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Inequality for all

3 Jun

The documentary “Inequality for all” by economist Robert Reich discusses class stratification and solutions.

Bill Moyers interviews Reich about his film in 60 minutes that might be more fitting for a classroom viewing.


Where the poor and rich really spend their money

15 Apr

Lawmakers in several states are urging limits on how welfare recipients use public benefits, suggesting that the poor are buying things like lobster, filet mignon, vacations aboard cruise ships and visits to psychics. It’s an open question whether the problem these proposals aim to solve actually exists, but the Bureau of Labor Statistics just helpfully released new data on how the poor — and the rich — spend their money.

Welfare testing

9 Aug

Here’s What Happened When Tennessee Decided to Drug Test Its Welfare Recipients

This article mentions Tennessee, Virginia, and Florida’s use of drug testing welfare recipients. Florida’s program was eliminated as a violation of the fourth amendment

Food gentrification?

21 Apr

This article about “collards becoming the new kale” provokes thought about cultural appropriation.

More importantly, it raises concern over the international effects of food trends.,8599,2110890,00.html

Food Stamp series at Marketplace

9 Apr

The Secret life of a Food Stamp Series:

See the “wage wager” that helps set up a budget for a person on minimum wage. There are different stories, podcasts, and articles on this website, including ones on Walmart.

The Shocking Truth About What It Would Cost Us All If Walmart Paid A Living Wage

My wife and I do not shop at Walmart because it does not pay a living wage, which forces its workers to get on public assistance. But I am totally shocked by how easily that could change. This two-minute clip is da bomb.

(Oh, there’s also the fact that Walmart pretty much single-handedly created a good deal of China’s industry and shipping systems and thereby helped move a lot of our jobs overseas. But I digress…)

American Winter, families struggling through the recession

19 Mar

Produced and directed by Emmy award-winning filmmakers, Joe and Harry Gantz, American Winter is a documentary feature film that follows the personal stories of families struggling in the aftermath of the worst economic crisis since the Great Depression.

Years after the recession began, millions of families are struggling to meet their basic needs, and many formerly middle class families are finding themselves in financial crisis, and needing assistance for the first time in their lives.  Meanwhile, the social safety net that was created to help people in difficult times has been weakened by massive budget cuts, creating a perfect storm of greater need and fewer resources to help families in trouble. 

Filmed over the course of one winter in Portland, Oregon, American Winter presents an intimate and emotionally evocative snapshot of the state of our economy as it is playing out in many American families.   

Working together with the nonprofit organization 211info in Portland, the filmmakers were given full access to monitor and record calls from distressed families who were calling 211’s emergency hotline in search of help.  They then began following the stories of some of these callers in more depth over several months.  The film follows multiple families in their daily struggle to keep their heads above water, while facing overwhelming challenges and dwindling resources available to help them, creating a powerful firsthand view of Americans caught in today’s financial undertow.  

The experiences of the families in American Winter are a vivid illustration of what has been happening to families across America, including working families losing their homes, people who remain jobless or underemployed, children going hungry, families getting their heat shut off in the dead of winter, and people with health issues overwhelmed by medical costs. 

Framed through the personal stories of eight families, American Winter puts a face on the country’s economic challenges and has the potential to humanize the discussion around these issues. When viewers see these hard working, relatable families in need, it breaks down stereotypes and makes it harder to justify cuts to social services, motivating and bringing together individuals and organizations working towards a new paradigm of opportunity for all Americans.

We are developing partnerships with local and national nonprofit organizations that can utilize the film to advance their specific missions. Additionally, American Winter’s social action campaign will focus on channeling the frustrations of struggling Americans into a movement for positive change, while also supporting legislators to pass bills that allow all Americans to have an opportunity to live a comfortable life and a chance at the American Dream.

Wage against the machine

30 Jan

Discussing how the increase of the minimum wage will benefit society, includes how the fast food industry benefits from welfare programs.

  • Tuesday January 28, 2014
  • | Views: 130,181
  • |Comments: 45

Wage Against the Machine

Samantha Bee explores the devastating economic effects of raising the minimum wage to the poverty level. (04:59)