One might not agree with Eliot Spitzer’s policy recommendations – starting a modern era works program like the New Deal WPA, but the statistics on youth poverty are daunting – Young, Poor, and Desperate. The poverty crisis is devastating young Americans. Here’s what Congress can do about it.
Median family income fell 2.3 percent between 2009 and 2010—to $49,445—but more significantly, is down 7.1 percent from its peak in 1999. The percentage of the population in poverty —15.1 percent—is the highest since 1993, and the total number—46.2 million—is an all-time high. We have given back a generation of economic progress.
But it gets much worse. Below this topline data is evidence of a more insidious picture of poverty and joblessness among the young and among African-Americans. Income for households headed by someone under 24 fell an astounding 15.3 percent between 2007 and 2010. The poverty rate among those under 18 is 22 percent. For those 18 to 24 it is 21.9 percent, and for blacks under the age of 18 it is a staggering 39.1 percent.
Rather than take a moment to condemn GOP debate audiences that cheered for executions and to leave a man to die, Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) said he didn’t have “any particular reaction.” When host David Gregory asked McConnell on Meet The Press if the cheers troubled him as a Republican, McConnell deferred, saying there would be lots of debates and audience reactions during the campaign.
Young, old, black, white, male or female drop dead in the street from lack of health insurance Republicans are suddenly the party of a weird brand of equal opportunity. If you’re gunned down by a Muslim radical, trillions must be spent to correct a horrible injustice. So conservatives are not so much pro-life or care much about injustice, it’s that their moral compass is based on a coin toss.
In the firmament of celebrated Americana, there is Mom, apple pie, football and beer—but there most certainly is not marijuana. As it relates to drugs, this bizarre culture has us implicitly accepting that people will inevitably use mind-altering substances. But through our statutes, we allow law-abiding citizens to use only one recreational substance—alcohol—that just happens to be way more hazardous than pot.
Such idiocy is the product of many variables. There’s been interest-group maneuvering and temperance-movement hypocrisy. There’s been hippie-hating rage and reefer-madness paranoia. And, most invisibly, there’s been college.
[ ]…Alcohol “is the cause or primary factor in [a majority] of suicides, unintentional deaths, physical injuries, distressed personal relationships, legal problems, sexual assault, property damage and academic failure,” admitted Donald Misch, CU’s assistant vice chancellor for health and wellness, in 2010. Yet Misch refrained from an abstinence message, imploring students to “drink responsibly.”
In our list of iconic Americana I would list beer before mom or apple pie. I’ve seen store clerks frequently threatened and once even shot at for refusing to sell beer to someone without an ID. Americans grow up feeling entitled to their beer. Weekends are celebrated with getting drunk. Liquor is the stuff that provides the social lubricant for everything from watching sports to celebrating the birth of Jesus. Eat half a pot-brownie and you’re an anti-American hippie who secretly reads Marx and is tearing apart of fabric of American society. Not always but liquor tends to make people more aggressive, some violent, while pot makes people ( generally) more relaxed and less combative. That might be part of why some people do not want pot to be socially acceptable – they want an American culture that is aggressive, not one that mellows out, laughs at silly jokes and eats too many Cheese Doodles.