— Michael Rivero (via lapalomanegra, fucknobigbrother) (via femmewolfprince) (via navigatethestream) (via solidarityforever) (via mommapolitico) (via truth-has-a-liberal-bias) (via kogiopsis) (via yawniambored) (via aliaisqueen) (via caffeinatedriot) (via official-mens-frights-activist) (via rainforest-rusalki) (via commodifiedsouls)
— Deepak Bhargava, Executive Director for the Center for Community Change
…The “discussion draft” submitted by Rep. Paul Ryan (R-WI) to the House Budget Committee on potential solutions to poverty in America includes the proposal that low-income Americans would have to sign “contracts” in order to remain eligible for social safety net benefits, such as food stamps, or SNAP. The contract would include: benchmarks, such as finding a job, enrolling in employment training, or even meeting “new acquaintances outside circle of poverty”; a “timeline” in which individuals are contractually-obligated to meet those benchmarks; bonuses for meeting benchmarks early; and “sanctions for breaking the terms of the contract”:
I’m sure giving the impoverished even more paperwork to deal with will help them not be poor anymore. As with almost all libertarians, Paul Ryan is secretly a major fan of big government—as long as it’s used to crush people other than him.
It’s funny that Ryan is so hellbent on ‘reforming’ entitlements like Social Security. It seemed to work fine for him. You all remember that he paid for college using Social Security survivor benefits, right?
Matt Bruenig on the brilliant ways Gaines-Turner, a woman who testfieid about her experiences with poverty at a congressional hearing, responded to Republican assholery. Democratic leadership could learn a thing or two from her!
To be fair though, outsmarting a congressional Republican is probably easy compared to the rigors of dealing with poverty on a daily basis.
Steadfast conservative = Teabagger, Christian theocrat
Business conservative = plutocrat
Young “outsiders” = libertarians, more accurately described as young Republicans
When our donors met the actual people they were helping they often didn’t like them. During our Secret Santa drive, volunteers sometimes refused to drop gifts at houses with TVs inside. They got angry when clients had cell phones or in some other way didn’t match their expectations. Other times, the donations we got were too disgusting to pass along—soup cans that bulged with botulism and diapers so dry rotted they crumbled in our hands. One Thanksgiving, a board member called from the parking lot, requesting help carrying a frozen turkey from her trunk to our office. “Can you find a deserving family?” she asked. I lugged the bird up three flights of stairs. Somewhere near the top, I noticed the expiration date. It was seventeen years old.
This is really good. Read it when you get a chance.
Crawling out of poverty still might not convince you to get that “has to crawl everywhere” looked at.
#5. You Only Go to the Doctor if It’s an Emergency
When you’re below a certain income, a social benefit kicks in to make sure you and your kids aren’t riddled with disease and then spreading it through public Twister competitions. It’s a medical card, and in the most basic terms, it provides free or discount medical treatment. I grew up with that benefit, which means that I went to the doctor so often that I could shoot vitamin lasers out of my eyes. At one point, they were using my sweat to cure hepatitis.
Just kidding — I only went to the doctor when I broke a bone or needed stitches. Sometimes not even then. See, there’s a problem with having a medical card that borders on paradox: In order to get one, you have to be poor, and the poverty-stricken people who do have them often don’t have a means to actually get to the doctor in the first place.
This is pretty good, except hatred of rich people is not at all irrational.
The first one (#5) is what hits closest to home for me. I didn’t have health insurance until I was in my 20s and I still have trouble making regular appointments for things like check-ups.
I have a coworker who kept refusing to go to the doctor for days after falling and hurting herself because she thought it would be a waste of time and money. I finally convinced her to go and it turned out she had a fractured rib. My mother did the same thing after she fell and hurt her arm. When she finally went to the ER, it turned out she had broken her wrist.
It’s not perfect, but thank fuck they managed to pass the ACA. Maybe we’ll have fewer doctor-avoiding adults someday.
Let me get this straight. The war on poverty hasn’t completely eliminated poverty. According to conservatives, this means it’s an abject failure and we should abolish all anti-poverty programs.
Yet the war on terror hasn’t completely eliminated terrorism and is unlikely (like most wars on concepts) to ever do so. According to conservatives, this means we just haven’t thrown enough resources (including human lives) at the problem and we should double down on our anti-terror efforts.
Jindal and his allies want the public to see them as entirely sincere. They’re not trying to crush teachers’ unions, and they’re not on a privatization crusade, intent on destroying public institutions. They just want to help low-income children, even spending public funds to advance their goal.
But their purported concern for the poor is literally unbelievable. When the issue is health care and housing, Jindal and other conservatives say struggling families should rely on the free market and their capacity to pull themselves up by their bootstraps. When the issue is education, suddenly the right cares deeply about disadvantaged children and is eager to “help.”
When Jindal and other school voucher advocates are ready to assist “poor and disadvantaged” families in ways that don’t undermine public schools and teachers’ unions, I’ll gladly revisit the debate. Until then, this looks a lot like a scam.
Steve Hallett and John Wright, Life Without Oil: Why We Must Shift to a New Energy Future (via therecipe)
THIS. I get very angry at liberals living in wealthy countries who deplore the ‘unsustainability’ of high population growth in the global south, but ignore the fact that the global north consumes a disproportionate share of resources. It is also often the case that the shaky economic conditions of ‘third world’ countries were created for and continue to be sustained by former colonial empires.
We could end homelessness with the money Americans spend on Christmas decorations.
This makes for a grabby headline, but the government can’t force people to not spend money on Christmas. It can do all the other stuff. I had no idea corporate meal and entertainment write-offs came out to so much money.