Tendai Maphosa recently reported that minorities in Britain have double the poverty rate as non-minorities.

A new report says the poverty rate for Britain’s minority ethnic groups stands at 40 percent, double the 20 percent found among white British people. The report says minority ethnic groups are also being overlooked for jobs and are being paid lower wages, despite improvements in education and qualifications.

The report pointed out that people from minority ethnic groups who have higher educational achievements do not receive the same rewards as those from white British backgrounds with similar qualifications.

Read entire article by Tendai Maphosa.

When will we actualize the dreams of men like Martin Luther King? It disgusts me that in 2007 we still have racism, and thus racial poverty, still plaguing this world.

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 | Posted by | Categories: Poverty News |

The Associated Press recently released an article that points out an increase in educated poor. I include an excerpt:

A rise in college attendance coupled with downsizing, outsourcing and a shortage of high-paying jobs is bolstering the ranks of the educated poor – people with college degrees who don’t earn above the national poverty line, economists said.

According to recent U.S. Census estimates, the number of college graduates earning below the poverty line has more than doubled in the past 15 years to almost 6 million people.

Read entire article on theledger.com.

I felt compelled to post this information for two main reasons.

First, I want to show that poverty threatens all of us. It affects our friends, family members, children, and people in our own local communities. It doesn’t just affect some lazy and uneducated strangers from nowhere land. We have to organize our communities to eliminate poverty as a matter of self-preservation.

Second, I post these facts about the educated poor to undermine the myth that a poor person can escape poverty on their own. That myth causes people to put the blame solely on poor individuals rather than our non-meritocratic society. The high and rising rates of educated poor and working poor people show that one cannot simply escape poverty by getting an education and a job.

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 | Posted by | Categories: Education |

Plenglish.com recently reported on an increase in poverty in the United States. I include an excerpt:

A study by the NGO, The Center for American Progress (CAP), revealed a significant increase of poverty in the United States, affecting one out of every eight persons.

The institution reported that 37 million persons in the US live in essentially hopeless conditions, which implies a high cost to society and the government.

According to the source, the immigrant community is the most affected, with levels of poverty among Latinos at 21 percent, very much higher than the eight percent of whites.

Read entire report on plenglish.com.

I cannot begin to express how disgustingly absurd I see this as. With all the so-called wealth the United States has, why does it have such shockingly high poverty rates?

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 | Posted by | Categories: Poverty News |

Thehimalayantimes.com reports that the “American Idol” special raised over $30 million for charity:

Television singing talent show “American Idol” proved its clout as a US cultural phenomenon on Wednesday by raising more than $30 million for young people in Africa and the United States.

A two-hour show filled with inspirational songs, movie, television and music stars and stories of poverty from Africa and the United States rounded off the two-night special.

Read entire article on thehimalayantimes.com.

I applaud American Idol for this. In my opinion, they deserve the good PR they will get from it.

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 | Posted by | Categories: Poverty News |

The Associated Press reported on Bloomberg studying poverty reduction for NYC. I include an excerpt:

New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg’s pilot program to help New Yorkers break the cycle of poverty is modeled after a well-regarded Mexican initiative.

Bloomberg was in Mexico on Tuesday studying the program for tips he might adopt back home. The mayor, who reiterated that he is not planning to run for president, visited towns, spoke with his counterpart in Mexico City and met with workers and independent evaluators of the anti-poverty program.

The government’s Oportunidades program provides medical care and gives cash grants to families for keeping children in school. It has been lauded by the World Bank and other countries as a model because it focuses on breaking the cycle of poverty by investing in long-term development.

Read entire article on wnbc.com.

I see this as good news, even though I distrust politicians. I agree that the effectiveness of anti-poverty initiatives depends on breaking the poverty cycle, which we can best do through providing quality education and job-training to all children (and people!) of all classes. Providing grants to families who keep their kids in school helps keep kids in school. However, that only solves part of the problem. We also need to make sure the schools offer a quality education, and the school must give that education to all students regardless of race, religion, or socioeconomic status.

So long as students from socioeconomic underclasses do not receive the same education as children from wealthier households, non-meritocratic classism reigns and poverty continues.

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Idol Gives Back

24 April 2007

I like the way E.J. Dionne portrays American Idol’s two-night special “Idol Gives Back” which starts tonight. I include an excerpt:

Do you find it obnoxious when super-rich people in the music industry come forward to preen about their exquisitely sensitive social consciences?

Is there something worse than a multimillion-dollar televised entertainment operation patting itself on the back for weeks on end in celebration of its brilliantly inventive and groundbreaking approach to philanthropy?

Actually there is something worse: a total indifference to human suffering. If pampered stars and their corporate patrons have a hankering for public approval or could it be? a sense of authentic obligation, perhaps that behavior should be encouraged.

Those among the 30 million or so regular watchers of Fox’s “American Idol” (yes, I confess I’m one) will know I’m referring to the “Idol Gives Back” spectacular that airs tonight and Wednesday to raise money for poor children in the U.S. and Africa.

Read entire article by E.J. Dionne.

Although we may see their seemingly half-hearted attempts to “give back” as pretentious, I agree that it makes sense to support any help offered to relieve social ills such as hunger and poverty. Even if we want American Idol and others to give more, we must remain happy and gracious for what they do give not unhappy and angry that they didn’t do more.

Rewarding good behavior keeps it coming.

I only have one point I want us to strain no-matter-what: The world has the resources to end hunger, poverty and homelessness. We have the resources to provide food, clothes, shelter, education and healthcare to everyone in the world.

Never let any half-hearted or pretentious gesturing trick you into thinking of the fight against poverty as some unwinnable battle. As a society, we can end poverty any time we choose. So far, we have chose not to.

It makes sense not to waste much resources on an unwinnable battle (which explains why privileged folk such as Bono and those down at American Idol have such a philosophy). However, when we recognize that we can end poverty, then we know that the battle against poverty calls for more than two-night specials.

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 | Posted by | Categories: Poverty News |
Children suffering from Poverty