Tag Archives: poverty

Detroit today…..your city tomorrow?

After Wave Of Violence, Councilman Wants Gas Station Security

– Following a string of brutal killings and attacks, a city councilman is making bold suggestions to keep violent crimes down — including forcing gas station owners to hire security guards.

WWJ’s Florence Walton reports Detroit Councilman Kwame Kenyatta is planning a midnight march against violence and fear. It comes in the wake of a rash of crime that included the killing of a 9-month boy in a walk-by shooting, and the death of a 6-year-old at the hands of two 15-year-old carjackers with an AK-47. A 14-year-old allegedly shot his mother to death while she slept because she wouldn’t let him hang out with his friends, and a teen girl was caught in the crossfire and killed when two got into an argument on a Detroit street and opened fire at each other.

And an 86-year-old World War II victim was carjacked at a Detroit gas station in broad daylight on his way home from Bible study, and said no one helped him while he cried for help. He tried to crawl away on a leg that was broken in the attack. He eventually tried to pay a stranger to drive him home, but the man drove him for free, and called an ambulance.

To help curb crimes like these, Kenyatta hopes to draft an ordinance that requires gas station owners to hire security guards to protect the public.

“And as we watch this man was beaten on camera and crawled into the station, never once did I see the proprietor, as well as the people who were going to that gas station, help that individual. We are saying secure your facility, safeguard us as a community,” said Kenyatta.

Kenyatta hopes to meet with Detroit pastors to plan a “Peace Sunday”.

“We are going to ask the parishioners, the students, the gang members, the motorcycle clubs, the fraternities, the sororities, everyone in this city who agreed to sign this Peace Pledge that we will maintain peace in our community, in our families, and in our neighborhoods,” said Kenyatta.

SOURCE

Hand out nation: America’s economic troubles are continuing to bite with almost 15% of the US population now on food stamps

One in 15 Americans now officially living in poverty as number receiving food stamps rises 8.1% in a year

By David Gardner

Shocking figures revealed today that one in 15 people in America is now living in poverty.

The number – a record high – is spread widely across metropolitan areas as the country’s economic troubles continue to bite.

And almost 15 per cent of the population are also now on food stamps, it emerged yesterday.

The ranks of the poor applying for food stamps increased by a worrying 8.1 per cent over the past year to make a total of 45.8 million.

America’s economic troubles are continuing to bite with almost 15% of the US population now on food stamps

The increase in poverty is believed to have been caused due to the housing bust pushing many inner-city poor into suburbs and other outlying places and shriveled jobs and income.

There now really is no unaffected group, except maybe the very top income earners,’ said Robert Moffitt, a professor of economics at Johns Hopkins University.

‘Recessions are supposed to be temporary, and when it’s over, everything returns to where it was before. But the worry now is that the downturn — which will end eventually — will have long-lasting effects on families who lose jobs, become worse off and can’t recover.’

Once-booming Sun Belt metro areas are now seeing some of the biggest jumps in concentrated poverty.

WORST FIVE STATES


1 Mississippi 21.5%
2 New Mexico 20.7%
3 Oregon 20.6%
4 Tennessee 20.2%
5 Louisiana 19.9%

About 20.5 million Americans, or 6.7 per cent of the U.S. population, make up the poorest poor, defined as those at 50 per cent or less of the official poverty level.

Those living in deep poverty represent nearly half of the 46.2 million people scraping by below the poverty line. In 2010, the poorest poor meant an income of $5,570 or less for an individual and $11,157 for a family of four.

That 6.7 percent share is the highest in the 35 years that the Census Bureau has maintained such records, surpassing previous highs in 2009 and 1993 of just over 6 percent.

After declining during the 1990s economic boom, the proportion of poor people in large metropolitan areas who lived in high-poverty neighborhoods jumped from 11.2 per cent in 2000 to 15.1 per cent last year, according to a Brookings Institution analysis released on Thursday.

As a whole, the number of poor in the suburbs who lived in high-poverty neighborhoods rose by 41 per cent since 2000, more than double the growth of such city neighborhoods.
Suburban households are less likely to receive SNAP benefits, but usage is on the rise with about nine per cent of households

Poverty for Americans 65 and older is on track to nearly double after factoring in rising out-of-pocket medical expenses, from nine per cent to more than 15 per cent.

Poverty increases are also anticipated for the working-age population because of commuting and child-care costs, while child poverty will dip partly due to the positive effect of food stamps.

JOBLESS CLAIMS DROP FOR THIRD STRAIGHT WEEK

The number of people seeking unemployment benefits fell to the lowest in five weeks, government data showed on Thursday, in a hopeful sign for the struggling job market.

Initial jobless claims totalled 397,000 in the week ending October 29, down from a revised 406,000 claims the previous week, the Labor Department reported.

The claims number was lower than the average analyst estimate of 401,000, and provided a positive reading on the depressed job market ahead of Friday’s October jobs data.

It was the third time in six months that weekly initial jobless claims have fallen below 400,000.

Last week’s reading was the lowest since September 24, when claims stood at 395,000.

But applications need to fall consistently below 375,000 to signal sustainable job growth.

They haven’t been below that level since February. Applications have been above 400,000 for all but two weeks since March.

The figures come a day before the government releases its October jobs report.

Analysts expect employers added 100,000 net jobs, nearly the same as the 103,000 added in September. The unemployment rate is expected to stay at 9.1 per cent for a fourth straight month.

Employers have added an average of only 72,000 jobs per month in the past five months. That’s far below the 100,000 per month needed to keep up with population growth. And it’s down from an average of 180,000 in the first four months of this year.

And with one in 15 in poverty, more than one in four of working age are now tapping food stamps.

According to Department of Agriculture figures, worst hit were people in Mississippi, where more than 21 per cent were recipients.

One in five residents in Tennessee, Oregon, New Mexico and Louisiana also depended on the hand outs – formally known as the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) – to eat.

Officials fear the numbers may swell even more in the coming months as people battle financial hardship and record unemployment.

But one reason for the rising number of recipients was that many states have waived requirements limiting the assets food stamp applicants could own, said the Wall Street Journal.

The number of food stamp users exploded after the recession hit in late 2007 and has continued growing even though the downtown is officially supposed to be over.

Researchers from the Carsey Institute at the University of New Hampshire estimated that the percentage of Americans receiving food stamps increased by 61.2 per cent between 2007 and 2010.

Reliance on the Supplemental Nutritional Assistance Programme was very high among single parents, rising ten per cent.

In 2010, 42 per cent of single mothers and 25 per cent of single fathers relied on the stamps. In rural areas it was ever higher at one in two single mothers.

States also made changes to make it easier for residents to tap into the program, such as waiving requirements that limited the value of assets food stamp recipients could own.

This is believed to have been caused due to the housing bust pushing many inner-city poor into suburbs and other outlying places and shriveled jobs and income.

There now really is no unaffected group, except maybe the very top income earners,’ said Robert Moffitt, a professor of economics at Johns Hopkins University. ‘Recessions are supposed to be temporary, and when it’s over, everything returns to where it was before. But the worry now is that the downturn — which will end eventually — will have long-lasting effects on families who lose jobs, become worse off and can’t recover.’

The institute also found that 14.6 per cent of rural households were relying on the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Programme in 2010.

Suburban households are less likely to receive SNAP benefits, but usage is on the rise. About nine per cent of suburban households received SNAP in 2010, up from 5.4 pe rcent in 2007.

Jessica Bean, a vulnerable families research associate with the Carsey Institute, said she thinks rural residents have traditionally been less likely to collect SNAP benefits because they live in remote areas where it’s hard to access social services and are more concerned with the social stigma.

In a rural area, she said: ‘When you go into the grocery store and you pull out your food stamps card, everybody knows you.’

Just one in ten married couples with children are using the government-funded food benefit.

Read more: SOURCE

Not ONLY in America

Young black men make up four in 10 of youth jail population

Report shows proportion of black and minority ethnic young men in young offender institutions in England and Wales has risen

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Alan Travis,

Young black men now account for nearly 40% of the population of youth jails in England and Wales, according to a report by the chief inspector of prisons.

The report, published jointly with the youth justice board, shows that the proportion of black and other minority ethnic young men in young offender institutions (YOIs) has risen from 23% in 2006 and 33% in 2009/10 to 39% last year.

The changing demographic profile of the population inside youth jails in England and Wales also shows an increasing proportion of young Muslims, up from 13% last year to 16% this year. Foreign national young men account for a record 6% of the population.

The chief inspector of prisons, Nick Hardwick, says young people aged 15 to 18 are being held in deteroriating conditions in the YOI network, with fewer feeling safe while they are locked up.

The inspection showed that fewer young inmates felt they could tell someone they were being victimised or believed a member of staff would take them seriously. Only half said they had done something while they were inside that would make them less likely to reoffend in the future.

The report also reveals that more that one-third of the young men had been physically restrained as part of the disciplinary process at their YOI. The highest restraint rate – 66% – was at the Keppel unit at Wetherby, which deals with male teenagers who have not responded to a “normal” YOI regime. The lowest – 8% – was at the Carlford unit near Woodbridge, Suffolk, which holds 30 teenage boys serving long sentences.

The over-representation of young black men in youth jails comes despite a sharp fall in the number of children and young people in custody that has already led to the closure of five YOIs, including a specialist unit for young women.

The total population of the youth justice “secure estate”, which includes eight male YOIs and three specialist units for girls and young women, continued to fall from 1,977 in March 2010 to 1,822 this March, before this summer’s riots.

Hardwick says, however, that the number of black and minority ethnic children in custody has not fallen at the same rate as the number of white children being locked up.

Between 2007 and 2011 there was a 37% reduction in white children in custody, compared with a 16% reduction in black and ethnic minority children,” says the report.

The report does not discuss the reasons why young black people make up an ever greater proportion of the shrinking youth jail population. But Hardwick does note that an increasing number – 53% now, compared with 39% last year – of young men are being sent to prison for the first time.

Hardwick said: “This report has highlighted some deterioration in children and young people’s experience of custody. Despite the falling numbers, this population has well-defined vulnerability and increasing numbers within minority groups. The need, therefore, to provide these people with support during their time in custody and in preparation for their release is as great as ever.”

Frances Done, the chair of the youth justice board, which commissions places in youth prisons, said it would be working with all secure establishments to make sure that young people’s time in custody has positive results.

The inspection was based on the experience of 1,115 young men and 47 young women in YOIs and specialist units.

SOURCE

Extreme Couponing: Desperate Economic Times Call For Desperate Measures

Extreme Couponing: Desperate Economic Times Call For Desperate Measures

Even in the midst of a horrific economic decline, there are tools that all of us can use to make the most of our limited resources. This includes doing some things that many of us never imagined that we would do. A couple of months ago I never would have imagined that I would be doing an article on coupons. But in these desperate economic times you have to look for any economic edge that you can get. Did you know that it is possible to get $500 worth of groceries for less than 10 dollars? I didn’t know that either until I started watching a show called “Extreme Couponing” on cable television. I was amazed as I watched person after person get over 95 percent off on their groceries. Personally, I have always thought that clipping coupons was a waste of time. Sure, you might save a few bucks, but I really didn’t think it was worth the time or the effort. Well, my opinion has changed. There are a growing number of people out there that are using coupons to provide all of the groceries that their families need almost for free. In an economic environment where incomes are going down but food prices continue to go up, “extreme couponing” is a financial weapon that virtually anyone can use.

Yes, not everyone can take it to the extent that many of these “extreme couponers” do. There are some women that spend 40, 50 or even 60 hours a week on their couponing. Most people cannot afford to do that.

But even if you just spend a couple of hours a week you can still save significant money. At a time when many family budgets are tighter than ever, saving 50 or 100 bucks at the grocery store can mean a world of difference.

Not only that, but “extreme couponing” is a great way to build up your stockpile of emergency food. Everyone should have enough food in their homes to feed their families for at least a year. Unfortunately, many people don’t have that kind of money. That is where “extreme couponing” comes in.

If you are willing to put a little hard work in, you can build a stockpile of emergency food for pennies on the dollar.

Extreme couponing is not complicated and thanks to the new TLC show it is becoming extremely popular. The following is how a recent article on MSNBC describes these “extreme couponers“….

Hard-core couponers are in it to win it — for free, if at all humanly possible. They plot their grocery-store trips with the precision of military commanders. They load up three or four shopping carts at a time. They test the mettle — and the congeniality — of cashiers by having them tally dozens of discounts on their behalf.

And what do they get in exchange? Hundreds of dollars’ worth of merchandise for as little as $5 to $10, the applause of onlookers — and a surge of adrenaline that can be downright addicting.

If you have never seen the show, you should check it out at least once. The following is a very brief preview of “Extreme Couponing”….

Yes, people are actually doing this. In fact, some of my readers are actually doing this.

On a recent article entitled “Inflation 2011: Honey – They Shrunk Our PayChecks” one of my regular readers named Maria shared that her and her circle of friends have adopted extreme couponing as a way to fight back against the bad economy….

In the last six months, I have seen a complete attitude adjustment in many of our friends and family. As a result, a resource sharing group has formed amongst us. We share work, ideas and tips on everything from budgeting to gardening. All of us have curtailed the “luxuries” like gym memberships, expensive clothing, latte’s and mochas from those expensive little stops on the way to work, dining at restaurants, first run movies at the theater, and a myriad of other little things.

Our latest discovery is the world of couponing. Anyone interested in dramatically cutting their household and grocery expenses should take a serious look at TheKrazyCouponLady.com and read their book, Pick Another Checkout Lane, Honey. I never understood how couponing could make a difference until I read this book. Our group now looks at coupons almost as a tax free source of income, because it is saving us hundreds of dollars a month…no exaggeration.

I admit, I am not as diligent as the others about using coupons, but even with my minimal efforts I saved 60% on my meat purchases last month. That was huge for my family of 6. Our home is out in the country near a rural community, and the only grocery store in town is Safeway. I never shopped there before, because it was too expensive. I drove into the big city once every three months to do our grocery shopping at the “discount” stores. Now, using coupons on sale items, I can shop at the local Safeway and save more money on food and gas.

Sadly, this extreme couponing phenomenon will not be around forever. As thousands more pile on to the bandwagon, it is inevitable that food producers and retailers will start changing the rules. So take advantage of extreme couponing while you can.

Look, I never imagined that I would be recommending that people should start clipping coupons. But when any of us are presented with solid evidence that we are wrong about something, we need to be willing to change.

Personally, I am not an expert on coupons.

Thankfully, there are some people out there that are, and they have shared their knowledge for free on the Internet. The following are some of the best extreme couponing sites around if you are interested in learning more….

*The Krazy Coupon Lady

*Tips From a Mom of 3

*Coupon Geek

*Saving with Shellie

*Couponing 101

*Jill Cataldo

*My Frugal Adventures

*How To Shop For Free With Kathy Spencer

*Clippin\' With Carrie

*Money Saving Mom

People are always urging me to write more about solutions. Well, extreme couponing is a solution. A lot of us men might not like the idea of “extreme couponing” because it may not seem like a very “manly” thing to do, but the truth is that it works. In these desperate economic times, you have got to do what you have got to do. Today, one out of every four American children is on food stamps. An increasing number of children are falling into poverty. If it takes clipping coupons in order to survive, then that is just what we are going to have to do.

As mentioned above, all of this exposure on television is going to mean that “extreme couponing” is not going to be around forever. When too many people start jumping on a boat it is inevitable that it is going to sink.

But while this tool still exists, why not use it?

In particular, this is a great way to build up your emergency food stockpile for a fraction of the cost.

So what do all of you think about extreme couponing? Do you think it is a good tool? Do you have other tools that you would suggest for saving money in this tough economy? Feel free to leave a comment with your thoughts below….

SOURCE

20 Facts About Child Hunger And Child Poverty That Will Break Your Heart


20 Facts About Child Hunger And Child Poverty That Will Break Your Heart


Did you know that nearly half of the 44 million Americans that are on food stamps today are children? Did you know that more than a fifth of all U.S. children are living in poverty and that a fourth of all U.S. children are enrolled in the food stamp program? Did you know that most of the people that starve to death around the globe are children? In 2011, child hunger and child poverty are major problems in the United States and they are at epidemic levels in many areas of the world. The facts that are you are about to read are tough to stomach and they are meant to break your heart. Most of us need to be touched on an emotional level before we will take action. As I have written about previously, the world is on the verge of a horrific global food crisis. Unless a miracle happens, there is not going to be nearly enough food for everyone in the world in the future. We all need to prepare so that we will be able to feed our own families when that time comes and so that we will be able to be generous and share with others in need.

The food stamp program is the modern equivalent of the old-fashioned bread lines. Today, the number of Americans on food stamps is absolutely exploding. Despite claims that the economy is “recovering”, the number of Americans relying on food assistance just continues to increase.

Many food retailers have seen food stamp usage soar to unprecedented levels. Just check out the following quote from a recent article posted on the website of a local Pennsylvania news station….

“The trend started about three years ago and it has increased significantly we have some stores up 40% from last year,” said Scott Karns owner of seven Karns Supermarkets in central PA.

Sadly, a disproportionate number of those on food stamps are children. Even as you read this article, there are millions of children in the United States that are wondering where their next meal is going to come from.

The following are 20 facts about child hunger and child poverty that will break your heart….

#1 According to one recent study, approximately 21 percent of all children in the United States were living below the poverty line in 2010. In the UK and in France that figure is well under 10 percent.

#2 According to the U.S. Census, the number of children living in poverty has gone up by about 2 million in just the past 2 years.

#3 Today, one out of every four American children is on food stamps.

#4 It is being projected that approximately 50 percent of all U.S. children will be on food stamps at some point in their lives before they reach the age of 18.

#5 It is estimated that up to half a million children may currently be homeless in the United States.

#6 More than 44 million Americans are currently on food stamps. That is an all-time record and that number is 18 million higher than it was back at the beginning of 2007.

#7 48 percent of the 44 million Americans that are now on food stamps are children.

#8 According to Feeding America’s 2010 hunger study, more than 37 million Americans are now being served by food pantries and soup kitchens.

#9 The number of Americans that are going to food pantries and soup kitchens has increased by 46% since 2006.

#10 According to Feeding America, 50.2 million Americans lived in “food insecure households” during 2009.

#11 Even with tens of millions of Americans on food stamps there are still large numbers of Americans that go hungry each night. According to the BBC, 15% of all U.S. households experienced a shortage of food at some point during 2009.

#12 More than 20 million U.S. children rely on school meal programs to keep from going hungry.

#13 One out of every six Americans is now enrolled in at least one government anti-poverty program.

#14 The poorest 50% of all Americans collectively own just 2.5% of all the wealth in the United States. Statistically, there are more children in poor households than in wealthy ones.

#15 Child hunger is a major problem all over the world. Approximately 1 billion people around the world go to bed hungry each night.

#16 A lack of food among pregnant women in developing countries results in one out of every 6 babies being born with a low birth weight.

#17 Approximately 28 percent of all children in developing countries are considered to be underweight or have had their growth stunted as a result of malnutrition.

#18 More than 3 billion people, close to half the world’s population, live on less than 2 dollar a day.

#19 Somewhere in the world someone starves to death every 3.6 seconds, and 75 percent of those are children under the age of five.

#20 Almost 9 million children around the world died before they reached their fifth birthday during 2008. Approximately a third of all of those deaths were attributed to hunger and malnutrition.

Most Americans have traditionally thought of “hunger” as something that happens over in Africa or Asia, but that is simply not the case anymore.

There are tens of millions of Americans that would be going without enough food if it weren’t for the food stamp program, school meal programs, food pantries, soup kitchens and the kindness of religious organizations.

Sadly, as the price of food continues to rise there are tens of millions more Americans that are on fixed incomes or on limited incomes that are going to be facing food insecurity.

The average American now spends approximately 23 percent of his or her income on food and gas. That is going to rise even higher thanks to all of the new money that the U.S. government and the Federal Reserve have pumped into the financial system.

Inflation is a hidden tax that is very cruel. It hits those with limited resources the hardest.

What are most American families going to do someday when a loaf of bread is 10 dollars and a gallon of milk is 20 dollars?

And it is not just the price of food that is going up.

According to consulting firm Milliman Inc., the average American family of four that is covered by health insurance had an average of $19,393 in health care costs last year.

Many Americans (even if they have insurance) are simply avoiding doctors and avoiding hospitals altogether because they can no longer afford them.

Our whole system is breaking down. As the economy crumbles, frustration and anger are rising. As I have written about previously, the number of Americans that have “gone wild” seems to be increasing.

The following are a couple more examples of this phenomenon….

*When things start falling apart, people start going crazy. Just recently, one man stripped naked while riding a New York city subway. He hurled racial and ethnic slurs at the people around him and physically harassed a couple of people before a cop was able to wrestle him to the ground.

*Another example of this happened in California just a few days ago. An elderly woman pulled out a gun and held up a pregnant woman outside of a Kohl’s department store in broad daylight on Mother’s Day. When old women start shoving guns in our faces and demanding our money that should be a sign to all of us that things really are starting to fall to pieces.

Things are starting to get crazy but this is just the beginning.

Someday when the global economy is in shambles and there is a massive global food crisis, what do you think Americans are going to do when they have been without food for 3 or 4 days and their families are crying out for something to eat?

Don’t think that it won’t happen. The era of endless amounts of cheap food is coming to an end. There is going to be a massive amount of hunger and poverty in the years to come.

So what do all of you think about this? Feel free to leave a comment with your opinion below….

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