This is a collection of stats for use in my Transforming the World Conversations which I blogged about here. The first event which will discuss poverty was on Fri, 12 Oct 2018 @ 6:45pm at our yoga studio.
B. Facebook Comment
I commented on this Facebook post which was a post on Poverty and Eugenics which went something like this:
OP: After this week’s discussion on reproductive health and its expenses…
Should poor people have children? Vote and QT your replies:
Responder: This is called Eugenics. Y’all are asking people to vote Eugenics on a Twitter poll.
My comment there was this:
A better question is why do we allow poverty to exist!
I. Poverty General
A. Stories of Poverty
- Eye Opening Stories From People Living in Poverty Put Things in Perspective (Guff)
- ‘I feel rich when I have food.’ Stories from the War on Poverty (Al Jazeera America)
- One Family’s Story Shows How The Cycle Of Poverty Is Hard To Break (NPR)
- 7 Kids, 1 Apartment: What Poverty Means To This Teen (NPR)
- Stories of Poverty in Rural Appalachia (Rural Home)
- Stark Images Capture Real Life In One Of America’s Poorest Towns (Think Progress; Jan 2015)
- This Is What Poverty LooksÂ Like (Think Progress; Mar 2015)
- People Are Sharing The Things Others Don’t Understand About Being Poor, And It’s Eye-Opening (Buzzfeed, Jun 2021)
B. Poverty Rates
- â…” of African-American children have lived in poverty
- The US has the second highest childhood poverty in the developed world (24% and 34th over all)
(Huffington Post 2012; Unicef – Measuring Childhood Poverty, pg 23)
- In 2016, the US poverty rate was ~ 13% (Center for Poverty Research UCD) ~ over 40 million people
- Wisconsin Poverty Rate is ~ 11% (Poverty Talk Wisconsin 2018)
- Sauk County population – over 60k people (US Census Bureau, quick Facts Sauk County)
- Sauk County poverty stats 10% (over 6k people): (US Census Bureau, quick Facts Sauk County)
- Baraboo – population 12k ~ poverty level is ~1,200 people
C. Poverty Myths Busted
- Chasing the Dream: Poverty and Opportunity in America (WPBS)
- 10 Poverty Myths Busted (Mother Jones 2014)
- Debunking Poverty Myths and Stereotypes (Coullecap 2013)
- 5 myths about the working poor in America (OxFam 2016)
D. How much do you need to make to afford a modest apartment?
- A minimum-wage worker needs 2.5 full-time jobs to afford a one-bedroom apartment in most of the US.
- The national housing wage for a modest one-bedroom apartment is $17.90, while the federal minimum wage is $7.25.
(Business Insider 2018)
- In Wisconsin it requires 70 hours of minimum wage work to afford a 1-bedroom rental without paying more 30% of their income. (National Low Income Housing Coalition (NLIHC) Minimum Wage Map) (NLICHC – Wisconin Data)
E. Expensive to be Poor
Here is a powerful video: Why it’s expensive to be poor (Don Ceder, TED Talk, Feb 2019). It sounds like he is saying ‘deps’ or ‘dep’ but I think he is saying debt.
Here is a another shorter one (6:55) Why It’s More Expensive To Be Poor (Two Cents, May 2019):
And here are a bunch of links:
- Infographic Explains Why It’s More Expensive To Be Poor (Alternative News) (inforgraphic from Collective Evolution)
- American Debtor’s Prisons (ACLU) (The Atlantic)
- It Is Expensive to Be Poor (The Atlantic, Jan 2014)
- 6 Ways Being Poor is Expensive (Mercy Housing, Jan 2016)
- 5 Cruel Ways Being Poor Is Expensive (Cracked, Feb 2020)
- 13 ways it costs more to be poor (Daily Kos, Jan 2019)
- Poverty is Expensive (The Society Pages, Nov 2019)
- The High Cost of Poverty: Why the Poor Pay More (Washington Post, May 2009)
F. Escaping Poverty
- Escaping Poverty Requires Almost 20 Years With Nearly Nothing Going Wrong (The Atlantic 2017)
- Why Escaping Poverty Isn’t Nearly as Easy as People Think (Everyday Feminism 2017)
G. America Throws Away 40% of Its Food Each Year
- America throws away nearly 40% of the food it produces worth near $165 billion each year. (Food Waste Last Week Tonight 2015)
- Wasted Food in the U.S. Could Feed Much of Population (How Stuff Works 2017)
- nearly 150,000 tons a day
- that is enough to feed the world’s 870 million starving people
- creates issues with food going to land fill, decomposing and then creating methane which is a greenhouse gas
H. Empty Homes Outnumber the Homeless by 6:1
- Empty Homes Outnumber The Homeless 6 To 1, So Why Not Give Them Homes? (Mint Press News)
- Homeless and Empty Homes – an American Travesty (Huffington Post)
II. Affects of Poverty
1. Epigenetics and Poverty
- Poverty reduces IQ by 14 points
- The Countless Ways Poverty Affects People’s Health (US News)
- reduces life expectancy by 1- to 15 years
- increase in injuries
- more obesity because they can only afford really fattening foods
- depression with parents and their children
- toxic infrastructures
- lack of early vision and dental care
Epigenetics meaning changes in a person’s genetics due to psychosocial conditions. You genetics can change due to stressors in your environment or while you are in the womb.
- Why Poverty is Like a Disease
- Being poor can change your genes and increase your chances of depression
- Epigenetics and Understanding the Impact of Social Determinants of Health
2. Intergenerational Transmission Poverty (IGT)
B. What are the effects of child poverty?
1. Effects of Poverty
Psychological research has demonstrated that living in poverty has a wide range of negative effects on the physical and mental health and well-being of our nation’s children. Poverty impacts children within their various contexts at home, in school, and in their neighborhoods and communities.
- Poverty is linked with negative conditions such as substandard housing, homelessness, inadequate nutrition and food insecurity, inadequate child care, lack of access to health care, unsafe neighborhoods, and under resourced schools which adversely impact our nation’s children.
- Poorer children and teens are also at greater risk for several negative outcomes such as poor academic achievement, school dropout, abuse and neglect, behavioral and socioemotional problems, physical health problems, and developmental delays.
- These effects are compounded by the barriers children and their families encounter when trying to access physical and mental health care.
- Economists estimate that child poverty costs an estimated $500 billion a year to the U.S. economy; reduces productivity and economic output by 1.3 percent of GDP; raises crime and increases health expenditure (Holzer et al., 2008).
2. Poverty and academic achievement
- Poverty has a particularly adverse effect on the academic outcomes of children, especially during early childhood.
- Chronic stress associated with living in poverty has been shown to adversely affect children’s concentration and memory which may impact their ability to learn.
- The National Center for Education Statistics reports that in 2008, the dropout rate of students living in low-income families was about four and one-half times greater than the rate of children from higher-income families (8.7 percent versus 2.0 percent).
- The academic achievement gap for poorer youth is particularly pronounced for low-income African American and Hispanic children compared with their more affluent White peers.
- Underresourced schools in poorer communities struggle to meet the learning needs of their students and aid them in fulfilling their potential.
- Inadequate education contributes to the cycle of poverty by making it more difficult for low-income children to lift themselves and future generations out of poverty.
3. Poverty and psychosocial outcomes
- Children living in poverty are at greater risk of behavioral and emotional problems.
- Some behavioral problems may include impulsiveness, difficulty getting along with peers, aggression, attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) and conduct disorder.
- Some emotional problems may include feelings of anxiety, depression and low self-esteem.
- Poverty and economic hardship is particularly difficult for parents who may experience chronic stress, depression, marital distress and exhibit harsher parenting behaviors. These are all linked to poor social and emotional outcomes for children.
- Unsafe neighborhoods may expose low-income children to violence which can cause a number of psychosocial difficulties. Violence exposure can also predict future violent behavior in youth which places them at greater risk of injury and mortality and entry into the juvenile justice system.
4. Poverty and physical health
Children and teens living in poorer communities are at increased risk for a wide range of physical health problems:
- Low birth weight
- Poor nutrition which is manifested in the following ways:
- Inadequate food which can lead to food insecurity/hunger
- Lack of access to healthy foods and areas for play or sports which can lead to childhood overweight or obesity
- Chronic conditions such as asthma, anemia and pneumonia
- Risky behaviors such as smoking or engaging in early sexual activity
- Exposure to environmental contaminants, e.g., lead paint and toxic waste dumps
- Exposure to violence in their communities which can lead to trauma, injury, disability and mortality
from the American Psychological Association
5. Humanity’s Lost Prodigies
For every group of families and children who do not have clothes or food, who do not know if they will eat supper or where they will sleep tonight; for every group of children who do not have lunch money, school supplies, or are not able to bathe properly humanity has lost a genius who could have changed the world.
Just think of this: How many centuries of social and scientific progress have we lost due to a society which allows poverty and homelessness to be inflicted upon its families? How many children and families were not able to live up to their potential and how many prodigies and their breakthroughs and revelations have we lost? This is a crime against humanity not only because of the harms caused to the families and the children, but also because of the decades and decades of lost progress.
III. The 1%’s Exploitation
A. Income Inequality
- The US is the richest Country in the World with 41.6% of the global wealth (Fortune 2015)
- The US has the 4th highest Income Inequality in the world (Inequality for All)
- Wisconsin has the 8th highest income inequality in the US. (CNBC 2017)
- Wealth Gap (Last Week Tonight 2014)
B. CEO Pay to Lowest Pay Ratio
- US is highest @ 354:1 (Statista 2014)
- The highest paid CEO in the US makes $120,000/hour (Pay Scale) which is over 4,000 times what I make an hour.
C. The Walmart and Other Corporate Entitlement Problem
- Waltons are worth 136.1 Billion – In 2015, the six Waltons on the Forbes 400 list were worth $136.1 billion, making them the richest family in the United States. They have more wealth than 43% of American families combined. Their net worth is nearly equal to the combined wealth of Bill Gates and Warren Buffett. The Waltons’ wealth comes from their inherited, controlling stake in Walmart. While Walmart workers live in poverty, the Waltons rake in billions every year from the company in dividends and sales of their Walmart shares. (Change Walmart)
- Walmart Costs taxpayers 6.2 Billion – Walmart’s low-wage workers cost U.S. taxpayers an estimated $6.2 billion in public assistance including food stamps, Medicaid and subsidized housing, according to a report published to coincide with Tax Day, April 15. (Forbes, Americans for Tax Fairness)
- Walmart Employees Are Getting a Raise – But Still Live in Poverty – $11 an hour translates to roughly $22,000 a year, below the federal poverty line. (Global Citizen)
IV. Ending Poverty
A. The Blood Cost of Capitalism
B. $70k Minimum Wage
- CEO Cut Salary To Pay Employees $70k (The Young Turks, Oct 2019) (video)
- How the 70k minimum wage has worked out(Mic Media, Sep 2017) (video)
- Here’s What Really Happened at That Company That Set a $70,000 Minimum Wage(Inc Magazine, Nov 2015)
- CEO sets a minimum wage of $70,000 for everyone in his company(Quartz, Apr 2015)
C. A World Beyond Poverty, War, and Suffering
1. Interstellar New Deal
Here is a summary of the policy site – Interstellar New Deal:
The Interstellar New Deal is an eco-humanistic platform which is evolutionary, technocratic, radically progressive, humanistic, sustainable, and is powerfully driven by a vision for a finally peaceful and space-faring Humanity whose eco-humanist ideals will result in the radical transformation of Humanity to evolve beyond poverty, war, and suffering.James O’Neill (Interstellar New Deal)
2. The Cancer of Capitalism
Even with the Max Income Disparity Ratio @ 9 and Progressive Taxation implemented with Marginal Rate set at an amazing 90% the corporations and the rich will always have more money than the rest of us and will always be able to afford people to lobby our representatives in whatever form they can manage. We, the middle class, do not have the time or money to do as such since we have to get the bills paid. It is not a matter of if they will get their way, it is a matter of when. And then, we have the sad fact that conservatives vote religiously and liberals do not. So, eventually Republicans and Corporations will win again and get what they want with the rest of us paying for it. It is just a matter of time. To think otherwise is naive.From The Cancer of Capitalism (FreeXenon.com, Nov 2017)
V. Great Quotes
Poverty is violence.
Poverty is the worst form of violence.
You cannot have untold, obscene wealth unless you have untold, obscene poverty. That is the law of capitalism
Poverty exists not because we cannot feed the poor but because we cannot satisfy the rich
The comfort of the rich depends upon an abundant supply of the poor.
The paradise of the rich is made up of the hell of the poor.