From Tim Burton’s adaptation of Alice in Wonderland, the red queen rained tyranny over the land, destroyed lives and drove people mad, using fear of the fire breathing monster, Jabbiwalkie. In this version of the fairytale, Alice returned to Underland right on schedule to defeat the monster and free her friends from the wicked queen’s oppression.
Alice was in a state of transition in her own world, about to jump off into the world of social expectation and a life of misery. But fate had another path laid for Alice, one she could not yet imagine. Being the good kid that she was, not daring to upset the world of social imbalance, she generally did as she was told, but now the stakes were far too high for her to falter.
Clueless about her own power, Alice took an unexpected detour back into Underland to win her own freedom and to free the friends she had left behind as a child dreaming who had woken from a nightmare. So timid and shy, Alice did her best to avoid conflict and certainly couldn’t imagine herself taking on a fire breathing dragon in mortal combat, at least not until she realized that if she did not defeat the queen’s dragon, all her dear friends would either die or live out their lives in darkness and despair.
Alice donned the suit of armor made only for her and took up the volter sword, knowing that her task was impossible, she met the dragon just the same. The dragon, representing self-importance, knocked little Alice around like a pinball in a pinball machine as her friends watched breathlessly. As Alice flew into the air from a solid blow, she remembered the words of the caterpillar, “just hold onto the sword and it will do what it must,” Alice fell back down through the air and severed the head of the dragon.
At this moment a quiet hush came over the land, everyone watching in disbelief. Alice had accomplished the impossible and freed the peoples from the tyranny which had enslaved them for over a decade. Now Alice could return to her own world and choose her own path in life, no longer the shy, timid follower of society’s bent expectation.
The only enemy is Self-Importance!
I woke from a dream this morning which shook me wide awake. My early education history had been reversed and income discrimination was erased completely. In the dream, my mother started me off in public school, where my education was undefined and geared toward service-level occupations which require little to no education and pay very little.
A few years later, I was moved to a private school where my education path was clearly defined and balanced toward professional management occupations and a solid understanding of the arts. The classes assigned to me made perfect sense. Though I felt frustrated to have wasted the first years of education, I also felt motivated and excited to be moving forward toward higher goals which seemed to better fit my intellectual abilities and help define my artistic preferences.
The teachers and administrative staff were accepting and supportive toward all students and encouraged the same in the students. We all had well defined goals and worked together so that each person had the highest potential for reaching successful outcomes; teachers, staff and students.
In real life, this history was reversed and income discrimination was the driving force of an abysmal education outcome. If I could change just one thing in this world, it would be education – not just the quality of education accessible to all children, but the ignorance of the adults who teach unhealthy social values, where discrimination is used to harm others rather than as a tool for healthy decision making in uncertain situations.
LET’S BE A MODEL FOR SOCIAL EVOLUTION, not a model for greed and corruption. Everyone has value to contribute to the GLOBAL VILLAGE. Build the village and they will come. Give a hungry man a dollar and he will eat today. Teach a man to fish, and he will not go hungry.
End Homelessness Action Plans do not take into account the sources of homelessness, or that the population living below the poverty level has increased in the United States by 25.2% since 2007. Consider the following points of fact:
Homelessness in America
In the United States, the Target Homelessness Assistance Program distributed an estimated $27.5 billion dollars in grant funding between 2010 and 2015. These collaborative efforts throughout communities have reduced the overall homeless rate by 10%, and the unsheltered homeless by 25%.
With an estimated 600,000 Americans experiencing homelessness at some point throughout a given year, the $4.5 billion annual budget breaks down to about $75 per person.
According to Daniel Beekman of the Seattle Times, Mayor Ed Murray of Seattle has followed LA County and Portland, Oregon in declaring a state of emergency for the ever growing homeless population there on the West Coast.
Last winter’s One-Night-Count found over 10,000 people in King County homeless shelters, transitional housing, and unsheltered on the streets. As of September, according the county Medical Examiner’s Office, there were 66 homeless deaths this year. In addition, more than 19,000 households applied for section 8 housing assistance this year.
Working Class Forecast
I posted a short story about the changing workforce trends a few weeks ago and later found that my data sources were conflicting. The information in this post was gathered from Excel tables that I downloaded from the Bureau of Labor Statistics and the US Census Bureau.
The actual estimated number of job losses, in all payroll jobs, from December 1,2007 thru January 31, 2010, was 10,309,000, bringing the total number of unemployed workers to 16,147,000, with the unemployment rate of 10.6%. The latest information from September, 2015, shows an unemployment rate of only 4.9% [in December 2007 the rate was 4.8%].
According to the numbers, it looks like things are back to normal for the American working class, but life here is far from normal. Let’s take a look at poverty in the US. In 2007 there were 37 million people (12%) in the US living at or below the level of poverty, in 2014 the number grew to 46.6 million (15%).
Now, let’s take a look at Poverty and Gross Domestic Product for 2014. I’ve gathered Census data for four states on poverty and Economic estimates for GDP by state.
United States Gross National Product: 2014 Estimated Current-Dollar GDP by State: $17,316,314,000
|% US Total||9.5%||13.3%||1.2%||1.6%|
|Total living in Poverty||4,523,708||6,259,098||910,175||908,628|
|Percent of Total||17.2%||16.4%||19.3%||15.5%|
|Children under 18||1,728,982||2,047,259||302,736||287,081|
|Percent under 18||25%||23%||28%||21%|