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%|
Over the past 20 years so much has changed in this country. Major deregulation of banking and trade laws have removed restrictions on corporate monopolies. Now commercial banks have merged with securities brokers and insurance giants, and during the bailout chaos, smaller companies and countless individuals were forced into bankruptcy. The perfect climate for the recipients of bailout funds to buy up the losers forfeit for pennies on the dollar.
The US signed into the North American Free Trade Agreement [12/17/1992], the World Trade Organization [1/1/1995], and many similar pacts in the effort to promote world peace, end poverty, and build a stronger global economy.
What the WTO can do:
1) cut living costs and raise living standards
2) settle disputes and reduce trade tensions
3) stimulate economic growth and employment
4) cut the cost of doing business internationally
5) encourage good governance
6) help countries develop
7) give the weak a stronger voice
8) support the environment and health
9) contribute to peace and stability
10) be effective without hitting the headlines
Regardless of the idealism that was used to spew rhetoric to the masses, using high-powered marketing strategies, that these world-changing decisions were being made to make the world a better place for everyone, the core fact is that any law can be manipulated and used to promote self interest.