August 31, 2005
AS PRESIDENT Bush's approval ratings continue to slide, his allies have begun to grumble. The economy is improving. Why isn't the president getting the credit? Here's a clue: According to new Census Bureau figures, the number of Americans who slipped into poverty is now 37 million, an increase of 1.1 million from 2003. In the Philadelphia, the number increased so dramatically, that the city jumped from 11th- to ninth-poorest in the nation. The White House says it's not surprised by the numbers.
July 10, 2013 |
Maria Aviles believes she's poor because she's a lesbian. The pharmaceutical firm where she was a data-entry worker fired her several years ago, he said, because bosses weren't comfortable having her and her lover on the same staff. Now Aviles, 50, a mother of two teenagers, is unemployed and living in poverty in North Philadelphia. Her lover is long gone. "It's harder if you're a lesbian," said Aviles. "And my children are depressed. We're really struggling. " In the movies and on television shows that shape how people see American culture, lesbians and gays are often portrayed as middle- and upper-middle-class people, sophisticated and secure.
July 12, 2013
DURING A crowded launch of Mayor Nutter's new anti-poverty initiative yesterday at the Free Library, someone observed, "It costs a lot to be poor. " And that, among the many dispiriting facts and helpful observations uttered yesterday, might be the most meaningful. Poverty extracts a huge price tag from individuals - in health, well-being, future potential and general living conditions, to name just a few. But poverty also extracts a high price from all of us in the city. Some of those costs can be measured specifically, like the nearly $300 million that the city spends for "health and opportunity," which includes public health and housing (but not the library, or parks and rec)
January 15, 1989 |
Jack Kemp, chosen to head the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development in the Bush administration, proposes to launch a new War on Poverty. Will he succeed any better than Lyndon Johnson, who officially began the last one in 1964? What lessons should he learn? According to many current assessments, during the years from 1964 until 1972-73, when federal social benefits in real dollars peaked, Washington threw massive amounts of money into a futile attempt to eliminate poverty.
January 5, 2009 |
LONG before the onset of the current economic slide, some Washington insiders called on government to set a goal of reducing poverty. While recognizing the good intentions, we must acknowledge what the recent election proves: Changes in our nation in the years since citizens heard a similar plea - more than 40 years ago - require a new vision for the economy. Any effort to revive a policy and political focus targeted specifically on the poor will demand significant energy and resources and, unfortunately, can't yield the desired policy results.
September 1, 1991 |
Notwithstanding the tortured and intrigue-filled path by which we have arrived here, Philadelphia's voters now have a choice of mayoral candidates that is well above average. Joe Egan and Ed Rendell are bright and serious people who are actually talking about bold ideas and policy choices needed to govern a city that has teetered on the brink of financial collapse. The fact is, however, that if Philadelphia is to stem its decline, far more is required than to solve the budget crisis.
October 18, 2007
IAPPLAUD Mark Hughes for focusing on the compelling challenges we face in Philadelphia. I only wish he'd made the acquaintance of Dr. Ala Stanford Frey at Temple University before declaring in his Oct. 15 op-ed that poverty in Philadelphia is not fixable. Dr. Frey was born to a teenage single mom in North Philadelphia. She applied herself and went on to medical school after participating in the Fattah Higher Education Conference, which has affected more than 10,000 disadvantaged young people.
June 28, 2007
AT THE press conference that launched Safe and Sound's Children's Report Card, Pat de Carlo of the Norris Square Civic Association said, "Make no mistake: This is about poverty. Until we solve the problem of poverty, none of the issues that are being addressed here will disappear. " She is right, and, in fact, the Report Card shows a huge increase in poverty. While I agree with the Daily News that we need to look carefully at all programs that serve the city's children, all the scrutiny in the world won't create jobs for the parents, or build houses for the families, or provide the mental-health services so crucial to solving the issues of abuse and neglect.
June 2, 1992 |
America seems to be locked in an unwinnable debate over who or what is responsible for poverty. Conservatives blame the welfare programs of the Great Society. Liberals blame the Reagan-Bush years which they believe have gutted programs that were working. Is there a third way? Can't we all "get along," in the words of Rodney King? It should be stipulated that there are some people who are, and will forever remain, poor. These are the impoverished in spirit. Their list of addictions, whatever else it includes, is topped by a lack of initiative.