Posted by admin under Child Poverty, Children, Crime, Disposable Income, Divorce, Getting By In Israel, Green Charity, Perspective, Poverty in Israel, Self Improvement, Social Justice, Solutions to Poverty, Terrorism and Poverty, Torah, Tzedakah, Uncategorized, Unemployment, What can "I" do, What can THEY do, World Poverty
Everywhere one turns the European social welfare model, or as it is sometimes called in the United States, the blue-state model, is breaking down. The president of the European Council said already more than a year ago, “We can’t finance our social model anymore.” And in the United States, the so-called Red States have consistently outperformed over the past decade the Blue States, which follow the European model of high taxes, high spending, and strong public employee unions. Hundreds of thousands of workers have fled high-tax California for Texas, which has no state income tax. Over the past decade, states with no state income tax grew 18% versus 8% for the other states. The 22 states with right-to-work laws have grown 15% versus 6% for the other states. And those that do not require collective bargaining for public employees grew 15% versus 7% for those that do.
Recognition that the social welfare model is history fuelled the huge Republican gains in the 2010 elections. But in other ways, the news has been slow to seep in. Despite the fact that California has been reduced to issuing paper chits for obligations it cannot meet, and the state’s rapid population loss, Californians still elected 1970s retread Jerry Brown, the one-time Governor Moonbeam, over a highly successful Republican businesswoman with an inexhaustible campaign chest in 2010. Illinois, with hundreds of millions in unfunded pension plan liabilities, nevertheless narrowly elected a Democratic governor, who promptly pushed for in increase in the state income tax, even as Republican governors of surrounding states openly solicited Illinois businesses to flee to them. And as the collapse of the European social welfare model in Europe was becoming more and more evident, the United States enacted a massive regulatory scheme, touching every aspect of national healthcare (about one-sixth of the overall economy) that will add hundreds of billions of dollars to the national debt in the coming decades.
The question, then, becomes what is the enduring attraction of the European model, and why is it so hard to reverse? Walter Russell Mead begins to answer the question with a description of the.progressive social model: “A bureaucratic and professional elite would mediate social conflict between rich and poor, improving the lives of the poor while engineering the best possible administrative solutions to pressing social problems.” The ideal was “revolutionary and even a noble one,” he notes, and it particularly appealed to one class of people – the best and the brightest who would form that professional elite. More insight here.
Were business to take the approach of truly paying a living wage (ala Henry Ford), the “poverty industry” would be on its way out. And that is the only business (well almost…) the world would be happy to bid goodbye.
This articel from The Edmonton Journal makes the pint very well:
At a Tuesday event organized by the Alberta Capital Region United Way and Edmonton Economic Development Corp., prominent businessman Mark Chamberlain urged society to tackle poverty with the same level of resources used to handle crises.
The former CEO of imaging-system maker Wescam and chief executive for commercialization company Trivaris Ltd. says poverty is an epidemic that business, governments, charities and all Canadians must join forces to eradicate, comparing it to SARS.
“We responded to SARS in Ontario as an emergency,” Chamberlain said Tuesday.
“We did not have anyone in any level of government saying ‘Can we afford it?’ ”
Chamberlain — who chaired the Hamilton Roundtable for Poverty — has become a strident voice for eliminating hunger, homelessness and wages too low to live on.
He argued that economic growth is wrongly held as the overriding goal of society. Comparing society to a complex system like a car, too much emphasis is placed on the engine and not on other key components. From Here
A close look shows that the economic advances have actually increased the stark class polarization in Egyptian society. The official government statistics show that poverty increased in 2008-09 from 20 percent to 23.4 percent. But the poverty line is absurdly low: some 40 percent of Egyptians live on less than $2 per day. A third of the population is illiterate.
With millions living so close the edge, the government has maintained a tradition, established in the Nasser era, of subsidizing staple foods for the poor. The last popular upsurge against the regime in fact came in 1977, when, under pressure from the IMF, the Sadat government reduced subsidies on several goods. In the riots that followed, people attacked government buildings in Cairo and other cities.
“The infamous 1977 riots deeply unnerved Egyptian policymakers and left a legacy of government caution not only toward food policy reform, but economic reform more broadly,” wrote Tamar Gutner in a study of the politics of Egyptian food subsidies. Full article.
A new study on poverty among students here is like a bad report card — it is news that one hates to share with the folks.
The Southern Education Foundation study found that Scotland County had the highest percentage of school children living in poverty in North Carolina during 2008.
Once again Scotland hold a dubious distinction — a position that officials would rather not find the county in. But at 27 percent, more than 1 out of 4 students in Scotland County live in extreme poverty, according to the study.
The report also places Scotland as one of 100 school districts in the nation with the highest rates of extreme child poverty. Extreme poverty is defined as living below 50 percent of the federal poverty level ($10,600 for a family of four in 2008.) There were about 6,654 students in the county in 2008.
The Working Poor Families Project (WPFP) “is a national initiative focused on state workforce development policies involving: (1) education and skills training for adults; (2) economic development; and (3) income and work supports.”
Its newest publication is titled, “Great Recession Hit Hard at America’s Working Poor: Nearly 1 in 3 Working Families in United States are Low-Income.” It explains distressing data on the state of America’s poor and low income families, their condition getting worse, not better.
Citing new US Census data, it said nearly one-third of US families struggle to meet basic needs. Between 2007 and 2009, the percent of low-income families (earning less than 200% of the official threshold) rose from 28 – 30%. Their plight “challenges a fundamental assumption that in America, work pays.” Clearly, not enough.
Though mostly invisible to policymakers, they comprise the economy’s backbone working cash registers, cleaning homes and businesses, preparing restaurant and hotel food, caring for children and the elderly, as well as numerous other low-paid, poor benefits service jobs, increasingly temporary or part-time.
Key study findings included:
– over 10 million low-income families represented nearly a 4% increase over the previous year;
– 45 million people, including 22 million children, live in low-income families, up 1.7 million from 2008;
– 43% with at least one minority parent households were low-income, nearly double the percentage for white families at 22%. Continued here.
The World Economic Summit in in season. Among the major topics, poverty is certainly one. This is a video from 2004. Still relevant…
With leaders with integrity anything can be done. Dr. Martin Luther King was such a leader. A leader who had a dream! No matter what the cause, if there is a will there is a way. His dream became reality. Poverty, like racism, can be conquered.
Rick Kriesky, the superintendent of Lexington City Schools, is well aware that the city’s painful economic transition has had negative consequences for its schoolchildren.
So it was no surprise to Kriesky to learn that more than one in five children in the school system live in extreme poverty, according to a national study released Wednesday by the Southern Education Foundation, a nonprofit organization that tries to improve access to education.
Extreme poverty is defined as living below 50 percent of the federal poverty level ($10,600 for a family of four in 2008).
At 21 percent, the rate of extreme poverty in Lexington City Schools was the 66th worst out of 2,700 school districts across the U.S., the study concluded.
“We do understand the economic situation in Lexington, due to the furniture and textile industries leaving,” Kriesky said. “We’re certainly aware we have children with high economic needs in our schools.”
Lexington-Thomasville had an unemployment rate of 11.5 percent in November, compared with 9.7 percent for the state, according to the Employment Security Commission of North Carolina. More.
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