The Voice Of The War On Poverty
Edwards Speech - Pure Inspiration
This is the direct download link for John Edwards' latest Podcast episode, which includes his speech to the National Press Club.
It is inspiring to hear a leading candidate for the Presidency in 2008 making issues of the poor his top priority. This guy could be talking about anything (or nothing).
God bless him.
End Poverty In Three Decades: John Edwards
In an email this morning from the One America Committee
, John Edwards says " I believe we can end poverty in the United States within 30 years. We can start by cutting poverty by one-third over the course of the next decade. That's moving 12 million Americans out of poverty in ten years."
Specific policy goals outlined in the email are as follows.
- Make Work Pay Fairly
- Radically Overhaul Federal Housing
- Make College Affordable
- Stop Settling for Failing Schools
The Senator goes on to say "Achieving bold goals like ending poverty in the United States within 30 years will not be easy. It will take the best in us - our sacrifice, commitment, hard work and deep faith. But how we respond to the plain fact that millions of our own people are living in squalor and despair says everything about our Party and the country we believe in."
A report from the AP
notes that not much has changed in the aftermath of Katrina, in terms of public perceptions or mobilization to reduce poverty.
Jane Knitzer, director of the National Center for Children in Poverty, says it's not so much that Americans don't know that poverty exists. They just don't want to think about it, because it's just too hard.
Here's the full report
, as printed in the Sunday April 2nd Edition of The Guardian
The most important statistic may just be found in the following.
Activists, defined as those who support state intervention to reduce poverty, went from 58 percent of respondents in the 2004 survey to 60 percent post-Katrina; and there were small gains for deniers, who believe poverty and inequality are "neither substantial nor growing'' (from 21 percent to 25), and for moralists, who see poverty as a motivator, not a social problem (from near zero to 1 percent).
The most dramatic gain was among so-called realists, who don't believe in the state's ability to reduce poverty or inequality; their numbers nearly doubled to 11 percent.
Though the headline and slant of the story relates mostly to expectations that Katrina would change things, and that those expectations haven't panned out, it is astonishing to me that something approaching two-thirds of respondents "support state intervention to reduce poverty." Far from eliciting disappointment that the post-Katrina "bounce" wasn't greater, this information should give us hope that there is broad support for anti-poverty efforts.
Read the News Release on the Stanford Report
noted in the AP Story.
Here's one final question to ponder. Why are those "who don't believe in the state's ability to reduce poverty or inequality" labelled "realists?" The overwhelming body of evidence over the last seventy years could not be more to the contrary. Government policy, in particular tax policy, has had a major impact (for better or worse) on the rate and the severity of these social ills.
The National Community Action Foundation
has issued this press release
on the Bush Administration's 2007 Budget Proposal, which includes the termination of CSBG, a freeze in Head Start, a cut of nearly 1/3 to Weatherization Assistance and a freeze or reduction in LIHEAP.
Practical Solutions: Adult Literacy Development
It's been a long wait, but we finally completed the Podcast episode focusing on Adult Literacy. We visit with staff, an adult learner and a volunteer tutor at the C.E.F.S. Learning Center
in Effingham, Illinois.
Here's the MP3 for Direct Download
We welcome your comments either on this Weblog or by email
.LinksProliteracy WorldwideThe National Assessment of Adult Literacy
from the National Center for Educational StatisticsNational Literacy Links
from the Illinois LINCS Literacy Homepage
Cool Idea #1
Free voicemail helps homeless people get jobs
. Cory Doctorow
: Community Voicemail offers free voicemail boxes to homess and unemployed people who are seeking work, so they'll have a way for prospective employers to reach them. The program is very successful too: "workers distributed voicemail numbers to 145 people over 6 months, and a whopping 70% found jobs within 2 months!"Link
) [Boing Boing
The Opposite of Progess - Part III
Dems, GOP Fight Over Federal Spending for the Poor
. A House-passed version of the spending-cuts bill would trim billions of dollars from programs aimed at the poor. Republicans say those programs don't work as well as they should. But Democrats have decried the Republicans' choice of which programs to target and why. [NPR Programs: Morning Edition