Health/Food Posts Tagged as 'Poverty'
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Housing's hidden crisis: Rural Americans struggle to pay rent
Housing has been famously unaffordable in expensive cities such as San Francisco for a while. But now in tiny towns and counties across the country, an increasing share of rural residents are struggling to pay their rents and mortgages.
The housing affordability crisis is spreading to rural communities such as Aroostook County, Maine, and Malheur County, Oregon, where the share of residents who are severely burdened by housing costs has surged since the housing crash of 2006 to 2010, according to the County Health Rankings. Other researchers are also calling attention to the issue, with Pew's Stateline finding that one of four of the country's most rural counties have seen a rise in severely cost-burdened households -- those that spend more than half their income on housing.
Fifty years ago, the most urgent issue for rural communities was substandard housing, such as whether residents relied on outhouses rather than indoor plumbing, noted Lance George, director of research and information at the Housing Assistance Council, a nonprofit focusing on rural housing. But affordability now ranks as the top housing concern among rural residents, he said.
How Federal Disaster Money Favors The Rich
Disasters are becoming more common in America. In the early and mid-20th century, fewer than 20 percent of U.S. counties experienced a disaster each year. Today, it's about 50 percent. According to the 2018 National Climate Assessment, climate change is already driving more severe droughts, floods and wildfires in the U.S. And those disasters are expensive. The federal government spends billions of dollars annually helping communities rebuild and prevent future damage. But an NPR investigation has found that across the country, white Americans and those with more wealth often receive more federal dollars after a disaster than do minorities and those with less wealth. Federal aid isn't necessarily allocated to those who need it most; it's allocated according to cost-benefit calculations meant to minimize taxpayer risk.
Put another way, after a disaster, rich people get richer and poor people get poorer. And federal disaster spending appears to exacerbate that wealth inequality.
Loads of houses are up for sale -- but middle-class buyers are still shut out
Despite an uptick in homes on the market and weakening home sales across the country, home ownership is out of reach for a growing number of middle-class buyers, according to a recent report from real estate brokerage Redfin.
An analysis of U.S. homes on the market in 2017 and 2018 found that the number of affordable homes for sale has decreased in 86 percent of metro areas (of 49 included in the study), even as the number of homes on the market grew. While buyers normally benefit from better availability in competitive housing markets, it doesn’t help if the majority of available homes are priced for the wealthy.
“For the past few years, home prices have gone up faster than wages,” said Daryl Fairweather, chief economist at Redfin. “That kind of growth really isn’t sustainable. At a certain point, there won’t be enough buyers left for the homes left on the market.”
High school bans Canada Goose and Moncler jackets to protect poorer children
High school can be tough for anyone, and students from poor backgrounds have the added anxiety of struggling to keep up with their wealthier peers when it comes to clothes and accessories.
A high school in northwestern England is attempting to level the playing field for disadvantaged students by banning expensive Canada Goose and Moncler coats.
In a letter to parents at the beginning of November, the headteacher of Woodchurch High School in Birkenhead explained that the ban was coming in after Christmas as the school was "mindful that some young people put pressure on their parents to purchase expensive items of clothing."
"These coats cause a lot of inequality between our pupils," headteacher Rebekah Phillips told CNN. "They stigmatize students and parents who are less well off and struggle financially."
Experts Explain Why LGBTQ People Have More Eating Disorders
While the National Eating Disorder Association reports that the LGBTQ community is disproportionately plagued by eating disorders, experts are saying that being a minority contributes to this dilemma.
Dr. Norman H. Kim, national director for program development at Reasons Eating Disorder Center, believes that queer people are drawn to unhealthy eating habits because of minority stress. Behaviors such as binging, purging, and undereating are a symptom of chronic social stress LGBTQ people experience as minorities, he told Stylecaster.
The rates at which queer people are having this reaction to being otherized are alarming.
Where Are All Of The Pro-Choice Men?
Abortion rights and reproductive freedom are in jeopardy like never before. The Trump administration has proposed radical cutbacks to Title X, the nation’s only federal grant for family planning services. And now, with the nomination of Judge Brett Kavanaugh to the Supreme Court, Roe v. Wade and the right to safe, legal abortion are in imminent danger. A recently leaked email revealed that Kavanaugh once disputed the description of Roe v. Wade as “settled law” and said it could be easily overruled.
The American people have not been silent in their opposition to Trump and his decidedly anti-abortion Supreme Court nominee. Protests and demonstrations have been ongoing since Kavanaugh’s confirmation hearings began on Tuesday. People are standing outside the hearing room holding signs or wearing T-shirts or “Handmaid’s Tale” costumes. Some are even interrupting the hearing itself.
But almost all of the protesters are women.
Trump is failing to bring back American jobs
Ahead of the 2018 midterm elections, President Donald Trump is campaigning in battleground states with a new slogan: “Promises Made, Promises Kept.”
But Trump’s message isn’t ringing true with working-class voters like Renee Elliott, a Democrat who cast her ballot for Trump in 2016. Elliott - who lost her job at the Carrier plant in Indianapolis after Trump promised to save it from being outsourced Mexico - thinks Trump’s slogan should be the opposite - “Promises made, none of them kept.”
Trump won the White House by selling himself to voters like Elliott and vowing to deliver “more jobs and better wages” by bringing jobs back to the U.S. Trump’s pro-worker message helped him score upset victories in Democratic strongholds that have been hard-hit by outsourcing and the disappearance of good union jobs.
But 18 months into his term, Trump has betrayed his promises to the working-class voters like Elliott who helped him to the Oval Office.
Companies Say Trump Is Hurting Business by Limiting Legal Immigration
In America, wage growth is getting wiped out entirely by inflation
U.S. workers' paychecks are worth less than they were a year ago, the Labor Department reported Friday, as modest wage gains have failed to keep pace with inflation.
Inflation rose 2.9 percent from July 2017 to July 2018, the department reported, while average hourly pay increased 2.7 percent over the same period.
The lack of real wage gains comes despite a strong economy, with sustained growth and an unemployment rate of 3.9 percent — one of the lowest levels in decades.
The Labor Department tracks average hourly pay adjusted for inflation, which is known as the “real wage.” According to the federal government, the real average hourly wage was $10.78 in July 2017 and $10.76 in July 2018. Real wages have been on a sharp decline since the start of the year, mainly because energy prices have increased while pay has stayed flat.
The Washington Post
This High School Teacher Quit His Job to Deliver Groceries. Now He's Making $100,000 a Year
For the past two decades, Ed Hennessey has spent his days teaching high school and his nights picking up shifts at Blockbuster, Steak ‘n Shake and Target — “you name it, I’ve done it,” he jokes.
But as of this summer, Hennessey is retired from education. He’s found a much more lucrative job delivering groceries.
As millennials, especially Latinos and blacks, own fewer homes, wealth gap will grow
Angely Mercado, 26, who has a master's degree in journalism, makes a living as a freelance writer; she hopes to land a full-time job at some point.
The Queens, New York, resident was clear when she was asked where home ownership stood on her list of priorities. “I wish it could be higher, but it's not financially possible,” said Mercado, who describes herself as very budget conscious and someone who obtained scholarships so she wouldn't have student loans like so many young people her age.
Still, Mercado has to live with her parents in the home they own. She's part of a generation of millennials who are less likely than previous generations to buy homes, according to a new report from Better Mortgage, a digital lender focused on improving access to home finance, and the Urban Institute, a nonprofit organization with a focus on social and economic policy.
Trump plan would raise rents on poor people by 26% on average
The Trump administration’s latest attack on housing assistance would boost rents by an average 26 percent for millions of financially vulnerable Americans and increase the risk of homelessness, a Center on Budget and Policy Priorities analysis found.
Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) Secretary Ben Carson claimed the “Make Affordable Housing Work Act,” which he announced on April 25, would create a path towards self-sufficiency for low-income Americans receiving housing assistance.
Under the plan, which still needs Congressional approval, people receiving housing assistance would see the percentage of their total income they are required to pay towards housing increase from 30 to 35 percent. It would also raise the minimum monthly rent on the 712,000 most financially vulnerable families from $50 to $150 per month, eliminate deductions for medical care and child care, and allow housing authorities to impose work requirements.
The Biggest Pay Raises Are Going to the Well-Off
Wages in the U.S. still aren’t rising like they used to, but wage inequality is.
In recent years, as robust hiring has brought the economy ever closer to full employment, wages have remained a notable weak spot. In the latest jobs report, the Labor Department estimated that U.S. employers added an ample 148,000 jobs, and the unemployment rate stayed at a very low 4.1 percent. But average hourly earnings in the private sector were up just 2.5 percent from a year earlier -- almost a full percentage point short of the pace that prevailed before the last recession.
Not all workers, however, are suffering the same fate. People in highly paid professions have actually been doing relatively well. As I noted a couple of months ago, the top third of earners have at times experienced almost double the gains of the middle, and significantly more than the bottom.
How tax breaks help the rich
President Donald Trump and Republicans in Congress hope to give the US tax code its biggest overhaul in 30 years. Trump says their goal is “to make the tax code simpler and more fair for everyday Americans.”
But their plan would keep three tax breaks that benefit the wealthiest Americans: the mortgage interest deduction, the charitable deduction, and the preferred rate for capital gains.
These tax breaks are incredibly expensive. Each year, the mortgage interest and charitable deductions cost the US Treasury $100 billion and $70 billion, respectively. That’s more than we spend on Head Start, the federally funded preschool program, and on Pell Grants for low-income students to go to college.
Senate tax bill strips NFL, other sports leagues from tax-exempt status
People On The US Virgin Islands Can't Get Food Aid Because There's Still No Electricity
Dustin Kuster is still waiting for a large cooler he purchased online to arrive at his home so he can keep meat, cheese, and fresh foods on hand. Like about 80% of the US Virgin Islands' 106,000 residents, the 41-year-old, his girlfriend, and her four children have been living without power since a pair of hurricanes pulverized the region more than six weeks ago.
For his family and thousands of others without access to expensive generators, Kuster still can't cook meals and is consuming mostly cold, salty, canned food. Residents are continuously purchasing bottled water, doing homework by flashlight, sleeping in stifling homes — many still roofless and infiltrated by mosquitoes — and are unable to refrigerate crucial medication, like insulin.
Haribo Gummies Are Made With Slave Labor, Documentary Reveals
There are few foods capable of evoking a sense of childlike innocence and splendor quite like gummy bears. But because the world can’t have nice things, not even gummy bears are safe from shady business practices and ethical dilemmas.
Earlier this month, German media company ARD released a 45-minute documentary as part of its Markencheck (Brand Check) series that shed light on some shady practices in Haribo’s supply chain. Based on the evidence uncovered, the German confectioner either knowingly or unknowingly relies on de facto slave labor and animal cruelty to source the carnauba wax and gelatin that give its gummies their distinct properties.