Thursday, December 01, 2005


Rich Senators Defeat Minimum-Wage Hike

This is so outrageous, I had to post it to my blog... How can those Republicans who voted down a miniscule pay hike for the poor, go to bed with a clear conscience? They reflect the GREED PLAGUE THAT HAS GRIPPED AMERICA AND DO NOT DESERVE TO REPRESENT "WE THE PEOPLE".

Please vote them out of office come 2006, for the sake of the despaired, for the sake of the hungry children and for the sake of sanity. Thinkingblue

PS: Below is an article written by the sweetheart of all journalists HELEN THOMAS, WORTHY OF SHARING...

intr.v. despaired, despairing, despairs. 1. To lose all hope: despaired of reaching shore safely. 2. To be overcome by a sense of futility or defeat.


Rich Senators Defeat Minimum-Wage Hike
SCREW YOU MR PRESIDENT By Helen Thomas Hearst Newspapers
Wednesday 26 October 2005

Congressional pay rises while minimum stays same.

US senators - who draw salaries of $162,100 a year and enjoy a raft
of perks - have rejected a minimum wage hike from $5.15 an hour to $6.25
for blue-collar workers.

Can you believe it?

The proposed increase was sponsored by Sen. Edward Kennedy, D-MA,
and turned down in the Senate by a vote of 51 against the boost and 49 in
favor. Under a Senate agreement, it needed 60 votes to pass.

All the Democrats voted for the wage boost.
All the negative votes were cast by Republicans.

Four Republicans voted for it. Three of the four are running for
reelection and were probably worried about how voters would react if they
knew that their well-heeled senators had turned down a pittance of an
increase in the salaries of the lowest paid workers in the country.

The minimum wage was last increased in 1997.

Kennedy called the vote "absolutely unconscionable."

The lawmakers are hardly hurting. They get health insurance, life
insurance, pensions, office expenses, ranging from $2 million on up,
depending on the population of a state. The taxpayers also pay for their
travel, telecommunications, stationery and mass mailings.

AFL-CIO president John Sweeney said the rejection was "outrageous and shocking."

Sweeney said minimum-wage workers "deserve a pay raise - plain and
simple - no strings attached."

He said it is "appalling that the same right-wing leaders in
Congress - who have given themselves seven pay raises since the last
minimum wage increase - voted down the modest wage increase proposed by
the Kennedy amendment."

During the same period since 1997, raises that the Senate has given
itself bolstered senatorial pay by $28,000 a year, Kennedy said.

"If we are serious about helping hard-working families, we will
give a fair raise to America's low-income workers without taking away
essential protections," he added.

The Senate also killed an amendment proposed by Sen. Michael Enzi,
R-WY, which also would have increased the minimum wage by $1.10 but
included drastic measures such as wiping out the 40-hour work week,
cutting overtime pay and weakening job safety and health protection.

At the same time, Enzi wanted to sweeten the pot for small business
by providing tax and regulatory relief and to exempt small business from
the Fair Labor Standards Act.

Kennedy likened the Enzi bill to an "anti-worker poison pill" and
said it would "severely hurt millions and millions of workers."

According to the Census Bureau, there are 37 million Americans
living in poverty, up 1 million in just a year.

Statements by President George W. Bush since the Gulf Coast
hurricane disasters indicate he has a new awareness of the plight of the
poor in this country. Katrina and the devastation of New Orleans have made
the more affluent realize the hardships suffered by poor families.

When asked about the Kennedy measure, White House press secretary
Scott McClellan said Bush "believes that we should look at having a
reasonable increase in the minimum wage ... But we need to make sure that,
as we do that, that it is not a step that hurts small business or
prices people out of the job market."

Bush has not weighed in with his own proposal for a pay hike.

The Senate's action comes at a worrisome time when motorists are
paying much more for gasoline and heating bills are expected to rise by 56
percent this winter, according to Kennedy.

As a result, families will have to tighten their belts to pay for
the basic necessities.

"It is shameful that in America today, the richest and most
powerful nation on earth, nearly a fifth of all children go to bed hungry
at night because their parents, many of whom are working full time at the
minimum wage, still can't make ends meet," Kennedy said.

Kennedy has been in the forefront of the fight for increases in the
minimum wage for years, and I don't expect him to throw in the towel now.

Congress still may have a chance to redeem itself in the eyes of
the less fortunate - before the 2006 elections.


Americans don’t like to talk about poverty. We don’t like
to believe that the wealthiest nation in the world has families without
the resources to afford basic necessities, such as decent housing and
sufficient food, or basic services, such as medical and dental care and
quality child care. But American poverty is a reality.

Twelve million children live in families with incomes
below the federal poverty level—which is about $16,000 for a family of
three and $19,000 for a family of four. Perhaps more stunning is that 5
million children live in families with incomes of less than half the
poverty level—and the numbers are rising. Yet research clearly shows that,
on average, it takes an income of at least twice poverty to cover
a family’s most basic expenses.[1]

This fact sheet provides a portrait of poor children in
the United States.

How many children across the United States are poor or extremely poor?


In Poor Kids in a Rich Country, Lee Rainwater and
Timothy Smeeding ask what it means to be poor in a prosperous nation -
especially for any country's most vulnerable citizens, its children. In
comparing the situation of American children in low-income families with
their counterparts in 14 other countries -- including Western Europe,
Australia, and Canada -- they provide a powerful perspective on the
dynamics of child poverty in the United States.

Based on the rich data available from the transnational Luxembourg Income
Study (LIS), Poor Kids in a Rich Country puts child poverty in the United
States in an international context. Rainwater and Smeeding find that while
the child poverty rate in most countries has been relatively stable over
the past 30 years, child poverty has increased markedly in the United
States and Britain - two of the world's wealthiest countries. The book
delves into the underlying reasons for this difference, examining the mix
of earnings and government transfers, such as child allowances, sickness
and maternity benefits, unemployment insurance, and other social
assistance programs that go into the income packages available to both
single- and dual-parent families in each country. Rainwater and Smeeding
call for policies to make it easier for working parents to earn a decent
living while raising their children -- policies such as parental leave,
childcare support, increased income supports for working poor families,
and a more socially oriented education policy. They make a convincing
argument that our definition of poverty should not be based solely on the
official poverty line - that is, the minimum income needed to provide a
certain level of consumption - but on the social and economic resources
necessary for full participation in society.

Combining a wealth of empirical data on international poverty levels with
a thoughtful new analysis of how best to use that data, Poor Kids in a
Rich Country will provide an essential tool for researchers and
policymakers who make decisions about child and family policy.

Lee Rainwater is professor emeritus of sociology at Harvard University and
research director of the Luxembourg Income Study. Timothy M. Smeeding is
Maxwell Professor of Public Policy, professor of economics and public
administration, and director of the Center for Policy Research at Syracuse
University. He is also the director of the Luxembourg Income Study.




The changing face of poverty






Click Here For WAV

They used to tell me I was building a dream
And so I followed the mob.
When there was earth to plow or guns to bear,
I was always there, right on the job.
They used to tell me I was building a dream
With peace and glory ahead --
Why should I be standing in line, just waiting for bread?

Once I built a railroad, I made it run,
Made it race against time.
Once I built a railroad, now it's done --
Brother, can you spare a dime?

Once I built a tower, up to the sun,
brick and rivet and lime.
Once I built a tower, now it's done --
Brother, can you spare a dime?

Once in khaki suits, gee, we looked swell
Full of that Yankee Doodle-de-dum.
Half a million boots went slogging through hell,
And I was the kid with the drum.

Say, don't you remember they called me Al,
It was Al all the time.
Why don't you remember, I'm your pal --
Say, buddy, can you spare a dime?

Once in khaki suits, ah, gee, we looked swell
Full of that Yankee Doodle-de-dum.
Half a million boots went slogging through hell,
And I was the kid with the drum.

Say, don't you remember they called me Al,
It was Al all the time.
Why don't you remember, I'm your pal --
Buddy, can you spare a dime?

Click link to go to webpage:
Rich Senators Defeat Minimum-Wage Hike


For whom the bell tolls a poem
(No man is an island) by John Donne

No man is an island,
Entire of itself.
Each is a piece of the continent,
A part of the main.
If a clod be washed away by the sea,
Europe is the less.
As well as if a promontory were.
As well as if a manner of thine own
Or of thine friend's were.
Each man's death diminishes me,
For I am involved in mankind.
Therefore, send not to know
For whom the bell tolls,
It tolls for thee.

These famous words by John Donne were not originally written as a poem -
the passage is taken from the 1624 Meditation 17, from Devotions Upon
Emergent Occasions and is prose.

The words of the original passage Click Here


Warning very Graphic

CAROLYNCONNETION - I've got a mind and I'm going to use
ThinkingBlue blogspot