How Much Wealth Is Enough?

Have you bothered paying attention to whats happening in the United States Congress lately? If you haven’t, yet you are finding it hard to put food on the table you should be concerned. If you are able to put food on your table you should be concerned that 46.5 million Americans are living in poverty. The poverty threshold in 2012 was an income of $23,492 for a family of four. Reuters new Agency reports while the Standard & Poor’s 500 index gained 16 percent on a total return basis last year, including reinvested dividends, the Census Bureau report showed median household income slipped to $51,017 from of $51,100 in 2011. The economy has struggled to sustain growth rates of more than 2.5 percent since the recession ended.

While the amount of Americans living in poverty has increased and the economy is struggling with a growth rate of 2.5 percent Republicans in the United States House of Representatives have doubled down on efforts to destabilize the economy. You may ask whats new ? Well it’s important to note what they are doing. They just passed a bill which would cut Forty Billion Dollars from the food stamps program over 10 years. That is Four Billion Dollars less per year to this vital program.  And they have taken their 42nd vote to repeal the Affordable Care Act, (Obama care).

Both the Supplementary Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) or Food Stamps, and the Affordable Care Act (Obama Care) pejoratively  labeled, are programs which are helping the poor. The question which ought to be on the minds of all concerned is this. Why exactly does the Republican party hate the poor this much? The late Senator Ted Kennedy asked the same question on the floor of the Senate years ago. On that occasion Senator Kennedy was talking about Republicans intransigent refusal to allow a vote to increase the minimum wage.http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SicFn8rqPPE.http: On that occasion Senator Kennedy asked, why do you have so much disdain for the poor that you keep piling on amendment after amendment, where does the greed stop?

Senator Ted Kennedy (deceased)

What would the late Senator Ted Kennedy say to what’s happening in this country since he went to rest? Voting Rights  gutted by the Supreme Court which is the highest earthly body the people have to appeal to for basic fairness and decency. Basic food supplements to the poorest being cut back at a time when data points to increasing poverty and hunger , particularly among children and the elderly. As a child growing up in Jamaica  it was common to see foods in schools with the American Flag, donated to our Government to help feed the most vulnerable. This was not confined to our small Island, the American Government helped to feed the hungry the world over. Today the Republican Party is the party of Oligarchs. The Party is there solely to fulfill the dictates of the mega rich Oligarchs like David and Charles Koch. Today’s Republicans are denying what amounts to just over a dollar per day in food supplement to Americans, some of whom are working yet unable to make ends meet.

Getting food from the farm to our fork eats up 10 percent of the total U.S. energy budget, uses 50 percent of U.S.
land, and swallows 80 percent of all freshwater consumed in the United States. Yet, 40 percent of food in the
United States today goes uneaten. This not only means that Americans are throwing out the equivalent of $165
billion each year, but also that the uneaten food ends up rotting in landfills as the single largest component of U.S.
municipal solid waste where it accounts for a large portion of U.S. methane emissions. Reducing food losses by
just 15 percent would be enough food to feed more than 25 million Americans every year at a time when one in
six Americans lack a secure supply of food to their tables. Increasing the efficiency of our food system is a triplebottom-line solution that requires collaborative efforts by businesses, governments and consumers. The U.S.
government should conduct a comprehensive study of losses in our food system and set national goals for waste
reduction; businesses should seize opportunities to streamline their own operations, reduce food losses and save
money; and consumers can waste less food by shopping wisely, knowing when food goes bad, buying produce that
is perfectly edible even if it’s less cosmetically attractive, cooking only the amount of food they need, and eating
their leftovers.http://www.nrdc.org/food/files/wasted-food-ip.pdf

images (8)Multi-billionaire Oligarchs, David and Charles Koch.

Republicans in the House and Senate openly deride the poor , painting them as lazy shiftless disposable who fail to take full advantage of Capitalism and all its virtues[sic] Today I echo the late Senator Ted Kennedy; What do you find so disdainful about the poor that you literally want them to starve to death. How much is enough? Charles and David Koch are very wealthy owners of Koch Industries.

With his brother Charles, who is seventy-four, David Koch owns virtually all of Koch Industries, a conglomerate, headquartered in Wichita, Kansas, whose annual revenues are estimated to be a hundred billion dollars. The company has grown spectacularly since their father, Fred, died, in 1967, and the brothers took charge. The Kochs operate oil refineries in Alaska, Texas, and Minnesota, and control some four thousand miles of pipeline. Koch Industries owns Brawny paper towels, Dixie cups, Georgia-Pacific lumber, Stainmaster carpet, and Lycra, among other products.Forbes ranks it as the second-largest private company in the country, after Cargill, and its consistent profitability has made David and Charles Koch—who, years ago, bought out two other brothers—among the richest men in America. Their combined fortune of thirty-five billion dollars is exceeded only by those of Bill Gates and Warren Buffett.http://www.newyorker.com/reporting/2010/08/30/100830fa_fact_mayer

These two men are behind a range of legislation being tabled and passed in municipal, state and the federal Legislature. Their finger-prints are on legislation which weakens environmental laws, on efforts to de-fund and repeal the affordable care act, among others. They are the power behind the Tea-Party movement which disguises itself as a libertarian grass-roots movement, and uses the faces of ordinary people to get their destructive message across. They give huge sums of money to various philanthropic causes, leaving their names on many land-marks. David Koch in particular ,has mastered the art of leaving a trail of positives bearing his name . He donated a hundred million dollars to modernize Lincoln Center’s New York State Theatre building, which now bears his name. He has given twenty million to the American Museum of Natural History, whose dinosaur wing is named for him. After noticing the decrepit state of the fountains outside the Metropolitan Museum of Art, Koch pledged at least ten million dollars for their renovation. He is a trustee of the museum, perhaps the most coveted social prize in the city, and serves on the board of Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center, where, after he donated more than forty million dollars, an endowed chair and a research center were named for him.:[new yorker]

Don’t be fooled by these acts of philanthropy, everything these two powerful oligarchs do are geared toward solidifying and gaining more power> They have a willing partner in Republicans in the congress. though by far not the only two of their kind, David and Charles Koch has become the face of excess greed and inhumanity toward the poor and dispossessed. If you haven’t been paying attention to whats happening in your life and to your life now is a good time to start.

2 thoughts on “How Much Wealth Is Enough?

    • Thanks for taking the time to read it sir. It was lengthy , I know, there is plenty more to be said on this subject of poverty, hunger, politics, and greed. Interestingly there is not much attention paid to Articles like these , they are not sexy enough. Meanwhile these guys and others like them pollute our air, destroy our drinking water sources, contaminate our food-supply, and drive us farther into poverty.

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