The numbers in poverty increased in 2004 to 37 million, bringing the rate up to 12.7%. The authors note that It marks the fourth straight increase in the government's annual poverty measure. (When Clinton left office, by contrast, 31 million were in poverty.) The numbers living without health insurance are also up, by 800,000 to 45.8 million.
Incomes have remained flat, with the median household income remaining at $44,389, unchanged from 2003. When one considers inflation, that figure would mean a decrease in real incomes. The Business Week piece includes plenty of other numbers, breaking the figures down by race and region - the numbers come from the Census Bureau's Current Population Survey.
The poverty rate in the United States is based on fixed income rates for various sizes of household, based on a survey of household spending patterns. This is somewhat problematic because the survey has not been updated to reflect changes in spending and costs - if it were, poverty rates would probably increase. Other means of measuring poverty include percentage poverty levels - measuring the number of households with income less than a fixed percentage of the median household income, such as the 50% or 60% level. The US system has the advantage that it can distinguish by size of household, but by measuring poverty in a somewhat absolute measure it ignores changing social patterns that influence how poverty is perceived, how it comes to life.
A better method than either of these two is to use social exclusion measures, looking at the extent to which people are able to participate in various aspects of social life.
From Boing Boing:
The poorest 20% (you can argue with the number -- 10%? 18%? no one knows) of the city was left behind to drown. This was the plan. Forget the sanctimonious bullshit about the bullheaded people who wouldn't leave. The evacuation plan was strictly laissez-faire. It depended on privately owned vehicles, and on having ready cash to fund an evacuation. The planners knew full well that the poor, who in new orleans are overwhelmingly black, wouldn't be able to get out. The resources -- meaning, the political will -- weren't there to get them out.
In Xanthi, in Greece, antirascist action days take place from 25th till 28th of august.
Yesterday there was a demonstration with about 200 people in Komotini against the nearby refugee prison and a successfull attack against the prison in Vna.
The camp finishes today, there were no arrests.
(translation 31.8.2005, original 28.8.2005)
LEST WE FORGET How you can go about reading the secret Indonesian government report that investigated gross human rights violations occurring in East Timor during 1999.
ANN ARBOR, Mich.---
"The working class and the employing class have nothing in common. There can be no peace so long as hunger and want are found among millions of the working people and the few, who make up the employing class, have all the good things of life,"
says part of the Preamble to the Industrial Workers of the World's constitution.
A Labor Day Special
Soapboxers and Saboteurs: 100 Years of Wobbly Solidarity
In celebration of the 100th anniversary of the IWW, the University of Michigan's Labadie Collection of Social Protest presents "Soapboxers and Saboteurs: 100 Years of Wobbly Solidarity," an exhibit from one of the world's best collections of materials documenting early IWW history.
Running Sept. 6 through November 26 in U-M's Special Collections Library located on the 7th floor of the Harlan Hatcher Library on U-M's Central Campus, the
display includes original letters, posters,photographs, sheet music and memorabilia.
The IWW members are commonly known as Wobblies," said Julie Herrada, curator of the exhibit and the collection.
"The organization attempted to organize all workers into 'One Big Union,' challenged restrictions on First Amendment rights and broke down barriers of race, sex and class in their membership."
Sometimes called "The singingest union America ever had," IWW was started in Chicago in June of 1905 by Big Bill Haywood of the Western Federation of Miners and others dissatisfied with the lack of progress of the craft unions under Samuel Gompers' American Federation of Labor.
The organization's direct action tactics, as well as the songs, poetry and lore that have come out of the movement have attracted some of the most colorful characters in labor history - Joe Hill, Eugene Debs, Mother Jones, Elizabeth Gurley Flynn (Rebel Girl) and Ralph Chaplin, writer of "Solidarity Forever."
The movement held attraction for later singers such as Woody Guthrie and Pete Seeger as well as current artists Utah Philips and Ani DeFranco.
U-M's IWW Centennial celebration, one of many at educational institutions across the U.S., offers a free concert October 19 featuring Anne Feeney, a national recording artist called by some "the greatest labor singer in North America."
Feeney was just named the recipient of the 2005 Joe Hill Award from the Labor Heritage Foundation. The concert will be held in the special collections library, 7th floor of the Harlan Hatcher library on UM's central campus. Doors open at 7:00 p.m.
At one time, with every union card issued, IWW also handed out a little red songbook. The cover carried a motto: "To Fan the Flames of Discontent."
Inside were the words to about fifty songs, usually parodies of well-known melodies -- pop songs of the day, hymns, or older tunes commonly sung.
The songs were sung at meetings, on picket lines, in jails, on freight trains through South Dakota wheat fields or wherever Wobblies happened to meet.
If the Salvation Army was preaching against them from one street corner, they might set up a soapbox on the opposite corner. When the Salvation Army band started up "In the Sweet Bye and Bye," Wobblies would use it to accompany their own singing of Joe Hill's parody "Pie in the Sky."
Along with the concert, Joyce Kornbluh will talk about the history of her influential book, "Rebel Voices: An IWW Anthology." A discussion of current and past IWW labor struggles will follow.
BarisaRock Festival (Rock for peace) in Istanbul has ended with a great success last weekend. More than 60 organizations, campaigns and initiatives have been involved in the activities.
This article examines the most recent film adaptation of Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, in relation to issues of racism and colonialism.
* The Cuban Libertarian Movement (CLM; in Spanish: Movimiento Libertario Cubano - MLC) presents for collective debate its reflections on the declarations made by the EZLN (the Zapatista rebels) in July 2005 in the state of Chiapas, Mexico.
28th August 2005 NO BORDERS ACTION
The Lockerbie disaster and court case was by the CIA manipulated with fake evidence: it was a political court case according to the UN.