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Poverty News Round Up

With the Bible in one hand and a newspaper in the other:

The Newspaper:

1. An artist in Portland is putting a human face on poverty and inequality:

“What does Keefe’s work achieve, when it’s at her best? She refers to one of the “golden moments” of the project. A homeless or recently homeless woman named Katrina blazed into one Equity Atlas event, tough and hardened. “The way she presented herself when I first saw her was with this great bravado, a sassy woman among men,” recalls Keefe. Here was a woman with her defenses up, a woman it would surely be difficult to know. And yet Katrina was paired with another woman for the interviewing and portrait-making, and soon, the act of telling her story had caused her to open up. Indeed, in a short span of time, she had made herself vulnerable, and left a lasting impression on those around her. “I won’t ever forget her,” says Keefe. “And I met her for all of an hour and a half.” Her image–visibly softened from the Katrina that Keefe describes of a mere hour and a half before–is above.”

2. Inequality isn’t just about education or technology. It’s also about policy:

“Professors Katz and Autor agree that an array of policies is needed to address the labor market’s lopsided distribution of economic rewards. They range from a higher minimum wage to help lift the income of service workers at the bottom of the market to a larger earned-income tax credit.”

3. In defense of SNAP:

“The real crisis is hunger, not government spending. The House voted last week to cut $39 billion over 10 years on the Supplemental Nutritional Assistance Program, also called both SNAP and “Food Stamps,” and now the bill moves to the Senate. It has become a controversial funding issue.”

4. On overwhelming majority favor raising the minimum wage:

“Three-fourths of Americans support increasing the minimum wage from the current $7.25 to $9 per hour, according to a new Gallup poll.”

5. The idea of a basic income has been widely discussed on blogs in the past few weeks:

“A simple idea for eliminating poverty is garnering greater attention in recent weeks: automatically have the government give every adult a basic income.”

The Bible:

This week we hear from Isaiah, with one of my favorite visions of the Kingdom:

65:21 They shall build houses and inhabit them; they shall plant vineyards and eat their fruit.
65:22 They shall not build and another inhabit; they shall not plant and another eat; for like the days of a tree shall the days of my people be, and my chosen shall long enjoy the work of their hands.

It’s such a simple vision…a world without exploitation.




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