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Bill Moyers and and Michael Winship had a good post over the weekend that takes the powers that be to task for ignoring poverty in the U.S. even as it continues to grow.

“It’s just astonishing to us how long this campaign has gone on with no discussion of what’s happening to poor people. Official Washington continues to see poverty with tunnel vision – ‘out of sight, out of mind.’

And we’re not speaking just of Paul Ryan and his Draconian budget plan or Mitt Romney and their fellow Republicans. Tipping their hats to America’s impoverished while themselves seeking handouts from billionaires and corporations is a bad habit that includes President Obama, who of all people should know better….

We know, we know: It is written that, “The poor will always be with us.” But when it comes to our “out of sight, out of mind” population of the poor, you have to think we can help reduce their number, ease the suffering, and speak out, with whatever means at hand, on their behalf and against those who would prefer they remain invisible. Speak out:  that means you and me, and yes, Mr. President, you, too. You once told the big bankers on Wall Street that you were all that stood between them and the pitchforks of an angry public. How about telling the poor you will make sure our government stands between them and the cliff?”

You can read the entire column by clicking here.

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If we updated FDR’s statement at left it might go like this:

“Do not let any calamity-howling executive with an income of $40,000 a day,…tell you…that a wage of $392 a week is going to have a disastrous effect on all American industry.”

And a new study released today by the Economic Policy Institute provides lots of hard numbers that demonstrate just how beneficial a hike in the federal minimum wage from $7.25 to $9.80 would be (both to average families and the economy as a whole).

Key findings include:

-Increasing the federal minimum wage to $9.80 by July 1, 2014, would raise the wages of about 28 million workers, who would receive nearly $40 billion in additional wages over the phase-in period. Read More

For members of the media and other interested parties…

MEDIA ADVISORY: The Truth & Hope Tour of Poverty in North Carolina kicks off its Triangle-area leg TOMORROW Friday, July 20

WHAT: The Truth & Hope Tour of Poverty in North Carolina
WHEN: Friday, July 20
WHO:  The North Carolina NAACP, NC Justice Center, UNC Center on Poverty, Work and Opportunity, Institute for Civic Engagement and Social Change at North Carolina Central University, and AARP of NC
WHERE: Raleigh, Durham and Chapel Hill

RALEIGH (July 19, 2012) – On Friday, July 20, the North Carolina NAACP, NC Justice Center, UNC Center on Poverty, Work  and Opportunity, Institute for Civic Engagement and Social Change at  North Carolina Central University, and AARP of NC will kick off the Triangle-area leg of the “Truth and Hope Tour of Poverty in North Carolina,” a  state-wide tour of rural counties and inner city neighborhoods in which North Carolinians have struggled to find work, decent housing, transportation, and sufficient food for their families.

“This next leg of the Tour of Truth and Hope will take activists, academics, media and economists to places of poverty in North Carolina’s most prosperous region,” said Rev. Dr. William J. Barber, II, NC NAACP President. Read More

Paul Krugman is one of the nation’s best and most coherent economists and today he authored both a column and a follow-up that show why. In arguing for ACTION NOW to address our ongoing economic crisis, he says the following:

“The answer, I’d suggest, lies in the way claims that our problems are deep and structural offer an excuse for not acting, for doing nothing to alleviate the plight of the unemployed.

Of course, structuralistas say they are not making excuses. They say that their real point is that we should focus not on quick fixes but on the long run — although it’s usually far from clear what, exactly, the long-run policy is supposed to be, other than the fact that it involves inflicting pain on workers and the poor.

Anyway, John Maynard Keynes had these peoples’ number more than 80 years ago. ‘But this long run,’ he wrote, ‘is a misleading guide to current affairs. In the long run we are all dead. Economists set themselves too easy, too useless a task if in tempestuous seasons they can only tell us that when the storm is long past the sea is flat again.’

I would only add that inventing reasons not to do anything about current unemployment isn’t just cruel and wasteful, it’s bad long-run policy, too. For there is growing evidence that the corrosive effects of high unemployment will cast a shadow over the economy for many years to come.