Monday, October 23, 2006

News on the Poverty Front

Yes, suburbanites, there is poverty right here in our hometown

I have been toying with the idea of posting a regular column focused on poverty, especially since its elimination has become my primary cause. Unlike with the Old Fogey quotes, I will not comment, but instead merely post the quotes to encourage people to read the articles. Here are this week's articles:

"Every honest politician knows that support for globalization is fraying because of rising inequality at home. But how many of them stand up for policies that could reduce inequality without harming growth -- most obviously, tax reform? You don't hear anybody on the left or right denouncing the absurdity that more than half the tax breaks for homeownership flow to the richest 12 percent of households."Sebastion Mallaby in WaPo
A Nadir of U.S. Power
“I’m a single mom and I can’t make it on my own here, so I live with my mother. We’ve had all this massive growth, but for some people, things are worse than ever. I work full time plus some, and I can’t find a place to move to. Landlords want $800 and $1,300 a month. I just say, ‘What? That’s impossible!’ " DeeDee Palermo, an Olathe, Kansas resident who feels crushed under the weight of the local housing boom

Also from the same article:

“We have builders who say, I can’t build housing that my kids could afford to live in. That’s when it really starts to hit home.” Matt Derrick, the spokesman for the Home Builders Association of Greater Kansas City Rent’s Bite Is Big in Kansas, Too

“It’s like trying to empty a bathtub with a teaspoon while the tap is running. If you want to tackle this, you have to recognize the magnitude of the problem, not just in terms of its size, but its complexity. It isn’t just due to instability and conflict and war. It’s poverty and H.I.V.-AIDS.”Birgitte Poulsen, the technical specialist for the International Labor Organization in Zambia.
Child Labor in Zambia

"Ours is a population that truly has been abandoned to its sad fate. French society wants the poor to be squeezed into ghettos rather than have them living right next door. It says, ‘Put the poor out there in the suburbs, but avoid violence at all costs so that all goes well and we don’t have to talk about them anymore.’ Our people feel betrayed. All the conditions are there for it to blow up again.” Claude Dilain, the mayor of Clichy-sous-Bois and a pediatrician who recently wrote a book about the plight of his town.
Anger Festering in French Areas Scarred in Riots

Until recently, many small towns like Trinidad [Colorado] coped with those who panhandled or set up makeshift encampments in the woods with what Lance Cheslock, director of La Puente, a shelter in Alamosa, near here, calls “Greyhound therapy.” They handed out bus tickets. “They just send them up to the cities and let them deal with the problem there,” said Mr. Cheslock, among the advocates pushing for a new way to finance rural homeless programs. Rural Homelessness: A Local Problem


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