Tag Archive for poor

Family Giving Tree

Do you have a Family Giving Tree in your area? If so, please support it with a box of crayons, a notebook or two, a soft pencil pack, a ruler, or an entire backpack filled with these things and other items kids need to start the school year. You can even donate a backpack online. How easy is that? AND some stores will either sell you a filled backpack or give you one when you buy one for your own child.

There are other organizations who do this: Kids in Need Foundation, Operation Backpack, A Precious Child, etc. All are needed if this gap is to be filled.

Why give to programs like this? Because educated kids can change lives, in their families, communities, and the world. Yet 16 million American kids arrive at school the first day too poor to provide their own necessary supplies.

I don’t normally ask for donations in my blog, but I’m making an exception this time, because it’s something most of us can easily afford and–here’s the important part–IT’S FOR THE CHILDREN!

 

You May be Richer than You Think (or Poorer)

Where we live REALLY does matter…in terms of how rich/poor our salary makes us.  I thought this report was interesting in general, then revealing after I clicked the “View Interactive” button and selected my state.  Try it. Find out where the money you make for working hard at your job places you. The new gilded age–Income inequality in the U.S. by state, metropolitan area, and county.

Money, Money, Money

Where is it all?  According to Oxfam, 1% of the world’s population now owns as much as the other 99% put together.  Seems a bit topsy-turvy to me, considering all the poverty, disease, and starvation in the world.

You can read the details in “Oxfam: 62 richest people as wealthy as poorest half of world’s population.”

 

 

Class War or Fiscal Responsibility?

A large group of our Congress-members really want to make our country fiscally sound.  That’s a laudable goal.  But at whose expense and whose reward?  Opponents to what they want to do say this is setting up a class war, pitting those who are poor and vulnerable against the wealthy and privileged.  You be the judge:

 

 

 

 

 

Who Gets the Money?

Ever wonder where the money goes that’s collected in fines from oil and utility companies, airlines, banks that cause disasters, and dishonest politicians and CEOs?  While watching the news about California State Senator Leland Yee, who was caught running guns and dope and selling political favors, I got to thinking.  Why not add an additional, small, say, half percent, assessment to go to help people?  The idea is to remind scoff-laws that they are harming real people, and to channel some of the fine money into helping real people.

The truth is, where the money goes depends on the situation. If it’s a civil matter, either the victims or the U.S. Treasury get the bucks.  Fines for airlines who make you sit in a plane on the tarmac too long go to the U.S. Treasury’s general fund, not to you for your inconvenience and frustration.  The U.S. Treasury will get the Toyota fines.  Sometimes people actually receive money, such as in the financial institution debacle—but the money goes to the shareholders, not to us.

It’s too complicated to do much about.  However, I have a plan.  Add that .5% fee to each fine, and distribute the money where it will do some good.  If it’s a federal issue, put that .5% toward the national debt.  If it’s a state or local issue, use it to fund programs and aid for our poor and homeless to get them back on their feet and into productive society.  Let’s see, half a percent of Yee’s fine would yield $7,500.  There could be an $8,235 assessment on Valero for its fine for violating air quality standards at one of its refineries.  Bank of America’s $150 million penalty would bring in a lot more. It all adds up.  This is done when we receive a traffic ticket: we pay the ticket plus fees.  Why not on a larger scale?

Just a thought……

 

Where are the Homeless?

I thought it a good sign when the homeless hanging around Snell and Blossom Hill Road near my home were disappearing, that maybe the improving economy meant many of them were being able to make better lives for themselves and their families.  Not so.  They’re just trying to find better shelter for the winter. Despite a healthier economy, homelessness has increased.  A good example is San Jose–smack dab in the middle of bustling Silicon Valley–where homelessness has increased 18% over last year.  In other words, the fight isn’t over for many men, women, and children who are on our streets because they have no place else to go.

It’s very, very important that we don’t forget these vulnerable people–those on the streets and those who are on the edge and ready to fall off into homelessness.  Especially in this season of open hearts.

Help these people by contributing time, goods, and money to shelters, food banks, church food pantries, kitchens that serve meals, clothes closets (for basics and for clothes appropriate for job interviews), and other organizations that serve the homeless and other poor. Watch out for friends, neighbors, or co-workers on the brink of losing their jobs or homes–or who would benefit greatly by being invited to dinner at your house.

If you’re a member of a religion, your faith calls you to do this.  If you’re an agnostic or atheist, your humanity demands it.

 

 

 

Francis: A Misguided Pope

Look at the outrageous things Pope Francis is doing!  He sent $270 (200 Euros) to a Venetian woman in her 80s who had been mugged, robbed on her way to the hospital to visit her ill husband.  On World Environment day he actually linked all life together, saying that ignoring the poor and wasting food instead of sharing it with the poor is not what we should be doing.  Then, two days ago, he called a German bishop to Rome to chastise him for his lavish spending habits, including the $42 million he spent on his own home.  All the while, this new-Pope-on-the-block has been living simply (no lavish Papal apartment for him) and encouraging others to do so.

What’s wrong with this man?  Does he somehow believe–and want us to believe—that Jesus lived a simple lifestyle, focused on the poor, taught the disciples to look after the vulnerable people they met, and shared what he had with others for the good of the whole community?

What kind of a church does Pope Francis think he’s striving for?  What kind of a world does he want to see come about?

In today’s world, where we MUST look out for #1, how misguided can he be?!

 

Who Gets all that Income?

The economy may be improving, but the rich are getting richer and the rest of us?  Well….  Here’s an unnerving statistic: the gap in income is currently the largest that it has been since the early 1930s–yes, the Great Depression.  Today, 1% of the people are getting 95% of the income.

This is having an effect on all of us, but especially the poor who are trying to climb up out of the well the recent bad economic years have put them into.

 

 

I’m in Love with a Priest!

Pope Francis’ installation homily emphasized protecting the environment and caring for one another, especially the weakest and poorest of the world.  That’s my kind of Pope.  And priest.  I hope he and the Curia (they often have a warring relationship similar to that of the President and Congress) can work together toward those ends.

Meanwhile, I’m basking in the warmth of a new romance–with a man who seems to care about all of Creation (human and otherwise) and a priest who reads the New Testament the way I do.