Debtors’ Prison Even for Kids: Did You Know Poor Children Are Incarcerated When Families Can’t Pay Juvenile Court Fees?

Many states are incarcerating poor children whose families can’t afford to pay juvenile court fees and fines, a report published Wednesday finds, which amounts to punishing children for their families’ poverty—and that may be unconstitutional. Although the growing practice of incarcerating adults who are unable to pay municipal and court fees and fines has been documented for several years, as Common Dreams has noted, the latest report from the Juvenile Law Center is the first in-depth examination of the practice within the juvenile justice system. The report, “Debtor’s Prison for Kids? The High Cost of Fines and Fees in the Juvenile Justice System” (pdf), documents the results of a survey of 183 people involved in the juvenile justice system—including lawyers, family members, and adults who had been incarcerated as children in the juvenile justice system—in 41 states. The report authors discovered that in most states there is a pile-up of […] Read More

No Matter Your Skills, It All Comes Down to Wages: A 180-degree Turn Away from Debt Economy

Dog eat dog? Think of any number of all-American axioms: Survival of the fittest? Winner takes all? Those who have, rule; those who do not have are the reason for their own destitution and undoing? The meek shall inherit the earth? I have the luxury of being 59, having had dozens of jobs inside and outside my skills sets, experience, and educational background. This 35,000-foot view has also been honed by living abroad in such places as Azores, Paris, Edinburgh, Germany, Vietnam, Mexico, Central America, Canada, and England. The perspectives I have also have been shaped by a career military father, grandparents who immigrated from England to Canada and Germany to Iowa and South Dakota. One cornerstone of my thoughts about the best way to survive in a pretty ruthless economic world here in this state and these “united” states was my family’s insistence on getting educated. Two graduate […] Read More

Stalling Economy Threatens Food Supply: “This Perfect Storm Could Cause You to Starve to Death”

This article was written by Dave Hodges and originally published at his The Common Sense Show website. Editor’s Comment: With so many pressure points on the economy, there are also many dominoes that could fall, drop the hammer, and bring consequences down the line. One such vulnerable point is the Baltic Dry Index. Its low points signal a truly weakened economy, and a supply chain that could collapse, leaving Americans desperate if food and other necessities stopped reaching port and being stocked on shelves. If the grocery stores stopped receiving supply, the shelves would be empty within hours, and most people would begin to go hungry after only 2 to 3 days. After that, riots, civil unrest and other desperate acts could take place. Is this America’s destiny? Food and Medicine Will Soon Be Unobtainable by Dave Hodges If product is not moving, then how will you get your […] Read More

The Shady Past of the Rockefeller Family & Its Haunting Effect on the World

by Christina Sarich, Waking Times Perhaps you have heard of the Rockefellers, and the often romantic tale told of the riches that accompany their mark on Americana. John Davidson Rockefeller, (1839-1937) the patriarch of the family, was the first billionaire in the United States. Often we are told he lived the American dream, pulling himself up by his boot straps and working tirelessly to build his family’s wealth. The truth that has come out over the years, however, is that Rockefeller was a Nazi sympathizer and fascist wealth gatherer who used others for his own whims. Rockefeller amassed his wealth almost entirely with a global strong hold on oil production – a habit common to companies that rape foreign soil and instigate war, and are still practicing today. He also dabbled in steel, railroads and banking, establishing monopolies in the industries he pursued. His grandfather was a snake-oil salesman […] Read More

2016 Is “Terminal Phase of Most Destructive Ponzi Scheme” in History

This article was written by SGT and was first published at SGTreport.com. Editor’s Comment: Most anyone who follows the economic news already knows that the signs of collapse are all over the wall, but what numbers and statistics on paper can’t convey is the pain that ordinary people are going to feel as a result of the financial decisions being made by central banks, and the actions being taken by indifferent Wall Street players. The consequences of the 2008 economic collapse have been bad enough, though for the most part they have been subtle and hidden from view. However, the next round may well be bad enough that no one can turn away from the suffering and displacement that more economic chaos will bring. It is obvious enough who has sown the next wave, and even more plain to see who will be paying the price. 2016 Will Be […] Read More

The Lost Women

For many poor women, welfare and family assistance was their primary means of escaping abusive mates. Such programs provided support for them and their children. Cutbacks in welfare have now caused a dramatic drop in the number who dare attempt to flee hurtful relationships. Low paying jobs, chronic unemployment, and poverty in general have left many impoverished women with few survival resources. In desperate attempts at finding means of support and escaping their batterers, some women turn to drug dealing–which, in turn, helps explain the sharp increase in the female prison population. In recent years, the number of women in prison has climbed to over 200,000 with African-American women being hardest hit by the lock-’em-up craze. Incarcerated women endure poor medical care, sexual harassment, forced strip searches, beatings, and repeated rape by male guards. The United States is one of the few countries that allow unaccompanied male staff to […] Read More

Meet the 1 Percenters Finding Solace in Redistribution

Farhad Ebrahimi at Occupy Boston in 2011. (Photo: WNV / Farhad Ebrahimi) In a political and economic system seemingly tailor-made for the 1 percent, backlash against “wealth therapy” – the trend of moneyed Americans seeking counsel through their Occupy-induced feeling of shame and isolation – is well-placed. While the top 0.1 percent of families in the United States possess as much wealth as the bottom 90 percent, money psychologist Jamie Traege-Muney moaned to The Guardian that the movement wrongly “singled out the 1 percent and painted them globally as something negative.” But a growing cadre of this statistical owning class are now crafting a healthier relationship to the rabble at their doorstep. Responding to Occupy and other movement moments, young people with wealth are organizing the resources of their peers and families to level the playing field – and support one another in the process. “It’s not that I disagree that having […] Read More

The Number of Americans Living on Less Than $2 a Day Is Skyrocketing

Research shows 1.5 million households and 3 million children are living in desperate economic conditions. The World Bank and other global institutions use a very specific measure to record global poverty rates. They gather data designed to record the number of people in a country who live on less than $2 a day, and then use the information to make a “poverty headcount ratio”— the percentage of people in a country who live under this standard. In most recent data, Sierra Leone, for example, had a staggering 82.5% of its citizens living in poverty by this count. What is less known is that millions of Americans are living in situations of similar poverty. A new book, $2.00 a Day: Living on Almost Nothing in America, explores the status of Americans who face this extreme level of poverty “Most of us would say we would have trouble understanding how families in a […] Read More

Number Of “Ultrapoor” Americans Has Doubled Since 1996

If you’ve been paying attention to the economy for the past seven years or so, you’ve probably been wondering when the whole charade is going to come crashing down. When will all of those inflated markets and debts reach their apex, and start crumbling under the weight of economic reality, and leave us all destitute? There have been plenty of predictions, but none have truly come to fruition. Well the truth of the matter is that there may not be a single day when everything grinds to a halt, and there’s plenty of evidence to suggest that our standard of living is crumbling in slow motion. For many Americans the end has already arrived, and their ranks are growing a little more every day. In fact, the number of Americans that are earning what amounts to a third world wage, has doubled over the past 20 years. The number […] Read More

6 Creative New Techniques Republicans Have Developed for Torturing the Poor

Republican-controlled states are sharpening their fight against the poor, and then paralyzing their attempts to fight back. In the 1960s, the Lyndon Johnson administration launched an official War on Poverty. Needless to say, poverty has emerged victorious. The noble and necessary aim of poverty reduction might have helped millions of people create lives of decency and dignity, and it might have helped America assimilate into the developed world as a fiscally responsible and morally honorable nation. But since they fail to narrow the profit margin of the corporate class running America’s political system, poverty reduction programs are basically doomed. As poverty worsens and spreads, with 25 million Americans constituting the working poor, poverty relief programs face elimination from austerity policymakers on the state and federal levels. In the absence of any war on poverty, America has demonstrated dedication and determination in its war on the poor. In a cruel […] Read More

Meet the Hedge Funders and Billionaires Who Pillage Under the Shield of Philanthropy

For every dollar they give, they take 44 from the rest of us. America’s parasitical oligarchs are masters of public relations. One of their favorite tactics is to masquerade as defenders of the common folk while neatly arranging things behind the scenes so that they can continue to plunder unimpeded. Perhaps nowhere is this sleight of hand displayed so artfully as it is at a particular high-profile charity with the nerve to bill itself as itself as “New York’s largest poverty-fighting organization.” British novelist Anthony Trollope once wrote, “I have sometimes thought that there is no being so venomous, so bloodthirsty as a professed philanthropist.” Meet the benevolent patrons of the Robin Hood Foundation. Robin Hood in Reverse The Robin Hood Foundation, named for that green-jerkined hero of redistribution who stole from the rich to give to the poor, is run, ironically, by some of the most rapacious capitalists […] Read More

1 in 5 US children live below poverty line, more than during Great Recession

Around 22 percent of American children lived below the federal poverty line in 2013, up from 18 percent in 2008, according to a new report. Black, Hispanic, and American Indian children were twice as likely to live in poverty as whites. The 2015 Kids Count Data Book ‒ released Tuesday by the non-profit group Annie E. Casey Foundation ‒ was compiled using federal government data collected from 2008 to 2013 to determine state-based trends pertaining to 16 factors related to quality of life for young children. Those factors include health, family life, community, and education. The 16.1 million children living in poverty in 2013 counts for nearly 3 million more than those living in poverty in 2008, the beginning of the Great Recession. More than two million more children live in areas of concentrated poverty compared to 2006 to 2010, the report found. The federal poverty line in 2013 […] Read More

Strapped Americans Headed for “Civil Unrest and Riots,” With Poor Spending 60% on Bare Essentials

It is clear that the economic realities falling upon the masses in America are driving us towards a crisis point. Even with substantial government subsidies, the bottom 10% of Americans are beyond struggling, spending more than 60% of their meager incomes on the bare essentials. According to the latest official numbers, the poorest in the United States are spending 42% of their income on housing and another 17% on food, statistics that are unsustainable for individuals and families. The Wall Street Journal reported: For many Americans, the rise in food and housing prices is a tough squeeze. That’s because—even in an era with low overall inflation—low-income Americans spend a disproportionate share of their money on food and housing. New data from the Labor Department show the extent of the discrepancy. The bottom 10% of Americans, by income, devote 42% of their spending to housing and an additional 17% to […] Read More