Monday, September 22, 2014

Sunday, September 21, 2014

Party like it's 1995--American paychecks fall to 1995 levels as poverty continues to sweep the US--1 in 5 US children live in poverty ranks 34th out of 35 industrialized countries

US Money children living in poverty
About one in five US children live in poverty. Photograph: TIMOTHY A. CLARY/AFP/Getty Images
Ask American women and children: poverty rates in the US have shown little improvement since the financial crisis in 2008.
That’s the message from the US Census Bureau, which released itsannual report on poverty.
Women are still making $10,800 less each year than men, earning only 78 cents to every dollar a man earns. That’s said to be an improvement over 77 cents last year.
And one in five US children live in poverty, the report showed. 
Here are the five most important takeaways from today’s report, which show that America is still distant from solving its thorniest economic problems. 

The poverty rate for children under 18 years old is 19.9%

That means about one in five children live in poverty. The US is already ranked 34 out of 35 developed countries for child poverty, according to the UN Children’s Fund
There is some good news, however. The overall poverty rate for US children did fall – to 19.9% in 2013 from 21.8% in 2012, according to the US Census Bureau:
The number of children in poverty also declined over the period, from 16.1m to 14.7m. This was the first time since 2000 that the child poverty has declined.

Child poverty rates in the US are comparable to those in India Photograph: Gethin Chamberlain/Gethin Chamberlain

There are more full-time jobs

The small drop in the poverty rate can be attributed to the increase in full-time employment, according to the Census Bureau.
There were about 60.8m men and 45.1m women working full time in 2013, according to the bureau. That meant 1.8m men and 1m women found full-time jobs in that year. 
About 1m of these new full-time workers were parents, a US Census spokesman told reporters on a conference call.

US Money full time workers census 2013
The number of full-time workers in the US is on the rise. Photograph: US Census Bureau, Current Population Survey, 1968 to 2014 Annual Social and Economic Supplement

“There is a rise in year-round full-time employment among parents with children, and that’s having an impact on median household income of households with children and the poverty rate. The poverty rate is down this year and the median household income of households with children is up,” he added.
Currently, there are 118.6m full-time workers in the US, according to the August jobs report. That’s a 2m increase since August of 2013. 
These gains may sound impressive, but they’re not putting a dent in the US unemployment crisis. Labor-force participation, a measure of how many Americans have jobs, is at lows not seen since the recession of the early 1980s.

Americans are earning less than they did in 2007

Americans are currently earning as much as they were in 1995 when the median household income was $51,719.
Americans still lag in earning the same wages they brought in before the recession. In 2013, the median household income went up just $180, reaching $51,939. The median household income in 2007, was $56,436.
It’s no wonder that 46% of Americans still think that US is in recession, despite the fact that the recovery technically began in June 2009.

Black households lag far behind economically

Sadly, this is nothing new, but the median income for black households was about $23,700 less than that of a white household.
According to the 2012 US census, African Americans represent 14.2% of the population nationwide, but 28.1% of this group lives in poverty – compared to 11.1% of the total population. Of families with children, that number jumps to a third, compared to 18.8% of families of all races. Unemployment, whether short or long-term, runs at double the rate that white workers experience. If you’re black, you’re significantly more likely to have to spend more than 30% of your monthly income on either rent or monthly occupancy costs.
The poverty rate for blacks fell this year to 27.2%, but that is still almost three times as high as the poverty rate of whites, which remained steady at 9.6%.

US Money poverty race census 2013
The poverty rate for blacks is almost three times as much as that for whites.Photograph: US Census Bureau, Current Population Survey, 1968 to 2014 Annual Social and Economic Supplement

“The nation’s level of income inequality continues to be the highest of any Western industrialized nation and worse than even El Salvador, the Dominican Republic, and India,” according to a statement from the New York City Coalition Against Hunger.

Women earn about 78¢ per each dollar a man earns

American women are earning a penny more than they did last year– but don’t spend it all in one place, because it’s not a big trend yet. Compared to last year, when women were earning just 77¢ per every dollar that men did, they’re now earning an additional cent on top of that. This means that in a span of a year, women earn about $10,800 less than men.

US Money women men pay census 2013
Sorry ladies, you are still making less than men. Photograph: US Census Bureau, Current Population Survey, 1968 to 2014 Annual Social and Economic Supplement

“There’s good news and bad news. The good news: the wage gap is shrinking. The very bad news: it’s by only a penny. So this means that women on average still make only 78 cents for every dollar a man makes,” said Fatima Goss Graves, vice president for education and employment at the National Women’s Law Center. 
“That means that millions of women and their families continue to slide backwards year after year,” Graves said. “We can and must do better than this. It’s time to close the wage gap now.”
And then there are those who think poverty is being overstated. The conservative Heritage Foundation offered this rebuttal to the poverty figures: 

  • Priceless reaction from to the latest poverty data: They want to remind us just how good the poors have it.

    Something For The Eye: Isle of Skye, Scotland

    All episodes of Ken Burns' "The Roosevelts: An Intimate Portrait" now available for viewing online


    Saturday, September 20, 2014

    Video: Circle of Abstract Ritual

    Circle of Abstract Ritual from Jeff Frost on Vimeo.

    Aesthetically Pleasing NSFW

    In 44 days America will have the opportunity to pay Congress back for all of it's hard work, we owe it to our Representatives to vote this November

    by OneYearSteakGuy

    Every two years we get the chance to fire every single member of the House of Representatives, and on November 4th our two year wait is up! If you don't step up and act you'll miss your chance to go to the polls and make your voice heard. We owe it to Congress to show them just how much we appreciate all their hard work and tireless dedication to our country.

    Congress worked just 126 days in 2013, that averages out to around 2.5 days per week.
    Wouldn't it be great if the American working class could have a four day weekend, every week for the entire year? Or maybe just one massive 34 week paid vacation.

    Here are some questions to ask yourself between now and November:
    I'd also like to address some of the common concerns when I try to encourage people to vote:
    • "They're all the same anyway."
    • "Not voting is the same as a vote of no confidence."
      • We have tried not voting before. In fact we have tried not voting sixteen times in the last seventy years. Less than half of eligible voters turned out for midterm elections in 1950, 1954, 1958, 1962, 1966, 1970, 1974, 1978, 1982, 1986, 1990, 1994, 1998, 2002, 2006, and 2010 which means that in 100% of midterm elections since 1950 a minority of Americans were allowed to pick a new House of Representatives.
      • Not voting is tantamount to saying "Things are good enough in my life that I'm going to let you keep your job" because why would an elected official change anything if they're reelected? They don't care if they win with 100% turnout or if they win with 10% turnout just as long as they win.
      • Not voting just gives more power to the people who do show up.
    • "Voting doesn't change anything anyway."
      • Nothing changes all at once but our history is riddled with slow but steady progress. We have seen since 2010 the damage that can be caused by a single election, how one bad election can slow progress to a crawl and even drag us backwards. Voting can and does make a difference, but first you need to vote.
    • "My vote doesn't count."
      • No, your vote alone won't win the election. Vote anyway. You; by yourself, won't win a tug-of-war, that's why we all work together and we need you to pull your weight, especially now.
    • "My district is gerrymandered too much for the opposition to stand a chance."
      • Gerrymandering has no effect on state-wide elections, so if you don't vote because of gerrymandering you're missing out on the opportunity to vote for Governor, Senator and any of a number of ballot initiatives.
    • "There's no one on the ballot that represents me, or represents my views."
      • Then you need to represent your views for yourself. Go to the polling place and write in "NO CONFIDENCE" for any; or all, of the eligible seats. Not voting says nothing but "Everything is fine, my life is good, I don't want anything to change" so go and vote "NO CONFIDENCE" and make your voice heard.
    • "If voting changed anything it would be illegal."
      • For the vast majority of human history voting was functionally illegal, as leaders were picked through birth or war or appointment or God. The very thought of letting the people vote was considered dangerous and absurd.
      • When our country was founded it was illegal for anyone except white, land owning males to vote.
      • It was illegal for African Americans to vote until 1870.
      • It was practically illegal for African Americans to vote until 1965.
      • It was illegal for women to vote until 1920.
      • It was illegal for 18 year-olds to vote until 1971.
    • "Why should I have to choose between a Douche Turd and a Giant Sandwich?"
      • I guess you should have voted in the primaries so that D. Turd and G. Sandwich would never have gotten to the general election...
      • Also: No human is so black or white, no policy is so clearly right or wrong, no political party is so good or evil. The Sandwich analogy is a painful oversimplification of both voting and of political candidates.
    There are those who will try to tell you that they're too weak, that they're actions and votes are worthless, that it is better to sit in silence than to stand up and be counted; these people have become so convinced of their powerless impotence that they will try to convince others of the same thing. Just like an alcoholic will try to force you to drink, the timid will try to force you to stay silent. Smile and nod and vote anyway, because you are not weak, you are not powerless, you are not impotent unless you let yourself be.
    Think of them like the fat friend that's always trying to convince you to eat cake.
    The biggest point I would like to make here is that yes, your vote does count. The person who convinces you not to vote, votes twice.
    Now watch this video and go kick some ass!

    The following states allow paperless, online voter registration. You can register in minutes, and no further action is necessary aside from showing up and in some cases having a photo ID.
    The following states require paper registration. You will have to print out the form in your states link, fill it out and mail it in.

    Thursday, July 24, 2014

    Welfare is not for the lazy, it's for the unfortunate. We are being subjected to propaganda from the wealthy class to make us believe that being in need is the result of vice.

    by JohnnyBeagle

    I was on welfare. The notion that welfare is just lazy people taking unfair advantage of the system is a big fat lie. It's meant to trick you into thinking that people in need are immoral and lazy. I worked for 30 years and was out of work for for one year. In the one year, my kids got free lunch at school, free field trips, and free sports. My wife and I both received life saving medical treatment from Medicaid, for free. After that year, my wife and I were both back to work, paying in and we will be paying in for another 20 years if we're lucky. That's the point. No one wants to be on welfare. Well, okay there is a small number of rich & poor alike who don't mind getting money for doing nothing, but most of us? We want to work, give, participate, be a part of something, be respected. I am sick & tired of seeing working class people rising up against welfare. They are slitting their own throats.