Zuckerberg and poverty

occupy-wall-street-456.jpegToday, Mark Zuckerberg is making millions, maybe billions, of dollars on the Facebook IPO while 150 million Americans live in or near poverty.

The concentration of wealth in the hands of Zuckerberg and his pals is staggering especially when you compare them to the latest poverty and unemployment numbers.

150 million people, nearly one in 2 Americans, live in or near poverty.  More than half of all American children live in or near poverty.

Take one minute to think about how low the poverty income levels are. According to federal government definitions, an individual making an annual income of $10,830 or less qualifies as poor.  A family of four making an annual income of $22,400 qualifies as poor.  Could you meet your needs on that level of income without help?

12.5 million people are unemployed and actively looking for work. 41% of the unemployed, 5.1 million people, have been looking for work for 27 weeks or longer.

2 million people have looked for employment in the past year, but not in the most recent four weeks because they are discouraged or face challenges. 

8 million people are underemployed.  They have part-time work, but want to work full time.  

Meanwhile, our government is cutting, not increasing, funding for the poor.  For example, last Sunday, on Mother's Day, 200,000 more people who have been looking for work for more than one year lost their extended benefits from unemployment insurance.  95,300 Californians lost their extended benefits. In 2012, so far 400,000 people have lost their extended benefits.

What can we do each day to build economic justice in our country when so many people are strugging to get by?

Volunteering, donating, moaning, protesting and praying are not enough.

We've got to stop making excuses for Obama and Democratic Party leaders who continue to support tax subsidies and bailouts for huge corporations and gigantic military budgets.

Let's challenge the Democrats and Republicans to make ending poverty a top priority. 

We can end the cuts to unemployment insurance benefits and other poverty relief programs through tax increases on the Zuckerbergs and bringing war dollars home.

We can change the debate if we muster up the courage to enter electoral politics as candidates for economic justice.

We will win elections when we only vote for candidates who share our political values and take swift action to put people back to work.

Register Green Party. Run Green Party. Vote Green Party.