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Public Policy Blacks, Hispanics hardest hit by economic meltdown, but happy, optimistic
Poor and happy? That sounds inconsistent and maybe inconceivable.
That Blacks and Hispanics are the hardest hit by the excesses of Wall Street enabled by pampered irresponsible and largely uncaring and disconnected from reality members of congress sounds very consistent and conceivable.
I once heard a Southern bigot commenting on the PBS program Now that the poor in the region were fine just as they were. He went on to say that though they were poor they were happy. From the sound of it when both Black and White poor were interviewed they looked none too happy to me but on the other hand they did look poor.
“HINOJOSA: And how exactly does the state tax its poor? Well, for one thing, state income taxes are almost flat here. That means that Jim Sturdivant, who’s making six figures at a top corporate law firm- pays about the same rate as Callie Greer- who works for a nonprofit.
And of course there’s that grocery tax we mentioned. Alabama is one of just two states that makes no special exceptions for groceries.
And the upper class benefit more from another Alabama tax rule that allows everyone to deduct their federal taxes from their state taxes. That’s a small saving for the middle class, but for top earners, it saves them thousands of dollars every year.
The Sturdivants don’t enjoy paying their taxes any more than most people do. But guided by their Christian faith, they say they are willing to contribute a little more.
JIM STURDIVANT: I certainly am not interested in paying a lot more. But I feel like people at the higher end of the scale can pay a little bit more and make a big difference.
HINOJOSA: Right now, there is a movement afoot to change the way of doing things in Alabama.
Rep. Knight: Alabama Arise, are you ready?
Rep. Knight: Yes, we’re ready….
HINOJOSA: John Knight wants to change the tax laws. The Montgomery representative is working with a grassroots coalition called Alabama arise to get rid of the grocery tax.
HINOJOSA: Do you believe that the current tax structure in Alabama in fact taxes people further into poverty?
REP. KNIGHT: Oh, absolutely.
REP. KNIGHT: It does. Because it’s so regressive. We have one of the most regressive tax structures of anywhere in the nation. And what happens is the—when you get out and get a job and then you are subjected to Alabama income tax, if—if you’re an average family you’re payin’ more percentage-wise in taxes than those wealthy people.
” MARIA HINOJOSA: But the family that we were with every time they have to go and buy food, they’re thinking about cutting corners. Can’t buy a gallon of milk, it’s going to have to be half a gallon of milk, we’re going to have to stretch it out.
REP. ROBERT BENTLEY: Listen—I understand and I’m fully sympathetic with people who are poor, they don’t have enough money to buy food. But, you know, there—there are avenues through which if they really are poor that they can get some help.
They may not be poor in spirit, they may just be poor in not being able
to buy all the conveniences that you think they should have. That doesn’t
mean they’re not happy. You can be happy and be poor. Now, I’m not
saying that you can be hungry and be happy, I don’t mean that. But
money does not make you happy.
This is a “mindset” not exclusive to Alabama—just mostly to racist bigots everywhere. Right here in Texas Red for example.
Being all too familiar with the rural mindset (and I use the term loosely) I’m guessing this may not be an altogether bad thing….
Census Numbers Terrible for Rural Texas
Of the 254 Texas counties, 78 actually lost population. The vast majority of those are west of I-35. Within the Panhandle, things are especially dramatic. Only one county in the entire region—Randall—kept up with the state’s 20 percent overall growth.
Notwithstanding increasing population happy and optimistic or not minorities especially Hispanics and chief among Hispanics, Mexicans are ostracized, marginalized, maligned, denigrated and persecuted. I may have mentioned that Mexicans appear to be the new n—gers or at the very best the American version of Palestinians. Certainly this republic’s public policy on both sides of the border has been one that places Mexicans on equal footing with Palestinians—and certainly no better off.
Census data changes Valley’s Top 10 cities
Segregation In America: ‘Dragging On And On’
INSKEEP: How does the picture change when we move beyond questions of black and white, Hispanics, Asians and others?
Mr. LOGAN: Both Hispanics and Asians have increased very rapidly in number in metropolitan areas and they have established ethnic neighborhoods. Hispanics now, on average, live in neighborhoods that are more than 50 percent Hispanic.
INSKEEP: Could it be that the perfusion of diversity in this country, the larger number of immigrant groups that have become larger over time, contributes to this slowing down of integration that you see in your statistics, ’cause you’ve just got lots of immigrant groups who, as immigrant groups historically have, will concentrated in certain neighborhoods for a while.
Mr. LOGAN: Well, that is a factor. And we find, in fact, when we measure the level of segregation of Hispanics and Asians, there’s really been no change since 1980. So the continuing immigration is feeding into ethnic neighborhoods. But at the same time, there are a lot of people moving out of those neighborhoods.
INSKEEP: Let’s say that the country continues changing at the rate that it is changing now, which is becoming more integrated, as you said, but not as quickly as people would like. What would America look like in another generation – 20, 30 years?
Mr. LOGAN: Well, 20, 30 years it, really, will be not very different. If we take the current rate of change and extend it over 50 years, blacks then would be as segregated as Hispanics are today. And Hispanics are not exactly fully integrated into the society. Now that’s 50 years from now. That’s my grandchildren’s lifetime that we’re talking about, and that seems very, very slow. http://www.npr.org/templates/transcript/transcript.php?storyId=133848837
See now this is what the white guys have been saying all along. “They’re poor but they’re happy!”
Damn seems consistent with Haley Barbour’s recollections. (hope you’re reading no small amout of sarcasm and cynicism in this)
Economy poll: African Americans, Hispanics were hit hardest but are most optimistic
However, as for me my net income is 11% less now that it was 40 years ago in real money terms—and I’m not happy but I am poor….
From Texas Red: a cratered landscape of prisons, deplorable apartheid public education, lack of healthcare and politicians and majority population intent on keeping it that way…
PBS Now:Taxing the Poor
The Texas Observer
In our morning Hot List for day 39 of the Lege, we’re following the start of the redistricting fight and recapping the sonogram bill’s passage through the Senate yesterday. Two of Rick Perry’s emergency items have now passed the Senate. And sanctuary cities may be next on the agenda.
From Redistricting Fights to the Sonogram Bill
Day 39 of the 82nd Texas Legislature
The much anticipated census numbers are finally in and the redistricting fandango can now begin. Meanwhile, another one of Gov. Rick Perry’s emergency items is a step closer to becoming law
Texas poised to pass bill allowing guns on campus
Slave-state legacy, segregation and poverty in Texas…
Elections: King Street Patriots: right-wing enforcers of Texas Red’s slave state legacy
The Power of Myth
Colbert on Common Cause
The Tories of 1776 are today’s GOPers and Libartarians
Loyalist (American Revolution)
People’s History of the United States – Howard Zinn
The Conscience of a Liberal
Good Capitalism, Bad Capitalism, and the Economics of Growth and Prosperity
Winner-Take-All Politics: How Washington Made the Rich Richer–and Turned Its Back on the Middle Class
Aftershock: The Next Economy and America’s Future
Third World America: How Our Politicians Are Abandoning the Middle Class and Betraying the American Dream
Protecting our Borders