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Against the Poor



  Winter 2007

Did You Know?

12 Million Suburbanites Live in Poverty

• The suburban poor outnumbered the inner-city poor for the first time in 2005 (by 1.2 million). According to a study of the nation’s 100 largest cities, over 12 million suburbanites now live in poverty. But the poverty rate in large cities (18.8%) is twice as high as it is in suburbs (9.4%).

            • Recent immigrants are bypassing cities and moving directly to the suburbs, especially in the South and West. Most immigrants have lower incomes than US born people.

            • The federal poverty level in 2005 was $15,577 for a family of three. Cleveland had the highest poverty rate--32.4%. San Jose had the lowest-- 9.7%. Suburban McAllen TX was the suburb with the highest poverty rate—43.9% . Suburban Des Moines, IO had the lowest, at 3.7%.

Info from The Michigan Citizen

2669 Bagley, Detroit MI 48216


Cuba Teaches the World to Read

 In 2006, UNESCO awarded Cuba the King Sejong Literacy Prize. It was for “working through an innovative literacy method with more than 15 countries to use literacy to advance individual and social potential.”

            The Cuban “Yo si puedo” (Yes I can) method recently ended illiteracy in Venezuela. 1.5 million people learned to read in two years.  2.3 million people in 15 countries, including Mexico and New Zealand are now studying under the program. Gambia, Nigeria, Grenada, St. Kitts and Seville, Spain have requested that Cuba send advisors to start the method.

            The National Literacy Campaign started in Cuba on April 15, 1961. At that time rural illiteracy in Cuba was 42%. One year later, the illiteracy rate was reduced to 4%. In contrast, Detroit currently has an illiteracy rate of 47%. 44 million US adults are at the lowest literacy level. 21 million of those can’t read at all. all.

Info from Workers World

55 W. 17 St. NY, NY 10011

Correcting History

 In school we were taught that Bartolomeu Diaz was the first to travel round the Cape of Good Hope at the southern tip of Africa in 1487. We learned that Columbus was the first to “discover the New World” in 1492. And Ferdinand Magellan discovered the strait that links the Atlantic and Pacific oceans which bears his name. His ship was the “first’ to sail around the world in 1521.

None of these tales are true. The European explorers used maps from China. Those maps showed the lands the Europeans were credited with “discovering.”

            • The Chinese/Korean Kangnido world map of 1402 accurately depicted the Cape of Good Hope.

            • The Pizzigano Nautical Chart of 1424 shows Puerto Rico 70 years before Columbus’s “discovery.”

            • The 1428 World Map accurately mapped Patagonia and the “Strait of Magellan” almost 100 years before Magellan sailed around the world. Both Columbus and Magellan had seen and used this map. map.

            • Zheng He was commander-in-chief of the Chinese fleet under Zhu Di, the third emperor of the Ming dynasty. His first expedition in 1405 included 62 boats and 27,870 people. He made six other voyages in 1408, 1412, 1416, 1421, 1421 and 1430. In 1421 he “discovered” America.

            Chinese exploration flourished under Zhu Di, his son Zhu Gaozhi and grandson Zhu Zhanji. But after Zhu Zhanji died in 1435, overseas travel and trade was banned. In 1644, Liu Daxia destroyed records of the voyages of Zheng He. Liu Daxia thought the expeditions had been a waste of money, grain and lives.




Immigration Facts 

            • The number of unauthorized immigrants arriving in this country is down by about 50,000 a year from the 1990’s.

            • There are 25,000 illegal Irish immigrants in the US.

            • Since 1994, when Operation Gatekeeper was launched along the California border to stop undocumented workers, at least 4,000 men, women and children have died trying to cross the border.

            • Rep. James Sensenbrenner is the chief advocate of stopping undocumented immigration. He owns $86,500 in stocks in Haliburton. Haliburton  recently received a $385 million contract from the Dept. of Homeland Security to provide “temporary detention processing capabilities.”

newamericamedia.org; Pew Hispanic Ctr.; Harper’s Index; AFSC


•  “The Invisible Mexicans of Deer Canyon” is a new film by Gatekeeper productions (323-656-1619). It documents the lives of Mexican and Central American immigrants living in subhuman conditions in a wealthy San Diego neighborhood.  Over 2000 workers live without running water, electricity, or toilets in canyons in northern San Diego.  They work in the multi-million dollar homes, resorts, and businesses of San Diego. Cost of living in the area is exorbitant. So the workers built shacks of plastic, cardboard and scrap lumber. They live outdoors hidden in hillsides and dense vegetation. They even built a hidden chapel. Filmaker John Carlos Frey lived with the migrants for a year.



US Bullies

           • President Bush has disobeyed 750 laws enacted since he took office.

Boston Globe

            • Now that Daniel Ortega was elected president of Nicaragua, the US has threatened to withhold financial support. They hope this will force the people to elect someone more favorable to US interests.

Witness for Peace

            • This past Congress broke the record set in 1948 for fewest days ever worked by a congress. The 1948 Congress worked a total of 249 days, between the House and the Senate. The 2006 Congress worked 218 days.

Rolling Stone Magazine

            • The US government through USAID and NED used $26 million of our tax money to persuade the Venezuelan people not to re-elect President Chavez. The US directed 5,700 terror attacks on Cuba and attempted to kill Fidel Castro about 600 times.

Democracy Now

World Poverty, US Wealth

             • Every year 6 million children under 5 die from malnutrition. Every day HIV/AIDS kills 6,000 people, and another 8,200 are infected. Every 30 seconds an African child dies of malaria—over 1 million deaths a year.

            • Every 3.6 seconds another person dies of starvation, mostly under the age of five. Over 2.6 billion people, over 40% of the world’s population do not have basic sanitation.

            • Over 40% of Africans don’t even have the ability to obtain sufficient food on a daily basis. For African farmers, fertilizers cost 26 times more than the world market price. Subsidies given to US farmers for their crops leads to undercutting the ability of farmers in low-income countries to sell their crops.

            • Over 80% of African farmers are women. Over 40% of African women do not have access to basic education. Every minute a woman somewhere dies in pregnancy or childbirth. This means 1,400 women each day die from pregnancy-related causes.

            • Over one billion people in the world live on less than $1 a day. 2.7 billion live on less than $2 a day.

UB Millennium Project

            • The US throws away 48 million tons of edible food each year. The US consists of 4% of the world’s population but consumes 40% of its resources.

Harper’s Index



in family           48 STATES   ALASKA   HAWAII

1 .........................$10,210   $12,770     $11,750

2 .......................... 13,690     17,120       15,750

3 ...........................17,170     21,470       19,750

4 ...........................20,650     25,820       23,750

5 ...........................24,130     30,170       27,750

6 ...........................27,610     34,520       31,750

7 ...........................31,090     38,870       35,750

8 ...........................34,570     43,220       39,750


SOURCE:  Federal Register, Vol. 72, No. 15, January 24, 2007, pp. 3147-3148

HHS 202-690-7507

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