Monday, July 29, 2013

Feeling the Economic Pinch? - How Bad is the US Economy? – AP Reports 80% of American’s in Poverty!

Image from Politico - with Article Poverty In American New Highs - 2011

From the Associated Press comes a study on poverty in the U.S. with findings that show greater numbers of American’s living in poverty than one might imagine. The survey breaks down white versus minority groups and finds that there has been a substantial increase in whites living below the poverty line since 1983, and while minorities tend to believe that the situation will improve, whites tend not to trust the government, nor believe that their economic circumstances will change. .

What is included in their data that may skew all groups is the schematic whereby if one was ever unemployed at any time during their life, they were included. One might be unemployed in 1980, yet amass a fortune over the next few years. Additionally the data set relies heavily on the Appalachians, an area that has traditionally seen more poverty than most. That said, one can understand the growing trend toward single mothers among all demographics, given the emphasis in classrooms on safe sex, yet including day cares in many high schools, add to the decline in education, the understanding that one might achieve a free government education if one has a child, and the rest, as they say, is history.

Add a growing number of high school mothers and fathers to the welfare rolls, along with those who can no longer finds a job, or have fallen off the unemployment rolls (which extend generally in three tiers, lasting approximately one (1) year, depending upon the state in which one resides, the fraud that is rampant in the state systems (See Massachusetts EBT scandals), and the drain on the economy worsens.

Will this trend continue? One has to hold onto the fact that history does repeat itself; therefore, one can expect an economic upturn depending upon the outcome of the next election and the fortunes or misfortunes of various long-term members of the Congresses. The ideological clash between bigger government and states solutions that exists in Washington lies at the feet of those that would retain power for decades. Once the land of opportunity, the U.S. now hands college graduates enormous debt without the wherewithal to find gainful employment with income commensurate to sustain an individual with a student loan. Students are returning to their parents homes more frequently, and college is now becoming a possibility rather than a “given” upon graduation.

Additionally one has to factor in the dummying down of the American School System, which began in Philadelphia in the 1970’s with the installation of the first Teachers Union. The loss of status in global competitions in under a 14 year times span was somewhat shocking, however, as nothing has changed since the 1980’s, one must understand that the U.S. public school systems are not preparing students for the future – one can imagine that the colleges also followed suit, downgrading expectations in order to achieve grades.

Add an emphasis on welfare dependency through teen pregnancy, coupled with an education system that has sunk to third world standards, and one has the cocktail for a pervasive and long-term economic decline. That said, nothing is impossible, with the right mix of an emphasis on self-reliance, a lessening of the corporate tax burden, and a standard whereby individuals are expected to, and encouraged to achieve on their own merits, without assistance from the Federal government and that will be the painful, yet positive direction that sets the economy back on the right foot.

There will always be the poor; however, with the inclusion of the new “working poor”, those who would have the wherewithal to support charities, are not in recipe of the same, an upturn in economic security will allow less emphasis on government giving and more on the individual donations that have always been place of pride in the American citizen.

End the polarization in Washington by either electing new Congressional and Senatorial representation, especially in instances where one has made a career out of legislation, rather than the public service for which these positions were originally designed, and that will be a beginning.

No political party or platform is perfect; however, a mix of ideologies would go further than the two-party system currently in place. (Also feared by the framers of the U.S. Constitution).

Reading List: University of Washington Studies on Teacher’s Performance

The Effects of Teachers Unions, Stamford University

MASS EBT, latest scandal – Boston Herald

Teen Trends on Living at Home, Daily Iowan

The effects of single-parent households vs. nuclear households on children and educationWashington University, St. Louis.

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