That Must Watch 60 Minutes Poverty Segment

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When watching TV or reading the news, I get hypnotized into believing people who work as bartenders and waitresses live in million dollar homes and dishwashers drive $40,000 trucks. Everyone is worried about their retirement portfolios, insuring their boat, homes, cars with some green lizard and pop expensive prescription drugs which compel them to wear straw gardening hats, carry wicker flower baskets and sit naked in filthy bathtubs.

Then Pop! Along comes 60 Minutes blowing apart the trance, driving a stake through marketing fiction. Tonight 60 Minutes presented a report on homeless families and kids in the United States. This is the New Normal America, a country that can't provide livelihoods, shelter and even food to their kids. Yes, that's right, we have children who are homeless and hungry all over the country and they look just like you.

 

 

Kids in poverty are 25% of all kids in the United States. In the article, Road to Ruin we see 14% of homes are late on payments or in foreclosure. 14% of Americans are on food stamps. From 2009, over 14% of Americans are flat broke, half of Americans earn less than $26,000 a year. The official poverty rate for a family of 4 is $22,350. and now we see that kids are being raised without a roof over their heads or enough food to eat. This is what happens when one lets the Banks, multinationals and lobbyists run amok and control the government. Welcome to America now, not some fantasy propagated by days gone by.

For more information, Below are some references. Then again, you could just walk down your street. Odds on if you knock on four doors, you will find a family in huge trouble and if you walk to that nearest highway underpass, you might find that neighbor who moved away.

Census website on poverty.

The National Alliance to End Homelessness has more facts and figures with interactive maps.

Here is an overview post on some additional damning American poverty statistics.

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Comments

I don't have a tv, but I have eyes

This Economic Populist is a fantastic resource. Also, the blogs of Robert Oak, in particular.

I don't have a tv, don't want one, but I do have eyes to see. Even in the somewhat remote county in California where I live, we are seeing the homeless families and children. And the safety net, such as it is, is largely built up of voluntary contributions in money, in time and in kind. Whatever government may do, it is very limited and kept hush-hush.

I recall when Rep. Peter DeFazio, 4th Dist., Oregon, informed constituents back in the 1990s about NAFTA that the plan was to bust the U.S. down to a third world country. It seemed to me to be an exaggeration at the time.

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This post seems to assume

This post seems to assume that the US government is interested in the well being of the people, except that it has been lately corrupted by corporate interests and needs to be alerted to the condition of the people?

Say what?

The very basic assumption that the government exists to serve the well being of the people is laughable. Show me proof that the US government has the best interest of citizens at heart. I'm waiting.

And then it might be supposed that finally when a conservative mainstream show like 60 Minutes illustrates the dire circumstance of the people, the government will then take notice and alter its path? Say what?

Pfaff. 60 Minutes could put on such an episode every day and nothing would change. Everybody in the country could watch it twice, and nothing would change. Congresspeople could have a 60 Minutes loop piped into their offices 24 hours a day and nothing would change.

Our government clearly cares nothing for its people. We don't need 60 Minutes to show us what we can see with our own two eyes.

The fact that government operates in its own self interest and disdains our citizens is more than evident. 60 Minutes is a sideshow outside the main circus tent. Inside the tent the ringmaster carries on as if all was well and then retreats to his private rooms for a drink after the show. The fact that the lions just ate the audience is a matter of indifference.

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Self-Service Government

You're correct. Our government cares nothing about the people, and doesn't mind throwing the fact in our faces on a daily basis. It doesn't take an MIT graduate, not does it take a Philadelphia lawyer to see it and feel it. Common sense tells us that what has happened to this once great nation, certainly didn't happen by accident, nor did it happen by chance. The American tragedy presently being felt on Main Street America was planned and engineered by the anti-America Washington Brotherhood, and by their supporters in big business Corporate America and the fat cats of Wall Street.

In reality, our government is all about climbing the political ladder at all cost, greed, egos, power, wealth, and selfish self-service. I would challenge anyone to prove that statement to be false and a lie. The daily headlines are filled with examples of government neglect, abuse of power, as well as dereliction of duty. The cold hard fact is that basically, what we have is "taxation without representation".

Poverty is an American shame, and especially one considering that it wasn't that long ago when America was the richest country on earth, and lauded as "the land of opportunity". But now, as we see evidence of the shame and tragedy of poverty on Main Street America daily, opportunities to be self-supporting and prosperous, have been taken away by our anti-America self-serving government. More of the Middle Class are falling into poverty than rising to wealth. We're seeing record numbers getting food stamps, living in shelters, standing in lines at food banks, living on the streets, homeless, hungry, and doing without proper health care. In the past two years, we've seen families living in tent cities, having their homes foreclosed on, filing bankrupcy, and begging for work.

As our economic situation continues to deteriorate, we're seeing food and energy cost soar, proper health care become unaffordable for most, the gap between wages and the real cost of living widen, and an increasing number of citizens dependent on government assistance programs.

Why are we seeing poverty become the "All American Tragedy"? Why are the numbers of poor growing? The reasons and root causes are obvious to anyone that has kept track of the progression over the past half century or so. Basically, we've been sold out by the very ones that we've entrusted with the well-being of this once great nation and her citizens. We've been gradually conned, scammed and cheated over several decades, and now find ourselves under the rule and authority of a government, which bascially answers to no one except itself, and considers itself an entity unto itself. Through anti-America legislation and policy, the government has basically created, engineered, condoned, approved of, and embedded poverty in almost every community across this once rich and powerful nation. The results combine to push us closer to third world status. We are a much dependent nation, deeply in debt, at war, and have few resources left to fight for our economic independence.

Through unjust, unfair, and one-sided foreign trade agreements and policies, our government has taken away our jobs, and by doing so, has taken away the opportunities for us to be self-supporting and prosperous. This is the root cause of growing poverty in America. Along with the injustices of foreign trade, the government has also allowed job out-sourcing to foreign labor markets to go unpenalized and unpunished. Our government also allows, condones, approves of, and encourages cheap foreign labor to take American jobs via illegal immigation into this country. In addition, anti-America H-1B visas, which allow American businesses to import labor, has placed many American workers in the unemployment lines, and thereby created more poverty and homelessness.

Poverty, growing poverty, in America, is a direct result of government actions and inactions, which deny Americans the opportunity to be self-supporting and prosperous. Remember, politicians don't just waltz into Washington and take a seat in Congress, nor do they waltz in and take a seat in the oval office. We, the American voting public, put them there via our votes. Also remember, John Q. Public doesn't vote on the floors of Congress, nor legislate and enact policy. Our decline, especially our economic decline, is a direct result of re-electing professional politicians to serve in Washington. We have way too many citizens afflicted with "Blind Patriotism", and they're quick to swallow hook, line and sinker, the smooth talking silver-tongued campaign rhetoric that's spewed from the mouths of professional politicians each election cycle.

As I've said, and have written about many times, the term "Global Economy" basically means "equalization to the lowest level", economically speaking. At present, we're on a fast train headed towards third world status, which basically greatly increases poverty and dependency. We're seeing many signs of it now. Our currency is losing value, we're forced to borrow money each and every day just to keep government running and to fund two senseless deadly costly wars, and we've become an import and energy dependent nation. America no longer produces what America uses and consumes.

Poverty has become an epidemic in America, and the cure seems decades away. Everyone can see the illness taking hold, but few are willing to address the root causes. Poverty is growing, but those with the power and authority to address and correct the problem, refuse to do so. The rich are getting richer, and the poor are getting poorer, and the poverty train is still moving down the track, picking up speed by the minute.

We can end poverty by getting rid of "The Washington Brotherhood", and electing pro-America representatives to serve in government. Else, sit back and watch this nation hit the proverbial "rock bottom".

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Because you can do wrong, and get away with it, doesn't make it right

American River

I see the homeless coming up from the river. The women bother me the most. Some look like vets. Photo in the paper of a 64 year old woman being evicted from her tent. I've been here 30 years and we have always had "campers" on the river, but now we have many more. Children too. I couldn't watch 60 Minutes because no one really cares.

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America has long been a

America has long been a second world country and now its slipping into the third world category. The main culprits are the parasites in finance sucking the all wealth from the economy through unethical and fraudulent means. Having said this, Americans, even the middle class have been living an unsustainable life for more than two decades. Three bedroom homes are a luxury, not a necessity. I feel sorry for all these people who are slipping into poverty, but a small part of the fault is with the entire middle class. The middle class has long been disconnected with reality. Other third world countries often do not have a working democratic governments. America must be first country in the world in which the middle class eagerly allowed the democratic system to be destroyed by the plutocrats who threw a few temporary materialistic benefits at them. Reminds me of the story of an African chief in Ghana who sold away his tribe and territory to the Brits for a scotch and women. The American middle class especially the educated ones are that chief.

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I've been homeless.

Right out of college. Kept making those student loan payments even when I lived on the street.

People don't care. I saw it, lived it. And those were just the folks who volunteer with Amnesty International.

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homelessness

It really is astounding and there is no sense of "there for the grace of God go I", that this is really happening all over, really not fault of people.

This is unlike the Great Depression where people pulled together as a society.

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statistics

This article states"homeless kids are 25% of all kids in America" This statement means one in four of all kids in the US are homeless?

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article error, now corrected, thank you for spotting this

It's one in 4 kids are under the poverty line in the United States and in that 25% there is a subset that have no shelter at all.

Thanks so much for spotting this and commenting, that's a major error and now corrected in the piece.

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Baloney

The video should have been called "What happens when you live beyond your means".

Many of the people that have lost their homes in the last 5 years never had the money to buy one to begin with. You bought a house and decided to start a family with 3 kids with a job as a car detailer? A construction worker with 5 kids? Seriously?

With unions dying out, corporate greed at all time highs, and the middle class being taxed into slavery why would anyone be shocked at anything in this video?

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What is wrong with you people?

Firstly, somehow I don't think a child is at fault, regardless of what a parent does...
but maybe you haven't been paying attention here. The mortgage crisis and financial Armageddon was not caused by "people reaching beyond their means". this is about jobs and wages and benefits. We and many others have miles of articles, facts, statistics showing this is simply not the case.

A card board box is not a $500k home.

So, where are these same anonymous drive by comments when we have posts showing it was derivatives, Countrywide, mortgage originators, the credit rating agencies...

but put up a post about a child's future being slashed and you can bet some commentor will claim somehow that kid "deserves it".

It makes me embarrassed to be an American to see this mentality.

I don't know what is wrong with people these days. Maybe ya all need to go to a church and contemplate being in someone else's circumstances. Maybe then you might realize the phrase there for the Grace of God Go I.

Are Earthquakes Japan's fault next? How about famine and crop failure? It that someone's fault that a plague of locusts descending upon the field?

Seriously, may ye reap what ye sow in empathy.

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poverty

Poverty and economic depression are the American reality. Economic well being has always been a short period of promotion leading into debt that is deliberatly designed as unpayable. The western frontier absorbed the continuous flow of bankruted generations until now. Without the fiction of a place to go for a second chance, the American dream system of capitalism has hit the wall. Loco Lola says Hitler was right. Thanks RDuanewilling

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