Past Income Gains are Lost in Latin America–Poverty Rising Rapidly

More than 20 million people were pushed into poverty during pandemic-plagued 2020 across Latin America and the Caribbean, the U.N. economic agency for the region reported Thursday. Poverty as a whole rose to afflict a total of 208 million people —33.7% from 30.5% of the population— in a year when the overall gross domestic product collapsed by 7.7%. Extreme poverty —those without the resources to cover basic food requirements— rose to encompass 78 million people, 12.5% of the region’s population, according to the Economic Commission for Latin America and the Caribbean. That’s the highest percentage in 20 years. Poverty as a whole rose to afflict a total of 208 million people —33.7% from 30.5% of the population— in a year when the overall gross domestic product collapsed by 7.7%. The report said the situation would have been worse without household subsidy programs enacted by many governments to cushion the blow for some 84 million households.

UN Finds Soaring Poverty in Virus-Hit Latin America Region


The Poor People’s Campaign: A National Call for Moral Revival policy agenda and analysis brought to public a recognition of the depth of poverty, low wealth and income status of a very large growing share of the US population. It is estimate that there are 140 million poor and low wealth people in the US and the COVID-19 pandemic increased this number by 8 million people.

The poor population has been publicly hidden from view in recent years, whereby, the national GOP political agenda has strongly favored the ultra-wealthy, large corporations with a huge tax reduction program that cost the government $1.7 trillion. Also, the owners of enterprises and stocks that are benefiting from the pandemic have greatly increased their share of the wealth.

The 14 policy priorities elaborated as a moral and economic agenda for the first 100 days of the Biden Administration are as follows:

  • Enact comprehensive, free and just COVID-19 relief
  • Guarantee quality health care for all, regardless of any pre-existing conditions
  • Raise the minimum wage to $15/hour immediately
  • Update the poverty measure
  • Enact a federal job program..
  • Protect and expand voting rights and civil rights
  • Guarantee safe, quality and equitable public education, with support for protection against re-segregation
  • Comprehensive and just immigration reform
  • Ensure all of the rights of indigenous peoples
  • Enact fair taxes
  • Use the power of executive orders
  • Redirect the bloated Pentagon budge towards those priorities as matters of national security
  • Work with the Power People’s Campaign to establish a permanent Presidential Council to advocate for this bold agenda

This agenda reminds of the task ahead in working against the huge inequities that have arisen the US over the last 50 years, and which have become much worse in the last 20 years.

Sean Penn is Growing Up–International Agencies Never Cooperate

Sorry to tell you Sean, this is always the way that international multilateral, bilateral and private agencies have worked–everyone for themselves.  Each bureaucracy is unwilling to cede power to another, each follows its own procurement procedures and each responds to a different board of directors.  This will not change for a small, powerless country–only the big countries (say, Brazil, Mexico, Argentina in Latin American) set their own terms and have the power to force “some” coordination.

While every organization he’s come across has “extremely dedicated people,” there are “competing cultures in the international relief world” with one focused on emergency relief and the other on sustainable development, he added later.

“These have to work with each other against the problem of poverty and not against each other in competition for donors,” he said. “It’s one of the basic embarrassments and failures in the aid community.”

via Sean Penn sees Haiti relief shortfalls | World news |

Children and Poverty

As one of the wealthiest countries on the planet, we are grossly negligent about our children living in poverty.  I have no idea the number of children living in the poverty in Coral Gables.  Is anyone concerned about poverty in Coral Gables–I have certainly never heard a word about this issue from our town fathers and mothers.

According to the National Center for Children in Poverty, 42 percent of American children live in low-income homes and about a fifth live in poverty. It gets worse. The number of children living in poverty has risen 33 percent since 2000. For perspective, the child population of the country over all increased by only about 3 percent over that time. And, according to a 2007 Unicef report on child poverty, the U.S. ranked last among 24 wealthy countries.

This is a national disgrace.

via Suffer the Little Children –

A World without Europe

Expressing concern for the future of a world with a weakened Europe and in which Germany has given up on the Euro, the following signals that Europe is the last defendeer of a social system based on a strong preference for greater equality, as opposed to the US, China, Russia that increasingly tolerate great and rising inequality.  Certainly something to contemplate.

Mientras en Estados Unidos se tolera la más injusta redistribución de la riqueza en un siglo y en Rusia y China se celebra a los nuevos ricos que acumulan fortunas inimaginables, Europa sigue teniendo una enorme alergia a la desigualdad. ¿Qué prefiere usted, un mundo en el que el 1% de la población acumula el 95% de la riqueza, y el resto se lo pelea una masa pobre y excluida, o un mundo dominado por una vasta, creciente y políticamente poderosa clase media? Europa representa el segundo escenario.

via Un mundo sin Europa · ELPAÍ

Poverty Up in Florida–and Coral Gables?

You may download a larger document below.  This is an especially sad state with the increasing number of children living in poverty in Florida.

…Since the  recession began Florida has had the largest increase in the poverty rate in the nation. The poverty rate rose to 14.9% in 2009, while the child poverty rate rose to 21%. 2.7 million Floridians, roughly 1 in 7 people, were living below poverty levels in 2009 and 1 in 5 children in the state were living in poverty. 2.7 million Floridians, roughly 1 in 7 people, were living below poverty levels in 2009. In 2009, 1 in 5 children in the state were living in poverty.

via Poverty rises in Florida , Florida – RISEP.