Apr 22, 2008

Different Approaches to Poverty

Summing up this article:

I don't have to sum up McCain because you can guess that he's still using Voodoo Economics, or what Reagan's administration like to call "starving the beast," (cut taxes for rich people and business and EVERYBODY saves!). This has shown time and time again to only create class divide and not wealth across the board.

"Raising the Earned Income Tax Credit, a tax credit for low-income workers, has been suggested by Democratic contenders Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton, and would allow higher-income families to claim the credit."

  • Proposing tripling the Earned Income Tax Credit for single workers, supposedly this would provide an average tax cut of $750 for 4 million people
  • Offer $1,000 in investing incentives to encourage low-income people to build wealth
  • 5 million jobs in energy efficiency and renewable energy technology
  • $1 billion annually to states to create 100,000 new jobs to improve energy efficiency in public buildings
  • A program to weatherize 20 million low-income homes would reduce heating bills and create 2,000 new jobs
  • Take 300,000 families off welfare
  • Force capable fathers to pay child support
  • job programs would help struggling fathers through job training/counseling
  • Reduce the marriage penalty, which taxes some married couples at a higher rate than if each partner filed as a single person
  • Plans to tap into alternative energy to create a "green jobs corps" made up of disadvantaged youth
  • Responsible Fatherhood programs
  • Address Domestic violence
  • Sponsor activities to sustain healthy relations and marriages
  • Limit reductions in welfare payments if both parents work
  • Grants for programs to educate young people about the consequences of early parenthood
  • Aims to remove penalties on married families and "break the cycle of early parenthood" (good luck)
  • Grants would be given to states to fund transitional job programs
  • Require states to give full child support to the families

Ya, they're pretty much the same thing, numbers are slightly different and Obama wants to encourage fathers instead of forcing them in to anything, as Clinton suggests. Both seem to want to create another unemployment division.

"Stop tax cuts and start dealing with real problems."

As far as environmental issues/jobs, Ralph Nader was instrumental in establishing EPA, Clean Water Act, and Clean Air Act. Personally, I feel poverty has less to do with focusing on "deadbeat dads" and removing people from welfare when the U.S. education system is a joke. Take college tution:
In February (2006) Congress ... cut $12 billion out of the student loan programs, mostly from students and parents. In a report just out, the California Public Interest Research Group (CALPIRG) found that in California, 17.9% of public college students and 28.8% of private college graduates have unmanageable student loan debt were they to take jobs as teachers or social workers. Yet these critical careers desperately need college graduates to replenish their ranks. (To download the full report, go to http://www.calpirg.org. See also http://www.studentloanjustice.org.
"Sallie Mae and the Student Loan Swindle" Ralph Nader, Counterpunch.org May 13/14, 2006
see also "Sallie Mae's Success Too Costly?" CBS 60 Minutes May 7, 2006
If a student can't start working on their career because of the burden of debt ruining their credit, how can they begin raising a family? A lot of single mothers and fathers put themselves through college with student loans.

Nader on Education
  • Invest in K-12 education; that will reduce poverty
  • Teach democratic principles & citizenship in schools
  • Kick Channel One & commercialism out of class
  • Focus on civic & consumer education
  • Help people grow up civic instead of growing up corporate is an important function of the Department of Education
  • Children are spending more and more money directly -- under 12 years of age they spent $ 12 billion last year, and they caused their parents to spend $ 150 billion. They need a consumer perspective, how to become a smart shopper.
  • Charity work is good; but politics addresses root causes
  • While the minimal government benefits still afforded the poor are provided only to the most impoverished, no such “means testing” is applied to corporate welfare beneficiaries. By and large the bigger the company, the more it extracts in government supports.

"Democracy can’t co-exist with gross income inequality" (on welfare and poverty)
In 1941, Supreme Court Justice Louis Brandeis made a prescient observation when he wrote: “We can have a democratic society or we can have the concentration of great wealth in the hands of the few. We cannot have both.” Today, that concentration of wealth and its political power has reached stunning intensities. In large companies, people who work in the same enterprise are now earning $1 for every $416 that the CEO takes away. In 1940, it was $1 for every $12. Today the financial wealth of the top 1% of households exceeds the combined wealth of the bottom 95% of American households. Earlier this year Bill Gates’ wealth was equal to the combined wealth of the poorest 120 million Americans. Whatever this enormous imbalance says about the Great software imitator from Redmond, Washington, it means that about tens of millions of Americans, who work year after year, decade after decade, are nearly broke. What democracy worth its salt would have led to this profound inequity?"
Source: Nomination Acceptance Speech Jun 25, 2000

"While the minimal government benefits still afforded the poor are provided only to the most impoverished, no such “means testing” is applied to corporate welfare beneficiaries. By and large the bigger the company, the more it extracts in government supports."

"The new welfare law sets strict time limits for how long poor people can receive government supports, but no such time limitations attach to government handouts to big business."

"The welfare law denies benefits even to legal immigrants; corporate welfare, by contrast, is far more non-discriminating-Uncle Sam subsidizes foreign corporations as well as domestic businesses., including millions to Canadian mining companies. "

He proposed a "Domestic Marshall Plan to abolish poverty and the class/race system;" a public works project to rebuild America’s cities; a big affordable housing program, and an effort to expand mass transit.

[Instead of economic statistics, ] let’s look at the people indicators. We have homelessness. Affordable housing levels are at a peak in terms of not being met even though Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac are reporting record profits. And then the facilities, the schools, the clinics, the public works that serve ordinary Americans aren’t being repaired. If you take people indicators, there’s quite a different economy.
Source: Interview on ‘Meet the Press’ May 7, 2000

14M families spend half of their income on housing
Fourteen million families spend more than half of their entire income on housing much of it crowded and substandard, leaving little for other necessities such as food, clothing and medical care. Any payout for housing beyond that often leads to serious economic problems which push families into bankruptcy and homelessness - not to mention the fact that many forgo proper nutrition and medical care in an attempt to keep their homes. Source: In the Public Interest, "Tax Cuts Homeless Problems Grow" Jun 3, 2003

1.35 million children are homeless
Lack of a stable place to live is traumatic for adults, but for children the experience is particularly cruel. More than 1.35 million children are homeless at some point each year. They exist in shelters, cars, parks or pushed into already badly overcrowded quarters. The homeless life disrupts their education, exposes them to communicable diseases, malnutrition, depression and drug addictions.
Source: In the Public Interest, "Tax Cuts Homeless Problems Grow" Jun 3, 2003


jason said...

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betterthannader said...

nice post.


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