Thursday, November 22, 2012

You Can Get Anything You Want, At The Food Pantry

I torture my kids with Alice's Restaurant every year. We talk about Arlo and that usually leads to a conversation about Woody Guthrie. Then I start thinking about the Great Depression. Maybe we are luckier today then during that desperate time. As rich as this country is, we still have:
  • In 2011, 46.2 million people (15.0 percent) were in poverty.
  • In 2011, 9.5 million (11.8 percent) families were in poverty.
  • In 2011, 26.5 million (13.7 percent) of people ages 18-64 were in poverty.
  • In 2011, 16.1 million (22.0 percent) children under the age of 18 were in poverty.
  • In 2011, 3.6 million (9.0 percent) seniors 65 and older were in poverty.
  • The overall Poverty Rate according to the Supplemental Poverty Measure is 16.0%, as compared with the official poverty rate of 15.1%.ii
Under the Supplemental Poverty Measure, there are 49.1 million people living in poverty, 2.5 million more than are represented by the official poverty measure (46.2 million)
It is crazy to me that there is this much poverty in a country that can produce drones and unending war. No one talks about the war on poverty, not anymore. Which brings me to food insecurity. The biggest factor in terms of food insecurity is unemployment. The BLS says we have an unemployment rate of  7.9% which I believe, is a bunch of B.S. so many people are underemployed or so underpaid, that they need government assistance. (read Walmart, which gives employee's applications for foodstamps and medicaid) Some people are working 2 jobs, just to survive.
So lets all panic over the "fiscal cliff". What isn't acknowledged is how many Americans went over the "fiscal cliff" when the Great Recession started in 2008. Many, too many, are still unemployed. I have not heard of any comprehensive jobs legislation discussed by any Congressperson or Senator, or the President. As a matter of fact, there is a jobs bill for veterans, that is stuck in the Senate. It's a disgrace that these asses can't even pull it together for veterans. So I don't hold out much hope on the situation improving in the future, since we all can just magically pull ourselves up by our bootstraps, if you just work hard enough.....yada, yada, yada..Oh and we're broke. Whatever.
So, really, you can get anything you want, at the local food pantry, if they have it that is.
 I work with a girl who has three kids and she has to get food at a food pantry, her husband has been unemployed for so long, they can't make ends meet. Then there are all the people who have lost everything in the storm, waiting for FEMA to cut them a check, they lost all their food, that is if they didn't lose everything else. If you go grocery shopping, you know how expensive everything is. So a lot of people have nothing, through no fault of their own.
Can we stop the war, please and take care of our own? Can we stop whining that we are broke, because we are not. We spend American taxpayer money on all the wrong things. Our priority should be a jobs program for any one who wants to work. No one, in this country should have to go hungry, ever.
 Happy Thanksgiving.

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