While the United States remains the wealthiest nation in the world—first by Gross Domestic Product, seventh by average income—many Americans have been struggling financially in recent years. As The Washington Post reported in April:
Wages for millions of American workers, particularly those without college degrees, have flat-lined. Census figures show the median household income in 2012 was no higher than it was 25 years ago. Men's median wages were lower than in the early 1970s. Meanwhile, many of the expenses associated with a middle-class life have increased beyond inflation.
While politicians continue to bicker about the best way to combat these problems, there are some attitudes that clearly do more harm than good. First, we must keep American problems in perspective. The Post article highlights very real issues like leaky roofs and broken dishwashers as consequences of wage stagnation. But it is important to remember that worrying about money is not the same thing as living in poverty. The United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization estimates that, worldwide, 870 million people suffer from chronic undernourishment, mostly in Asia and Sub-Saharan Africa. Nearly half the world survives on less than $3 a day. It is important to distinguish between real poverty and first world middle class problems because the prosperity we enjoy America is actually quite rare. more >>
America is supposed to be the land of the free and the home of the brave.
But as we become bogged down in our many problems, I see, unfortunately, a mentality in which we are becoming increasingly a nation of the unfree – the victim – and the timid, in how we're approaching these challenges.
Ohio Republican Senator Rob Portman wrote a column this week drawing attention to the latest dire projections from the Congressional Budget Office. more >>
One of the lessons I learned in my first management course is you can't improve something unless you can measure it. Let's apply that to government.
As ambitious government programs go, it's hard to top the "Great Society," which recently marked its 50th anniversary. President Lyndon Johnson, after all, vowed "to give every citizen an escape from the crushing weight of poverty."
That's a tall order. Five decades, nearly $22 trillion and roughly 80 welfare programs later, it's fair to ask how we're doing. The short answer? Not well. more >>
Tomorrow, state officials in California will review a petition to gain a vote in November that would reduce prison sentences for non-violent felonies. Backers claim that there are more than 800,000 signatures already, which exceeds the 504,000 signatures needed. If passed, the law would reduce the long sentences for minor drug possessions, shoplifting, check forgeries, and other such non-violent felonies to misdemeanors.
Allow felons to vote? Watch this clip from Making Money with Charles Payne discussing the issue of allowing convicted felons to vote. Be sure to watch Charles' new show! It is on Fox Business Monday - Friday from 6 - 7 PM ET.
This is a curious turn of events for several reasons: more >>
WASHINGTON – For the conservative movement to succeed it must reach out to "average working Americans," says former United States Senator Rick Santorum.
In a speech at the "Road to Majority 2014" conference on Friday morning, Santorum stressed the need to appeal to what he has in the past called "blue-collar conservatives."
"As a movement we have not been connecting with the people who are hurting in this country and providing them a message and a plan for them to embrace and live the American dream," said Santorum. more >>
Dr. Cornel West is a leading liberal public intellectual. He gave an interview to NewsOne immediately following the 2012 Election that was nothing if not provocative. Dr. West said he was happy Romney didn't win, but far from satisfied with the Obama record and especially with the just-ended presidential campaign:
So we end up with such a narrow, truncated political discourse, as the major problems-ecological catastrophe, climate change, global warming. So it's very sad. I mean, I'm glad there was not a right-wing takeover, but we end up with a Republican, a Rockefeller Republican in blackface, with Barack Obama, so that our struggle with regard to poverty intensifies.
Say that again? If one of my conservative colleagues had dared to say anything remotely like that, he (or she) would have been charged with racism of the worst sort. Still, it is worth considering the merits of Cornel West's argument. more >>