» President Obama's $9 Minimum Wage Wouldn't Solve Working Poor Problem: Study

Minimum wage = prolongued poverty

“That there is want and misery in the world is not, as the average newspaper reader, in his dullness, is only too prone to believe, an argument against liberalism. It is precisely want and misery that liberalism seeks to abolish, and it considers the means that it proposes the only suitable ones for the achievement of this end. Let whoever thinks that he knows a better, or even a different, means to this end adduce the proof.”

- Ludwig von Mises, Liberalism (via eltigrechico)
thepeoplesrecord:

How higher education in the US was destroyed in 5 basic steps
October 19, 2012
(Note from The People’s Record: This post is partial, taking only segments from each of the five bullet points in the original article and none of the conclusion because people don’t like long articles on tumblr. In this case, I would recommend following the link at the bottom and reading the whole thing if you have a few moments. I think it’s important.)
It was during this time (the 1960s), when colleges had a thriving professoriate, and when students were given access to a variety of subject areas, and the possibility of broad learning. The liberal arts stood at the center of a college education, and students were exposed to philosophy, anthropology, literature, history, sociology, world religions, foreign languages and cultures. Of course, something else happened, beginning in the late ’50s into the ’60s — the uprisings and growing numbers of citizens taking part in popular dissent — against the Vietnam War, against racism, against destruction of the environment in a growing corporatized culture, against misogyny, against homophobia. Where did much of that revolt incubate? Where did large numbers of well-educated, intellectual, and vocal people congregate? On college campuses. Who didn’t like the outcome of the ’60s? The corporations, the war-mongers, those in our society who would keep us divided based on our race, our gender, our sexual orientation.
But a country claiming to have democratic values can’t just shut down its universities. So, how do you kill the universities of the country without showing your hand? As a child growing up during the Cold War, I was taught that the communist countries in the first half of the 20th century put their scholars, intellectuals and artists into prison camps, called “re-education camps.” What I’ve come to realize as an adult is that American corporatism despises those same individuals as much as we were told communism did. But instead of doing anything so obvious as throwing them into prison, here those same people are thrown into dire poverty. The outcome is the same. Desperate poverty controls and ultimately breaks people as effectively as prison…..and some research says that it works even more powerfully.
Step I: Defund public higher education .
Anna Victoria:. Funding for public universities comes from, as the term suggests, the state and federal government. Yet starting in the early 1980s, shifting state priorities forced public universities to increasingly rely on other sources of revenue. For example, in the University of Washington school system, state funding for schools decreased as a percentage of total public education budgets from 82% in 1989 to 51% in 2011.” 
That’s a loss of more than a third of its public funding. But why this shift in priorities? U.C. Berkeley English professor Christopher Newfield, in his new book Unmaking the Public Universityposits that conservative elites have worked to defund higher education explicitly because of its function in creating a more empowered, democratic, and multiracial middle class. His theory is one that blames explicit cultural concern, not financial woes, for the current decreases in funding. He cites the fact that California public universities were forced to reject 300,000 applicants because of lack of funding. Newfield explains that much of the motive behind conservative advocacy for defunding of public education is racial, pro-corporate and anti-protest in nature.
Under the guise of many “conflicts,” such as budget struggles, or quotas, defunding was consistently the result. This funding argument also was used to reshape the kind of course offerings and curriculum focus found on campuses. Victoria writes, “Attacks on humanities curriculums, political correctness, and affirmative action shifted the conversation on public universities to the right, creating a climate of skepticism around state funded schools. State budget debates became platforms for conservatives to argue why certain disciplines such as sociology, history, anthropology, minority studies, language, and gender studies should be defunded…” on one hand, through the argument that they were not offering students the “practical” skills needed for the job market — which was a powerful way to increase emphasis on what now is seen as vocational focus rather than actual higher education, and to devalue those very courses that trained and expanded the mind, developed a more complete human being, a more actively intelligent person and involved citizen.
Step II: Deprofessionalize and impoverish the professors (and continue to create a surplus of underemployed and unemployed Ph.D.s)
We have 1.5 million university professors in this country, 1 million of whom are adjuncts. One million professors in America are hired on short-term contracts, most often for one semester at a time, with no job security whatsoever – which means that they have no idea how much work they will have in any given semester, and that they are often completely unemployed over summer months when work is nearly impossible to find (and many of the unemployed adjuncts do not qualify for unemployment payments). So, one million American university professors are earning, on average, $20K a year gross, with no benefits or healthcare, no unemployment insurance when they are out of work. Keep in mind, too, that many of the more recent Ph.Ds have entered this field often with the burden of six figure student loan debt on their backs.
This is how you break the evil, wicked, leftist academic class in America — you turn them into low-wage members of the precariat – that growing number of American workers whose employment is consistently precarious. All around the country, our undergraduates are being taught by faculty living at or near the poverty line, who have little to no say in the way classes are being taught, the number of students in a class, or how curriculum is being designed. They often have no offices in which to meet their students, no professional staff support, no professional development support. One million of our college professors are struggling to continue offering the best they can in the face of this wasteland of deteriorated professional support, while living the very worst kind of economic insecurity.
Step III: Move in a managerial/administrative class that takes over governance of the university
Universities often defend their use of adjuncts – which are now 75% of all professors in the country — claiming that they have no choice but to hire adjuncts, as a “cost saving measure” in an increasingly defunded university. What they don’t say, and without demand of transparency will never say, is that they have not saved money by hiring adjuncts — they have reduced faculty salaries, security and power. The money wasn’t saved, because it was simply re-allocated to administrative salaries, coach salaries and outrageous university president salaries. There has been a redistribution of funds away from those who actually teach, the scholars – and therefore away from the students’ education itself — and into these administrative and executive salaries, sports costs — and the expanded use of “consultants,” PR and marketing firms, law firms. 
Step IV: Move in corporate culture and corporate money.
To further control and dominate how the university is “used” — a flood of corporate money results in changing the value and mission of the university from a place where an educated citizenry is seen as a social good, where intellect and reasoning is developed and heightened for the value of the individual and for society, to a place of vocational training, focused on profit. Corporate culture hijacked the narrative – university was no longer attended for the development of your mind. It was where you went so you could get a “good job.” Anything not immediately and directly related to job preparation or hiring was denigrated and seen as worthless — philosophy, literature, art, history.
Step V: Destroy the students.
While claiming to offer them hope of a better life, our corporatized universities are ruining the lives of our students. This is accomplished through a two-prong tactic: you dumb down and destroy the quality of the education so that no one on campus is really learning to think, to question, to reason. Instead, they are learning to obey, to withstand “tests” and “exams,” to follow rules, to endure absurdity and abuse. Our students have been denied full-time available faculty, the ability to develop mentors and advisors, faculty-designed syllabi which changes each semester, a wide variety of courses and options. Instead, more and more universities have core curriculum which dictates a large portion of the course of study, in which the majority of classes are administrative-designed “common syllabi” courses, taught by an army of underpaid, part-time faculty in a model that more closely resembles a factory or the industrial kitchen of a fast food restaurant than an institution of higher learning.
The Second Prong: You make college so insanely unaffordable that only the wealthiest students from the wealthiest of families can afford to go to the school debt free. Younger people may not know that for much of the 20th century many universities in the U.S. were free, including the CA state system: you could establish residency in six months and go to Berkeley for free, or at very low cost. When I was an undergraduate student in the mid- to late-1970s, tuition at Temple University was around $700 a year. Today, tuition is nearly $15,000 a year. Tuitions have increased, using CA as an example again, over 2000% since the 1970s.
Source/Full Article
HD
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» Poverty Nonsense by Walter Williams

Here’s a recent statement frequently suggested by leftist academics, think tank researchers and policymakers: “People were not just struggling because of their personal deficiencies. There were structural factors at play. People weren’t poor because they made bad decisions. They were poor because our society creates poverty.” Who made that statement and where it was made is not important at all, but its corrosive effects on the minds of black people, particularly black youths, are devastating.

There’s nothing intellectually challenging or unusual about poverty. For most of mankind’s existence, his most optimistic scenario was to be able to eke out enough to subsist for another day. Poverty has been mankind’s standard fare and remains so for most of mankind. What is unusual and challenging to explain is affluence — namely, how a tiny percentage of people, mostly in the West, for only a tiny part of mankind’s existence, managed to escape the fate that befell their fellow men.

To say that “our society creates poverty” is breathtakingly ignorant. In 1776, the U.S. was among the world’s poorest nations. In less than two centuries, we became the world’s richest nation by a long shot. Americans who today are deemed poor by Census Bureau definitions have more material goods than middle-class people as recently as 60 years ago. Dr. Robert Rector and Rachel Sheffield give us insights in “Understanding Poverty in the United States: Surprising Facts About America’s Poor” (9/13/2011). Eighty percent of poor households have air conditioning. Nearly three-fourths have a car or truck, and 31 percent have two or more. Two-thirds have cable or satellite TV. Half have one or more computers. Forty-two percent own their homes. The average poor American has more living space than the typical non-poor person in Sweden, France or the U.K. Ninety-six percent of poor parents stated that their children were never hungry during the year because they couldn’t afford food. How do these facts square with the statement that “our society creates poverty”? To the contrary, our society has done the best with poverty.

Maybe the professor who made the statements about poverty — who, by the way, is black — was thinking that it’s black people who have been made poor by society. One cannot avoid the fact that average black income today is many multiples of what it was at emancipation, in 1900, in 1940 and in 1960, even though average black income is only 65 percent of white income. There is no comparison between black standard of living today and that in earlier periods. Again, the statement that “our society creates poverty” is just plain nonsense.

What about the assertion that “people weren’t poor because they made bad decisions”?

The poverty rate among blacks is 36 percent. Most black poverty is found in female-headed households, but the poverty rate among black married couples has been in single digits since 1994 and stands today at 7 percent. Today’s black illegitimacy rate is 72 percent, but in the 1940s, it hovered around 14 percent. Less than 50 percent of black students graduate from high school, and most of those who do graduate have a level of academic proficiency far below that of their white counterparts. Black men make up almost 40 percent of the prison population.

Here are my several two-part questions: Is having babies without the benefit of marriage a bad decision, and is doing so likely to affect income? Are dropping out of school and participating in criminal activity bad decisions, and are they likely to have an effect on income? Finally, do people have free will and the capacity to make decisions, or is their behavior a result of instincts over which they have no control? As a black person, I’m glad that the message taught to so many of today’s black youths wasn’t taught back in the 1930s, ’40s and ’50s, when the civil rights struggle was getting into gear. The admonishment that I frequently heard from black adults was, “Be a credit to your race.”

» The Paternalist's Handbook

eltigrechico:

Read this article about the classic poverty book ‘The other America’

latimes:

Caught in the cycle of poverty: Choices, challenges and chaos keep undermining a woman’s attempt to escape the struggles her mother and grandmother faced. She wants to provide a better life for her children but seems not to know how.

“My mother struggled, my grandma struggled and I am struggling,” Cole said. “Hopefully they will see what we went through as a family and it makes them want to be better and go to school and graduate so they don’t have to struggle.”
Their struggles often involve housing. Cole and her family have briefly stayed in an old van, in a motel and, for one night, on skid row. “I try not to cry in front of my kids,” she said. “I cried.”
Late last year, Cole was paying $400 to rent a room in South Los Angeles, where the whole family slept. But the roommate complained about the noise and the mess, and she eventually kicked them out.

Photo: Cole, in relief and joy, embraces boyfriend Juan Sena after learning that they had gotten the new one-bedroom apartment. Credit: Michael Robinson Chavez / Los Angeles Times


This article makes me mad. The solutions to alleviating this woman and millions of American poor out of their situations are so simple and yet, we continue to push for failed social programs that only prolong this woman’s pain. The free market could have lifted her out of poverty; she could have started a business or found a job easily, if it weren’t for expensive regulations and licenses, and minimum wage laws. This is an example of the so-called War on Poverty has only left a long line of poor who will only continue to struggle, until we get rid of those programs HD
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thecheekylibertarian:

lovebelikeawhirlwind:

loveandchunkybits:

dynamicafrica:


No one who attacks the humanitarian aid establishment is going to win any popularity contests, but, neither, it seems, is that establishment winning any contests with the people it is supposed to be helping. Easterly, an NYU economics professor and a former research economist at the World Bank, brazenly contends that the West has failed, and continues to fail, to enact its ill-formed, utopian aid plans because, like the colonialists of old, it assumes it knows what is best for everyone. Existing aid strategies, Easterly argues, provide neither accountability nor feedback. Without accountability for failures, he says, broken economic systems are never fixed. And without feedback from the poor who need the aid, no one in charge really understands exactly what trouble spots need fixing. True victories against poverty, he demonstrates, are most often achieved through indigenous, ground-level planning. Except in its early chapters, where Easterly builds his strategic platform atop a tower of statistical analyses, the book’s wry, cynical prose is highly accessible. Readers will come away with a clear sense of how orthodox methods of poverty reduction do not help, and can sometimes worsen, poor economies.

- Publisher’s Weekly via Amazon

I bought this book and read like a paragraph and from then on I viewed aid way different. If you are a good intentioned do-gooder that wants to help the poor and hungry…its a must for your bookshelf. Just read the first chapter is all you need to really “get” it Read the rest to be armed with facts and statistics when people who dont know any better try to have a misinformed opinion

this book is phenomenal.
gonna reread.

BUY. THIS. BOOK. And William Easterly’s work, in general, but I think I’ve already made my endorsement of his work more than obvious; he’s a fantastic economist (lovely data and econometrics), but he also has the unique skill of not writing like one.
I need to find time to actually read for once, because I bought some other books on the topic (aid/development in Africa) last semester, which I’ve only read excerpts from, but which are just phenomenal (they’re ‘Dead Aid’, by Dambisa Moyo and ‘The Bottom Billion’ by Paul Collier).

One of the books that changed my life, alongside Dead Aid by Dambisa HD
b a d c

“Checking privilege doesn’t build homes or feed babies.”

“Higher education is not a luxury. It’s an economic imperative that every family in America should be able to afford.”

-

President Obama speaking in Michigan today about his plans to make college more affordable (via barackobama)

Well I think it would be super if everyone could have their very own human rights acknowledged, but we don’t all get what we want, now, do we?

(via thecheekylibertarian)

“I am for doing good to the poor, but…I think the best way of doing good to the poor, is not making them easy in poverty, but leading or driving them out of it. I observed…that the more public provisions were made for the poor, the less they provided for themselves, and of course became poorer. And, on the contrary, the less was done for them, the more they did for themselves, and became richer.”

- Benjamin Franklin (via haereticum)
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