‘Record increase’ in number of Americans in poverty

From Raw Story: http://www.rawstory.com/rs/2010/09/record-increase-americans-poverty/

By The Associated Press
Saturday, September 11th, 2010 — 8:58 pm

he number of people in the US who are in poverty is on track for a record increase on President Barack Obama’s watch, with the ranks of working-age poor approaching 1960s levels that led to the national war on poverty.

Census figures for 2009 — the recession-ravaged first year of the Democrat’s presidency — are to be released in the coming week, and demographers expect grim findings.

It’s unfortunate timing for Obama and his party just seven weeks before important elections when control of Congress is at stake. The anticipated poverty rate increase — from 13.2 percent to about 15 percent — would be another blow to Democrats struggling to persuade voters to keep them in power.

“The most important anti-poverty effort is growing the economy and making sure there are enough jobs out there,” Obama said Friday at a White House news conference. He stressed his commitment to helping the poor achieve middle-class status and said, “If we can grow the economy faster and create more jobs, then everybody is swept up into that virtuous cycle.”

Continue reading at: http://www.rawstory.com/rs/2010/09/record-increase-americans-poverty/

The problem is systematic.  Poverty for the masses is the end result, the logical out come of lawless Free Market Capitalism aka Kleptocracy.  It is class war waged against working people by the ultra wealthy right wing.

7 Responses to “‘Record increase’ in number of Americans in poverty”

  1. Andrea B Says:

    China has lifted something like 300 million out of poverty in the last decade.

    More than the rest of the planet combined.

    • Suzan Says:

      I consider China worse off today. It has returned to a class structure of very rich and very poor and has done so on the bones of those they murdered a Tiananmen Square. they have this monstrous Free Market economy and a Fascist government.

  2. Andrea B Says:

    On that we disagree:)
    Tianamen square was a massacre yes.

    As for China being worse of, on that you are wrong.

  3. Suzan Says:

    Really… Okay the world was better off with the Chinese Communists.

    As far as I’m concerned we should slap major tariffs on all products made in China and reclaim our industry from those Fascists.

  4. Andrea B Says:

    Compared to what they had previously, the Chinese were better of under communism. They had a previous 200 years of corruption and servitude to emperors and foreign powers who abused them. The days of of signs saying no dogs and no chinese on the lawns are long gone and will never come back.

    They are only taking advantage of US business people deliberately sending manufacturing offshore, with the full blessing of your government which is voted in by the people of the USA.

    Anyway, with the constant high growth of the Chinese economy, in about two decades or so, they will not need to manufacture for the US economy and they are already showing signs of decoupling from the US economy.

    China is now the worlds second biggest economy. Depending on who you listen to, in 10 to 20 years it will be the worlds biggest economy. The sheer scale of the unoffical market in China means that maybe a lot closer than you think.

    The world is changing. The US is stagnating and will get worse when the Republicans get power. China is growing, India is growing. A lot of Middle Eastern countries are showing signs of coming out of the economic mess from Wall Street stronger than ever. Even some African countries are now starting to show signs of growth. Brazil will in the next ten years be a bigger economy than Germany.

    A new economic reality is emerging. In that, the USA will not have as much say as it had previously.

    The world is changing rapidly.

    • Suzan Says:

      Considering the last 2000 years of Chinese history I wouldn’t put bets on the nation holding together as anything other than a fascist or communist state. Too many ethnic differences and a history of warring states sort of like Yugoslavia.

  5. tinagrrl Says:

    Yes, the world is changing rapidly. China is not without its problems — artificially keeping their currency low does not help them in the long run — nor does it help its workers.

    300 million have been “raised out of poverty” — what about the other billion people? How about their water problems, along with desertification?

    What about their centuries old ethnic problems — the ones that led to internal war after war?

    By the way, here’s a little thing written by Paul Krugman, a recent Nobel Prize in economics winner (this from the New York Times — he also has a blog, “Conscience Of A Liberal” – look it up”)

    “China, Japan, America
    By PAUL KRUGMAN
    Published: September 12, 2010

    Last week Japan’s minister of finance declared that he and his colleagues wanted a discussion with China about the latter’s purchases of Japanese bonds, to “examine its intention” — diplomat-speak for “Stop it right now.” The news made me want to bang my head against the wall in frustration

    You see, senior American policy figures have repeatedly balked at doing anything about Chinese currency manipulation, at least in part out of fear that the Chinese would stop buying our bonds. Yet in the current environment, Chinese purchases of our bonds don’t help us — they hurt us. The Japanese understand that. Why don’t we?

    Some background: If discussion of Chinese currency policy seems confusing, it’s only because many people don’t want to face up to the stark, simple reality — namely, that China is deliberately keeping its currency artificially weak.

    The consequences of this policy are also stark and simple: in effect, China is taxing imports while subsidizing exports, feeding a huge trade surplus. You may see claims that China’s trade surplus has nothing to do with its currency policy; if so, that would be a first in world economic history. An undervalued currency always promotes trade surpluses, and China is no different.

    And in a depressed world economy, any country running an artificial trade surplus is depriving other nations of much-needed sales and jobs. Again, anyone who asserts otherwise is claiming that China is somehow exempt from the economic logic that has always applied to everyone else.

    So what should we be doing? U.S. officials have tried to reason with their Chinese counterparts, arguing that a stronger currency would be in China’s own interest. They’re right about that: an undervalued currency promotes inflation, erodes the real wages of Chinese workers and squanders Chinese resources. But while currency manipulation is bad for China as a whole, it’s good for politically influential Chinese companies — many of them state-owned. And so the currency manipulation goes on.

    Time and again, U.S. officials have announced progress on the currency issue; each time, it turns out that they’ve been had. Back in June, Timothy Geithner, the Treasury secretary, praised China’s announcement that it would move to a more flexible exchange rate. Since then, the renminbi has risen a grand total of 1, that’s right, 1 percent against the dollar — with much of the rise taking place in just the past few days, ahead of planned Congressional hearings on the currency issue. And since the dollar has fallen against other major currencies, China’s artificial cost advantage has actually increased.

    Clearly, nothing will happen until or unless the United States shows that it’s willing to do what it normally does when another country subsidizes its exports: impose a temporary tariff that offsets the subsidy. So why has such action never been on the table?

    One answer, as I’ve already suggested, is fear of what would happen if the Chinese stopped buying American bonds. But this fear is completely misplaced: in a world awash with excess savings, we don’t need China’s money — especially because the Federal Reserve could and should buy up any bonds the Chinese sell.

    It’s true that the dollar would fall if China decided to dump some American holdings. But this would actually help the U.S. economy, making our exports more competitive. Ask the Japanese, who want China to stop buying their bonds because those purchases are driving up the yen.

    Aside from unjustified financial fears, there’s a more sinister cause of U.S. passivity: business fear of Chinese retaliation.

    Consider a related issue: the clearly illegal subsidies China provides to its clean-energy industry. These subsidies should have led to a formal complaint from American businesses; in fact, the only organization willing to file a complaint was the steelworkers union. Why? As The Times reported, “multinational companies and trade associations in the clean energy business, as in many other industries, have been wary of filing trade cases, fearing Chinese officials’ reputation for retaliating against joint ventures in their country and potentially denying market access to any company that takes sides against China.”

    Similar intimidation has surely helped discourage action on the currency front. So this is a good time to remember that what’s good for multinational companies is often bad for America, especially its workers.

    So here’s the question: Will U.S. policy makers let themselves be spooked by financial phantoms and bullied by business intimidation? Will they continue to do nothing in the face of policies that benefit Chinese special interests at the expense of both Chinese and American workers? Or will they finally, finally act? Stay tuned'”

    Note: he does not absolve the USA for its corporatist actions, nor does he think our current course is in the best interest of either China or the USA — this in the long run.

    As far as Communism being in the long term best interests of the Chinese people — if it were still the basis for rule in China — perhaps it would uproot some of the centuries old practice of corruption.

    The offshoring of jobs here in the USA is NOT popular. We are neither stupid nor happy about the extreme corporate influence over what was once our Government.

    Unfortunately, the anger is too often shifted to marginalized or other powerless groups — the same old divide and conquer tactics that kept so many sick and corrupt European regimes in power long after their real power had eroded.


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