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This morning’s comes from the Durham Herald-Sun:

“Opening eyes to poverty
 
State lawmaker George Cleveland’s statement last week on extreme poverty is stomach-churning.

“We have no one in the state of North Carolina living in extreme poverty,” he said in the course of discussion about funding for the state’s early childhood education program.. “Poverty is you’re out there living on a dollar and half a day. I don’t think we have anybody in North Carolina doing that.”

We’re not sure what world Cleveland is living in, but poverty is an all too common sight in ours.

So what qualifies as extreme poverty? Read More

At the same time that U.S. restaurant workers attempt to get by on the obsolete base wage of $2.13/hour (see the post below), the nation’s elite caste of imperial CEO’s and silver spooners gets richer and ever-more selfish.

Happily, some good guy groups have taken to documenting the excesses of the one-percenters in highly readable fashion.

Here is one such effort worth your time from the Institute for Policy Studies – It’s called Too Much: An online of excess and inequality. Read it and weep for your country.

 

 

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Many of you have probably seen this little video from a while back from the almost always funny and provocative Bill Maher, but it seems worth promoting again this morning in the aftermath of last night’s orgy of economic success/excess. Maher’s insightful point is one that I and a lot of other progressive sports fans have made over the years.

(And, as last night’s game demonstrated, the rich (i.e. the New York Giants) can still fare extremely well — even in a collectivist enterprise like the NFL).

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The Mittster has a reputation as sort of a closet moderate, but as John Schmitt argues persuasively at The New Republic. he’s really espousing quite radical stuff these days in his talk about the poor:

“In taking up this new conservative line, Romney and others are trashing an important part of Reagan’s legacy and a significant bipartisan innovation over the past few decades. The idea of supporting and rewarding work and responsibility met up with the recognition that people need supports—health care, child care, income security—in order to take full advantage of opportunities after they leave the ranks of the ‘very poor’….

Romney deserves mockery for his clumsy language. He deserves to be called out for the fact that he wouldn’t actually “repair” the safety net. But we should also recognize that there is an underlying vision to his mangled words, and that that vision marks a dramatic break from the conservative tradition. It’s also far out of step with what people need in order to participate in the modern American economy.”

 

On Thursday, January 19, the North Carolina NAACP, NC Justice Center, UNC Center on Poverty, Work and Opportunity and the Institute for Civic Engagement and Social Change at North Carolina Central University will kick off the first leg of the “Truth and Hope Tour of Poverty in North Carolina,” a state-wide tour of rural counties and inner city neighborhoods where North Carolinians struggle to find work, decent housing, transportation, and sufficient food for their families.

Departing from Raleigh on Jan. 19, a bus full of activists, reporters, foundation leaders, and scholars will travel through the northeast quadrant of the state, engaging in town hall meetings, sessions with local leaders, and tours of neighborhoods directly affected by poverty.

“If we see the faces of poverty, maybe then we will have as a state the moral motivation to do the long, hard, necessary and righteous work of turning this reality around for the good of the whole of our state and nation.” said Rev. Dr. William Barber II, chair of the NC State NAACP.

A video trailer of the tour, which contains footage from listening sessions, is available online. Click here to view the video.

The tour schedule: Read More