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How and why is this acceptable to anyone here? The United States now has one of the highest child poverty rates in the world.

Dear Congress: Please just take the rest of the year OFF; you've done enough damage to our nation this year with your absurdly expensive terminal wars, sabre-rattling over Iran, and you clearly have ZERO plan to get our nation out of the economic ditch.

This is about as weak as it gets folks:

The nation's poverty rate rose last year to 15.1 percent, the highest level in 17 years, according to new data from the Census Bureau. The agency's latest poverty report, released Tuesday, shows that 46 million people were poor and that the median income dropped last year by more than two percent to about $49,445.

Not unexpectedly, the continued lack of jobs was the main cause.

Economist Rich Burkhauser of Cornell says income declined for just about everyone and — surprisingly — at a faster rate overall than it did in 2008, when the recession was in full swing. Burkhauser says the main reason is a big decline in the workforce.

"The number of males who are working has fallen by over 3 million workers since 2007, and last year it fell by another 650,000. So that's very disturbing," he says.

"That's very disturbing".... Indeed it is.. so WHAT is the plan in congress to create millions of jobs?? Zero.

Congress just took five weeks off for summer vaca-- and had a grand ol' time whooping it up (on our dime) at their "conventions".. came back to DC for a couple of weeks-- then bailed out of town again-- to go back to their districts and campaign to KEEP their jobs. Uhhhhhh.

Is there one stinking reason I should vote again for my congress person?

On the face of it, it appears our great Free Market System no longer needs male workers. As I ponder this, I keep going back to the photo of Ghandiji, sitting at his spinning wheel making his own cloth for clothing he made for himself. See:

The top five positions in the league table are occupied by Iceland, Finland, Cyprus, the Netherlands and Norway (with Slovenia and Denmark close behind). All of these countries have relative child poverty rates below 7%. Another eight countries including two of the largest — Germany and France– have rates between 7% and 10%. A third group, including Australia, Canada, New Zealand and the United Kingdom, post rates of between 10% and 15%. A further six, including populous Italy and Spain, show rates of between 15% and 20%. In only two countries are more than 20% of children living in relative poverty — Romania and the United States.
More than twenty percent of our children are living in poverty. Sound good? This is an indicator of a great Nation?

Meanwhile in Charlotte, NC:

GASTONIA – The line forms at 7 a.m., two hours before the food bank opens.

Betty Ziltenger, 63, knows from experience to arrive early.

“If you don’t, you’ll be back there where they are,” she said, nodding toward people bringing up the rear.

 Once a week, Ziltenger comes to B.R.E.A.D. Inc., a Christian-based food bank on Gastonia’s main drag – Franklin Boulevard.

At the location between the City Hall and the new Gastonia Conference Center, she joins hundreds of others – some in wheelchairs or on crutches - getting bread, soft drinks, salads.

B.R.E.A.D. president Dorothy Lowery, 85, who is the pastor of a Pentecostal church, has been with the food bank since its early days.

 Decades ago, on a mission trip to Egypt, she saw women and children so hungry they were pulling grass out of the ground and eating it. The image stays with her as people file into the B.R.E.A.D. building.

 “I see desperate people coming in,” Lowery said. “It’s heartbreaking.”

 To get assistance, people must show an ID, proof of income and the bills they pay. They’re allowed a once-weekly bag of bread, soft drinks and occasional salad and once a month can get a box of staple food items that may or may not include chips, crackers, various sauces and other items.

 Distribution is on Tuesdays and Thursdays, from 9 a.m. until noon. Clients wait for hours in the rain or cold or scorching temperatures.

FAIL. This past week I took a drive thru Benton Harbor, MI (frequently in the news). This may as well be Appalachia... numerous dumpy, run down houses with kids sitting on the porches-- staring out blankly. Right around the corner is Whirlpool's new office complex-- $3 million, I believe was the investment. Good to see Whirlpool making this committment, but I wonder how many kids I saw will ever have the opportunity to actually work there and earn a living?

Originally posted to Superpole on Sun Sep 23, 2012 at 07:58 AM PDT.

Also republished by Income Inequality Kos.

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