The YOYO Handcuffs

Here's a test: name one economic policy, other than tax cuts, associated with outgoing Treasury Secretary John Snow.

Give up?

Now think about this: what is the economic policy of the Bush administration? What about the Congress? What about the Democrats?

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The Covenant With Black America

Currently, the #3 New York Times' best selling, non-fiction paperback is The Covenant With Black America, a collection of essays aimed at improving the lives of Black Americans, edited by Tavis Smiley. The book starkly details the disturbing statistics of a faltering community in desperate need of courageous leadership. However, from the best minds this nation has to offer, we also gain the proper tenets to lead African-Americans through the most difficult phase of an uncompleted civil rights movement.

Back before the end of legal segregation and passing of the Voting Rights Act, Black people were wholly responsible for their own. Clergy and Elders of the community were accountable for ensuring future generations would replicate the pivotal family unit, while understanding only a good education would lift their Black youth out of poverty and discrimination. Under the supervision of the Southern Christian Leadership Conference, along with financial backing from the Johnson administration, these were the cornerstones of Dr. King's `War On Poverty' initiative launched in the late 1960s'.

Presently, I can envision no better strategy to possible stem the dire spiral currently gripping the Black community in this country.

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Reducing Poverty: Which Party Does Better?

Several articles in the past few years have analyzed Democratic and Republican administrations, comparing standard measures of national economic health - production, unemployment, inflation, the stock market, etc. - and standard measures of government efficiency - amount of Federal spending, number of Federal employees, deficit reduction, etc. Remarkably, by every measure of economic health and government efficiency, the analyses show that Democratic administrations, on average, outperform Republican administrations. Anyone who is interested in looking at comparisons of economic performance and government efficiency during Democratic and Republican administrations should take a few minutes to read these articles; they are all interesting and short:

Michael Kinsley
Carol Vinzant
Kevin Drum
Dwight Meredith (1)
Dwight Meredith (2)

One economic measure these articles don't address is poverty. If Democratic administrations are associated with better economic conditions, as these articles indicate, then it's reasonable to expect this fact to be reflected in a greater reduction of poverty under Democratic leadership. To test this assumption, I examined the U.S. Census poverty data for the years 1961 through 2000. As Dwight Meredith noted in his articles, this period lets us compare 20 years of Democratic administrations and 20 years of Republican administrations. (The Census poverty data currently available actually runs from 1959 through 2004. However, if we include the Republican years 1959-1960 and 2001-2004 in the analysis, it makes the averages even worse for Republicans; thus the choice not to include those years in the analysis certainly does not bias the results against Republicans.)

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Let Them Eat Cake

I came across this today and thought it made a pretty interesting point about how out of touch Republican leaders are from mainstream America.

$35,000 -- basic-needs budget for a U.S. family of four (two adults, two children), as calculated in An Atlas of Poverty in America

$19,157 -- poverty line for a family of four (two adults, two children) in the U.S. in 2004, as established by the U.S. Census Bureau

$19,000 -- amount spent by Florida Gov. Jeb Bush's wife Columba during a five-day shopping spree in Paris in 1999

12.7 -- percentage of U.S. citizens living below the poverty line in 2004 (37 million people)

I wonder how many pairs of shoes the Bush women have?

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Katrina Survivors Have a Right to Return Home

Katrina Survivors Have a Right to Return Home

GREEN PARTY OF THE UNITED STATES
http://www.gp.org
Email: gogreens@gp.org
Green Party: Hurricane Katrina information
http://www.gp.org/katrina2005/

New Orleans development should ensure Katrina survivors stable homes, not displacement, say Greens.

WASHINGTON, D.C. -- Green Party leaders joined the Gulf Coast Renewal Campaign and other supporters of Katrina survivors in urging FEMA to provide viable and affordable transitional and long-term housing for people displaced by last year's hurricanes.

"FEMA has been stringing along Gulf Coast evacuees, holding the threat of homelessness over their heads," said Steve Kramer, co-chair of the Green Party of the United States. "We're glad that, under public pressure, FEMA has extended deadlines for the temporary provision of shelter in hotels and trailers, but what evacuees want now is to regain stability and secure housing, and to reunite with their families and communities in New Orleans and other towns in the Gulf Coast from which they were forced to flee."

Many Greens support H.R. 4197, "The Hurricane Reclamation, Recovery, Reconstruction and Relief" Act for comprehensive assistance to enable all Katrina survivors to return and rebuild their communities. The bill was introduced by all 42 members of the Congressional Black Caucus.

"Katrina survivors need protection from price-gouging when they return to rented houses and apartments, and they need a guarantee that post-hurricane development will not drive them out of their homes," said Sundiata Tellem, Co-Chair of the Black Caucus of the Green Party of the United States. "We're especially alarmed at growing indications that New Orleans' African American population -- the major source of the New Orleans' unique traditions and culture -- is being excluded from plans to restore the city. And last I'd checked, many of the African- American populations of Georgia, Missisippi, and Alabama were sent to 20 states from which they surely won't have to pay to get back home."

Mayor C. Ray Nagin's 'Bring New Orleans Back' commission proposes that residents of districts most heavily damaged by Hurricane Katrina will have four months to demonstrate strong support for rebuilding their neighborhoods, or be forced to sell to the government.

"Mayor Nagin's scheme would banish low-income and black residents, and turn New Orleans into a feeding trough for wealthy and chiefly white development interests," said Leenie Halbert, Green Party activist and former resident of New Orleans.

On March 14, 2006, a protest organized by the Gulf Coast Renewal Campaign against Katrina evictions will take place in Washington, D.C., beginning with a press conference at 1:00 p.m. in the Rayburn House Office Building (Room #2237) and continuing with a Mardi Gras Style March for Justice at 2:00 p.m. beginning at the Capitol South Metro Station and continuing to the White House, where a rally will take place at 3:00 p.m.

Green Party of the United States
http://www.gp.org
1700 Connecticut Avenue NW, Suite 404
Washington, DC 20009.
202-319-7191, 866-41GREEN
Fax 202-319-7193

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