Republicans Are Good For....

This is part of a category of the more things change, the more they stay the same.

"Mr. Harrington estimates that between forty and fifty million Americans, or about a fourth of the population, are now living in poverty." (circa 1960 from link below)

Well not exactly the same.

"In 2009, 14.3 percent of all persons lived in poverty. In 1993 the poverty rate was 15.1 percent. Between 1993 and 2000, the poverty rate fell each year, reaching 11.3 percent in 2000." *

Republicans are Good for One thing: POVERTY increases under their presidents and congresses. You can start with Coolidge and Hoover and move to Reagan and the Bushs and the only consistent fact is poverty increases. As republicans argue today on what social program to cut, you can rest assured poverty will increase. The imbecilic idea that cutting funding for Child care or Planned Parenting will save lots, while bombs are good for - what are they good for, demonstrates the absurdity and moral bankruptcy of the Republican party.

Dwight MacDonald was what was once called a public intellectual (and an excellent writer), today he would be placed in some leftist niche, and the conservatives and republicans would then demonize his name. Pavlovian monkeys don't need to think when they are taught a name equals a bad thing. No longer does America think, today it only emotes based on ideology. Ignoring reality, because the message or source is labeled pejoratively, is a modern rhetorical blinder. I read with interest a piece on poverty written before Lyndon Baines Johnson worked a small bit of moral politics. Enjoy, well don't really enjoy, ponder how far we have not gone as we go even further backward. In modern America, who will read an interesting analysis of a tough issue, it is too long for a tweet. And a tweet is the deepest intellectual attention possible in America today.

"In the last year we seem to have suddenly awakened, rubbing our eyes like Rip van Winkle, to the fact that mass poverty persists, and that it is one of our two gravest social problems. (The other is related: While only eleven per cent of our population is non-white, twenty-five per cent of our poor are.) Two other current books confirm Mr. Harrington’s thesis: “Wealth and Power in America” (Praeger), by Dr. Gabriel Kolko, a social historian who has recently been at Harvard and the University of Melbourne, Australia, and “Income and Welfare in the United States” (McGraw-Hill), compiled by an imposing battery of four socio-economists headed by Dr. James N. Morgan, who rejoices in the title of Program Director of the Survey Research Center of the Institute for Social Research at the University of Michigan.

Dr. Kolko’s book resembles Mr. Harrington’s in several ways: It is short, it is based on earlier studies, and it is liberally inclined. It is less readable, because it is written in an academic jargon that is merely a vehicle for the clinching Statistic. Although it is impossible to write seriously about poverty without a copious use of statistics—as this review will demonstrate—it is possible to bring thought and feeling to bear on such raw material. Mr. Harrington does this more successfully than Dr. Kolko, whose prose is afflicted not only with academic blight but also with creeping ideology. Dr. Kolko leans so far to the socialist side that he sometimes falls on his nose, as when he clinches the inequality of wealth in the United States with a statistic: “In 1959, 23% of those earning less than $1,000 [a year] owned a car, compared to 95% of those earning more than $10,000.” The real point is just the opposite, as any citizen of Iran, Ghana, Yemen, or the U.S.S.R. would appreciate—not that the rich have cars but that almost a quarter of the extremely poor do...." Read MacDonald's article here.

"If the misery of the poor be caused not by the laws of nature, but by our institutions, great is our sin." Charles Darwin

- Additional links on Poverty in America.

10 poverty statistics you can't afford to ignore.

'One in four2 African-Americans lives below the federal poverty line, compared to about one in eight Americans overall. In 2009, the poverty line for a family of two adults and two children was $21,756.'

'Poverty among African-American children is especially alarming—putting a generation at risk. More than a third (35.7 percent) of all African-American children lives in poverty, compared to one in five children living in poverty in the country as a whole.' Above quote from here.

Read Census Stats here.

* From here.


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