Poverty in America

Over three-quarters of Americans are living paycheck to paycheck, and about half of this group has reported “material hardship” (running out of food [or worrying about running out of food], not being able to afford a place to live or medical treatment, or having utilities turned off). Worse yet, they don’t have savings to handle the future or crises that arise, whether plumbing, car repairs, …

Coal Will Not Bring Appalachia Back to Life, But Tech and Government Jobs Could

By  The Climate Reality Project, Oct. 04, 2017, Ecowatch It was supposed to be all about jobs. When the president announced his intent to abandon the Clean Power Plan this spring and then withdraw from the Paris agreement this summer, one of the biggest reasons cited was to protect the coal jobs sustaining communities in places like Appalachia. There’s just one problem. Whatever the White House says, …

How Big Corporations Game Our Democracy into Their Plutocracy. Also, notes from “The Rich Don’t Always Win: The Forgotten Triumph over Plutocracy that Created the American Middle Class” by Sam Pizzigati

When public institutions are governed by private interests. By Ralph Nader, 4 Oct 2017 on Common Dreams A major chapter in American history – rarely taught in our schools – is how ever larger corporations have moved to game, neutralize and undermine the people’s continual efforts to protect our touted democratic society. It is a fascinating story of the relentless exercise …

Millvale’s success came from demanding equal footing with new stakeholders. Resolving the imbalances embedded into the fossil fuel system is paramount to a genuine transition. There are no easy solutions, neither energy nor home ownership have ever been equitable in this country. But, a neighborhood under transition should educate and encourage neighborhood education, demand communities well as commercial investment, and …

About 100,000 in Michigan get their driver’s licenses suspended every year because many can’t afford to pay off traffic fines and fees

By Niraj Warikoo , Detroit Free, 24 May 2017 – Trapped in poverty by traffic tickets Buy Photo (Photo: Junfu Han, Detroit Free Press) 835CONNECTTWEETLINKEDIN 123COMMENTEMAILMORE Adrian Fowler didn’t have a valid driver’s license, but with her infant daughter running a 103-degree temperature one day in the winter of 2013, she had to drive. Fowler’s driver’s license had been suspended earlier …

Power for All identifies most important national energy policies needed to kick-start ending electricity poverty for 1.1 billion people plus a government framework for implementing those policies effectively

It is now well understood that universal electricity access by 2030 (a core part of U.N. Sustainable Development Goal 7 -SDG 7) can only be achieved if decentralized renewable energy (DRE)  — green micro-grids and rooftop solar paired with storage and ultra-efficiency appliances  —  gets adequate finance to reach scale quickly. And that can only happen if leaders overseeing international …

After billions wasted and harm all around, how to win the war on drugs now

By  Dan Baum, Harper’s, April 2016 – a good accompaniment to Michael Moore’s film Where to Invade Next. In 1994, John Ehrlichman, the Watergate co-conspirator, unlocked for me one of the great mysteries of modern American history: How did the United States entangle itself in a policy of drug prohibition that has yielded so much misery and so few good results? …

Transforming the economy

By Hunter Lovins – May 2017 The Regenerative Future Summit and the Leading for Well-Being Consortium are working on a regenerative path to an economy in service to life:  a world that works for 100% of humanity.  The doors have been thrown open to anyone who wants to participate, starting tomorrow.  The meeting will be 15 – 17 May 2017 in Boulder, …

In rural areas, employment has never recovered and disability is higher, as are business start-ups

This piece was published in March 2017 in In These Times, and prior to that, in The Conversation, an online resource that describes itself as “an independent source of news and views from the academic and research community,” asked sociologists, economists, geographers and historians to describe the factors that contribute to the differences between life in rural and urban America. Contributor attributions are noted in italics at …

Growing inequality in US and China, but worse for middle and lower classes in the US, and how we assess the growth of poverty worldwide

John A. Powell and the Haas Institute are suggesting Targeted Universalism as a different way—a powerful way—to make the transformational changes we need. Changes we need to improve life chances, promote inclusion, and enhance and sustain equitable policies and programs. To better understand a targeted universalism framework, please enjoy this brief animated video, which explains the difference between targeted universalism and more …