Poverty

[NEW] Louisiana's $1 Billion Giveaway 

Giveaways cost the U.S. taxpayers $50 billion a year

by Fred Kammer, SJ 

The New Orleans Advocate, in an eight-part report[1], has highlighted the burgeoning practice of creating tax-breaks (“tax incentives,” “tax loopholes,” “tax expenditures”) that now cost Louisiana $1.08 billion dollars a year.  Legislatures create these benefits purportedly to induce businesses to locate in a state or expand there.  Two examples from The Advocate illustrate these incentives:

  • Every time the Robertson clan films another episode of “Duck Dynasty,” Louisiana is on the hook for nearly $330,000, at last count.
  • During the past three years, state taxpayers agreed to fork over nearly $700,000 to Wal-Mart to build new stores in two affluent suburbs.[2] 

MORE>>

Another Misleading Proposal: U.S. House Budget Committee Opportunity Proposal [JustSouth Quarterly, Fall 2014]

by Fred Kammer, SJ

On July 24, 2014, U.S. House Budget Committee Chairman Paul Ryan released a discussion draft entitled Expanding Opportunity in America. That report observed, “Poverty is too high, unemployment is too high, labor-force participation is too low, and wage growth is too slow.”[1] The report’s proposals for expansion of the Earned Income Tax Credit, education reform, and criminal justice reform merit careful consideration. However, the draft’s first chapter—“reforming the safety net”—re-hashes ideas that will worsen poverty and erode what remains of the safety net. MORE>>

 

OUR PERSPECTIVE:

An Introduction to Poverty and Measures of Poverty

By Fred Kammer, SJ

Poverty is one of the three focus areas for the work of JSRI. In their 1986 book-length pastoral letter Economic Justice for All the US Bishops reminded us of the importance of confronting poverty in these words: "Dealing with poverty is not a luxury to which our nation can attend when it finds the time and resources. Rather, it is a moral imperative of the highest priority."

But what does it mean to speak of poverty in the United States? Drawing on the tradition of Catholic Social Teaching, the bishops explained it this way, “By poverty, we are referring here to the lack of sufficient material resources required for a decent life.”  Then, in the next sentence, they acknowledge the complexity of the question, “We use the government’s definition of poverty, although we recognize its limits.” And a footnote introduces elements of the national debate about what we call “the poverty line.” [Continue on to MORE about measuring poverty and poverty in the Gulf South.]

2013-14 ARTICLES ON POVERTY

Refusing To Expand Medicaid: Political Decisions with Deadly Consequences -- Kammer

The KIDS COUNT Gulf South: Children in the region continue not to count much! --Kammer

Raise the Minimum Wage! It's a Matter of Justice-- Kammer

The Affordable Care Act- Who, Why, and What?-- Kammer

The Relentless Assault on America's Hungry-- Kammer 

Labor Day justice: What's the real cost of your cheap, fast food? --Kammer

Where are the Jobs? Continuing Unemployment and Worse-- Kammer

Taxing the Poor: The Regressive Nature of State-Local Tax Systems--Kammer

The Tax Deal... and More Coming Horrors--Kammer

ARCHIVED ARTICLES ON POVERTY

Fiscal Cliff, Fiscal Slope, or the Common Good: The U.S. Debt and Deficit Crisis, Lame Ducks, and a New Responsibility--Kammer

Catholic Social Thought and Global Financial Systems--Kammer

21 Million Americans Kept Out of Poverty: Social Security critical to income of millions--Kammer

Catholic Social Thought and the Common Good--Kammer

Fairy-Tale or Worse? The Ryan-Romney Budget Plan and Catholic Moral Criteria--Kammer

Health Care Reform for Some: Governors play politics with health of low-income citizens -- Kammer

Does Relative Mobility "Cure" Inequality?--Kammer

Catholic Social Thought and Distributive Justice--Kammer

Growing Economic Inequality Matters!: Why People of Faith Should Be Concerned--Kammer

The Common Good and Election 2012: It’s not about my business, my taxes, or my family -- Kammer

The Payday Shark in Your Bank Account -- Mikulich

Catholicism and Capitalism -- Kammer

No Relief in Sight: Persistent High Unemployment for African Americans and Latinos in Gulf South States -- Mikulich


 View all Poverty articles »

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Banner Image: Brenda Ann Keneally/AmericanPoverty.org