Friday, December 23, 2011

49 Million Living in Poverty

Here's a little something guaranteed to give you some Christmas cheer- by some criteria, the poverty rate in the U.S. is 16%. To put it in starker terms, just about one out of every six Americans is poor, for the under-eighteen set, it's even more horrific- about one-in-five children under 18 is poor. Even more appallingly, the six heirs to the Wal*Mart fortune have as much wealth as the bottom 30% of America's population. Let it be said that they've made their fortunes by killing well-paying manufacturing jobs, while relying on government assistance programs to subsidize their poorly-paid employees.

Yeah, I can't believe it, we're in the Third World. I'm doing okay, but I really want to see everybody doing well... I just don't see why the hell anybody would want to see a large portion of the populace in poverty (well, there is sociopathy, and a Calvinistic equation of wealth with piety). I'm reminded of an anecdote which Thom Hartmann often recounts, in which a German executive accepts his high tax rate, saying "I don't want to be a rich man in a poor country."

On the Christmas front, those poor kids should be pleased to receive a lump of coal in their stockings, because Congress wanted to cut home heating assistance to low income families. The whole thing is appalling... how about a Christmas song, albeit a topical one?

The Kinks' Father Christmas is another of those "not really a novelty song", much like Androgynous by The Replacements. Crank it, but make sure you remember those kids who've got nothing, while you're drinking down your wine.


ifthethunderdontgetya™³²®© said...

Even more appallingly, the six heirs to the Wal*Mart fortune have as much wealth as the bottom 30% of America's population.

JERB CREATORS, he Frank Luntzed.

Glennis said...

At work we were talking about the recent phenomenon this year where anonymous benefactors have been going into stores like Kmart and Target and paying off people's random layover accounts. And then the woman who is our mail carrier said she actually had this happen to her - someone anonymously paid off her layover account for a purchase she'd made.

The cool thing is, she paid it forward - she's a working person with a job, so she told K-mart to credit it to another account and she'd keep paying off her purchase.

I read a story on detroitblog about a woman in dire straits, and sent her an email. She responded to me. So on a whim, I just stuffed a bunch of twenties into a Christmas card and mailed them to her.

Big Bad Bald Bastard said...

Wow, Aunt Snow, that was really amazing!

Smut Clyde said...

I suspect there are schools in Zimbabwe who are bundling up their old out-of-date textbooks and sending them to schools in the US.

Laura said...

I was listening to the radio as I was driving my son to work one day last week.
The announcer was talking to a lady who had spear headed a toy drive. He asked her.. "Will every child in our community have a Merry Christmas this year?" and she replied, "Yes! Yes they will."
What an arrogant statement! I couldn't believe she said that. Not every child will have a great Christmas. You can collect all the crap you want to and while yes, it does get to some kids, it does not get to all of them.

Everybody gives a damn at this time of the year. A small percentage gives a damn the other 11 months of the year.

Our family is fortunate to be "alright" as well. That could turn on a dime though-who knows what the future brings.
I'm finished with that fucking Walmart.

Sorry that you have to work tomorrow but I hope that you still have a wonderful day. All the best Big B! :)


Substance McGravitas said...

Being finished with Wal-Mart is really pretty nice.

Have a fine Christmas and thanks for all the entertainment.

Dr.KennethNoisewater said...

Not the cheeriest Xmas message but one more people should get, I reckon.

Happy Hollydaze, you Bastard.