Thursday, November 26, 2009

More on spread of hunger in USA

Thanksgiving 2010:  Now this disturbing report from The Washington Post:

America's economic pain brings hunger pangs

By Amy Goldstein
Washington Post Staff Writer
Tuesday, November 17, 2009

The nation's economic crisis has catapulted the number of Americans who lack enough food to the highest level since the government has been keeping track, according to a new federal report, which shows that nearly 50 million people -- including almost one child in four -- struggled last year to get enough to eat.

At a time when rising poverty, widespread unemployment and other effects of the recession have been well documented, the report released Monday by the U.S. Department of Agriculture provides the government's first detailed portrait of the toll that the faltering economy has taken on Americans' access to food.

The magnitude of the increase in food shortages -- and, in some cases, outright hunger -- identified in the report startled even the nation's leading anti-poverty advocates, who have grown accustomed to longer lines lately at food banks and soup kitchens. The findings also intensify pressure on the White House to fulfill a pledge to stamp out childhood hunger made by President Obama, who called the report "unsettling."

The data show that dependable access to adequate food has especially deteriorated among families with children. In 2008, nearly 17 million children, or 22.5 percent, lived in households in which food at times was scarce -- 4 million children more than the year before. And the number of youngsters who sometimes were outright hungry rose from nearly 700,000 to almost 1.1 million.

Among Americans of all ages, more than 16 percent -- or 49 million people -- sometimes ran short of nutritious food, compared with about 12 percent the year before. The deterioration in access to food during 2008 among both children and adults far eclipses that of any other single year in the report's history.

Read the full report here.


Chris said...

Perhaps we can save money by scrapping cap and trade since global warming is being proved a fraud.

I'm sure Obama will not let a crisis go to waste.

Anonymous said...

Let me go in a completely different direction from Chris. I was wondering what is your take is on the economic impact of NAFTA? There was a time when there seemed to be an abundance of good blue collar jobs, not everything seems to be built somewhere else. People need jobs and not just at some fast food place. My father was a high school grad. He worked for one manufacturing company for over 40 years and has been retired for a number of years. His son went to work at the same plant and six years later that plant was gone and his life has been a struggle ever since.


Larry James said...

Chris, did you once accuse me of being so predictable? :)

RC, like all trade agreements NAFTA has ups and downs in my view. But regardless of what we think about it, we now live in one world market and the horse is out of the gate with no return in sight. While we can adjust to some extent, the current world economy and our consumer demands ensure that we'll continue to lose many jobs to foreign labor because of cost savings, all pushed forward by Americana companies with you and me in mind. For example, do you shop at WalMart or do you insist on buying as much American as possible?

This is why we need training and open doors to blue collar jobs that are tied to the geography of the US. Construction trades, transporation, etc. And, I would add to Chris' dismay, green collar jobs that provide work and that help with energy independence. I'll put up a post soon that shows how green economy can create many more jobs than we've imagined.

Anonymous said...

Will the welfare state come to the rescue? The nanny state also reports 20 million illegals (undocumented immigrants for the pc crowd).

Anonymous said...

By the way, Larry, I want to wish you and your family a Happy Thanksgiving. Thanks also for allowing people who disagree with you to speak openly. You set the example of civil dialogue.


Larry James said...

The immigration challenge affects the concerns of RC. We must arrive at comprehensive reform that includes a broad-based workers' permit program so that neighbors south of the border can come and go wtih secure documents.

RC, same to you. I try to do what you suggest, not always with success. I attempt not to "lose it," but again, I don't always succeed. Best to you and your family today.