Monday, July 30, 2012

"Poverty in America: Why Can’t We End It?"

For a heplful corollary, see this morning's first post: "Many conservative Americans have seen their livelihoods threatened by the very neoliberal economics their party seeks to extend."

Poverty in America: Why Can’t We End It?, by Peter Edelman (New York Times)

... A surefire politics of change would necessarily involve getting people in the middle — from the 30th to the 70th percentile — to see their own economic self-interest. If they vote in their own self-interest, they’ll elect people who are likely to be more aligned with people with lower incomes as well as with them. As long as people in the middle identify more with people on the top than with those on the bottom, we are doomed. The obscene amount of money flowing into the electoral process makes things harder yet.

1 comment:

w&la said...

It's ironic – the Republican Party's current embrace of the "cut taxes and let every one fend for themselves" philosophy actually forces the folks in lower economic strata into federally funded support systems, thereby increasing the very "socialism" the Republican Party claims to be against.

What many don't realize is that the number of folks on welfare is small - only 4.1 per cent of the population receives welfare.

Source: US Department of Health and Human Services, U.S. Department of Commerce, CATO Institute - Date Verified: 7.26.2012

The argument is really about the redistribution of wealth - up, to the rich.

About $59 billion is spent on "traditional" social welfare programs. $92 billion is spent on corporate subsidies. So, the government spent 50% more on corporate welfare than it did on food stamps and housing assistance in 2006.

Thanks to federal subsidies from taxpayers like you, CEO’s like G. Allen Andreas of Archer Daniels Midland was able to take home almost $14 million in executive compensation in a single year. That's a lot of high-fructose corn syrup.