — are Latin Americans, most recently Mexicans, Haitians, Cubans and Arab Americans, among others. This is the weaknesses that causes a civilization to slide down the slippery slope and a civilization in state of constant flux and change.
The Change We Hope For
It is interesting to note that the protests against Obama are losing their traction and we are now only left with threats of what is going to happen in the vote for 2010. What is amazing is a few overlooked facts. What the presidential elections of 2008 has shown is that a majority of all non-whites voted for Obama. This means that a combination of all the people who are non-Europeans voted in a block to elect Obama. They really showed that they are the majority and installed Obama as President.
One other thing is that, you rarely see these voter, people of a darker hue, demonstrating against a president they chose. It is also a fact that the Browning of America is afoot. Politics as usual is no more the case. It might be true that when the 2010 elections come around, we are going to see the Republicans take power of the house and prepare for 2012 to topple Obama.
That may be true, but it still has be seen to work. In the past, what is being predicted would come through, but today, as the election of Obama showed, the people who are not of Europeans descent, in greater numbers, chose Obama because they had strength in numbers, and they still might have something to say about it.
Looking at the voting map, one can see that that the numbers of the whites only voting and controlling power has lost its voting power, and is now more situated into the South. Hispanics are now becoming the majority in terms of white in the United States. Congress has even decided to name them "the emerging majority" in terms of population growth in the US.
The change in population demographics will decide the direction the vote will take, given the virulent racist tactics that have been shown by the fear-mongers, tea party baggers and people, birthers, deathers and gun totting militias.
America may have a majority of whites as a population, but not the majority of whites are racists. The election of Obama has started a maelstrom of gun-totting militia, rabidly racist signs and cartoon, everything he does, Obama, challenged, criticized, damned, jeered at, up to the point where they call him a Hitler, Socialist, African Witch-doctor with bones protruding through his nose, and feathers on his knees and so forth; that he is an Arab and is taking America down into the gutter, criticized for getting and receiving a Noble Peace Price; accused of putting America in Danger, mostly by Dick Cheyney and his daughter.
They still show him as a bad and weak president, and it is very strange that that they lump their followers as "The American People," who are mostly white, and as observed above, not many people of other races. So, it makes one wonder is America inhabited by White people only? Does that mean if other races are not demonstrating against Obama, they do not exist?
If my memory served me well, there has never been anyone who could muster or had attracted a multicultural crowd as had Obama when he ran for President. It is my opinion that the multi-colored audience is still there and will be seen again when it matters during the second round of voting in 2012.
The throngs that flocked to Obama's rallies in 2008 were Americans, although he is being vilified, that does not dampen the spirits of those who voted him into power. I know that when time comes for voting for president, the same, if not more than those of 2008, will show-up and re-install Obama as president. So far as they are concerned, he is doing well and they will be willing to give him the second term, which is what the Republicans are fighting against.
The Presidency of Barack Obama is unique because he is the first African American President to sit in the White house of a civilization in peril. He is not having it easy. He goes overseas to refurbish America's tarnished Imperial and fledgeling image and stance.
We here in the United States are only too eager to show and tell the world that are Commander in Chief is Hitler, a Socialist, a racist, an alien, not born in the USA, that we do not like him, trust him, neither respect him, to the extent that we carry loaded guns to his Town Hall, and carry placards written , in small letters, 'death to Obama'.
These are the people of a once proud, strong, confident and industrious people making a civilization that was the envy of the world, who appear belligerent, and some racist, showing aggression and mean spirit. We live on Earth with other earthlings, respect of others and acting like we are part of the human will only increase our leadership and status of a civilized people world-wide.
Part Of Black Perspectives
In the preface to his nonfiction work "Brothers and Keepers" writes:
"The value of Black life in America is judged, as life generally in this country is judged, by external, material signs of success. Urban ghettoes are dangerous,broken-down, economically marginal pockets of real estate infected with drugs, poverty, violence,crime, and since black life is seen as rooted in the ghetto, black people are identified with the ugliness, danger, and deterioration surrounding them.
"This logic is simpleminded and devastating, its hold on the American imagination as old as slavery; in fact, it recycles the classic justification for slavery, blaming the cause and consequence of oppression on the oppressed. Instead of launching a preemptive strike at the flawed assumptions that perpetuate racist thinking, Blacks and Whites are doomed to battle endlessly with the symptoms of racism."
Paulo Freire adds an interesting perspective to this discourse: "The truth is, however, that the oppressed are not 'marginals,' are not men living 'outside' society. They have always been "inside" — inside the structure which made them "beings for others." The solution is not to "integrate" them into the structure of oppression, but to transform that structure so that they can become "beings for themselves".
Such transformation, of course, would undermine the oppressors' purpose. Every great society is successful if in its development it gives solid support to all those that are unfortunate and depressed. The weakest linkage for any society or civilization is its inability to incorporate the lower ranks of its citizens and the destitute to a more better higher material and moral level, because these in turn always come back and cripple any civilization: the weak, the poor, sick, hungry and cold suffering masses.
PASS! IDENTITY!The Coming Apartheid Draconian Laws in the US
Nowadays, the real-politick in the US is that against the Mexicans and other minorities as witnessed in the New Arizona newly passed. This is the same laws that have been utilized and applied during South Africa's Apartheid Era. But, this is not new, these are the Black Codes in action. America had the Black Codes in Arkansas, Florida, Georgia,Mississippi. North Carolina, South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas and Virginia just to name a few states.
The Black Codes in the United State were any numerous laws enacted in the States of the Former Confederacy After the American Civil War, in 1865 and 1866; the laws were designed to replace the social controls of slavery that had been removed by emancipation Proclamation and the Thirteenth Amendment to the Constitution, and were thus intended to assure continuance of White Supremacy.
All the slave Black Codes, however, had certain provisions in common, and had their roots in slave codes. In all of them the color line was firmly drawn, and any amount of Negro blood established the race of a person, whether slave or free, as Negro. The status of the offspring followed that of the mother, so that the child or a free father and a slave mother was a slave.
Slaves had few legal rights: in court their testimony was inadmissible in any litigation involving whites; they could make no contract, nor could they own property; even if attacked, they could not strike a white person. There were numerous restrictions to enforce social control; slaves could not be away from their owner's premises without permission(PASS!) They could not strike a white person.
There were numerous restrictions to enforce social control. There were vagrancy laws that declared that blacks were vagrant if unemployed and without permanent residence; a person so defined could be arrested, fined, and bound out for a term of labor if unable to pay the fine. Some states limited property that could be owned by blacks. Former slaves were forbidden to carry firearms or to testify in court, except in cases concerning other blacks. Blacks could intermarry, but were prohibited and were not permitted to marry interracially.
The point in discussing the black Codes leading up to Jim Crow is to show that the present laws being passed in Arizona on Immigration, Limiting or erasing Ethnic Studies, and what next is a cause for concern.
From the Tea Baggers/Partiers to legislatures in attacking Paulo Freire's "Pedagogy of the Oppressed," shows an inclination on the part of many Americans to legitimize their destruction of African Studies and other ethnic studies, thus revisiting the fights of the 1970 for African studies and other ethnic groupings studies which succeeded, and a greater need to reverse all that is in the offing.
We are really seeing the return to the Black Codes. We are seeing today's America suppressing it's weakest citizens to appease a few white supremacists. This is not a civilizing effort on the part of the Us, but a return to oppression, slavery and unjust laws. This is further from Civilization by any stretch of the imagination...
Since Obama took over the presidency of the United States, empathy and the spirit of growth has the notion of a brave nation has seen the death of empathy and reason. With the economy not rising up from its death throes, we see the rise of specter of racism coupled up with vitriolic attacks on the president and the poor people of color.
Intolerance has become the norm, and attacks are piling up, that as we are heading towards mid-term elections, some are stressing that there needs to be reversal of the gains promulgated by Obama, and a restoration of archaic social relations which characterized pre-1930s America. Immigration has become an issue, and some states have or are in the process of passing anti-immigrant laws, and they are also beginning to fill the prisons which are empty.
The prison industrial complex is rubbing its money making palms with glee at the prospect of filling their pockets and jails with the anticipated flow of arrested immigrants.
On HubPages, I posted a question: "Why is President Obama so much criticized and yet he won in a landslide?", and I received a lot of revealing answers. One of the respondents, @mulberry1 responded as follows: "I think part of the answer is that he is middle of the road on many issues [although those who ardently support or oppose a given issue would disagree vehemently]!.
When you go down the middle, you don't really please anyone. It seems if you are a liberal, you please that crowd. If you are ultra-conservative, you please that crowd. If you aren't to extreme either way, no one is pleased. No one really believes in compromise.In giving up one thing to get another thing, it's our way or no way! The population seems very polarized and very ready to see an "us" vs "them" in every situation. Hatred and extreme emotions seem to be rampant. It's not uncommon to be told you should leave the country if you don't agree with a particular point of view. (I truly hope these individuals don't conduct their personal relationships this way!).
This whole behavior to me is reminiscent of some of the extremism we supposedly oppose. As one commenter suggested, 'it would not be surprising to see someone try to take Obama's life. Sorry, that not a political group I care to belong to ... and I don't appreciate their dramatization which stirs this.'
There are real issues, and concerns, but this dramatization is clearly irresponsible in my eyes. It makes me doubt the oppositions ability to read or to even make rational decisions. Some see Obama as a socialist, yet the socialist party totally rejects him. Very telling. There aren't many moderate who are vocal.
I am one of them I believe. I don't feel he has cause this, it has been there and growing. Personally, although, I certainly don't agree with everything the current administration has done ... I am relatively pleased.
CNN and BET Cable television station were covering Katrina, five years later and has happened to the inhabitants who were deluged with Hurricane storm waters. Relieving the Katrina catastrophe through the Cable networks, brought back the pictures of the poor and Black people who survived the ordeal.
There was a reminder of the poor of the American nation, who had to go through the harrowing experiences of not being helped immediately, some who lost their homes forever, others trekked to the neighboring states in search of help, others were to never ever come back, and those who received government help were, in most cases cheated out of their monies, and there is an appalling lack of health care.
Some psychiatric patients have had to go to prisons for treatment; others have not received their medicines since the deluge; others have lost their government benefits; others are suffering and living in those dilapidated, storm destroyed homes with no hope coming to them after five years. There are independent clinics which have been caring for the destitute, and they too, the clinics, are running out of funding and are wondering which source to tap for funds.
There are also many people who have been arrested for begging and other minor charges which landed them in jail; there is also an army of the homeless, inasmuch as there are those who have received some paltry help, but the power and the picture that have re-appeared in the media, are still a remainder of the way people have suffered and are still suffering from lack of help, empathy, and joblessness which has been exacerbated by the current recession that has hit the American landscape.
Recently the citizens of New Orleans have been focused on the BP oil spill which has threatened their environment and their livelihood. To date, BP has claimed to have taken care of the ooze and have proclaimed the fact that the oil has stopped and disappeared. Some scientist and locals are disputing this claim because they think that oil might have sunk because of the spraying, but is in depths where it is killing marine life and environment.
The handling of the oil-spill by BP and its treatment of the concerns of the locals on the different states in the Gulf areas, has left little to be desired. There is a very insensitive treatment of the poor who have no big power-house lawyers to represent their interest. The treatment of the weak in the country that is number one in the world has got many people around the world how can people in such a rich country, like in the case of New Orleans, be subjected to such abject poverty and careless treatment by their government and its organs.
An Article by StrategyOne titled: Opinion Survey: Corporate America gets "C" Grade from Public 2010: 6 in 10 Corporate America Didn't Meet Expectations in 2010; 7 in 10 have Higher Expectations for 2011. It will be very instructive to cull as much as possible from this article in wherein is written:
Looking back on 2010, most Americans were strongly disappointed by how the nation's businesses conducted themselves, with 61% saying corporate America failed to meet their expectations, and only 5% saying that businesses exceeded their expectations. When asked to grade how well corporate America did in 2010 assigned a grade of 'C' or lower and 40% assigned a grade of 'D' or 'F'. Just 17% gave corporate America an 'A' or a 'B' for their 2010 performance.
And while Americans are optimistic about how Corporate America will do in 2011, their expectations for businesses next year are even higher.
Close to 7 in 10 have higher expectations for Corporate America in 2011. That said, 6 in 10 believe that those expectations will be met. [Thus far, that hope seems to be waning and we are now in mid-2011]. And as the nation struggles with economic challenges, 88% of consumers found that corporations had recovered from the recession better than American families, and 85% thought corporations had better prospects for the coming year than American families did.
"With consumers highly dissatisfied with US business, the 2011 strategy for Corporate America needs to be back to basics," said Bradley Honan senior vice president of StrategyOne.
"Explaining not only 'what they do for the country, but 'how' and 'why' they do it needs to be the game plan for how to rebuild corporate reputation" (StrategyOne)
So, what is Corporate America to do? The survey findings, form a recent poll of 1,081 Americans, conducted by StatgeOne, a Daniel J. Eldelman research firm, are instructive for who corporations can leverage public opinion to their advantage. Asked what Corporate America's highest priorities should be in 2011,consumers emphasized helping improve the economy and reducing unemployment, promoting ethical Corporate behavior, paying back any bailout money, making high quality products and services that require fewer recalls, and overall making fewer mistakes.
When asked to grade the job Corporate America has done in these areas in 2010, few Americans gave out either 'A's' or 'B's'. "Let us be clear, Americans are not dreaming up some far out vision of utopia," said Honan. Instead they are being realistic that Corporate America should — and indeed must — engage in important issues of the day where they can make a demonstrably positive difference.
That means, the economy and jobs for starters, but also ensuring their products are safe and not harmful to use, and that they simply conduct their day-to-day business activities in an honest, ethical, and transparent way. Maybe, the forlorn and destitute , hungry and huddled masses will stand a chance to exist and survive
Stats To Mull-upon
- 88% of consumers said it was extremely or very important that companies help get the economy back on track in 2011, but only 17% said companies deserved an 'A' or 'B' for their efforts on this in 2010, 84% said the companies deserved a 'C' or below.
- 88% said it was extremely or very important to conduct business in an ethical manner in 20011, and 87% said it was a top priority to do business in an honest and moral way. But just 17% of Americans thought companies deserved an 'A' or 'B' for honest and moral conduct in 2010, and just 18% awarded companies an 'A' or 'B' for their ethics in 2010, and just 18% awarded companies an 'A' or 'B' for their ethics in 2010.
- 85% of consumers thought it was extremely or very important for companies in 2011 to deliver high quality products and services, although only 31% said companies deserved an 'A' or 'B' for this in 2010.
- 84% of Americans thought companies needed to demonstrate good governance in 2011, while only 16% felt corporation had earned an 'A' or 'B' grade on this issue in 2010.
- 83% said it was of high importance for corporations to pay back any bailout money loaned then as quickly as possible in 2011, but 78% of consumers said companies deserved a 'C' or below for this issue in 2010
- 82% said it was a top priority for companies to make fewer mistakes and errors in 2011, while just 19% gave companies an 'A' or 'B' for this issue
The American people are forgiving, but seem to say as a nation that the rich should help improve the presently deteriorating conditions in the United States. Fro any civilization to etch its success into the record-book of history, it is incumbent upon those who have ways-and-means to help the down-and-out to get an opportunity to pull themselves up with their own bootstraps.
It is evident that the leaders choose to ignore the opinions of their ruled and instead grab the loot and the back and head-off into luxuries and opulence. These callous action of the nouveau rich begets the dehumanization of the have-nots.Whilst we are digesting the stats above, what they show is complete power play that shows the power of the richer owners of multi-corporations and what the ordinary people have to say about them, it is also fait accompli that things will remain the same, with those who are strictly interested in capital profits and are prepared to ignore human rights and mans' humanity to man
Stunted Humanity of the of the World's Citizens
Paulo Freire writes; While the problem of humanization has always, from an axiological point of view, been human kind's central problem, it now takes on the character of an inescapable concern. Concern for humanization leads at once to the recognition of dehumanization, not only as an ontological possibility but as a historical reality. And as an individual perceives the extent of dehumanization, he or she may ask if humanization is a viable possibility.
Within history, in concrete, objective contests, both humanization and dehumanization are possibilities for a person as an uncompleted being conscious of their incompletion. But while both humanization and dehumanization are real alternatives, only the first is the people's vocation.This vocation is constantly negated, yet it is affirmed by that very negation. It is thwarted by injustice, exploitation, oppression, and the violence of the oppressors;it is affirmed by the yearning of the oppressed fro freedom and justice, and by their struggle to recover their lost humanity.
Stronger civilizations in the history of the world work very hard to take care of its citizens. This is one aspect of the history of civilization we have not touched on much in this hub. Concerning this aspect of how those in power stunt the growth and development of their lowly placed citizens, we read further what Paolo Freire has to say about that:
"Dehumanization, which marks not only those whose humanity has been stolen, but also [though in a different way] those who have stolen it, is a distortion of the vocation of becoming more fully human. This distortion occurs within history; but it is not a historical vocation. Indeed, to admit of dehumanization as a historical vocation would lead either to cynicism or total despair.
"The struggle for humanization,for the emancipation of labor, for the overcoming of alienation, for the affirmation of men and women as persons would be meaningless.This struggle is possibly only because dehumanization, although a concrete historical fact,is not a given destiny but the result of an unjust order the engenders violence in the oppressors, which in turn dehumanizes the oppressed."
Because it is a distortion of being more fully human, sooner or later being less human leads the oppressed to struggle against those who made them so. In order for this struggle to have meaning, the oppressed must not, in seeking to regain their humanity (which is a way to create it), become in turn oppressors of the oppressors, but rather restorers of the humanity of both.
This, then, is the great humanistic, historical [civilized] task of the oppressed: to liberate themselves and their oppressors, who oppress, exploit, and rape by virtue of the their power, cannot find in this power the strength to liberate either the oppressed or themselves. Only power that springs from the weakness of the oppressed will be sufficiently strong to free both[thus, maybe, bring about civilization and civilized societies].
Any attempt to "soften" the power of the oppressor in deference to the weakness of the oppressed almost always manifests itself in the form of false generosity; indeed, the attempt never goes beyond this. In order to have the continued opportunity to express their "generosity," indeed, the attempt never goes beyond this. In order to have the continued opportunity to express their "generosity," the oppressors must perpetuate injustice as well.
An unjust social order is the permanent fount of this "generosity," which is nourished by death, despair, and poverty. That is why the dispensers of false generosity become desperate as the slightest threat to its source. Denying the masses of their human right and have their basic needs met, in a modern and "ultra" civil civilization like those of the rich countries, that too holds back the development of that country or civilization.
The poorest and the weakest majorities of suffering poor folks are the ones bearing the brunt of the upkeep of the rich. If we are to look at the issues that are now broiling throughout America, the "Raising the Debt Ceiling" so's to be able to avoid America defaulting on its bills-because the interest will rise and affecting an all products of this, recall the Koch's brothers and their investments which are now threatened: big oil and chemical companies,
For while the unemployed, homeless, and oppressed without and facing health crisis,failing education, crumbling infrastructure, raised and charged mean belligerent and harsh separatist and racist rhetoric-that, to the chagrin of the helplessly poor and powerless they stare agog, bewildered and watch helplessly as the rich investors and their millionaire clique and takes everything, which in the end, the rich figure, they will walk away hobbling.
But with something; and the "poor hordes" and their "menacing demeanor" and "violent rants", as the rich would characterize the behavior of the poor, is that the poor and down and out will get nothing and maybe perish; meanwhile, as the oppressed try very hard to get the monkey off their backs through talks, strikes, protestations, in the US calling up ones congressman or senators, and participating in marches, in the mix, along with the aforementioned strategies, the poor nowadays, through Twitters, Facebook, YouTube, Chat Rooms, the Internet and other emerging and converging Media and Mediums.
They organize, agitate and try to fight back within the legal means afforded them. Still, it seems that what the Oppressed will doing their reaction to their oppressed condition and reality, it will be because nothing they have already done, as stated above, bore any results; therefore,
It is therefore important to understand something about those who oppress other. Paulo Freire writes about this as follows: The oppressors do not perceive their monopoly on having more as a privilege which dehumanizes others and themselves. They cannot see that, in the egoistic pursuit of having as a 'possessing class', they suffocate in their own possessions and no longer are, they merely have.
For them, having more is an inalienable right, a right they have acquired through their own "effort," with their courage to take risks. If others do not have more,it is because they are incompetent and lazy, and worst of all is their unjustifiable ingratitude towards the "generous gestures" of the Dominant class(who in contemporary parlance they should not be taxed because they create the jobs in the country-talk about the Koch Brothers and their links to the Tea Baggers). Precisely because they are seen as "ungrateful" and "envious," the oppressed are regarded as potential enemies who must be watched.
Today this has turned out to be a situation when the poor started to rise up and demand their just dues. As of September 2011, there has begun to arise a movement of the "People" which has camped outside Wall Street and they are called the "Occupiers"(Occupied W;" street demanding that "Big Money" be taken out of politics and Wall Street pay back the money borrowed to them by the American Taxpayer,
This movement has been condemned by the Republicans and their Presidential candidates. The media is befuddled by the determination and longevity of the Wall Street Occupiers… A month after they started sleeping and occupying the Park, the Mayor of New York threatened to evacuate them for the purposes of cleaning up the Park.
This was met with all kinds of opposition and finally the Mayor Bloomberg relented. A week ago, the Occupiers marched-off to Times Square to demonstrate against Chase Bank and millionaires along the strip of their march to voice out their dissatisfaction. There was a scuffle and 12 people were arrested.
This strike spread to numerous cities in the United States and people of all walks and backgrounds have picked up the cry against the refusal of the Republicans to tax people making over a million dollars a year to pay half a percent of one parent of their first million, which Vice President pointed that this meant that they will have to pay $500.00 for every million they made.
The recalcitrant Republicans have blocked this measure being introduced into a Job Law Obama is trying to sell to the American people that they are now at odds with the protesters. The protesters have made it known that they are no an organization but a movement which was poised to protect and advance the causes of all poor American people. In a recent vote, the Republicans defeated of filibustered Obama and the Democrat's effort to bring the measure of a pass a Jobs Plan to a vote.
The interest of the Republicans strategy was to deny any proposal that Obama made and to make sure that he does not become a president for the second. In so doing,they are denying every effort to make the lives of the poor manageable or better.The rise of the movement of the Wall Street occupiers has now gone world-wide. Many countries' poor are rising up as was seen with the Spring uprisings of the North African and Middle Eastern huddled poor and destitute people.
As has been observed in Egypt, Morocco, Syria, Bahrain and Libya, the poor, unarmed or armed have tended to overthrow or are in the process of over-throwing their tin-pot dictators. One case in point is the recent deposing and killing of Moamar Ghadaffi by the revolutionaries against his 40+ year rule. As this Hub has been pointing out that a civilization is made to look good by its fair treatment of the its poor denizens.
But what we are witnessing in the case of the opposing Republican Party in the United States to all what Obama proposes, is that they have consistently and in an unreasonable and obstinate way have blocked everything or watered-down anything Obama has tried to implement[in aid of the poor] in the past three years. To date, they are still refusing to work with Obama to ease the misfortunes of unemployment and of poverty the masses of Americans are suffering and experiencing in contemporary America.
The Rearview Mirror Mindset
If one were to casually watch the evening new on cable and local tv networks, listen to the "Talking Heads" and digest their spin and commentary, one would not be lost too come to the conclusion that we are living in the Jim Crow era of a narcissistic racial enclaves bent on putting the Black man or aliens, the poor and desolate. These near-cabal-like groups, led by the Republican Party, spew racial and divisive venom in order to assuage their economic impotence, by blaming the poor and people of color.
All the social woes, malaise and calamity s dumped on the shoulders of the poor and powerless. The Republican Part is advocating cutting social services and benefits of the poor and cutting taxes for the super rich. Modern "Robbing Hoods"- taking from the poor and giving to the billionaires. As of now, December 201, they arrayed and set up to curtail the vote of the poor under the guise that they are avoiding 'voter fraud,' which, according to informed sources, is negligible and insignificant to warrant the draconian measure contemplated for voting in the 2012 elections. The crux of the matter is that todays' Commander-in-chief is an African of mixed birth: Barack Obama.
From the time Barack took over the Presidency of the United States, the republican Party, along with the Tea Baggers, vowed to terminate Obama's rule, wanted to impeach him and promised that he will not rule for the second term. The shouted for all to hear that they are going to work for nothing else but to bring Barack down.
They thwarted every and any effort he made to restart the failing economy; the watered-down any effort he made at passing legislation to better the poor and poor denizens; they painted him as a socialist and born in Kenya-short of saying that they do not like him because he is African; and as Barack Ruled, they hollered that they wanted their country back and that it was because a Black(African) man who was in power in the White House - One wonders.
In November 2010 they elected many freshmen to congress who were from the Tea Party, and who are the driving engine for the traditional conservative Republican Party, went about the business of stalling, rejecting, denying, and preventing social programs or legislation Barack proposed. All these shenanigans were target and are till being targeted towards the poor, jobless, homeless, old, sick, young and students of the United states.
As I have stated as the topic of this Hub, anytime a civilization discards and oppresses its downtrodden, that is the beginning and of the end and sun going down on that civilization. The colloquy I have been embedded within above, has spawn some unforeseen results. We are now witnessing in New York the 99% movement simply known as occupy Wall Street emerge. This has now spread nation-wide every major cities throughout the nation.
The police departments of these cities are overworked and the cities are paying millions of dollars in police overtime. There have been occasional clashes with police and occasional pepper-spraying of the protesters and sjamboking/baton-clubbing of the protesters in these occupied places; the police confiscated their tents and other belongings and threw them out of the park; yet, the movement has now resolved to occupy different place they announced in November 19, 2011-and they united to have the biggest demonstration yet.
The movement is alive and well in York and the World-over. This can also be seen in Durban South Africa during the COP17, we saw some semblance of 'Occupy' motifs and people embracing the 99%; we have also witnessed the "Arab Spring" and its outcomes, some still undecided. All these revolutions, strikes, protest and "Occupy" movements are an indication that what was advocated as civilization, is no more meeting the people's basic needs, but fatten the billionaires indefinitely.
The zeitgeist has shifted and the scabs of racist projections are now a common feature of the American society. This has been exacerbated by the recession and depression that American people feel. The tendency of forever looking backwards, which is not the American credo, is what is destroying the American civilization. Rearview mind psyche is what is becoming a black-eye into the spirit of freedom of the person and speech which is what Americans are mostly well-known for, is in peril today
We need to begin to offer some solution to his mayhem. Things are beginning to look up. The market is rising, houses are being bought, some few jobs are being created and saved. The situation does not look like it did at the end of the Bush Government and the beginning of the Obama Presidency. A working nation is a vibrant nation. A healthy nation can develop and heal it's fissures. A more tolerant nation becomes a civilization worth emulating replicated throughout the globe, without need for war, coercion and corruption.
Racism has not come to a close in the US, and we should all realize that we are a nation of immigrants, we can do better if we develop our social skills in cobbling and hammering this diverse of civilizations of the nations and people of the Earth. Yet, if we do not raise the Debt Ceiling, we are inviting catastrophe as a nation, losing our AAA credit status, and sending the international trade and economies into a tail-spins, maybe right into the abyss...
The American Minority Are Now The Majority Voters
The Voting Poor Polity's Mandate
If the poor were disregarded as a nuisance in American realpolitik, they have just recently asserted their power and status as a powerful coalition and voting block that now determines the American politics. If the monied class had privilege going on for them, as epitomized by Romney, the poor of the land gave a mandate to Obama to rule for the next four more years as of 7 November 2012.
In these times, the poor are not only the minorities: African Americans, Hispanics and Asiatics along with a potpourri of various ethnic groups who are either (American Red men and others). The lessons that have emerged from the 2012 Presidential campaign is that the Browning of America is now in full swing. The future of America now lies with the immigrants who were the attacked from all angles by the Romney team and their advisers.
It is instructive at this point to cite an article by Dr. Leonard Greenhalgh who writes that: "... Census data leave no doubt that minorities are rapidly increasing as a proportion of the total United States population. This is the result of immigration and minorities' higher birthrates compared to the Caucasians. Minorities will become the majority of the national population around the year 2050, but many communities have made that transition already.
"This country is not preparing for this momentous demographic shift that will create a "new majority." The most pressing problem is that today's minorities are getting neither the help they need for fully participate in the entrepreneurial economy, nor the education they need to staff the workforce in the service/knowledge economy. Although overt, the intentional discrimination has become unacceptable in US society, the situation facing minorities destines all but a few of them to remain an economic underclass.
"When an economic underclass becomes the majority, The American dream becomes no more than a fairy tale for most people, the class division between the embarrassingly wealthy and the unacceptable poor takes on epic proportions, and alienation, resentment, and social unrest becomes increasingly prominent in the American ethos.
"The issue is not just a matter of fairness among the haves and have-nots. Even those who subscribe to the view that "life isn't fair" need to pay attention to their long-term self interest; the impact of minority underachievement will extend beyond the minority community to constrain gross domestic product, and harm "the haves" ability to remain affluent. Instead of contributing robustly to the national economy, minorities will remain on the sidelines of their value chains, generating little wealth, few jobs, low tax revenues, and fiscal burdens."
The side effects of having a racist and segregated society is that those poor minorities become excess burden thus dragging down the whole nation that is prone to being racist and mistreating the minorities. A democracy or civilization like the one that is n America, will not grow or become greater than it is now,because the very oppressed minorities are the ones now becoming an unexpected majority because it has coalesced around common issues, common abuse, segregation, racism and lack of social amenities, jobs, education and so forth.
Greenhalgh informs us as to what it is that is causing this social dysfunction thus:
"Exclusion from the lucrative parts of value chains arises because minorities are not achieving the level of literacy-much less advanced education-necessary to participate fully in the service/knowledge economy. In most of this country's minority-dominated communities-inner cities, barrios and Indian Reservations-no more than half of today's ninth-graders will graduate from high school. Many of those who graduate will not be able to read, write, do basic math, and use a computer-the most basic skills required for employment beyond the realm of unskilled labor. The social and economic costs of this intergenerational fate are rising as minorities grow in proportion to the national population…
"Nobody doubts the population trends evident in the Census data, but few people are not taking steps to prepare the country, their businesses, or their communities for the changes these demographic shifts portend. Band-aid measures that are being applied to these demographic changes, which too are as a result of the deeply ingrained racism and segregative mind-set still present in the US, won't make much of a difference anyway. Because the problem is too big, too complex, and too ingrained in the US social system.
"For example, imposing achievement testing on secondary schools and providing scholarship assistance has little to no effect on impoverished youngsters who start kindergarten with all the disadvantages of poverty: limited vocabulary, undereducated parents, a local culture that disrespects education, few positive role models, fetal alcohol syndrome, poor nutrition, unaddressed health problems, and so on. School is just too challenging for such people, and in the absence of supports systems, they drop out early. Tragically, the well-meaning scholarships are wasted(Or are they-maybe there's not enough access of giving them out to the poor?).
"So that, despite these growing needs, minorities(who are now the majority), as a group are not getting the education the country needs them to have, nor are their enterprises getting the help they need to survive, prosper, grow to scale, and take their place in the economic system(this is happening globally where the Imperialists have vested and invested interests-cheap slave-labor and mega profits to whit) It is sad if jobs are going overseas because our burgeoning minority/majority if jobs are going overseas because the growing minority, quickly becoming the majority population in the U..S. lacks the basic literacy to do the jobs allotted to them.
"The US cannot sustain its wealthy life-style in the coming decades. This means not only will minorities and women continue to be denied a fair share of the wealth and opportunity, but all Americans will also face a bleaker future.(This is not a formula for progress or a burgeoning civilization). Whites entering their careers will have decreased opportunity as the competitive advantage of US corporations erodes in the global economy and the spending power of US workers shrinks; mid-career whites will continue to experience a plateaued or eroding standard of living; and w\Whites approaching the end of their careers will be disappointed in the yields of their equity-based pension plans which depend heavily on the success of large U/S. corporations with a global reach.
The problem with band-Aid solutions is that they don't break the cycles that keep the minorities from progressing toward economic self-reliance. Negate cycles are causal loops that reinforce a predicament. Let us consider a few examples of what we need to deal with:
- Poverty and poor education: Low-income communities have low tax revenue, therefore they have little money to spend on well-equipped schools and good teachers. Under-educated people remain low-income (because higher-paying jobs require adequate education) and therefore can't afford to move to communities with good school systems; the next generation is predestined to repeat the cycle.
- Access to capital: Entrepreneurs need to pledge collateral for loans to finance their fledgling businesses. But few minority entrepreneurs own their homes. If they had a thriving business, they could generate enough revenue to buy a home. But because they don't start out owning a home, they can't get capital they need for the business to thrive.
- Bonding: A lot of large-scale construction business has been made available to minorities-provided they can obtain bonding. But they can't get the bonding until they become bigger, and they can't get bigger unless they have bonding levels that will allow them to take on bigger projects.
- Access to contracts: High value-added contracts offer high profit margins, but these tend to be given to firms with experience. Minority firms don't get these contracts because they lack experience. Minority firms don't get these contracts because they lack experience in doing such work. Because they don't get the contracts, they never get experience.
"High impact intervention is crucial because the U.S.A is at a crossroads in its economic history. Its place in the world economy is approaching a tipping point. US national competitive advantage is stable-which, in a fast-moving marketplace, means stagnant. Meanwhile, rival nations such as China and India are occupying an ever-strengthening position in the global economy. Future national competitive advantage will depend on the quality of the US workforce and the vitality of its entrepreneurial economy, both of which will be dominated by minorities. The success of minority participation in US business is therefore a national priority, and needs to be treated as such.
"To continue to ignore the gravity of the problems that loom as demographic shifts take their full effect is to put the national competitive advantage to the U.S.-and with it, the economic well-being of its populace-in jeopardy. And this situation is not unique to the United States, other countries with significant minority populations, as in the case of France."
Although the Republicans are now talking of changing the structure and message of their Party in order to accommodate these burgeoning Minority-Majorities, they are still off message for they still feel and think that the poor are not so important, and we are at present further away from the 2016 elections. As for now, their efforts become laughable and transparent as to their intention: to keep of favoring and working hard for the top one percent of super-rich Americans.
The Majority-Minority is able to see through this tired effort and are at present enjoying and rejoicing in the win of their choice, and this has empowered them, along with women, youth and many other white people as the pictures in the gallery show. Presently, the Euphoria has hardly died down nor abated as we are now heading for Obamas inauguration in January, and the rest of the next coming four year hold some promise for the poor of the United States and the world, as shown in the picture of the people celebrating in Kenya, it is as if it is them who have won and decided the election. So much affects and effect of Obama's win will reverberate throughout the world.
As it did on post US 2012 election, that America's status will be a bit better appreciated and accepted the world over in the next four year of Obama's rule-And Obama cares for the weakest and poor denizens of the United States of America and the World. The US need to effectively take care of its poor and weak denizens for this country to keep on evolving and developing as a model for the world to see and imitate-as has been the case thus far.
A Clarion Call To The Americans To Publicly Support His Policies:
Talking To The Rich and the Poor as Americans-Period!
If I had written this Hub prior to the 2012 Inaugural Presidential address, this Hub would be affected and influenced and affected by the speech below. But I wrote it out of the political trends that were affecting the American 'credo' adversely, as noted by Obama.
It is also important to take note of the fact that the Inaugural Speech of Obama was addressing issues like Immigration, Gun Control Laws, Global Warming, the poor and job creation, and taking care of the weak, old/young and helpless. He made a point of raising awareness as to what his proposed changes will do for the World at large and the Citizens of the United States. I will make some notable notations in regard to the speech at its end, below.
This is what Obama had to say in his Inaugural Speech, January 21, 2012:
"Vice President Biden, Mr. Chief Justice, Members of the United States Congress, distinguished guests, and fellow citizens:
"Each time we gather to inaugurate a president, we bear witness to the enduring strength of our Constitution. We affirm the promise of our democracy. We recall that what binds this nation together is not the colors of our skin or the tenets of our faith or the origins of our names. What makes us exceptional — what makes us American – is our allegiance to an idea, articulated in a declaration made more than two centuries ago:
“We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable rights, that among these are Life, Liberty, and the pursuit of Happiness.”
"Today we continue a never-ending journey, to bridge the meaning of those words with the realities of our time. For history tells us that while these truths may be self-evident, they have never been self-executing; that while freedom is a gift from God, it must be secured by His people here on Earth. The patriots of 1776 did not fight to replace the tyranny of a king with the privileges of a few or the rule of a mob. They gave to us a Republic, a government of, and by, and for the people, entrusting each generation to keep safe our founding creed.
"For more than two hundred years, we have.
"Through blood drawn by lash and blood drawn by sword, we learned that no union founded on the principles of liberty and equality could survive half-slave and half-free. We made ourselves anew, and vowed to move forward together.
"Together, we determined that a modern economy requires railroads and highways to speed travel and commerce; schools and colleges to train our workers.
"Together, we discovered that a free market only thrives when there are rules to ensure competition and fair play.
"Together, we resolved that a great nation must care for the vulnerable, and protect its people from life’s worst hazards and misfortune.
"Through it all, we have never relinquished our skepticism of central authority, nor have we succumbed to the fiction that all society’s ills can be cured through government alone. Our celebration of initiative and enterprise; our insistence on hard work and personal responsibility, are constants in our character.
"But we have always understood that when times change, so must we; that fidelity to our founding principles requires new responses to new challenges; that preserving our individual freedoms ultimately requires collective action. For the American people can no more meet the demands of today’s world by acting alone than American soldiers could have met the forces of fascism or communism with muskets and militias.
No single person can train all the math and science teachers we’ll need to equip our children for the future, or build the roads and networks and research labs that will bring new jobs and businesses to our shores. Now, more than ever, we must do these things together, as one nation, and one people.
"This generation of Americans has been tested by crises that steeled our resolve and proved our resilience. A decade of war is now ending. An economic recovery has begun. America’s possibilities are limitless, for we possess all the qualities that this world without boundaries demands: youth and drive; diversity and openness; an endless capacity for risk and a gift for reinvention. My fellow Americans, we are made for this moment, and we will seize it — so long as we seize it together.
"For we, the people, understand that our country cannot succeed when a shrinking few do very well and a growing many barely make it. We believe that America’s prosperity must rest upon the broad shoulders of a rising middle class. We know that America thrives when every person can find independence and pride in their work; when the wages of honest labor liberate families from the brink of hardship.
We are true to our creed when a little girl born into the bleakest poverty knows that she has the same chance to succeed as anybody else, because she is an American, she is free, and she is equal, not just in the eyes of God but also in our own.
"We understand that outworn programs are inadequate to the needs of our time. We must harness new ideas and technology to remake our government, revamp our tax code, reform our schools, and empower our citizens with the skills they need to work harder, learn more, and reach higher. But while the means will change, our purpose endures: a nation that rewards the effort and determination of every single American. That is what this moment requires. That is what will give real meaning to our creed.
"We, the people, still believe that every citizen deserves a basic measure of security and dignity. We must make the hard choices to reduce the cost of health care and the size of our deficit. But we reject the belief that America must choose between caring for the generation that built this country and investing in the generation that will build its future.
For we remember the lessons of our past, when twilight years were spent in poverty, and parents of a child with a disability had nowhere to turn. We do not believe that in this country, freedom is reserved for the lucky, or happiness for the few. We recognize that no matter how responsibly we live our lives, any one of us, at any time, may face a job loss, or a sudden illness, or a home swept away in a terrible storm.
The commitments we make to each other — through Medicare, and Medicaid, and Social Security – these things do not sap our initiative; they strengthen us. They do not make us a nation of takers; they free us to take the risks that make this country great.
"We, the people, still believe that our obligations as Americans are not just to ourselves, but to all posterity. We will respond to the threat of climate change, knowing that the failure to do so would betray our children and future generations. Some may still deny the overwhelming judgment of science, but none can avoid the devastating impact of raging fires, and crippling drought, and more powerful storms.
The path towards sustainable energy sources will be long and sometimes difficult. But America cannot resist this transition; we must lead it. We cannot cede to other nations the technology that will power new jobs and new industries — we must claim its promise. That is how we will maintain our economic vitality and our national treasure — our forests and waterways; our croplands and snowcapped peaks. That is how we will preserve our planet, commanded to our care by God. That’s what will lend meaning to the creed our fathers once declared.
"We, the people, still believe that enduring security and lasting peace do not require perpetual war. Our brave men and women in uniform, tempered by the flames of battle, are unmatched in skill and courage. Our citizens, seared by the memory of those we have lost, know too well the price that is paid for liberty. The knowledge of their sacrifice will keep us forever vigilant against those who would do us harm. But we are also heirs to those who won the peace and not just the war, who turned sworn enemies into the surest of friends, and we must carry those lessons into this time as well.
"We will defend our people and uphold our values through strength of arms and rule of law. We will show the courage to try and resolve our differences with other nations peacefully — not because we are naïve about the dangers we face, but because engagement can more durably lift suspicion and fear. America will remain the anchor of strong alliances in every corner of the globe; and we will renew those institutions that extend our capacity to manage crisis abroad, for no one has a greater stake in a peaceful world than its most powerful nation.
We will support democracy from Asia to Africa; from the Americas to the Middle East, because our interests and our conscience compel us to act on behalf of those who long for freedom. And we must be a source of hope to the poor, the sick, the marginalized, the victims of prejudice — not out of mere charity, but because peace in our time requires the constant advance of those principles that our common creed describes: tolerance and opportunity; human dignity and justice.
"We, the people, declare today that the most evident of truths — that all of us are created equal — is the star that guides us still; just as it guided our forebears through Seneca Falls, and Selma, and Stonewall; just as it guided all those men and women, sung and unsung, who left footprints along this great Mall, to hear a preacher say that we cannot walk alone; to hear a King proclaim that our individual freedom is inextricably bound to the freedom of every soul on Earth.
"It is now our generation’s task to carry on what those pioneers began. For our journey is not complete until our wives, our mothers, and daughters can earn a living equal to their efforts. Our journey is not complete until our gay brothers and sisters are treated like anyone else under the law — for if we are truly created equal, then surely the love we commit to one another must be equal as well.
Our journey is not complete until no citizen is forced to wait for hours to exercise the right to vote. Our journey is not complete until we find a better way to welcome the striving, hopeful immigrants who still see America as a land of opportunity; until bright young students and engineers are enlisted in our workforce rather than expelled from our country. Our journey is not complete until all our children, from the streets of Detroit to the hills of Appalachia to the quiet lanes of Newtown, know that they are cared for, and cherished, and always safe from harm.
"That is our generation’s task — to make these words, these rights, these values — of Life, and Liberty, and the Pursuit of Happiness – real for every American. Being true to our founding documents does not require us to agree on every contour of life; it does not mean we will all define liberty in exactly the same way, or follow the same precise path to happiness. Progress does not compel us to settle centuries-long debates about the role of government for all time — but it does require us to act in our time.
"For now decisions are upon us, and we cannot afford delay. We cannot mistake absolutism for principle, or substitute spectacle for politics, or treat name-calling as reasoned debate. We must act, knowing that our work will be imperfect. We must act, knowing that today’s victories will be only partial, and that it will be up to those who stand here in four years, and forty years, and four hundred years hence to advance the timeless spirit once conferred to us in a spare Philadelphia hall.
"My fellow Americans, the oath I have sworn before you today, like the one recited by others who serve in this Capitol, was an oath to God and country, not party or faction — and we must faithfully execute that pledge during the duration of our service. But the words I spoke today are not so different from the oath that is taken each time a soldier signs up for duty, or an immigrant realizes her dream. My oath is not so different from the pledge we all make to the flag that waves above and that fills our hearts with pride.
"They are the words of citizens, and they represent our greatest hope.
"You and I, as citizens, have the power to set this country’s course.
"You and I, as citizens, have the obligation to shape the debates of our time — not only with the votes we cast, but with the voices we lift in defense of our most ancient values and enduring ideals.
"Let each of us now embrace, with solemn duty and awesome joy, what is our lasting birthright. With common effort and common purpose, with passion and dedication, let us answer the call of history, and carry into an uncertain future that precious light of freedom.
"Thank you, God Bless you, and may He forever bless these United States of America." President Barack Obama)
A Civilization Greatness Depends On How It Treats Its Weak and Poor Citizens
This was a clear and progressive speech by Obama and he gave a progressive philosophy which was articulating a liberal ideology. But not only that, it was more directed towards the Americans, let us say, more Americana. There are many elements of the Speech, if taken apart, it really states the words "citizens" and We the People numerous times. More than his four year agenda, Obama was saying that this is where this generation should go, to transforms the course of the country to take.
He talked about legacy, the country's direction, and less about race.Obama calls and catches the attention of his listeners by referring to and talks to them as "You and I, as Citizens..., as "My Fellow Americans, exhorting them with words like "For now the decision s are upon us, and we cannot afford delay...". and reminding them that "That is our generation's task…",
"We The people, declare today that the most evident truths — that all of us are created equal", assuring them that "We will defend our people and uphold our values through strength of arms and rule of law…", and had four paragraphs wherein he says to the people over and over again, "For We, the people, understand that our country cannot succeed when a shrinking few do very well and a growing many barely make it…"
And affirms the American values by stating "We, the people, still believe that every citizen deserves a basic measure of security and dignity"..and clarified the meaning of America by stating "We, the people, still believe that our obligations as Americans are not just to ourselves , but to all posterity", and talked about peace in tis manner, "We, the people, still believe in enduing security and lasting peace do not require perpetual war", that in the end i end up citing Obama with statements which he mentioned at the beginning of his inaugural speech as follows:
"We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable rights, that among these are Life, Liberty, and the pursuit of Happiness.”
"Today we continue a never-ending journey, to bridge the meaning of those words with the realities of our time. For history tells us that while these truths may be self-evident, they have never been self-executing; that while freedom is a gift from God, it must be secured by His people here on Earth. The patriots of 1776 did not fight to replace the tyranny of a king with the privileges of a few or the rule of a mob. They gave to us a Republic, a government of, and by, and for the people, entrusting each generation to keep safe our founding creed.
"For more than two hundred years, we have."
As he said, Obama, this is for God and country and not for party, which, in not so many words, he perfectly aligned himself with the poor, and that as a government, they needed to pursue specific and progressive agendas, which,I might add, for the benefit of all the American people, not a motley crew of greedy millionaires and their lackeys. He buttressed this by stating that Americans have come to the realization that they could not be a nation Half Slave and Half Free. Because of the 2012 vote, Obama feels free now to talk about these pertinent issues that will help the poor and the working middle class.
Obama knows that empowering the poor and weak denizens of the United States of America, he understand and has a view and vision that this would empower and move America along the path of development and respect of Human rights without having to try and obfuscate all these, to the detriment of the nation and the progress within America. The poor, to Obama, are the people that are in the majority, 99% to be sure. Only the one percenters are having it good. He, Obama, seeks to change that in his second terms, and the poor can at least hang on to his promises for the next four years.
At this juncture, I would like to cite a full article by Playthell Benjamin which he dubbed:
"Riding the Big Dog Through the Dirty south: Rolling with the wretched of the Earth"
As the Grand Obstructionist Party threatens to throw the US treasury into default, and bring on a new Great Depression that professional economists tell us could be worse than the calamity of the 1930s, the future looks increasingly bleak for the nation at large, but hopeless for the working class and the poor. If you want to gain a first hand understanding of how the struggling masses already live, what their hopes and dreams are, and their increasingly hazardous fight to acquire the basic necessities of life: take a ride around the country on a Grey Hound bus.
"I discovered this sociological and journalistic treasure trove by accident. After missing a plane to Atlanta couple of years ago, and was unable to get another plane or train reservation that would get me to Atlanta for a meeting the next morning, I finally decided to take a bus. The trip was a revelation and since then I have taken several bus trips through the South employing a favored method of the cultural anthropologist, the “participant observer.” I am writing a series of essays about my experiences under the title “Journeys in the New South"; which will include the present essay. These texts will be compiled into a book. Several of them can now be read on this blog.
While the Republicans in Congress assures us that, “The people” are with them, I don’t believe it. That’s not what I hear from the hordes of desperate Dead Enders riding the Grey Hound on any given day; people who are barely holding on in the vain hope that things will soon get better. Like… maybe they will finally find a job that will permit them to lead a normal life. Although the Republicans insist that they don’t want “fake government jobs” but “real jobs” in the private sector; from what working people are telling me in conversations riding the bus up and down the eastern seaboard of the United States: The Republicans are full of sh*t! These people would give their right eye for a good government job with benefits.
"Alas, if you listen to them carefully, you will soon discover they haven’t a clue about the socio/political forces that conspire to push them out of the work force; perhaps permanently, except for the most menial, repetitive and soul deadening labor when they are fortunate enough to find it. Thus they do not know how to organize and fight systematically for their interests. Yet they know they are trapped; that they are facing homelessness and starvation playing by the rules; and they know if they try to make ends meet by resorting to illegal means they will be beaten down and imprisoned by the police forces of the state.
They may not know that a credit default swap or derivative is; but they know that only the Robber Barons on Wall Street can get away with economic crimes. And they know the rich are getting richer and they are poorer. They are the equivalent of social dynamite building up at the base of The American society.
Listening to their hopes and dreams, for better days ahead, I am reminded of Langston Hughes' powerful poem "A Dream Deferred: What happens to a Dram Deferred? Does it dry up like a raisin in the sun? Or fester like a sore-And then run? Does it stink like rotten meat? Or crust and sugar offer-like syrupy sweet? Maybe it just sags like a heavy load?Or doe it explode?"
After all, these are the same class of people Dr. Franz Fanon described as “the wretched of the earth” in his seminal text on the process by which the downtrodden and docile masses rise up and destroy their oppressors. Although Fanon was looking at oppressed people in the colonial world, the disinherited in America today are almost as desperate.
The disparity in wealth between the rich and poor in America is the worst in the history of the world! Yet, due to the power of right wing media — which employs highly paid fools, fops, frauds and charlatans posing as serious commentators on the news — much of the working and middle class who are being victimized by “Tea Party” politics are so confused by disinformation they voted to put these fanatics in office.
Now these working class suckers are running round the rust belt like chickens with their heads freshly cut off trying like hell to recall them from power. From what I am seeing and hearing as I roll with the wretched of the earth, a financial crash just now would unleash the dogs of chaos and seriously destabilize American society – I can envision food riots.
Already there is a war going on in the streets of impoverished communities, large and small, all over this country. You hear about it riding the bus; reports from the front lines of the battle zone abound. For instance, a thirty something white woman from a small impoverished town in upstate New York, told blood curdling tales about close friends and family who had been mugged or murdered. She said that if she had her druthers she would get a little house out in the woods where she rarely saw anybody.
It should be said as a point of clarity however, not everybody riding the bus is tottering on the brink of disaster…just yet. Middle class folks also travel on the big dog but they are few and far between. Usually they are traveling short distances; like New York to Washington and Baltimore, or Richmond Virginia to Charlotte North Carolina.
Yet as their economic circumstances decline due to spreading unemployment that reduces their standard of living, middle-class travelers are showing up more and more on the bus. Right now however, virtually all of the long distance travelers are poor folks. And they have some bizarre tales to tell as penurious strugglers in the richest society the world has ever seen.
Many seem to be just blundering through life, with no real plan for the present and no vision for the future. Watching a young white couple in their twenties traveling with two children — one a toddler the other an infant of three weeks – I wondered what their story was.
My curiosity was sparked when I saw signs that they were loving parents on the one hand and reckless caretakers on the other. I noticed them at a rest stop outside Baltimore. It is the first opportunity to stretch your legs and take food and other refreshments after leaving New York on a trip south.
Naturally the smokers, desperate to satisfy their “nicotine Jones,” scurry to the smoking areas and fire up. I once won an award for “honesty and accuracy in drug reporting” when I was a columnist with the New York Daily News, and the medical experts I interviewed told me nicotine addiction is worse than cocaine and harder to get off than heroin.
That’s what came to mind when I saw the young mother holding her infant child on a large pillow spread over her lap as she puffed away on a cigarette; while the father blew a cloud of smoke over the infant and toddler from his stance just above their heads. These kids had barely come into the world but their parents — upon whom they are totally dependent — were cavalierly assaulting their lungs and brains with toxic fumes.
I wanted to take a picture of them because it would make a great illustration for an ad against subjecting young children to second hand smoke; but I felt it would be intruding on their privacy. I reflected on the biblical adage:
“Forgive them Lord for they know not what they do,” but not being religious I yearned to smack them upside the head and warn them that the destructive nature of second hand smoke, even on adults, is well established by medical science. I wanted to tell them they are abusing their children in a particularly horrible way. If ever a picture was worth a thousand words this was it. But I couldn’t muster the chutzpah to snap it.
When we resumed our trip the hapless parents ended up sitting on the same row as me; I took the seat next to the window so that the toddler could sit by the widow on her mother’s side, and the mother and father could occupy the aisle seats. One of the pleasures of traveling by bus — along with viewing scenes from a vanishing America and hearing “round unvarnished tales” from fellow travelers — is having long blocks of time to read.
I had begun to read a book of scholarly essays by black academics titled “Black Power In the Belly of the Beast” and the father of the clan became curious about my text. I am fairly certain it was the title that intrigued him. I saw him staring at the book’s cover out of the corner of my eye, and then he began to question me. In a halting fashion that exposed his insecurity in the role of inquisitor he asked if I really enjoyed reading, where I was from and where I was going. He seemed like he was itching to ask me what the book was about but couldn’t muster up the nerve.
When I told him I lived in New York, he said that he was from New York too…Albany New York; the capitol of the state, which seems as far away as Canada when I drove up there on business. I told him I was from the city. That seemed to really stoke his curiosity. He wanted to know if I lived in the Bronx, Queens or Brooklyn.
When I told him I lived in Manhattan he sat up in his seat with a sort of wild eyed stare and asked me how much apartments were going for in Manhattan these days. When I began to quote some of the rents I have seen posted in real estate listings lately, he seemed incredulous…as if I were describing another world far beyond his reach.
A good old boy on his way back home to Alabama, wearing a cap with the logo of a tractor company emblazoned on its crown, turned around abruptly in his seat and asked: “You mean to tell me there’s thousands of people who can pay them kinda rents?” Other questions about theManhattan life style followed.
The patriarch of the clan could not long resist asking what I did, what kind of job I had. I told him I was a writer. From the look on his face I might as well have said that I made special shoes for men on Mars.
I was somewhat wary of him in the beginning because he looked like a skin head. I know from having studied fascistic elements of the lunatic white supremacists that lurk on the ultra-right spectrum of American politics, their recruits often come from the white lumpen-proletariat. Guys just like this dude sitting next to me.
However as he began to tell me his story I concluded that his head hair cut — which we use to call a “baldy scaldy” back in the day — was really determined more by his dire economic circumstances than his political ideology; which, as near as I could tell, was non-existent. He just was trying to get the most bang for his buck, obviously a trip to the barber was no picayune affair for him. This dude put the D in desperate!
He told me that he was going to live with his mother in Palatka Florida because there was no work in Albany New York. I knew right off that he was in serious trouble if he was going to Palatka looking for work. I have family in Palatka, well to-do black folks, and the last time I visited them it seemed like scenes from the 1930s, with men in this depressed farm community standing around in the scorching Florida sun wearing overalls, in search of a day’s work.
And this was under Bill Clinton when the economy was booming — things have gone dramatically downhill since then! As he spoke of the devastation of housing stock in the capitol of the Empire State, and the dire straits of his working class family and friends, I was reminded of the writer William Kennedy, who wrote the Pulitzer Prize winning novel Ironweed, a grim tale about the very class represented by my fellow traveler.
When I asked him if he had ever heard of William Kennedy, he thought I was talking about a member of the famous political clan that produced a President and two Senators. When I told him there was no relation he stared at me blankly. I thought of the great struggle William Kennedy had getting his novel published.
He was rejected as much as thirty times I think, and I remembered his explanation as to why he persisted in trying to get the novel published; as he basked in the literary limelight after the book won the Pulitzer Prize and was made into a major motion picture starring Jack Nicholson and Merle Streep.
Kennedy said he continued his struggle to get the novel published because he didn’t feel that the reason given for its rejection was a valid literary criticism: “Nobody wants to read about down and out white drunks inAlbanyNew York.” However if they were relying on the subjects of the novel to read it they were right. I’m sure the peely head patriarch had no interests in reading it after I told him of the text’s existence.
First of all he was too busy trying to survive to even consider reading a novel…especially one that told a tale he knew all to well and would only depress him further. Talking to him I could see fear for the future of his family etched on his face. It was reflected in the quiet panic in his eyes, as he looked languidly off at the passing country side out the window on my side of the bus. He confessed that he had no idea what he would do if he didn’t find work in Palatka.
As we talked he explained how he hadn’t done well in school so he dropped out and decided to go into the military, but his girlfriend got pregnant and he did the right thing and got married. If sex is the poor man’s grand opera these two seemed to really enjoy the show. Which is all well and good; the problem was that they seem to never have heard of birth control.
If you asked them about it I’d bet they would echo a comment I’ve heard many times before: “It just don’t feel as good using protection,” or “she forgot to take her pills.” The hapless husband went on to explain that he had gone to a technical school to train as a diesel mechanic, but had to drop out when their daughter was born. He says that he wants to return but can’t gain the economic stability that is a perquisite to continuing his training. Knowing what I knew about the economic conditions in Palatka Florida, it was hard for me to conjure encouraging words.
As we barreled down the highway deeper into the South I reflected on the thesis of Dr. William J. Wilson – my old colleague at the University of Massachusetts, who is now Professor of Social Policy at Harvard’s Kennedy School – in his book “The Declining significance of Race.” Although Professor Wilson suffered a great deal of abuse when he reported that race was no longer the all powerful determinant of one’s life chances in American society that it once was, these people supplied irrefutable evidence for his claim.
It was obvious that the education and reproductive decisions of these young white people had far more to do with their station and chances in life than their race. As I write a new study has revealed that per capita white family wealth is 20 times that of blacks; it recently doubled. Since the economic collapse.
The deck is still stacked in their favor alas, yet there are millions of Afro-Americans doing better than the white lumpen just now. Back in the era of industrial prosperity before the Civil rights movement, this would not have been true. For the system of segregation undergirded by an ideology of white supremacy often favored borderline white retards over black college graduates.
Educational attainment and reproductive decisions were also critical factors in the present predicament and future life chances of Guadalupe, a young Mexican American woman who described herself as “A bitch on a mission.” I was taken aback at her self-description, because she was quite pretty, stylishly dressed and looked like a college girl on Holiday. She was barely twenty years old but she had a hard tale to tell.
It was, to say the least, a tangle of pathology. She was coming from Buffalo New York, where her parents had immigrated when she was a little girl, and was by now 100% American. I thought of the struggle her parents must have endured to make it possible for her to grow up in the Promised Land. For as she talked it was clear that she had squandered the opportunities her parents had tried to provide.
Guadalupe was on her way to surprise her “baby daddy” in Jacksonville Florida, where he was shacked up with another woman that he had impregnated. It seems that she had learned his whereabouts from talking with his mother, with whom she was on good terms. She also revealed that her guy had three other kids by three other women, and they had warrants out on him for child support.
She was undecided as to whether she would drop a dime on him to the authorities as to his whereabouts; that would depend on whether he chose her or the woman he was shacked up with inFlorida. Here we see how the inability of people to make the right choices impact upon their chances in life. It is also clear that abortion should remain a safe, legal and convenient choice for women.
As “Lupe” was raised Catholic, abortion was out of the question; which is a powerful statement about the dangers of blind adherence to religious dogma. Whatever the virtues of Catholicism, the Catholic Church is a mess when it comes to handling sexual matters. After all, this is a church whose priest are prevented from marrying and having normal sexual relations with consenting adults, and thus routinely rape the children in their charge.
While she insisted that she had no plans to fight with the other woman, whom she wisely viewed as a fellow victim of the duplicity and treachery of their Babies daddy, her plan to recruit the woman to her side as an ally against him sounded risky at best and delusional at worst.
Yet the question that perplexed me was: “Why are you even considering getting back together with this guy?” Here was a case where the mother and child would be far better off if the father was not in the house. When I put this question to her point blank she said that because he was the father of her unborn child she should at least give him another chance to straighten up and fly right. By which she meant marry her, take care of the rest of his children, and don’t “knock up anymore females.”
What was most frightening about these young people is that they are not unique. Their stories of pathos and pathology are repeated ad infinitum among the lumpen proletariat — or the expanding American “under class” in the jargon of contemporary sociologist. Yet in a society where the job market is so tight college grads who have made all the right choices are having a hard time finding a descent job with security and benefits: what is to become of these people with little useful education to equip them for a job and have made all the wrong decisions?
We know from the employment statistics following the recent recession, which the economist tell us by their indices has been over for two years, that it was a “jobless” recovery. Literally millions of people who were employed when the economy tanked are still unemployed!
This is because of the changing nature of the US economy, in which technological advances and globalization are rendering large segments of the American working class obsolete. Hence the sustained unemployment that we are now witnessing is “structural” not “cyclical.” This is to say that it is not caused by the forces that have resulted in periods of mass unemployment in the past, where the “boom and bust” intervals of the American capitalist business cycle were the culprit.
In the present grim scenario the fundamental causes of unemployment are due to changes in the structure of the American economy. Thus the present unemployment rate will be permanent unless a new economy emerges. In order for this to occur the government must become the employer of last resort; hiring the unemployed to rebuild the American infrastructure to support a new economy.
The only person among those presently seeking the presidency who understands this is Barack Obama; yet even if he wins the coming election he will be helpless to implement his vision unless the democrats control both houses of Congress. This is the grim reality facing American society.
The Republicans have opted out of trying to find solutions to these monumental problems that threaten to make the US a second rate nation. They are contemptuous of the role of government, as the present fiasco in Congress around raising the debt ceiling that threatens to plunge the economy into a deep depress demonstrates. Having abandoned the public interests they seek to privatize everything from medical care for the elderly to the post office.
Increasingly they live in gated communities with armed private security; send their children to private schools; use private mail delivery services; employ private doctors, etc. This model of social organization increasingly resembles the trends in Third World societies like Pakistan-where wealthy people ride around with armed guards.
Since Republicans represent the interests of the investor class — in spite of the poor white dupes that make up much of their “base” — they care not where their money is invested so long as it returns the highest interests i.e., rent for the use of their money. Thus they have no interest in solving the employment crisis of the working class.
The class incidentally, who fight the nation’s endless wars started by politicians whose corporate cronies make billions servicing the war machine — the dreaded “military/industrial complex” President Eisenhower warned about in his final address to the nation. The tawdry and perhaps criminal relationship between 'Dirty Dick’ Cheney, the architect of Iraq war policy, and Halliburton Industries, is a classic case in point.
There are two groups of passengers one is likely to meet when traveling interstate on the bus: newly released convicts and soldiers going to, or coming from, a war zone. Both are, more often than not, victims of the ongoing crisis in the American economy. If you go through Fayetteville North Carolina you are certain to encounter Para-troopers from Fort Bragg, all of whom hail from the impoverished post industrial cities whose economies have gone from good paying manufacturing jobs to low wage service jobs for blue collar workers.
Or the economically devastated rural areas, where small farmers struggle to survive in a market dominated by giant agri-business corporations. That’s why the only hope I can see for solving the monumental problems facing an increasingly obsolete American working class is the Democratic Party under the leadership of a humane visionary like President Obama.
There is absolutely no reason to be believe, based on the observable facts, that the Grand Obstructionist Party has either the will or the way to provide workable solutions to this crisis. All they do is recite the same old bogus gospel of tax cuts for the rich as the solution for everything; they persist in this dangerous foolishness in spite of the fact that we are ten years into the massive Bush tax cuts to the rich that squandered the eight trillion dollar surplus bequeathed to them by the Clinton Administration and wrecked the economy.
Yet an abysmally ignorant electorate placed the Republicans back in Charge of the House of Representatives, which control all revenue bills, two years into the Obama Administration. This blunder at the polls brought his sweeping measures to restore the nation’s economic health to a screeching halt. It is eloquent testimony to the truth of Thomas Jeffersons warning: “An ignorant electorate will elect and return the worst people to power!”
It was clear that the dead end kids on the bus were almost totally oblivious to these realities — thus they are incapable of fighting for their interests. As near as I could tell, from the questions I casually but systematically put to them about politics during rest stops and bus changes when we were watching the flat screen televisions posted on the walls around the waiting rooms and permanently tuned to CNN, they were clueless and couldn't care less.
The one person I talked to that was surprisingly aware of the difference between the Democrats and the Republicans was a twenty something black B-Boy whom I nicknamed “Hip Hop.” He was, by far, the most interesting character I encountered on this ride. I met more interesting people at my destinations, but not on the bus. Hip hop sat next to me on the way back to the Big Apple. He got on the bus in the small Georgiatown of Hinesvilleand was decked out in classic B-Boy gear that looked recently purchased.
He was vague about where he was coming from and didn’t appear to be that certain where he was going. As I expected him to be empty headed I kept the conversation very light, blowing his mind with my analysis of the growth of Rap music and discussing the difference in lyrics, beat and flow between East and West coast rappers. However when I pulled out a special edition of the journal “Socialism and Democracy” he was all eyes. Billed as “The Journal of the Research Group on Socialism and Democracy,” this edition was devoted to the topic:
What is African American Studies, Its Focus, and Future.
Edited by John H. McClendon and Yusef Nuruddin, the volume is a collection of scholarly papers which are inter-disciplinary in focus and authored by Afro-American scholars with a Marxist bent. As I began to engage Sociologist Tony Montero’s text, The Epistemic Crisis of Afro-American Studies: A Duboisian Resolution- A dense academic essay that I approached in much the same manner that one takes cod liver oil – Hip Hop began to ask questions about it. I cavalierly brushed him off with grunts and mumbles, making no attempt to engage him; certain that it would all be way over his head.
I suppose Hip Hop must have peeped my game because he told me that he loved to read and announced that he had recently finished reading “The Prince,” by Machiavelli – a canonical political treatise in the western intellectual tradition. Needless to say, I was taken aback by his claim and began to quiz him about the text. His analysis was thoughtful and left no doubt that he had indeed read it even if he didn’t fully understand it.
Then he spoke of other weighty texts, among them Marx’s Das Kapital. Naturally, I began to wonder where he got the inclination and leisure to do such heavy reading outside of an academic setting; especially since he had told me he didn’t go to college. There were curious gaps in his story and the vibe I picked up from him was pure gangsta, a gorilla to his heart; the kind of guy you wanted to have your back in a knife fight. I wanted to question him systematically and find out what he was really about. But we both fell asleep.
When we awoke we were at Raleigh North Carolina, it was after mid-night. Raleigh is evidently a dangerous town — the guards in the station always warn passengers not to wander away from the station during layovers when we go outside for smoking breaks, and tell tales about Para-troopers stationed at Fort Bragg who have survived tours of duty in Iraq and Afghanistan only to be murdered by street thugs in Raleigh.
So it was not altogether surprising when Hip Hop was pulled aside by the cops and searched as we stood outside. He was cool as an Arctic night, like he was used to the routine. But when they left he was pissed off. And all he wanted to talk about was the abuse of police power on our trip toRichmond Virginia. I asked him if he understood that he fit the police profile for a young male criminal? He wasn’t trying to hear the science I was dropping and I soon fell off to sleep.
When we reached Richmond he made a phone call, announced that he was splitting the scene, slapped me fives and disappeared into the night. As I continued my journey to New York I could overhear the conversation of another young man decked out in hip hop gear. He was arguing with his baby mama, instructing her to have his seven year old daughter’s things clean and packed or he would put the police on her because the Family Court inNewark New Jersey-a gun toting town that seems more dangerous than Baghdad-had given him full custody because of her trifling ways! He told her that they would be leaving immediately for Miami Florida.
The mere idea of taking the trip to Florida back to back was exhausting. But such is life among the lumpen. As we pulled out of Newark heading for “The Fruit,” as hip black Philadelphians of my generation called New York City, I remained more firmly convinced than ever of two things: Marx was right, the Lumpen can’t be organized into an effective progressive force — no matter what the black Panthers say.
And the most pressing problem confronting Black Americans is to honor the ancestral imperative to stop the values of the lumpen class from obliterating the values of the “Talented Tenth"; who guided the black community through our golden age of struggle and progress and produced the tallest trees yet seen in our forest!
It is not only African Americans who are the poor, as Playthell points out, but there are armies of poor whites in America who are not really spoken about. As the title of the article above suggests, the US is not taking care of it s poor citizen, and Playthell just gave us a glimpse of the truism of the topic of this Hub above.
War On the Poor Of The US
Whilst on the subject of the poor, it is important to note that the Government of the US has been shut since October 1, 2013. This is bad for poor people in the State who depend upon government grants and handouts to buy food and feed their children and the rest of their families. The weakest citizens have been assailed by hardline spokespeople on behalf of the motley crew of billionaires.
They have passed laws trying to abandon Food stamps and other government subsidized programs for the poor. One other thing to note here is that this comes on the heels of Obama Health care kicked started and open registration for its intended 50 million people(the number varies and fluctuates depending on who's saying it-some say 20 million).
But just because that was going to happen, and as of writing of this Hub, the government website has had up to upwards of 8 million people trying to find out and register for the new health care which has been passed into law, but is being blocked by these 40 senators in the House, saying that Obamacare got to be repealed, and the poor must loose all benefits-and the country is at a standstill right now.
We learn about the present US government shut down from Democracy Now, the interview will be conducted by Amy Goodman interviewing Rim Murphy:
The US government has begun a partial shutdown for the first time in 17 years after Congress failed to break a partisan deadlock by a midnight deadline. Some 800,000 federal workers are to be furloughed, and more than a million others will be asked to work without pay. The shutdown was spearheaded by tea party Republicans who backed a House bill tying continued government funding to a one-year delay of the Affordable Care Act and the repeal of a tax to pay for it.
In addition to the furloughs, the shutdown will halt dozens of services provided by government agencies. We discuss the impact with Mother Jones reporter Tim Murphy, whose latest article is "48 Ways a Government Shutdown Will Screw You Over."
AMY GOODMAN: We’re on the road in Louisiana, broadcasting from New Orleans public television, WLAE. I’m Amy Goodman.
The US government has begun a partial shutdown for the first time in 17 years after Congress failed to break a partisan deadlock by a midnight deadline. The Office of Management and Budget issued orders shortly before the midnight deadline saying that, quote, "Agencies should now execute plans for an orderly shutdown due to the absence of appropriations." Some 800,000 federal workers are to be furloughed; more than a million others will be asked to work without pay.
The shutdown was spearheaded by tea party conservatives who backed a House bill tying continued government funding to a one-year delay of the Affordable Care Act and the repeal of a tax to pay for it. The Democratic-controlled Senate insisted on funding the government through November 15 without special conditions. Democratic Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid spoke just after midnight.
SEN. HARRY REID: Madam President, it is embarrassing that these people who are elected to represent the country are representing the tea party, the anarchists of the country, and a majority of the Republicans in the House are following every step of the way. This is an unnecessary blow to America, to the economy, middle class, everyone.
AMY GOODMAN: House Speaker John Boehner addressed reporters soon after the government shutdown began.
SPEAKER JOHN BOEHNER: The American people are worried about their job. They’re worried about their incomes rising, because they’re all under pressure. The economy is not growing. Why isn’t it growing? One of the issues that’s standing in the way is Obamacare, the fact that nobody knows what the rules are, employers scared to death to hire new employees, cutting the hours of many of their current employees, and— for what reason? This law is not ready for prime time.
AMY GOODMAN: The government shutdown comes as Republicans and Democrats face a nearing deadline to increase the nation’s borrowing limit or risk a default on US debts. Republicans had previously threatened to tie their bid for an Obamacare repeal to the debt ceiling vote. Despite the government shutdown, a key initiative of Obamacare begins today. Individuals seeking health insurance under the new program can now enroll online through marketplaces.
Well, to talk more about the government shutdown, we go to Washington, DC, where we’re joined by Tim Murphy, a reporter at Mother Jones.
Tim, welcome to Democracy Now! Please explain what’s happened since 12:00 midnight Eastern time. What exactly is being shut down?
TIM MURPHY: Well, the short answer is about 20 percent of the federal government, 800,000 federal workers, will show up to work today and be sent home, and that includes 400,000 civilian workers from the Department of the Defense. That’s the department that probably gets the most cuts from this.
The longer answer is, you know, pretty much various things that you use in your everyday life will no longer be open to you. People applying for mortgages will have trouble getting that from the federal government. People trying to fill out their taxes will no longer be able to call the IRS to ask basic questions. The Coast Guard is cutting back some of its navigation assistance. Auto—new automobile inspections will be curtailed. The EPA is closing 94 percent of its responsibilities for the foreseeable future. You know, there’s kind of this perception that the shutdown mostly just affects Washington, DC, and it really does affect Washington, DC, but it goes much broader than that.
AMY GOODMAN: Some Republicans are demanding their colleagues ditch the shutdown strategy. Republican Congressman Charlie Dent of Pennsylvania said, quote, "It’s time to govern. I don’t intend to support a fool’s errand at this point." Republican Congressman Michael Grimm of New York said, "The circus created the past few days isn’t reflective of mainstream Republicans—it projects an image of not being reasonable."
The vast majority of Republicans are pretty level-headed and are here to govern," he said. And Republican Congressmember Paul Ryan of Wisconsin, right, the party’s vice-presidential nominee in 2012, said, quote, "We have to stay on the right side of public opinion ... Shutting down the government puts us on the wrong side," he said. Tim, can you talk about the division among the Republicans?
TIM MURPHY: Yeah. Over the last couple of days, there’s been this emergence of a bloc of mostly Northeastern or Upper Midwestern Republicans who have pushed for—you know, to become kind of a moderating influence within the party. But what we saw last night is that they really are still in the minority, and they’re a very small minority. Congressman Peter King of New York, a Republican, you know, attempted to lead a small rebellion of his colleagues against John Boehner’s proposal to delay the implementation of the Affordable Care Act by a year, and he got about 20 votes, and that died.
So, you know, for the foreseeable future, they really are in the minority of the Republican Party, and what they consider to be mainstream is really anything but. It’s those conservative—most conservative members of the House, the people that Harry Reid called anarchists last night, who are driving public policy in the House of Representatives.
AMY GOODMAN: So, Tim, explain exactly who gets affected by—in this first phase of the shutdown and when the voting will, you know, reopen government.
TIM MURPHY: Sure. And the deal with the shutdown is it essentially gets worse the longer it goes on. And in 1995 and 1996 it went on for 28 days and ended up costing the US, I think, about $2 billion in economic losses, just because people don’t have money and they’re not spending it. So you have the 800,000 workers who will be furloughed, and they’ll be furloughed without pay. And when the shutdown eventually ends, they’ll get that pay. But in the meantime, you know, they’re trying to make ends meet.
The government did pass an emergency measure to continue paying members of the armed services last night, so they’ll still work and they’ll still get their pay. But families whose, you know, loved ones die in Afghanistan will not get death benefits in that period.
You know, civilian contractors will not, by and large, be showing up to work. The EPA will shut down almost all of its services. The National Zoo will close. Even the panda cam that lets you watch, you know, the pandas on a live stream 24 hours a day will shut down. NASA, I think, is furloughing about 97 percent of its staff.
You know, people who depend on the federal government for funding for WIC food assistance will not get that. It’s up to their state whether they’ll get that going forward. Some states have obligations to do that; some states could probably care less. Heating assistance as the weather gets colder is something that is now up in the air. You know, there’s just kind of this wide range of government programs.
Head Start, which is a program that has already been kind of really hammered by the sequestration cuts over the last seven months, is going to get further cuts over the next couple of weeks if the shutdown persists, as grants are now put on hold. So, you know, whether you have kids, whether you’re a college student relying on federal student loans or Pell Grants, whether you’re a senior citizen, whether you’re living in a cold region without heat, this shutdown will affect you.
AMY GOODMAN: During MSNBC’s Morning Joe on Monday, Republican Senator Ron Johnson of Wisconsin suggested Democrats jammed through the Affordable Care Act on a partisan basis.
SEN. RON JOHNSON: And the reason we’re at this point today is because the Democrats jammed through, on a 100 percent partisan basis, a huge reform. They didn’t do the work of trying to get a bipartisan consensus on how to do healthcare reform. Then, of course, Harry Reid hasn’t—
DR. EZEKIEL EMANUEL: Excuse me, Senator. That’s not true.
SEN. RON JOHNSON: But listen, listen. Come on, Dr. Emanuel, please.
DR. EZEKIEL EMANUEL: We worked hard with Republicans.
SEN. RON JOHNSON: And then, of course, Harry Reid—Harry Reid hasn’t passed an appropriation bill in more than—in over two years, and so now he’s reading the polls, and rather than keeping this in session, they’re going to swat this thing away. Let’s face it: They’re going to swat it away. We should have swatted this bill away. Harry Reid should have taken a vote. As soon as the House passed this, we actually gave ourselves time so we could avert a shutdown. I don’t want a shutdown.
DR. EZEKIEL EMANUEL: Senator—
SEN. RON JOHNSON: I’ve been working with the White House trying to work on this, these enormous financial challenges we have in this nation. But, you know, let’s face it: It’s the root cause of problem is that this is an incredibly partisan, very divisive bill, and we’re dealing with that right now, and it’s a real shame.
AMY GOODMAN: Tim Murphy, if you could respond?
TIM MURPHY: Sure. Well, you know, the very brief part is that Democrats have been running on making healthcare affordable and available to everyone for most of the last four decades. They won elections, and then they passed it on a party-line vote. The longer answer is that this really did reflect the bipartisan consensus at the time.
The Affordable Care Act gets its idea for the individual mandate originally from the Conservative Heritage Institute. And prior to the Affordable Care Act, the only place where this has actually been implemented was under Republican Governor Mitt Romney of Massachusetts. You know, this was not really the solution that, you know, real liberals wanted. Y
You know, they wanted a single-payer system or something like that. And instead, they spent about a year deliberating in the Senate with a bipartisan group of senators before they finally came up with what we have now as Obamacare. It is essentially a bipartisan creation that passed on a party-line vote. But since then, you know, Republicans have made this kind of the staple of their platform, and they view it as the key to electoral success.
AMY GOODMAN: Tim, you have a long list of what’s going to go down today, what are some of the government services that won’t be provided. Just share some of those with us.
TIM MURPHY: Sure, and I’ve touched on a few, but, you know, for instance, the National Park Service is closing 401 of its sites, so that obviously applies to things like, you know, sightseeing and hiking. It also applies to the—you know, the retirees and folks like that who essentially live at National Park Service, National Forest Service campsites.
They have 48 hours now to relocate. You know, the US Geological Survey is canceling all of its long-term scientific research. The same goes for agencies like NOAA and the Environmental Protection Agency, which will no longer be able to regulate things like pesticides, which I think is something a lot of people care about. You know, we’ve touched on the 400,000 Department of Defense civilian employees.
And there are even—you know, there are even things that folks on the left side of the spectrum might be OK with and conservatives would be really upset with. So, for instance, the Bureau of Land Management is no longer going to be giving out permits for oil and gas leases or new oil and gas exploration.
The ARPA-E, which is this Department of Energy Advanced Research Project program, they do things like squirtable batteries and deriving energy from algae and stuff like that. They’re shutting down entirely. And as are—you know, and the Bureau of Land Management is not going to be giving out permits for renewable energy, either.
The Nuclear Regulatory Commission runs out of its funding stream in one week, so they can continue functioning as normal this week, but then they lay off, I think, all but about 20 people in their agency next week, and that could mean a reduction in inspections. We’re going to see a reduction in inspections of automobiles, a reduction of inspections in beef and grain.
So a lot of the stuff we eat is no longer going to have that second look from federal inspectors. The FDA is going to slow down its research on drugs. And then this one, I think, especially as flu season gets going, the Center for Disease Control says it’s no longer going to be able to properly monitor outbreaks, both at home and overseas, and it’s not going to be properly—able to properly implement its flu season vaccination program.
AMY GOODMAN: And the Nuclear Regulatory Commission, the agency would furlough more than 92 percent of its employees next week, with much of the remaining staff handling negotiations—well, furlough them now.
TIM MURPHY: Yeah, yeah. And, you know, the Department of Energy has kind of made a priority on, you know, kind of urgent nuclear cleanup at, you know, places like the Hanford site in Washington or something like that, but the broad scope of its activities are going to be drastically curtailed.
AMY GOODMAN: Gun permits won’t be given out?
TIM MURPHY: And, you know, for the Environmental Protection Agency, their—I’m sorry?
AMY GOODMAN: Gun permits won’t be given out?
TIM MURPHY: And gun permits won’t be given out. So, finally, yeah, a very backwards way of getting gun control, but in a situation that I don’t think anybody really wants.
AMY GOODMAN: Tim Murphy, what happens with the debt ceiling debate next?
TIM MURPHY: Yeah, and that’s the thing. As bad as the shutdown is—and it’s pretty bad, and it’s affecting all of these people—a debt ceiling would be far more—a debt ceiling—a failure to raise the debt ceiling would be far more catastrophic. And that comes on October 15.
Treasury Secretary Jack Lew has said, at that point we will no longer be able to meet our nation’s obligations, and unless Congress can raise the debt ceiling, which has been a fairly routine thing over the last few decades, then we run the risk of default. And if we get into a default, then the US dollar runs the risk of no longer being the global currency, and, you know, we run the risk of plunging into a second recession and triggering kind of a whole new global economic crisis.
AMY GOODMAN: Tim Murphy, I want to thank you for being with us. Tim Murphy is with Mother Jones magazine, and we’ll link to your piece at democracyNow.
With the Shutdown now in place, Tim Murphy had written the article to be posted below as to what is going to be affected, along with the poor by such closure. I will take the liberty of posting his article below in order to keep up with the situation of the shutting down of the government as it unfurls.
The midnight deadline came and went without a deal from House Republicans and Senate Democrats (except for one small bill, on military pay Welcome to the Shutdown).
The government will shut down at midnight unless President Obama and Congress can agree on a temporary resolution to continue funding federal agencies. (Spoiler: They probably won't.)
Here's a quick guide to who and what will be most affected:
Anyone who might get sick: The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) would lack funding to support its annual flu vaccination program.
Military personnel: Barring last-minute congressional action, members of the armed forces would have their paychecks put on hold while they continue to work.
People who use boats: The Coast Guard will cut back on routine patrols and navigation assistance.
Civilian defense employees: 400,000 Department of Defense employees will be given unpaid vacations.
Family Members of fallen soldiers: Death benefits for military families will be delayed.
Gun owners: During the 1990s shutdown, applications for gun permits were delayed due to furloughs at the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives.
Trees: Hundreds of US Forest Service workers face furloughs in California during peak forest fire season.
Visa Applicants: Furloughs at the State Department's Bureau of Consular Affairs mean tens of thousands of visa applications are put on hold.
People traveling abroad A shutdown would cause delays in the processing of passport applications.
Sick people: The National Institutes of Health will not admit new patients unless ordered by the director.
Factory workers: The Occupational Safety and Health Administration will halt regular inspections.
Hikers: All 401 National Park Service sites will be closed.
People who make money off tourists: Shuttered national parks are bad news for the hotels, restaurants, and other attractions that feed off them.
Small business loan applicants: The Small Business Administration will furlough 62 percent of its workforce.
Employers: The Department of Homeland Security's e-Verify program will be offline for the duration of the shutdown.
Fountains: 45 of them will lose water.
People applying for mortgages: The Federal Housing Administration and the USDA won't guarantee new loans.
Oil and gas exploration: The Bureau of Land Management will stop processing permits for oil and gas drilling on federal lands.
Chemical site facility security: Funding for Department of Homeland Security regulatory program ends October 4.
FOIA requests: The Social Security Administration says it won't respond to Freedom of Information Act Requests during the shutdown.
Docents: All Smithsonian Institution museums in Washington, DC, will be closed.
@CuriosityRover: 98 percent of NASA's staff will be furloughed, and the agency's website and live-streams will go dark.
Renewable energy permits: The Bureau of Ocean Energy Management will stop all new offshore renewable-energy projects.
Campers: People living (or vacationing) in national parks and forests will have 48 hours to relocate.
Animal voyeurs: Watch the National Zoo's Panda-cam while you still can.
Native Americans: The Office of Surface Mining Reclamation and Enforcement will suspend oversight of active and abandoned coal mines "primarily in Tennessee and on Indian lands."
Pesticide regulators: The Environmental Protection Agency will all but shut down at midnight.
Veterans pensions: The Department of Veterans Affairs says it will run out of funding for regular payment checks after a few weeks.
US GeologicalSurvey researchers: The agency would stop most new scientific research and water analysis.
Disability payments: Although the VA will continue to provide medical care, disability payments may also be disrupted after a few weeks.
Winery Permits: Couldn't they take the wine coolers instead?
Ponies: The Bureau of Land Management's wild horse and burro adoption programs would cease.
Infectious disease surveillance The CDC will be unable to track outbreaks and monitor infectious diseases at a local level.
People on food assistance The USDA's Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants and Children (WIC) will stop making payments on October 1.
Food inspections: The Grain Inspection, Packers and Stockyards Administration warned of "inability to investigate alleged violations" due to a lack of funding; food imports will also go unexpected.
Automobile recall inspectors: "Routine defects and recall information from manufacturers and consumers would not be reviewed," according to the Department of Transportation.
Food and Drug safety research: The Department of Health and Human Services, which includes the FDA, will furlough 52 percent of its staff.
ARPA-E: The Department of Energy's cutting-edge research arm—and one of the crowning legacies of the stimulus—will shut down, putting projects such as "squirtable batteries" on hold.
Nuclear Regulatory Commission The agency could furlough more than 92 percent of its employees next week, with much of the remaining staff handling inspections.
People without heat: If the shutdown persists, it could affect the Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program, which funds heating assistance programs.
Consumers: The Commodity Futures Trading Commission will furlough 652 of its 680 employees and maintain only a "bare minimum level of oversight and surveillance" to stop fraudulent practices.
People trying to pay taxes: The Internal Revenue Service will shutter its tax hotline, and stop processing tax payments.
College students: Cutbacks at the Department of Education could slow Pell grant and student-loan payments.
Economists: The Bureau of Economic Analysis will cut back on its data collection.
Welfare recipients: Temporary Assistance for Needy Families—welfare—runs out of funding on October 1, although individual states may pick up the tab.
Head Start: The child development program, already hammered by the effects of sequestration, will stop doling out new grants on October 1.
Air monitoring: A 94 percent reduction in staff won't leave the EPA much room to enforce its new carbon regulations.
Golf: Courses at National Park Service sites will close for the shutdown. So at least we have that going for us.David Corn is one of my favorite reporters writing on Mother Jones and is one of the talking-heads on MSNBC television. I would like to add his piece towards making the point that the present government shutdown, is done by people who do not want Obama and want him impeached, even if he has done nothing wrong.
The GOP is attacking the poor and serving the few billionaires in their pocket. The want to make the poor more poor and turn them into 1600s slaves. I think reading the article of David Corn will make a few things much more clearer.
"The GOP's Obamacare Suicide"
"Is the Republican Party committing suicide this week? The final results of the shutdown blame game won't be in until the government is un-shut. Yet at the same time that the party is allowing itself to be branded as an ideologically rigid outfit controlled by political hostage takers, it has been endangering its future by waging a high-profile but Alamo-like stand against Obamacare, just as a main component of the health care program is kicking in—and appears to be popular.
"If anything has defined the GOP in its must-destroy-Obama phase, it's the party's virulent opposition to the Affordable Care Act. And with Obama reelected, the economy slowly improving, and deficits slowly decreasing, Republicans have bet almost all the chips they have left on the decimation of Obamacare.
With Sen. Ted Cruz wagging the party, the GOPers pushing for the government shutdown—aided and abetted by Rush Limbaugh, the Heritage Foundation, and other influentials of the far right—have focused exclusively on Obamacare. This confrontation over government spending has nothing to do with, well, government spending. The shutdown was merely a way for Cruz-controlled Republicans to vent about Obamacare. So if the Republican party stands for anything today, it is obstructing Obamacare. But here's the rub: What if Obamacare works?
The initial response to yesterday's opening of the state and federal exchanges that are providing affordable insurance plans to Americans who previously could not obtain coverage has Obamacare proponents dancing. Millions of Americans were not scared away by Koch-financed ads. Sure, there were glitches and websites crashed.
But that's natural, given the overwhelming demand. And the exchanges have weeks to work out the kinks before the December 15 deadline to finish enrolling people for the coming year.
So while the Republicans have succeeded in forcing a shutdown of the government—according to the latest polls, not a popular endeavor—their crusade against Obamacare has harmed their long-term prospects in several ways:
- The Republicans have helped expand the power of the federal government.Because of conservative opposition to the ACA, many states controlled by Republicans declined to set up their own exchanges. This meant that Washington had to do so instead. Consequently, the federal government has increased its reach into the lives of Americans. In dozens of states, Americans seeking insurance will now credit Washington, not their local governor, when they obtain coverage. Assuming the program works in providing insurance to these people, conservatives will suffer a tremendous setback regarding their foundational argument (and raison d'être): Government is the problem, not the solution. Oops. No wonder Cruz yearned to stop Obamacare before it could become proof of a different narrative.
- The Republicans have put their credibility on the line. Death panels. Killing granny. Crashing the economy. For years, conservatives have hurled the most dire predictions. Just as when Ronald Reagan once said that Medicare would wreck the United States: "One of these days we are going to spend our sunset years telling our children and our children's children what it once was like in America when men were free." What happens if Obamacare does provide the deliverables—as the policy wonks say—that millions of Americans want? GOPers will be tagged as liars—or, at least, fear mongering, truth-defying spinners—who cannot be trusted.
- The Republicans are reviving ACORN-like groups. Because many GOP-run states have opted out of Obamacare, community groups, including the remnants of ACORN, an anti-poverty organizing outfit that collapsed a few years ago in the wake of a controversy triggered by a misleading right-wing-made undercover video, are filling the void. They are working in the field to find and sign-up low-income Americans who qualify for coverage under Obamacare. Conservatives cheered the death of ACORN. But they have helped set the stage for its return (a possibility that has some right-wingers pulling out their hair).
- The Republicans have lost California—and maybe Florida, too. The opening reviews for the Obamacare exchanges were perhaps best in California, where the response was awesome. The state prepared well for the start of enrollment, and officials there were heartened by the first day of operation. As Republicans well know, they have long had a California problem. It began in 1994, when Pete Wilson, then the governor, led the GOP off the cliff by adopting a strong anti-immigrant stance. And Latinos are the demographic group with the highest rates for the uninsured. If Obamacare becomes an important benefit for Latinos—and other Californians—the GOP California dilemma will intensify, as will its overall challenge wooing Latino voters nationwide (see Florida and elsewhere).
- And Virginia, as well. The GOP could take a more immediate electoral hit due to the party's fixation with the ACA. Because of the shutdown caused by the GOP's Obamacare obsession, Ken Cuccinelli, the tea-party-fancied Republican candidate for governor in Virginia, will probably have a tougher time catching Terry McAuliffe, the Democratic candidate who currently leads in that race. (The election is next month.) Plenty of federal workers live in Virginia, and the shutdown is not going to endear tea partyish Republicans to many of them.
The conservative/Republican war against Obamacare has led the GOP to a dark place. Many right-wing pundits and Republican leaders have been rooting for Obamacare to fail. That is, they have been cheering against a program that will provide millions of Americans with the sense of security that comes with health insurance. They have issued apocalyptic Ayn Randian predictions about Obamacare ruining the health care system, the economy, and the soul of the United States.
They have staked much on this campaign (including a presidential campaign that failed). If the exchanges do work in providing the uninsured coverage—and Obamacare has already helped millions of people by ending for many the preexisting condition dodge, providing more financial assistance to seniors for prescription medicines, and allowing young adults to remain on their parents' plans longer—the conservatives are screwed.
Cruz was right: Conservatives had to stop Obamacare before it had the chance to succeed—though he put it in slightly different terms, noting he feared that Americans would become addicted to Obamacare "sugar." Prior to this point, Republicans could say whatever they wanted, for extreme rhetoric about what might happen could not be disproved—and such demagoguery played on existing and justified concerns about the unknown.
Yet once there are facts—is Obamacare working or not?—The debate will shift. Well, maybe not for the Republicans, but it will for millions of Americans who will evaluate the new reality and decide for themselves whether this is the end of America or the start of a better nation.
The problem for America is that not only African Americans and Hispanics are poor, there is a whole swath of poor whites, who though they hate Obama, are now in the same boats like all the poor peoples of this country. The GOP has no interest in bettering the weak and poor citizens of America, they want to enrich the billionaires more and make the poor into unpaid slaves.
A country is much more people if it takes of and helps its poor and downtrodden to overcome their problems and poverty, Looking at the Shutdown, many poor people are going to suffer, as they are been suffering, anyway, even when the government was not shut down. Now, what kind of effect will this shut down do? Well, the jury is still out on this issue of the poor being made even more poorer than they already are.
Cutting Food Stamps On The Poor In Order To Enrich The Billionaires
The GOP Wants To Repeal Affordable Care Act: They Have Cut Down On $50 Billion Worth Of Foodstamps
The government shutdown that was imposed onto the people of the United states has brought along with it a myriad of disturbing anomalies which affect the majority of the unemployed and poor Americans. Since one can see the needless exercise and farce this has been, it fid not quietly die off. Instead, the Republicans have hit the poor where it matters most: jobs and foodstamps.
They were against ACA)(Affordable Health Care) and since they did not get that, they went for the jugular-Foodstamps-cut off 50 billion dollars and when they come back from their recess, want to cut some more 40 billion in Foodstamps. They had already drawn concession for the Sequester, and now, they still insists, despite their poor showing in recent elections, on eliminating what the call Obamacare (Affordable Care) which is the law of the land now.
In article written by Kim Severson and Winnie Hu, the both inform us that:
"For many, a $10 or $20 cut in the monthly food budget would be absorbed with little notice.
But for millions of poor Americans who rely on food stamps, reductions that began this month present awful choices. One gallon of milk for the kids instead of two. No fresh broccoli for dinner or snacks to take to school. Weeks of grits and margarine for breakfast.
And for many, it will mean turning to a food pantry or a soup kitchen by the middle of the month.
“I don’t need a whole lot to eat,” said Leon Simmons, 63, who spends more than half of his monthly $832 Social Security income to rent a room in an East Charleston house. “But this month I know I’m not going to buy any meats.”
Mr. Simmons’s allotment from the federal Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, commonly called food stamps, has dropped $9. He has already spent the $33 he received for November.
The reduction in benefits has affected more than 47 million people like Mr. Simmons. It is the largest wholesale cut in the program since Congress passed the first Food Stamps Act in 1964 and touches about one in every seven Americans.
From the country kitchens of the South to the bodegas of New York, the pain is already being felt.
Christopher Bean, the executive director of a Bronx food pantry that is operated by a nonprofit organization called Part of the Solution, said that about 60 new families had visited the pantry in the past week because their food stamps had been cut.
They know they will be out of food well before the month is over. “People can do math,” he said.
In 2009, people started getting as much as 13.6 percent more in food stamps as part of the federal economic stimulus package, but that increase has expired. The reduction will save the government about $5 billion next year.
Over all, the nation’s food stamps program cost a record $78.4 billion in the 2012 fiscal year, according to the Agriculture Department. Although the amount given to each household — a figure that can vary widely depending on a complex formula of income and the number of mouths to feed — has been dropping by small amounts for the past few years, the roster of people seeking assistance grew steadily through the recession.
In the 2010 fiscal year, 40.3 million people were enrolled. Two years later, that number jumped by 16 percent. Just over 45 percent of those getting food stamps are children, according to the Agriculture Department.
Food stamps are likely to be cut more in the coming years if Congress can agree on a new farm bill, which House and Senate negotiators began tackling this week. The Republican-controlled House has approved cutting as much as $40 billion from the program over 10 years by making it harder to qualify. The Democratic-controlled Senate is suggesting a $4 billion cut by making administrative changes.
To poor families trying to stretch a couple hundred dollars into a month’s worth of groceries, all the talk about stimulus packages, farm subsidies and congressional politics means little. It is all about daily survival at the grocery store.
“We’ll be on our last $3 at the end of the month,” said Rafaela Rivera, 34, a home health aide who earns $10 an hour.
Ms. Rivera’s family of four saw their food stamps reduced by $36, to $420 a month. They pay rent and other expenses using her income and her husband’s disability check, and they supplement food stamps with bags of fresh vegetables, chicken and other groceries from a food pantry.
“It’s going to be hard,” she said. “Our last week is going to be tight.”
Graphic showing How Food Stamps are Cut from the Poor
Ingrid Mock, 46, a former supermarket cashier who is disabled, was at the Bronx food pantry on Monday stocking up on canned green beans, pasta, ground beef and apples.
Ms. Mock, who has received food benefits for a decade and uses them to help feed her 12-year-old daughter, said her allotment had steadily decreased from as much as $309 about six years ago to a low of $250 this month, which reflected a new cut of $25.
These effects have already taken place, and people are seeing a reduced payment on their foodstamps, and in these times of joblessness and poverty, this has worsened the present state of hunger and lack of adequate food… Severson and Hu continue to inform us further that: