Yesterday, last evening, actually, I saw and heard three different stories and facts that rather blew me away, when I realized how devastating they are and how changed we are, as a people and as a nation.
Herewith are those three:
--First, I heard on NPR that the unemployment rate for those who have been without work four months or longer is 40%.
A 40% unemployment rate for this segment of our country.
Funny thing was, they announced it very calmly and cooly, too, as though either we knew it already or it was no big thing.
It certainly shocked me. No way I thought it was that high.
--Second, this story:
Extreme Poverty In The U.S. Has Doubled In The Last 15 Years
Seriously, that is stunning.
It goes on:
"According to the latest Census Bureau data, nearly 50 percent of Americans are either low-income or living in poverty in the wake of the Great Recession. And a new study from the National Poverty Center shows just how deep in poverty some of those people are, finding that the number of households living on less than $2 per day (before government benefits) has more than doubled in the last 15 years..."
Again, I don't think this is common knowledge for the average American so I don't think people realize this is who we are and that this is what we've become, where we're living, so to speak.
--Finally, there's this, more localized, dealing as it does with Kansas and their very controversial, if not short-sighted, Governor, Sam Brownback:
Kansas tax act most regressive in nation
For clarification, a regressive tax system means it punishes the middle and lower classes and rewards the upper class--the rich and wealthy.
Note, too, that the source of the article is the Lawrence Journal-World.
There's two things that need to be highlighted about this being the source.
For one, you might think the Lawrence, Jounal-World, being, as it is, in Kansas, might want to only say glowing, positive, complimentary things about the state's governor, in hopes it would somehow be rewarded, one way or another.
They couldn't here. The facts say otherwise.
Secondly, this paper gets awards for its excellent journalism and reporting. It's no slouch when it comes to reporting like this and others so it's likely not off the mark, here, in case someone would like to debate this or them.
Just a little from the article:
"The nonpartisan Legislative Research Department has estimated that the act will reduce Kansas government revenues by $4.5 billion over the next six years. Inevitably, there will be major reductions in the government services Kansans have come to expect — especially education.
Equally important, the act dramatically changes the Kansas tax system, shifting the income tax burden from the wealthy and prosperous to working people. The act provides that all income of business owners is tax-free (except in the unusual case where a regular corporation is used). Although the act was promoted as a boost to small business, there is no limit on the size of business that can be exempt from tax.
Income of professionals — such as doctors, lawyers, architects, and accountants — practicing in partnerships will be tax-free. In a law firm, for example, the partners will pay no tax, while the clerical staff will continue on the tax rolls."
(Bold type added for emphasis).
So isn't that just lovely? If you're middle class or just out-and-out poor in Kansas, your tax rate is going to be higher than that of the wealthy, as a percent of what you both earn.
I don't think Governor Brownback is familiar with Christianity, it would seem. Or Jesus Christ, for that matter. Or anything He said, according to the Bible.
Seriously, it is shocking what we have become in these United States as a nation and a people.
And this, the above, doesn't even touch on our gross, disgusting war spending as evidence of our priorities nationally, both internally and externally, to the rest of the world.
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