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Posts tagged america

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america-wakiewakie:

Chart of the Day: The Collapse of the American Middle Class | Mother Jones
Via Harrison Jacobs, here’s a recent study showing the trend in income segregation in American neighborhoods. Forty years ago, 65 percent of us lived in middle-income neighborhoods. Today, that number is only 42 percent. The rest of us live either in rich neighborhoods or in poor neighborhoods.
This is yet another sign of the collapse of the American middle class, and it’s a bad omen for the American political system. We increasingly lack a shared culture or shared experiences, and that makes democracy a tough act to pull off. The well-off have less and less interaction with the poor outside of the market economy, and less and less empathy for how they live their lives. For too many of us, the “general welfare” these days is just an academic abstraction, not a lived experience.

We seem to always make up different measures of what a ‘middle class’ truly is. It is, albeit obvious, a social construct. People make vastly different sorts of income, but we cannot group a ‘middle’ in our society. How can we? When does being wealthy ‘begin’? The poverty rate is around $11K/yr, and even then, people who have more than that are still poor. Just something to ponder.

america-wakiewakie:

Chart of the Day: The Collapse of the American Middle Class | Mother Jones

Via Harrison Jacobs, here’s a recent study showing the trend in income segregation in American neighborhoods. Forty years ago, 65 percent of us lived in middle-income neighborhoods. Today, that number is only 42 percent. The rest of us live either in rich neighborhoods or in poor neighborhoods.

This is yet another sign of the collapse of the American middle class, and it’s a bad omen for the American political system. We increasingly lack a shared culture or shared experiences, and that makes democracy a tough act to pull off. The well-off have less and less interaction with the poor outside of the market economy, and less and less empathy for how they live their lives. For too many of us, the “general welfare” these days is just an academic abstraction, not a lived experience.

We seem to always make up different measures of what a ‘middle class’ truly is. It is, albeit obvious, a social construct. People make vastly different sorts of income, but we cannot group a ‘middle’ in our society. How can we? When does being wealthy ‘begin’? The poverty rate is around $11K/yr, and even then, people who have more than that are still poor. Just something to ponder.

(Source: america-wakiewakie)

Filed under middle class economics wealth inequality america

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kateoplis: There Is Nothing Random About The LAX Shooting

kateoplis:

There already is some talk about this event being a “random” one. But it is not. These things are becoming as regular as rain, as predictable as the summer heat. The only thing “random” about it is the shooter. He could be anyone, and that’s the point. There are people who spend money making…

There is nothing random as we can attribute a causal mechanism to any event. However it transpires, it happens outside of any expectation. This is what defines it as ‘random’. However, we can take steps to alleviate future instances of this occurrence. We have to, we are obligated to, in order to better serve our country and protect our populace. We need better mental rehabilitation and treatment, or else we will not see an end to this type of mindless disaster and tragedy.

Filed under lax shooting gun control mental health 2nd amendment america

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Via Comprehensive immigration reform: The time is now - Politico
Antonio Villaraigosa on immigration reform.
“When the head of a household becomes a citizen, family income rises almost 14 percent on average. For the 11 million undocumented immigrants in the U.S. that would generate over $1.5 trillion in the next decade. And for the federal government that would mean $4.5 billion in new tax revenue over the next three years alone.”
A million undocumented immigrants marched down to LA City Hall in March 2006. After stepping out and seeing the scene, newly elected mayor Villaraigosa spoke and said that no human being is illegal, and he was right. This is relevant to our current time, as we need an immigration policy that stops alienating other people. It is time for Congress to stop wasting time and work on the reforms that matter to so many people who can make a difference for this economy. If undocumented immigrants were allowed to become heads of households, their income goes up, which generates a projected $4.5 billion in revenue over three years. Immigrants themselves started Fortune 500 companies, with a $4.2 trillion combined profit. Villaraigosa continues to suggest six main points to be addressed for immigration reform.
At the “core of the reform” should be an easier way to gain permanent residency and citizenship. Citizenship should be a process, of course, but not the way it is now where many are turned away or kept waiting. A third point is to focus on keeping families together, as this has the propensity to promote stronger values and put more money into the economy with the establishment of more small businesses. Good work skills should be rewarded with an easier visa and those studying in the United States in difficult fields should have an easier time staying here. Those who continue to be undocumented and are illegally employed put both themselves and their employers at risk; set up a verification system which allows it to be easier whether an employer is employing someone documented. Last but not least, we need smarter border control. A huge lump of federal law enforcement money goes to border control, but we have little to no migration from the border. It’s time to reallocate funds elsewhere and update our border control.
Thankfully, Obama has said that immigration will be one of the most important policy focuses of his second term. Let’s see what he’s got in store for the 11 million undocumented immigrants residing in this country who want nothing more than to just work here and live here to lead happier lives and create successful future lives for their children.

Via Comprehensive immigration reform: The time is now - Politico

Antonio Villaraigosa on immigration reform.

“When the head of a household becomes a citizen, family income rises almost 14 percent on average. For the 11 million undocumented immigrants in the U.S. that would generate over $1.5 trillion in the next decade. And for the federal government that would mean $4.5 billion in new tax revenue over the next three years alone.”

A million undocumented immigrants marched down to LA City Hall in March 2006. After stepping out and seeing the scene, newly elected mayor Villaraigosa spoke and said that no human being is illegal, and he was right. This is relevant to our current time, as we need an immigration policy that stops alienating other people. It is time for Congress to stop wasting time and work on the reforms that matter to so many people who can make a difference for this economy. If undocumented immigrants were allowed to become heads of households, their income goes up, which generates a projected $4.5 billion in revenue over three years. Immigrants themselves started Fortune 500 companies, with a $4.2 trillion combined profit. Villaraigosa continues to suggest six main points to be addressed for immigration reform.

At the “core of the reform” should be an easier way to gain permanent residency and citizenship. Citizenship should be a process, of course, but not the way it is now where many are turned away or kept waiting. A third point is to focus on keeping families together, as this has the propensity to promote stronger values and put more money into the economy with the establishment of more small businesses. Good work skills should be rewarded with an easier visa and those studying in the United States in difficult fields should have an easier time staying here. Those who continue to be undocumented and are illegally employed put both themselves and their employers at risk; set up a verification system which allows it to be easier whether an employer is employing someone documented. Last but not least, we need smarter border control. A huge lump of federal law enforcement money goes to border control, but we have little to no migration from the border. It’s time to reallocate funds elsewhere and update our border control.

Thankfully, Obama has said that immigration will be one of the most important policy focuses of his second term. Let’s see what he’s got in store for the 11 million undocumented immigrants residing in this country who want nothing more than to just work here and live here to lead happier lives and create successful future lives for their children.

Filed under news politics immigration obama reform laws bill labor economy government america

111 notes

According to an AP exclusive report, the U.S. military is under-reporting the extent of attacks in Afghanistan.

shortformblog:

The U.S.-led military coalition in Afghanistan is under-reporting the number of times that Afghan soldiers and police open fire on American and other foreign troops.

The coalition routinely reports attacks in which a coalition soldier is killed by an Afghan in uniform. But it does not report the instances in which an Afghan wounds U.S. or NATO troops or misses his target.

So, what don’t we know? Do we want to know?

To think about all of the classified operations we don’t know about, and in my opinion, don’t really need to know about. To think about all of the tiny skirmishes that could’ve broken out in the street that may have lasted seconds, do we really need to do know that? We may get the biggest atrocities when attacks are reported from Afghanistan, but I don’t think it’s necessary to have be told what’s going on every second over there. What I do think is underreported is how many times we succeed. I’d like to be told which operations were a success and an outright show of victory within our forces. Nothing boosts morale greater than that, and telling the public about every little bullet that comes out of a gun would not necessarily do anything beneficial.

Filed under news afghanistan war in afghanistan us america

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Pink Slime Economics

And when I say fraudulent, I mean just that. The trouble with the budget devised by Paul Ryan, the chairman of the House Budget Committee, isn’t just its almost inconceivably cruel priorities, the way it slashes taxes for corporations and the rich while drastically cutting food and medical aid to the needy. Even aside from all that, the Ryan budget purports to reduce the deficit — but the alleged deficit reduction depends on the completely unsupported assertion that trillions of dollars in revenue can be found by closing tax loopholes. And we’re talking about a lot of loophole-closing. As Howard Gleckman of the nonpartisan Tax Policy Center points out, to make his numbers work Mr. Ryan would, by 2022, have to close enough loopholes to yield an extra $700 billion in revenue every year. That’s a lot of money, even in an economy as big as ours. So which specific loopholes has Mr. Ryan, who issued a 98-page manifesto on behalf of his budget, said he would close?

Krugman is right. Why does it seem that Republicans are literally trying to join sides ONLY to bring down the other side? They need to stop favoring all of the money coming their way, because it isn’t CLEAN.

Filed under opinion news politics america us government congress

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The real crisis of public morality in the United States doesn’t lie in the private decisions Americans make in their lives or their bedrooms; it lies at the heart of an ideology — and a set of policies — that the right-wing has used to batter and browbeat their fellow Americans.

They dress these policies up sometimes, give them catchy titles like Rep. Paul Ryan’s “Path to Prosperity.” But they never cease to imbue them with the kind of moral decisions that ought to make anyone furious. Ryan’s latest budget really is case in point. It’s a plan that says that increases in defense spending are so essential, that massive tax cuts for the wealthy are so necessary, that we must pay for them by ripping a hole in the social safety net. The poor need Medicaid to pay for medicine and treatment for their families? We care, we really do, but the wealthy need tax cuts more. Food stamps the only thing standing between your children and starvation? Listen, we feel your pain. We get it. But we’ve got more important things to spend money on. Like a new yacht for that guy who only has one yacht.

It’s hard to point to a single priority of the Republican Party these days that isn’t steeped in moral failing while being dressed up in moral righteousness.

Republicans are causing a moral crisis in America (via ryking)

Such a strong statement. I also try to explain this to my friends or to whoever that ask me whether I’m a Democrat or a Republican. I’m neither, but I always state that I’d never be a Republican, nor would I be sympathetic to their agenda. It just seems that they’re so focused on keeping all of their money and making sure no one they don’t like gets to the top of the ladder to reach them. Not to mention, increasing the vast amount of wealth they already have.

(Source: diadoumenos)

Filed under politics opinion america

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underthemountainbunker:

…
Gingrich, Strapped for Cash, Lays Off Third of Staff — Gingrich, insists that he is still a viable candidate despite a third-place rank in the delegate count. He has hinged his entire strategy on hoping Mitt Romney is incapable of securing the 1,144 delegates needed to become the nominee, resulting in a contested GOP convention this summer. Earlier Tuesday in Annapolis, Md., Gingrich told reporters “the money is very tight obviously” and suggested his communications staff would soon announce a series of layoffs. Gingrich significantly cut back the number of scheduled campaign events he holds. Currently on his schedule, he only has one event a day for the next three days.

Gingrich says that he doesn’t want Romney to get the full 1,144. He should just hang up his coat and call it a day, because he’s obviously in a tight spot. Gingrich isn’t even in 2nd place right now, competing with Santorum for that spot, and is still way behind. To say that you’re still in the race preventing Romney from getting the full amount of delegates just sounds silly. It makes it look like you’re not in the race anymore to be President, you’re in the race now to stop Romney from getting to the convention as the nominee for the general. Even if Gingrich drops out and Santorum gets more delegates, Romney will grow stronger with more funding and even more delegates, because who says all of Gingrich’s supporters will switch to Santorum? When you’re strapped for cash, have decreased your ground support, and have a small chance of regaining your footing, it may just be time to say, “Maybe next time.”

underthemountainbunker:

Gingrich, Strapped for Cash, Lays Off Third of Staff — Gingrich, insists that he is still a viable candidate despite a third-place rank in the delegate count. He has hinged his entire strategy on hoping Mitt Romney is incapable of securing the 1,144 delegates needed to become the nominee, resulting in a contested GOP convention this summer. Earlier Tuesday in Annapolis, Md., Gingrich told reporters “the money is very tight obviously” and suggested his communications staff would soon announce a series of layoffs. Gingrich significantly cut back the number of scheduled campaign events he holds. Currently on his schedule, he only has one event a day for the next three days.

Gingrich says that he doesn’t want Romney to get the full 1,144. He should just hang up his coat and call it a day, because he’s obviously in a tight spot. Gingrich isn’t even in 2nd place right now, competing with Santorum for that spot, and is still way behind. To say that you’re still in the race preventing Romney from getting the full amount of delegates just sounds silly. It makes it look like you’re not in the race anymore to be President, you’re in the race now to stop Romney from getting to the convention as the nominee for the general. Even if Gingrich drops out and Santorum gets more delegates, Romney will grow stronger with more funding and even more delegates, because who says all of Gingrich’s supporters will switch to Santorum? When you’re strapped for cash, have decreased your ground support, and have a small chance of regaining your footing, it may just be time to say, “Maybe next time.”

Filed under gingrich election 2012 usa america news politics opinion

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kemetically-ankhtified:

87% Of People Stopped And Frisked By The NYPD In 2011 Were Black And Hispanic
The Wall Street Journal reports that NYPD’s Stop-and-Frisk reached an all time high last year (2011) with just about 684,330 stopped and questioned.  What is more alarming is that 87% of those folks happen to be Black and Hispanic Latino.  Here are some stats:

And who was it that got stop-and-frisked the most? 92 percent of those stopped were males, and 87 percent of those stopped were black or Hispanic, a glaring disparity considering blacks and Hispanics make up only 59 percent of the city’s population.
Just 12 percent of those stopped were arrested.
“Last year alone, the NYPD stopped enough totally innocent New Yorkers to fill Madison Square Garden more than 30 times over,” NYCLU Executive Director Donna Lieberman said in a statement. “It is not a crime to walk down the street in New York City, yet every day innocent black and brown New Yorkers are turned into suspects for doing just that. It is a stunning abuse of power that undermines trust between police and the community.”


I agree that the cops stop minorities too often just because they ‘look’ suspicious. From personal experience, I can say that the cops definitely abuse their power when they just stop you on the street and expect you to allow them to frisk you. They completely ignore your rights and don’t give a crap what you say. I’ll say “I don’t consent to searches” and they’ll say “That’s nice”.By the way, how did they get that statistic? Did someone follow around a couple of cops and record who they stopped all year?

kemetically-ankhtified:

87% Of People Stopped And Frisked By The NYPD In 2011 Were Black And Hispanic

The Wall Street Journal reports that NYPD’s Stop-and-Frisk reached an all time high last year (2011) with just about 684,330 stopped and questioned.  What is more alarming is that 87% of those folks happen to be Black and Hispanic Latino.  Here are some stats:

And who was it that got stop-and-frisked the most? 92 percent of those stopped were males, and 87 percent of those stopped were black or Hispanic, a glaring disparity considering blacks and Hispanics make up only 59 percent of the city’s population.

Just 12 percent of those stopped were arrested.

Last year alone, the NYPD stopped enough totally innocent New Yorkers to fill Madison Square Garden more than 30 times over,” NYCLU Executive Director Donna Lieberman said in a statement. “It is not a crime to walk down the street in New York City, yet every day innocent black and brown New Yorkers are turned into suspects for doing just that. It is a stunning abuse of power that undermines trust between police and the community.”

I agree that the cops stop minorities too often just because they ‘look’ suspicious. From personal experience, I can say that the cops definitely abuse their power when they just stop you on the street and expect you to allow them to frisk you. They completely ignore your rights and don’t give a crap what you say. I’ll say “I don’t consent to searches” and they’ll say “That’s nice”.
By the way, how did they get that statistic? Did someone follow around a couple of cops and record who they stopped all year?

(Source: revolutionary-afrolatino)

Filed under new york ny nypd police america us usa news opinion

18 notes

Soo Oh: Race and the newsroom

soo:

From ‘For Trayvon Martin’s case, a long route to national attention’ (NYT):

Notably, many of the national media figures who initially devoted time to the shooting are black, which to some is a case study in the need for diversity in newsrooms. The racial and ethnic makeup of newsrooms, where…

How often is the consideration of picking these people for those positions based on affirmative action and then actual skill sets that apply for that job? I don’t know when people draw that line? More effort has to be made in order to get more minorities in school in the first place. That way, there would definitely be more minority editors or whatnot straight out of school with degrees. Policy never never takes care of the initiative that needs to be undergone in order to jump start people to get out of their situations.

Filed under news trayvon martin opinion america affirmative action usa us

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(via Claims for unemployment benefits fall to four-year low - Mar. 22, 2012)
"NEW YORK (CNNMoney) — The number of first-time filers for unemployment benefits fell to a four-year low last week, hinting that solid job growth likely continued in March.
About 348,000 people filed for initial jobless claims in the week ended March 17, down from the previous week’s 353,000 claims, the Labor Department reported Thursday.”
Well, Republicans, where is your answer?

(via Claims for unemployment benefits fall to four-year low - Mar. 22, 2012)

"NEW YORK (CNNMoney) — The number of first-time filers for unemployment benefits fell to a four-year low last week, hinting that solid job growth likely continued in March.

About 348,000 people filed for initial jobless claims in the week ended March 17, down from the previous week’s 353,000 claims, the Labor Department reported Thursday.”

Well, Republicans, where is your answer?

Filed under news politics usa us america opinion economy

Notes

The study that shows why Occupy Wall Street struck a nerve - The Washington Post

The Republican Party these days is filled with hard-line conservatives. These are people who enjoy a world of “looking out for yourself”. Unfortunately this world includes having to use others to further yourself at the same time. Their methodology of no hands on economic regulation has created a change of where the money flows. Even if the United States has become a richer nation, it’s become a nation where all of these riches are going straight to the rich already. Over a period of 28 years, from ‘79 to ‘07, according to the study, average household income grew by 62 percent. This creates an over-generalized image of something ‘good’ that’s happening, but in reality, it’s not that crazy. The very bottom earners had only an increase of 18% in income. The top 1% - 275%! A 4x increase. These Republicans don’t want you think that “freeloaders” are “poor”, or that CEOs are the “wealthy”. The media that this group controls has tried over the years to exact this type of mentality, but with Occupy Wall Street, everything is a means of resistance against this media. The conservative argument is that if there was an income increase across the whole spectrum, why do you care if the rich get richer? Isn’t that a normal thing to think is going to happen?
It isn’t a good thing. The rich control how politicians think because of their power to flow the money wherever they want. Their concerns aren’t of the public, it’s to continue their abundant wealth and make sure it doesn’t go away. The opposite, it’s to make sure it continues to rise exponentially. But then one asks, why do you care about the rich? Just get on top yourself and stop whining. All the time you spend complaining can be used to apply yourself and get on the level where they are. Sorry, but the American Dream isn’t available for everyone anymore. Where we used to think we had the same opportunities as our neighbors, this has completely moved to a society where the rich control the policy and where the Little Man has a hard time striving against the odds that are stacked against Him. The wealth gap shows that we are farther and farther away from reaching that ideal lifestyle that every American wants. The solution is, in my opinion, is to get rid of this selfish individualistic idea that we’re all in it for ourselves. With great power, comes great responsibility. And if you have the power, if you have the wealth, be responsible for making sure everyone else had the same opportunity as you. Help your neighbor out. You live in a community, where hands hold to help keep each other afloat. This community is a nation. We were once a nation that loved our country. But in this nation we live in now, it seems to be a dog-eat-dog mentality. This isn’t right, and I’m not the only one who senses that there’s something wrong with the way things are.

Filed under ows occupy wall street long read news politics government united states america

Notes

Police Censor The Media As They Unleash Devastating Force On Occupy Oakland

What I saw last morning was something I never thought I’ll see in America. Police brutality in every sense of the word. The Occupy protests are a peaceful protest, but it seems that they’ve created a credible threat. So much so that riot cops need to be called in.
Who calls in riot cops for people who aren’t rioting?
This type of thing should never happen in the US. And the media not addressing it to it’s fullest is something that I can’t fathom as well. There’s something wrong in this country.

Filed under occupy oakland ows occupy wall street occupy oakland politics news government us united states america protest police brutality