Tag Archive: Poverty


Image Source  :  Wikimedia . Org

Old lady at San Miguel Allende, Guanajuato, Mexico.

Author  :  Tomascastelazo

Many  talking points  have  been  flung  back and fourth about the need for health care  reform and the  disadvantage of the  poor.  No one with a conscience  can  say  that they are  not concerned by the plight of the poor.  More should be done in assistance of those who truly need help.  However,in a system where  the  assistance such as  SNAP and  government housing is rife with abuse and lack of enforcement.

How can anyone in their right mind say  that  government controlled insurance is  a logical alternative?

Now there  are those coldhearted enough to say that the poor are in need because they  are  lazy  or do nothing to raise themselves above their circumstance, without batting an  eyelash.  I  am  not one.  I  understand as any logical human  being , who sees things as  they  are, understand that there  are  those who have  learned to game the system and play  it  well. They  have  made a  good life for themselves. And there  are those who do indeed require  assistance to help them help themselves  out  of  their present   circumstance.

How many  of  us know of individuals who live under  section 8  housing and have brand new cars, wicked stereo systems and get their hair and their nails done every week?

Now before  someone jumps up and insinuates that  I  am  speaking of race or being a racist.  I will say  that  the  people  I speak  of do not fall into any one ethnic background.  They are   white, black and Hispanic,  so  please spare  me the  racist diatribe that  seems to  be  the norm since the Obama campaign for the Presidency began.  I neither conform to  what  fashion dictates nor do I  bend to social trends as I am my  own  person  and do my  best  to see things from an objective  perspective.  I am of Hispanic descent but that does not define me as a human  being. I  am so much  more than  my ethnic background.   Being  of Hispanic  heritage I  find it  extremely amusing to be  accused of being a racist simply  because I voice facts  that do not sit  well with some.   I know the kind of  hatred  and self doubt  that  causes  racism as I have  been a victim of it  many times throughout my life.

Yet  to allow that  hatred  to affect  me is a  choice I do not choose to make.  Their hatred is their own  and  I refuse  to let  it dictate my life.  Nor will I allow someone to  curtail my  right to voice my  opinion  by calling me one.

Now with that  out of  the  way  I will say  this……..

Many are  using the poor  as an excuse for this monstrosity.  Yes,  you read  that  right……An Excuse!

If government truly  cared  about the poor   and the poverty  stricken would they  be criminalizing feeding the  hungry?

If  they  cared  about the poor and the poverty  stricken  would they  be  criminalizing the homeless families sleeping in  cars?

It seems to  me the  hypocrisy  has jumped the  rails and has affected many in the mainstream population.  You  see what  you  want to see and carry  the  banner of the  defense of  the poor  like a shield. Spewing the  talking points of those war  mongering  greedy politicians that  claim to  feel a responsibility for the poor. 

Do any of you  even  understand the  consequences of the agenda  you are  undertaking? 

Or in  who’s name you are  championing the  rights of the poor while turning a blind eye  to the  closure of services that  assist  these poor on a  daily basis?

How do you  reconcile in that  mind, that  you are  wanting to do a good thing for those in need while supporting the very  same people who take measures that  hurt  those you  purport  to  want to help?

Last  I checked that  was considered giving with one hand while taking  away  with the other.  Not a  good thing to anyone who wants to be  honest with  themselves or anyone  else.

Does anyone understand the  fact that   the  working  middle class has now had a substantial part of it  downgraded to   working  poor?

Does it matter to you ?

We  live  our lives scraping by  as best  we can  .  Trying to feed our  families, pay  or mortgages and our utilities as  best  we can. Sometimes having to make a choice between running  water and electricity.

Have you  ever had to make that  choice or know of someone who has?

I lived  6 months  without  running  water because I did not make enough to pay for all of my  utilities and pay  my  mortgage.  So it was make cuts to items that  I could live without and would not harm my children.

Water  was  the   most  logical  because I had rain  barrels and I learned how to purify  and treat  it for drinking, cooking, bathing, etc , etc.

Have  you   or anyone you  know ever  had to go without food  so that  your  children  could  eat? 

Simply  eating what  the children  left  after  they  were  done with their meals or making due  with  a piece of bread and a glass of water  to  appease the  pain  that  remains  constant in your  gut?

I  have.  For 5  years  I subsisted  on  what  I  could to make sure my  children  had enough to eat.  Making sure  that everything that  I  purchased was  on  sale so I could stretch  out  my  paycheck as  far  as I  possibly  could.

Have  you  ever  dreaded that  time of month where your bills become due because if any  of  them are  a  bit higher than  they were  the  month  before you  might not be able to pay  one?

I have  many  times over  the  last years.

Have  you  ever prayed that you  stay  healthy  and do not get  sick or have  any of your children  get sick because even  a common cold complication would  be too much of  an  expense  for your  already  limited  resources?

I have.  For many  years I lived under constant stress and fear  that one of us  would fall ill and I  would not be  able to  see a  doctor or buy  the medicine necessary, because there simply  was no money for it.

It is  said that  Obamacare  will ensure  that  those of us who cannot afford insurance will have  adequate  care because it will become available.  Have  any of you   who  parrot these lines even  stopped to think who  are  those who will  qualify  and how this will be  paid for?

For those who have  tried to get  assistance but  have  been  turned away  because you  do not qualify  this will not be  news.  However, to t he  rest  of you  that  have  absolutely no idea how this works I  will try to  help  you.

If you  own  a  car chances  are  you do not   qualify for assistance. When they  calculate  your worth that  car  generally  puts  you over the top and you are  out of luck.    If you  happen to   be lucky  enough to live in a city  or state  that has adequate  public  transportation  then  no problem, you  don’t need a  car. If you  however, live in  a   state  that  has lousy   public  transportation  and happens to  be like Florida or  Texas (two places  where  I  have  lived) where  the distances are  so  great that  it would  be  impossible to  take public  transportation  that neither  has  adequate  coverage  or timely  schedules. You would probably  be  fired   before your second  week due to tardiness.

And  no getting  up earlier   would not have  been  the  solution all of the time as the schedules are posted  but in  reality  they are  sporadic and cannot be depended upon.  So even  if you are  early and have plenty  of time to spare there is  no transport to get  you there.  Had  I  lived in  NYC  it might have been  different. However, if  we  factor in   the  cost  of living  as opposed to  living  wages and the   constant rising cost  of living.  Perhaps not so different.

I applied for  temporary  assistance and was denied for SNAP and  for medical assistance for my  children.    What  I  did   qualify  for  was a medical assistance program that  would cover any  hospital visit  as long as I  covered the   first  $1600.00. 

Exactly where  was I  going to  come up with  $1600.00 ?

At  that  moment  in time you  either had to be poverty  stricken in the strictest sense or lying about  what  you  had in order  to qualify.

So where does that  leave  us today almost 6 years  after the recession and  the  bank  bailouts?  Many  more  working middle class  have  seen  their lives take a turn for the  worse.  They have lost  jobs  and are  now working   two part  time jobs with  no benefits.  Some have   jobs making a bit more than  minimum wage with benefits who  will see their hours  cut   due to  Obamacare. Because companies just  simply will not absorb the cost so that  they  can provide their employees with  insurance benefits. 

So then  what  happens when they  lose their full time hours and  their benefits?  Will Obamacare  take care of that?  Or will they  just   say  ” I am Sorry ” and simply  continue on  as they  have until now ?

Oblivious to the  true  plight of the people and interested only  in  their talking points  and  their corporate cronies.  Business  as  usual!

What  happens to  those who could not afford insurance before Obamacare and  the  cutback  of full time to part  time hours?

How  will they  pay  for insurance under these increased price  tags, when they  could  not afford them before?

Adding  insult to  injury Obamacare  was created to ride on the  backs of the young  and  the  healthy so that  their premiums could help supplement  the loss incurred  by the  sick experienced by insurance companies.  And  by those taxes collected  from  those of us who simply  cannot afford to buy  insurance. 

Are you  not understanding  that  the  safety net  is not for us but for the insurance companies so that  they do  not lose revenue?  Have you missed that   sticking point? 

Yes , those who  qualify  for subsidies will have  health  care, but  how many  others will have to pay  for not   being able to afford insurance  because they simply  do  not  qualify  for assistance under the law?

This is  what  you and Obamacare  have  created. Assist a part  of the  population  by   sacrificing the  other.  The one point you are  all missing is  that  those  you are  sacrificing are the ones who pay  taxes,  who have  always paid  taxes and do not live off the  system.  The  same taxes that government programs need to  survive.

How long do you truly  believe  this will survive?

What  happens when people  get  tired of always  giving while the government and entitlement  programs always  take?

What  happens when those people  say   enough is enough  and they  too join the  ranks of the poor unemployed  and poverty  stricken?

Who  will pay for entitlements  then?  The  rich?

LOL, they  have  more   safety nets  than  the  trapeze performers at the  circus. 

Something has  to  give  folks. The system is broken  and on it’s last  leg and  working class  tax  band aids will just  not cut it  any  longer…..

*****Now please  bear  in mind  that  this  was some years  back and these stipulations for assistaace  may  have  changed  by  now . However,  I  am  trying to make a point  to help all   those of you who do not  get  it to  at  least  understand   what  is  at  stake and where  we  are  in this mess that you  seem to be  hell bent should take place.*****


~Desert Rose~


Sticker Shock and Cancellations: Millions More Hammered by ObamaCare

Written by 


If you haven’t already received a cancellation notice from your healthcare insurance provider, undoubtedly you know a friend or family member who has already been given the devastating news. Millions of Americans are receiving letters from insurance companies like these featured on MyCancellation.com from BlueCross BlueShield, Humana, Aetna, Health Net, Anthem, Cigna, Coventry, and others informing them that their current health care policies are being cancelled because they can no longer be offered under the Affordable Care Act (ObamaCare). Replacement policies often involve premium increases of 100 percent or more, in addition to to the triple whammy of increased co-pays, higher deductibles, and loss of tax deductions for excessive medical expenses.

Even many of those policies that have not been cancelled technically are de facto cancelled, since premiums, benefits, co-pays, and deductibles have been so drastically altered that they are no longer the same policies, although they may carry the same name.

3.5 Million Cancelled — and Counting

At first, it was only the 19 million or so people in the individual health insurance market that were said to be at risk of losing their existing plans. Associated Press reported on November 4 that “at least 3.5 million Americans have been issued cancellations, but the exact number is unclear. Associated Press checks find that data is unavailable in a half the states.” So the number of cancellations could already be double that, or more, depending on which state totals remain to be tabulated.

Read More Here


Exclusive: Obama personally apologizes for Americans losing health coverage

In an exclusive interview with NBC’s Chuck Todd, President Obama said that he is “sorry” that some Americans are losing their current health insurance plans. “We’ve got to work hard to make sure that they know we hear them and we are going to do everything we can,” he added.

President Obama said Thursday that he is “sorry” that some Americans are losing their current health insurance plans as a result of the Affordable Care Act, despite his promise that no one would have to give up a health plan they liked.

“I am sorry that they are finding themselves in this situation based on assurances they got from me,” he told NBC News in an exclusive interview at the White House.

“We’ve got to work hard to make sure that they know we hear them and we are going to do everything we can to deal with folks who find themselves in a tough position as a consequence of this.”

In a wide-ranging interview with NBC’s Chuck Todd, President Obama discusses implementation of the Affordable Care Act, rollout of the healthcare website, NSA spying, Iran and keeping Joe Biden as his running mate.

Obama’s comments come 10 days after NBC News’ Lisa Myers reported that the administration has known since the summer of 2010 that millions of Americans could lose their insurance under the law.

Obama has made repeated assurances that “if you like your health plan, you will be able to keep your health plan” with Obamacare.

Consumers who buy insurance on their own — about  five percent of the population — are at risk of being forced off their current policies because their plans have changed and don’t meet the new standards of the Affordable Care Act.

Obama’s statement has been called into question as Americans have begun to receive cancellation notices, effectively forcing them to enroll in a new plan either with their current insurer or through the government exchanges, in many cases at a higher rate.

Read More  and Watch Video Here


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TheRealNews TheRealNews

Published on May 31, 2013

Jeannette Wicks-Lim: According to official figures 15 percent of Americans live in poverty, real numbers are over 33 percent of Americans cannot meet basic needs

See more videos at http://therealnews.com


Health Impact Daily News

Deaths from All Causes U.S. Ranks First in Healthcare Spending   Last in Life Expectancy

Click the image for more detailed statistics.

Health Impact News Editor

A panel of experts initiated by the  National Institutes of Health and consisting of members from the National Research Council (NRC) and the Institute of Medicine (IOM) released a report recently entitled U.S. Health in International Perspective: Shorter Lives, Poorer Health. The panel compared “health outcomes” with those of 16 comparable high-income or “peer”countries: Australia, Austria, Canada, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, Norway, Portugal, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, the Netherlands, and the United Kingdom. Since you probably helped pay for this study via your tax dollars, you should know what this panel, called “The Panel on Understanding Cross-National Health Differences Among High-Income Countries,” found as a result of their study:

Over this time period, we uncovered a strikingly consistent and pervasive pattern of higher mortality and inferior health in the United States, beginning at birth:

  • For many years, Americans have had a shorter life expectancy than people in almost all of the peer countries. For example, as of 2007, U.S. males lived 3.7 fewer years than Swiss males and U.S. females lived 5.2 fewer years than Japanese females.
  • For the past three decades, this difference in life expectancy has been growing, especially among women.
  • The health disadvantage is pervasive—it affects all age groups up to age 75 and is observed for multiple diseases, biological and behavioral risk factors, and injuries.

So this was not a study comparing the United States with poorer countries, but high-income “peer” countries. Also, statistics from the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD), an international economic group comprised of 34 member nations, shows that the U.S. spends about two and half times more on healthcare than most other countries!

US spends much more on health than any other country U.S. Ranks First in Healthcare Spending   Last in Life Expectancy

What are the Causes of Poor Health in the U.S.?

While this report gave many possible explanations for why the U.S. has such poor health, this study really did not address that question. The study identified the problems which are quantifiable, but the possible causes were pure speculation and ranged from things such as failure to wear seat belts to poverty and a lack of education. Seeing that this report was created by the government, the possible causes and solutions were naturally related more to government involvement.

Unfortunately, today’s government is NOT the solution to our health problems in the U.S. As we have reported frequently here at Health Impact News, government agencies that were originally created to protect public health, are more often than not doing just the opposite, and looking out for corporate interests in the “healthcare” system. Of course “healthcare” is not appropriately named, because it is only a “medical care” system run by the pharmaceutical companies. Pharmaceutical companies now comprise the top sector of criminal activities, with convictions of criminal activity of just about every major drug company in the last few years totaling many billions of dollars, and representing hundreds of thousands of deaths (See: Pharmaceutical companies now among largest corporate criminals in the world: no better than white-collar drug dealers).

And yet, the US Food and Drug Administration has become barely nothing more than a marketing wing for these pharmaceutical companies, looking out for their corporate interest. As we have reported many times, the FDA regularly attacks those who promote natural methods of healing where no corporate patent is possible and the remedy is readily available to the masses, in favor of drug companies willing to spend many millions of dollars on research to make a patented drug (See, for example these recent stories: FDA Can Now Remove Any Dietary Supplement from the Market – Easier Than They Can Remove Drugs, and FDA Gives Sole Herbal Product Rights to Big Pharma). The FDA believes that it has sole authority to make health claims, and any product that makes unapproved health claims, no matter how harmless that product may be, is subject to being shut down and having its owners (often of small businesses or farms) arrested. We are losing our health freedom in the United States, and most Americans don’t even know it is happening (See: FTC More Dangerous than FDA: Will Only Allow Drugs to Make Health Claims and link above by Attorney Jonathan Emord).

So if we are going to understand the causes of these problems with American’s health in the U.S., we need to realize that the solutions must come outside of government, or we will have no hope. The government cannot ignore the problems, but it is not politically correct for them to identify the true causes to these problems.

Starting with one of the quantifiable problems this report identified, let me offer some solutions that are real solutions to real causes of poor health.

Real Causes and Real Solutions to the Health Problems in the U.S.

America’s Addiction to Prescription Drugs: Leading Cause of Death in the U.S.

One of the problems clearly identified in this study is that more Americans die from drugs, including (and especially) prescription drugs, than all the other countries in this study. The medical system is by far the leading cause of death in the United States today, killing more people than heart disease or cancer (See: Modern Medical Care is a Leading Cause of Death). Deaths due to prescription drugs alone are over 100,000 a year, far exceeding deaths due to illegal drugs like heroin and cocaine. America’s addiction to prescription drugs is such a serious epidemic today, that hospitals are trying to cope with the huge numbers of babies being born addicted to these prescription drugs that are so widely used during pregnancy.

Pharmaceutical companies are the most lucrative businesses in the U.S. with a powerful lobbying force that allows them to get legal protection for just about anything they want to do. If even just a small fraction of the U.S. population stopped buying drugs and started getting well, our entire economy would collapse. Even “non-profit” organizations that were originally started to find cures to diseases, such as the American Cancer Society, have become huge organizations that collect hundreds of millions of dollars in donations, and government aid with your tax dollars on top of that, and yet have offered no real cures for diseases, just more drugs. If they did find a natural cure, or even a simply way to prevent disease, just think of all the jobs that would be lost in these huge organizations (See: American Cancer Society: The World’s Wealthiest “Nonprofit” Institution is Losing the War on Cancer).


Read Full Article Here

Thu, 31 Jan 2013 15:22 CST

© Reuters / Darren Staples

Under the UK government’s austerity program millions of low income households are facing a hike in their council tax bills of up to 333% a year. New changes are to be introduced this April, while Scotland and Wales chose not to implement the cuts.

The UK benefits system is about to undergo it’s most radical restructuring since the introduction of the welfare state after the Second World War and many families will be pushed further into poverty, a new report by the Resolution Foundation think tank reveals.

The biggest shakeup will be in Council Tax, a tax paid by households to local councils, which is not decided by income. Currently people on low paid jobs or the unemployed can apply for Council Tax Benefit (CTB), effectively exempting them from paying the tax.

All other means tested benefits will be streamlined into one national system, which will be called Universal Credit (UC), a move welcomed by the report’s authors.

CTB is a national scheme and provides assistance to nearly 6 million low income families in the UK; but as of the 1st April 2013 CTB will cease to exist.
Instead a new system will be introduced called Council Tax Support Schemes. Those who require assistance with their council tax bill will have to apply to whichever of the 326 local authorities they live in, who will make their own independent decision on whether to grant support.

However, central government has introduced a 10% cut in its subsidy budget – which local authorities would use to help people with their council tax – which effectively confronts local authorities with a choice. Either introduce less generous schemes, thereby forcing low income families to pay more council tax, or find savings elsewhere.

But council tax payers in Scotland and Wales will not be affected because their devolved governments will cover the 10% shortfall in funding from central government.

The CTB reform is expected to annually save £480 million, of which £410 million would come from England.


Read Full Article Here

 Disaster Management



Christmas misery in Haiti camp, three years after quake

by Staff Writers
Petionville, Haiti (AFP)

While people around the world celebrate the arrival of Christmas, residents of a refugee camp in Haiti say hunger and want will mark the holiday, like every other day of the year.

“There are no wreaths, no Christmas trees,” said Titelma Cherival, 54, still living in a makeshift refugee camp almost three years after an earthquake leveled much of this impoverished nation.

“The best Christmas we could hope for is to get out here and have nice life in a normal home,” Cherival said somberly. “But I see little hope of that.”

The faded tent where Cherival shelters with her three children is torn and covered with a tarp to keep out the rain. The camp, located in the Canape Vert neighborhood outside Port-au-Prince, houses nearly 2,000 people.

Residents are compelled to get by as best they can without electricity or running water and — adding insult to injury — in the shadow of a complex of luxury hotels.

The poverty is no greater at Christmas time, but the pain and humiliation of doing without comes into sharp contrast during a season dedicated to gift-giving and merriment in this predominantly Catholic country.

“There will be no gifts for the children and probably not even a Christmas meal,” said Jocelyne, who sells bric-a-brac to make ends meet.

“Look at my three children, they do not even know what Christmas is.”

The massive earthquake struck in January 2010, reducing much of the Haitian capital to a pile of rubble and killing more than 200,000 people.

Of the more than one million people left homeless, more than a third — just over 360,000 — are still living in tents, according to International Organization for Migration data.

Endless days of grinding poverty and idleness add to the despair, camp inhabitants said.

“Nobody works here. There is abject poverty. People have been brought down to the lowest place in their lives,” said Fritzner Dossous, 32.

“We are are dead. All we are waiting for now is to be buried.”

Making matters even more dire for residents of the camp, the owner of the land where it is located wants to reclaim the property and evict the camp inhabitants, who have no place else to go.

“We are on private land. The owner wants to reclaim the space,” said Dossous, who helps organize security for the camp, which from time to time has been attacked by unknown assailants.

Thieves long ago made away with solar street lights installed in the camp, along with many of the inhabitants’ meager possessions.

Camp dwellers also feel abandoned by political leaders who, in flowery campaign pledges, promised to lift them out their destitution.


Read Full Article Here

Crossroads News : Changes In The World Around Us And Our Place In It



Community  :  Poverty – Humanitarian Aid – Rising Costs – Healthcare –



Published on Oct 2, 2012 by

The elderly will soon make up a third of the population in more than 60 countries, according to the UN.

But even in wealthy nations like the United States, many seniors do not get the care they need, where one in seven seniors are living in poverty.

Al Jazeera’s Gallacher reports from Florida.

Politics, Legislation and Economy News




Economic News :  Politics –  Fundamental Rights – Poverty





Published on Sep 13, 2012 by

In America, poverty continues to affect more and more people and is reaching record levels. On Wednesday, the US Census Bureau confirmed that in 2011, 15 percent of the US population lived in poverty and 46 million Americans were living below the poverty line. Dr. Cornel West, co-author of “The Rich and The Rest of US,” and Tavis Smiley join us on how this came to be.

Crossroads News : Changes In The World Around Us And Our Place In It

Global Community

Published on Aug 19, 2012 by

One of the poorest nations on earth, Bangladesh is also one of the world`s top clothes producers. But in meeting foreign commercial demands factory workers suffer extreme poverty and notoriously harsh working conditions. RT`s Priya Sridhar investigates why no one is being held to account.

RT LIVE http://rt.com/on-air

Fashion by Famine: Safety in tatters as clothing firms exploit the poor

Crossroads News : Changes In The World Around Us And Our Place In It




Philadelphia Woman Faces $600-a-Day Fine for Feeding Needy Neighborhood Kids

FOX News
brown bag lunch

A Pennsylvania woman who offers free lunch every day to low-income children in her neighborhood faces a $600-a-day fine next summer if she continues because she did not clear the food giveaway with township officials.

Angela Prattis donates her time to distribute the meals — supplied by the Archdiocese of Philadelphia — and adheres to strict paperwork, like filling out weekly reports and being visited bi-weekly from a state worker, MyFoxPhilly.com reports.

“Angela saw it as a way to contribute to the community in a positive way,” Anne Ayella, a member of the archdiocese, said. “There was nothing in it for her.”

Prattis laughed and said, “I don’t make a dime.”

Prattis lived in the township for three years. She reportedly distributes the meals to the 60 or so children at a gazebo on her property during the summer months, when children are home from school.

The Delaware County Times reports that another resident alerted the council about the distribution a few weeks ago. The council investigated and ruled that the practice is not permitted without a variance, the paper reported.

“You have houses here, the roofs are falling in, and they could be focused on a lot of more serious issues than me feeding children,” she said.

Chester Township, which has a per capita income of $19,000 a year, says Prattis lives in a residential zone, hence handing out food to children is not allowed. The township says she needs to go before a zoning board to ask for a variance, which would cost her up to $1,000 in administrative fees.

“I don’t think it’s my responsibility to go to her to say, ‘why don’t you come to talk to me to see if there’s something that we can do to help your program,'” William Pisarek, the Chester Township business manager, said.

Prattis told the Delaware County Times that she is not going to stop feeding the children in the area.

Published on Jul 27, 2012 by

Bruce Dixon: Hunger strike follows brutal crackdown on prisoners who protested intolerable conditions