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I am a high school English teacher in an urban high school in Oklahoma City. I am a member of the American Federation of Teachers, Local 2309. I am a Democrat, a union activist and a worker for social justice. I also am a Christian (Congregationalist). I play chess and coach our school chess team.

Monday, January 02, 2006

In America Smaller Wages, Greater Hunger, Fewer Services

From Parade Magazine, January 1, 2006:

"In 2004, for the fifth straight year, the number of children facing 'food insecurity'--lacking enough nutrition to lead a healthy life--surged, leaving 13.9 million of them in households with an erratic food supply. . . . [I]n the Midwest . . . the cost of everyday basics rose sharply, the average household income actually declined by 2.8 percent from 2003 to 2004, according to the U.S. Census Bureau" (Relin 14).

According to the 2005 US Census report, median family incomes in the United States in actual dollars, money not adjusted for inflation, declined .02%. Incomes for Americans who worked full time jobs declined from 2003 to 2004 by 2.3% for men and 1% for women (one result of male incomes falling faster than female incomes is that women actually gained on the percent of income they make relative to men up from 0.76 to 0.77). The poverty rate moved from 12.5% of Americans living in poverty to 12.7%. Over one million more Americans lived in poverty in 2004 compared with the previous year (Census).

In other words, folks, we are falling behind in the race between wages and expenses. More of us are becoming poor and more of our children are without basic necessities like food.

In spite of this the Republican dominated U.S. House of Representatives tried to cut $700 million from the Agriculture Departments' Food Stamps program. Only the resistance of the Senate Democrats and a few brave, moderate Republican senators stopped them. However, the poor and elderly will have to pay more for medical care. Medicaid and Medicare, the health-care programs for the poor and elderly, will be cut by $13 billion over five years, and more than $54 billion over 10 years of the budget (Cowen and Kenen). Soon poor and elderly Americans will be once again in the bad old days where they have to make choices between eating and filling their prescriptions.

Enough is Enough! We need a change of government if we are to save our Republic!

Works Cited:

Cowan, Richard and Joanne Kenen. "Republicans Reach Deal on Spending Cuts." Reuters News 18 Dec. 2005:

DeNavas-Walt, Carmen, Bernadette D. Proctor, Cheryl Hill Lee.

Income, Poverty and Health Insurance in the United States: 2004. The U.S. Census Bureau. U.S. Department of Commerce. August 2005.

Relin, David Oliver. "No Child Needs to Go Hungry." Parade. 1 January 2006: 14-15.

3 comments:

Piku said...

Exciting blog you have here old man.

Lynn Green said...

Thank you, mam.

Trojan said...

You have very insightful well written blog. Mine is more fluff than anything..but I try to make it fun. To each his own:)