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Open Thread for Night Owls
Greg Kaufmann writes This Week in Poverty:
The Vital Statistics

US poverty (less than $22,300 for a family of four): 46 million people, 15.1 percent.

Kids in poverty: 16.4 million, 22 percent of all kids.

Deep poverty (less than $11,157 for a family of four): 20.5 million people, 6.7 percent of population.

Impact of public policy, 2010: without government assistance, poverty twice as high—nearly 30 percent.

Impact of public policy, 1964–1973: poverty rate fell by 43 percent.

Number of Americans “deep poor,” “poor” or “near poor”: 100 million, or 1 in 3.

GOP: Welcome to South Carolina

Kids 8 and younger living in poverty: 28 percent, tied for fifth worst in the US (including DC).

People living in poverty: 18.2 percent, eighth worst.

High school graduation rate (2008): 61.9 percent, third worst.

Unemployment rate (avg. month, 2010): 11.2 percent, sixth worst.


Blast from the Past. At Daily Kos on this date in 2005:

But in the US House of Representatives, each lawmaker represents, on average, a staggering 674,000 citizens. That makes the "people's house" in Washington one of the least democratic bodies of its kind in the world. No wonder so many Americans feel alienated from Congress. The vastness of their constituencies has turned too many representatives into distant careerists, political moguls with bloated staffs and bloated egos who are more closely attuned to their campaign war chests than to the lives of the people they are supposed to represent.

Term limits would help reconnect members of Congress with their districts, as would an end to blatantly partisan gerrymandering. But there is an even better way to make Congress more democratic: Make it bigger [...]
Enlarging the House to around 1,300 members — triple its current size — would doubtless take some getting used to. But the benefits would more than outweigh any inconvenience.


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