Because it involves contraception and family planning:
Because it involves contraception and family planning:
I take some satisfaction in knowing that the richest school community, Congdon, had to wait as long as the poorest school community, Grant/Nettleton to be dealt with by the Red Planners. I worry that the many unplanned extragavances poured into earlier projects will impoverish what can be done for the Central Hillside schools now that the Red Plan seems to be spluttering and sucking up so much more of our classroom money.
Principal Stephanie Heilig is absolutely right about the teachers at her school being either one year types or lifers. God Bless the lifers who take especial pride in helping the kids who most need their teacher’s dedication to succeed.
I’m still left with nothing but contempt for the actions of the Duluth School Boards who have once again dealt the Central Hillside a bad hand.
This AP story about the growth of Minnesota’s impoverished in the Trib today was interesting. Those of us in St. Louis County live in the epicenter of Minnesota poverty:
St. Louis County had the lowest median income of the counties covered by the yearly data with $41,800. It also had the highest poverty rate at 17.9 percent, followed by Ramsey County at 17.2 percent. The poverty line was defined in 2010 as about $22,000 in income for a family of four.
From 2009 to 2010 poverty among Minnesota children has jumped from 14.1% to 15.2%. Presumably in Duluth its much higher because we have an overall rate of better than 1 in 5 locals or 20%, living in poverty. The GOP answer to this would probably be that we should speed up our laws to require photo ID’s for these people to vote and suspend their right to election day registration.
This heads up from Andrew Sullivan’s blog is worth noting as he skewers the biggest “liberal” media outlet of them all, the Grey Lady, for refusing to explain a principal driver of the rising poverty rate among children – single parentood.
I did wonder about one determinant of the statistics where Duluth is concerned. How does the local college population affect Duluth’s overall statistics. On the face of it most students are pretty impoversished crowded into college tenement style rental housing and spending massive quanties of money without earning that much and often going into considerable debt for a degree. This is worth pondering because in the Days of Katherine Martin the influx in college students has leaped from steady to a flood. How does an addition of 3 or 4 thousand such residents to Duluth affect our poverty rates?
Sorry, I’m just asking because I’m too lazy to make inquiries.
It should be noted that if college students end up tilting the statistical level of poverty up that this is a bit of a statistical fraud. Most college students have families with fairly deep pockets which they can draw from. This is very different from the experience of real poor people who often have no reservoir to draw from in times of hardship.
This column in the Washington Post pretty well outlines the half dozen ploys by which the GOP is attempting to limit the voting population to Republicans.
One of the basic history lessons, that used to be taught in American schools, was that over time America became more democratic. At first propertied men over the age of 21 could vote followed by the revolution of Andy Jackson when all white males were given the vote. The Civil War Amendments issued in the vote for black males although because of the “black codes” that right was largely theoretical. When Wyoming entered the union with a male population too small to be granted statehood it pragmatically added women to the voting rolls thereby acquiring overnight the necessary population for admission. That was followed decades later by an Amendment allowing women the franchise and in the 1960′s the southern laws which denied most black Americans the vote were made illegal leading to the wholesale movement of white southern voters into the GOP. In the 1970′s the franchise for Federal elections was lowered to the age of 18.
One important rule, especially popular in the South, preventing ex felons from voting has gained greater acceptance which has been especially useful to limit the number of votes available to Democrats. About 1 in every 8 black men is denied a vote because of prison time. But as the story makes clear the GOP is hell bent on making voting a chore and a hurdle for those of limited means. Don’t have a car and a driver’s licence? Sorry, you will still need a government document with photograph on it. Want to register on the day of the election? Sorry, you will have to do it weeks in advance.
Some Republican pundits have even gone back to the 1700′s by arguing that property qualifications should be enforced again leaving God knows how many poor people disenfrancised. The use of the felicitous phrase “pursuit of happiness” in the Declaration of Independence still sticks in some people’s craw because they would have preferred that it read “property.”
…and we aren’t quite so unequal here in America.
A very smart report from the PBS News Hour from a favorite of mine Paul Solman.
A decade ago I was pouring over old newspapers from the time I was in college back in the 1970′s and was struck by the huge number of news stories about how dire the poverty was among the elderly. No more. Now the elderly are taking enhanced Social Security and Medicare benefits and joining the Tea Party to fight socialistic tax increases.
Meanwhile schools are filling up with children whose parents are preoccupied with survival not their children’s GPA.
The falling sky blue line shows the decrease in poverty among those over age 65. The rising yellow line shows increase in poverty for children under the age of 6.
My gadfly critic, Vic, thinks Blogger Andrew Sullivan is “tendentious.”
Here’s my reply to an email Vic sent me this morning in which one of Vic’s old law school classmates disses a Sullivan blog post I sent Vic.
I’ve read Sullivan over the same period of time. I’m unimpressed with your classmates analysis. I’ve read much the same from other “conservatives.” What you sent me the other day is one of the reasons I find Sullivan worth reading. He doesn’t join one side of a cheering section and park his brains in the locker room as though all that was at stake was bragging rights for winning a sport’s contest.
The people who read his Daily Dish regularly and find flaws in his logic and evidence get quoted on the Dish and he owns up to his errors. Show me a true “conservative” voice who does the same. Until GOP leaders dissassociate themselves from the Limbaughs, Hannitys and Becks they cannot seriously lead us anywhere as a nation. There are a few new Republicans appearing on the edges who are untainted with the GOP’s partisan dip-shittery. Mitch Daniels, Gov. Christie, the ambassador from China who’s stepping down to make a run at the Presidency. They are the hope for the GOP’s future. FOX pundits are political pornographers and the pols who refuse to disavow them are video sluts.
I do admire some GOP old timers like former Senators Rudman and Simpson. You might find Alan Simpson’s comments today on NPR interesting: http://www.npr.org/blogs/itsallpolitics/2011/02/16/133801977/alan-simpson-cut-entitlements-defense-dont-touch-help-to-poor
Sure, Sullivan suffers from HIV but I’d paraphrase Lincoln when he commented on U.S. Grant’s alledged alcholism. If it [homosexuality] makes men like Sulivan think, then find out who he has sex with, and send them to the other pundits!”
Here’s what the law school classmate had to say:
On Wed, Feb 16, 2011 at 7:40 AM, Vic wrote:
From one of my law school classmates:
Sullivan is even more confusing for me than Arianna. Back in the 1990s he was basically a sensible person apart from the ‘gay’ situation. Someplace along the way BDS [Bush Derangement Syndrome] became even more serious for him than HIV and his world became more unreal. I can understand being critical of G.W. Bush and some of his policies but Sullivan totally ignored the obvious deficiencies in Obama.
Here’s the post in question in which Sullivan defends his previous castigation of Obama for his lousy budget plan but then defends Obama as our best hope for rationale fiscal discipline.
—– Original Message —–
To: L (the law school classmate)
Sent: Wednesday, February 16, 2011 1:33 AM
Subject: The Defense Of Obama’s Fiscal Cowardice – The Daily Dish | By Andrew Sullivan
I just read this fascinating NYT article. Brazil (and about 40 other nations pay the poorest of the poor) Its working. Its keeping corruption down. The cycle of poverty is breaking.
From the article:
For skeptics who believe that social programs never work in poor countries and that most of what’s spent on them gets stolen, conditional cash transfer programs offer a convincing rebuttal. Here are programs that help the people who most need help, and do so with very little waste, corruption or political interference. Even tiny, one-village programs that succeed this well are cause for celebration. To do this on the scale that Mexico and Brazil have achieved is astounding.
Reading this put me in mind of Richard Nixon who once proposed a negative income tax whereby the poorest people would get money back from the Government. Not quite the same thing but similar.
US politics today (Read the GOP) is too beholden to the businesses (payday loans etc.) which leach money from the poor and desperate. We’re trying to undo the damage with the incredibly wrong headed No Child Left Behind.
I guess I am the last person with an internet connection to see this video.
Yes he’s an entertaining and enthusiastic guy. Yes, the rise of China and India is amazing and fantastic. Yes there is a large “middle class” of countries.
But people, have you looked at the horizontal axis of his chart? The distance between $400 and $4000 is the same as the distance between $4000 and $40000.
That is incredibly misleading.
Maybe the category I’ve chosen for this is poorly named.
This web tool artfully demonstrates demographic trends nation by nation.
I’m very impressed with the Nobel Committee’s Peace Prize selection.
I heard about Yunus’s small loans several years ago on NPR and they make so much sense. I wish a few Republicans would pay attention to this as it is exactly what the party used to encourage before it got the idea that a free enterprise economy meant steering big government contracts to cronies and campaign contributors, making them rich, and easing their tax burden.
An interesting column on Poverty by economist Bradley Schiller contends that for the vast majority of impoverished Americans their condition is short term. Schiller pointed to a study by the University of Michigan which found that only 5% of poor Americans stayed poor for ten years out of the 13 years they were studied. That means that 19 out of 20 poor people were able to escape extreme poverty most of the time.
Democrats would be well advised to pay attention to this because it helps explain why America continues to be a place where optimism sells. In many ways the Democrats are too steeped in the Era and ethos of the Depression.
Schiller suggests that the best thing to do is to work on eliminating the structural barriers which make it difficult for people to escape poverty. One of those is a very Republican barrier. Usurious interest rates of short term loan business like title loans have become widespread as they left the Republicans Deep South in search of new customers in Republican leaning states. They are very much like the company stores of the coal fields or tenant farming which replaced the plantations after the Civil War.
In Republican eyes if a good ole boy can get rich by earning a 100 or 150% return on a loan to some poor desperate person so be it. Not exactly a family value – usury. Apparently it doesn’t make any difference how you make a buck so long as the law allows it and keeping it legal is what the Republicans want.
Yet a ruinous loan is a structural barrier. It should also be noted that Republicans have also become the primary champions for gambling which provides a sin tax for government. Gaming in America reminds me of the failing Soviet Russian’s dependence in the late 1980′s on revenues from vodka sales which helped to keep the population in a compliant stupor.
Schiller also mentions the 5 million low achieving students who drop out of school every year. This is another critical barrier because poorly funded school systems drive kids out before they can get the tools to help them achieve success. This too is an outcome of Republican politics because Republicans champion “local control” of schools which all too often means localalized financing of schools.
I’ve thought for years that Congress should withold federal education revenue from states which refuse to implement some financial equity between their rich and poor school districts. I suggested this to Paul Wellstone a few months before he died. The Senator didn’t disagree with me but told me that too many Congressmen would fight such a plan.
An article today caught my eye and on a topic I’ve been licking my lips to expound on. The GOP and its new ethos that confuses the making of money with the strengthening of the economy.
It seems that the US military which pays starvation wages to its enlisted personnel wants to crack down on Payday loan establishments that prey on servicemen. In the story today one soldier took a $255 dollar advance on a $300 guaranteed pay check. This used to be called usury and most states used to have laws against it. That fee is comparable to a 459% interest rate. Compare that with the going rate for a home mortgage loan and you can see how soldiers are being taken.
But the military sees its servicemen being bled dry by these Republican sanctioned outfits. The military wants to protect its troops from these predators but everyone should be protected from them. The growth of the once non existent car “title loans” is the same thing. Poor people hand over their car titles for emergency money and lose their only means of transportation for loans that are in the neighborhood of 100 % or more.
Rather than protect the vulnerable poor (even servicemen) Republicans insist that the poor are entitled to ruin themselves and have only themselves to blame. Too many of these modern Era Republicans never saw anything wrong with any way to make a buck (other than selling drugs).
Just look at gambling. Once strongly anti-gaming the Republican Party now pushes gaming everywhere despite it socially destructive consequences. The Republicans, hate to tax wealthy people even when the wealth is acquired more through legislation than enterprise. But with reduced tax revenues, socially destructive gambling has become an acceptable new source for revenue. Except for Indian gaming……That’s why Republicans in state’s like Minnesota have tried to break into the Indian gaming industry and why they rail against Indian sovereignty. Why are we letting all these poor Indians keep all this money? It would be better if we just let them sell cigarettes and set up title loans on the Rez.
Beware that this is a video and if you have a dial up connection you may want to skip this because it will take forever to load.
A pointed dig at “Big Box Mart” from jib jab that I’ve not seen before.
Warren Buffett said this of his massive contribution to the Gates Foundation.
“Neither [late wife] Susie nor I ever thought we should pass huge amounts of money along to our children,” said Warren Buffett, who said he plans to give away his remaining stock holdings after his death but that he has “quite a bit of cash” he still plans to leave to those close to him. “Our children are great,” he told Fortune. “But I would argue that when your kids have all the advantages anyway, in terms of how they grow up and the opportunities they have for education, including what they learn at home – I would say it’s neither right nor rational to be flooding them with money.”
This post and the resulting discussion are interesting. They are prompted by the remarkable Warren Buffett gift of most of his vast fortune to the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation. My first two reactions on hearing this were 1. How amazing that Warren doesn’t set up his own foundation to keep his name for posterity. 2. What a testament to the BMG foundation since Buffet is famous for scoping out enterprises which really work.
Since then I’ve heard other comments which minimize the significance of the contribution by comparing the Buffett fortune with all the annual giving in the US or with the amount of money the Federal Government spends and now with this post Free trade has been thrown in for comparison.