A just-released report from the Southern Education Foundation — “The Worst of Times: Children in Extreme Poverty in the South and Nation” — finds that more than 5.7 million children lived in extreme poverty in the United States in 2008 — surviving on less than seven or eight dollars per day. Almost one in every twelve children was in a household with an income below 50 percent of federal poverty line.1 These children belonged to households in every state of the Union, but they were largely concentrated in the fifteen states of the U.S. South. More than 2.4 million extremely poor children — 42 percent of the nation’s total — lived in the South.
Ten of the eleven states in the nation where at least one in every ten children are in extreme poverty were in the South.2 Mississippi had the largest proportion — 14 percent. Louisiana, West Virginia, Kentucky, and Alabama followed at 11 to 12 percent. Arkansas, South Carolina, Tennessee, Oklahoma, and Texas had one child in every ten in extreme poverty. New Mexico with 11 percent was the only non-Southern state with the nation’s highest rates of extreme child poverty.
The recent recession has expanded the number of extremely poor children by an estimated 26 percent — adding as many as 1 ½ million children in extreme poverty since 2008.
Applications to Medicaid have also gone up accordingly. A forty-year old couple might well go without health care and the stigma attached to going to social services and filing for Medicaid, but if their eight year child gets sick they would obviously feel a moral obligation to get them care. Just as the social safety net for health care is most needed, it is also being targeted for budget cuts. While states are compelled to balance their budgets they are not compelled to keep taxes and other forms of revenue low to keep from paying for much needed services – Opposing Health Funding For A Million Arizonans, Arizona state senator Russell Pearce (R) Compares Health Care To High-Priced Fashion Items. One solution would be for these little rug rats could get themselves a job mining coal or since corporate profits are sailing along , corporate America could – and pardon the outrageous fantasy – step up and offer to pay a little more in taxes. Nothing is stopping corporate America from voluntarily doing the right thing – bank of America and Exxon could sponsor free or low fee health and dental clinics. There are plenty of corporations to pick on. BOA’s profits are down this quarter according to Bloomberg, but they had enough money to consult security firms about harassing Wikileaks and Glenn Greenwald. Exxon has posted its largest quarterly profits in two years.
After 98 days, 23 hours, 42 minutes at sea, Doba and his custom 23-foot-long, 39-inch-wide human-powered kayak landed at Acaraú, a city on Brazil’s northeast coast. The trip covered some 3,320 miles in all, and Doba became only the fourth known person to accomplish such a feat, and the very first to do it nonstop.
Until recently I did some sea kayaking and while it is relaxing, a day in which you do just a few miles in relatively calm water is not for novices.
Talk about revelations, an idea that struck me like a lightning bolt, how about offering some commemorative license plates to celebrate an African-American who slaughtered a bunch of white folks. Isn’t it about time? Sound ridiculous and offensive? Just reverse the ethnicity of the people involved and it is still just as offensive – Mississippi May Honor Early KKK Leader On Commemorative License Plate
Perhaps even more disturbing, however, were (Confederate Gen. Nathan Bedford) Forrest’s violent actions during the Civil War, specifically a massacre of black soldiers at Fort Pillow, TN in April 1864. When Forrest died in 1877, his obituary in the New York Times described how Forrest would forever be known for slaughtering black troops that already dropped their guns: