Latest Posts

  • The Very Rich Get Super Rich (and Other Census Highlights)

    The Census Bureau! It's not just for creating a list of Americans set to be confined in FEMA concentration camps after Barack Obama's reelection. It's also for the compilation of data about income, poverty and health insurance coverage.

    Here are the highlights from the new report

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    Tags: Census, Health Care, Money, Poverty
  • House Solves Nation's Problems by Cutting the Census

    Capitol DomeIn the words of Henry David Thoreau, "There are a thousand hacking at the branches of evil to one who is striking at the root." America is full of public health professionals who work tirelessly to combat obesity, cardiovascular disease and diabetes. We've no shortage of activists who dedicate their lives to alleviating poverty. Our state and local governments employ traffic engineers to design transit systems that reduce commute times.

    But these men and women are merely hacking at branches. Only the U.S. House of Representatives is striking at the root that underlies problems as disparate as traffic jams and economic inequality. That root: the knowledge that these problems exist.

    To that end, the House voted 232 to 190, along party lines, to cut the American Community Survey

    The survey is not part of the constitutionally mandated population count, but some version of it has been done by law as part of the decennial survey since the time of Thomas Jefferson to assess the needs of the nation. It's generally considered a vital tool for business.

    Republicans, acknowledging its usefulness, attacked the survey as an unconstitutional invasion of privacy, arguing that the government has no business knowing how many flush toilets someone has, for instance.

    "It would seem that these questions hardly fit the scope of what was intended or required by the Constitution," said Rep. Daniel Webster (R-Fla.), author of the amendment.

    Personally, I prefer Daniel Webster's early 19th century work, but this is still an ingenious solution. Worried about the inequality in resources that exist between schools with large numbers of needy students and more affluent districts? No longer a problem, since the survey used by the Department of Education to distribute financial aid is being eliminated.

    Worried about identifying "areas in danger of ground water contamination and waterborne diseases," one of several reasons cited by the ACS for the necessity of asking sanitation-related questions? No data, no problem!

    If only it were possible to make House Republicans disappear by not reporting on them.

    Photo by Mark Wilson/Getty Images News/Getty Images

    Tags: Census, House of Representatives, Republicans
  • Census Figures Prove Everyone Is Poor Now

    Are you "happy" and "inclined to optimism?" Then you are probably insane, because everything is crap! The U.S. Census Bureau has released findings from its 2010 research, and oh, this is some dark shit.

    In 2010, "median household income declined, the poverty rate increased" and you finally considered filling that prescription for Prozac your doc gave you after your most recent divorce…

    Real median household income in the United States in 2010 was $49,445, a 2.3 percent decline from the 2009 median.

    The nation's official poverty rate in 2010 was 15.1 percent, up from 14.3 percent in 2009 — the third consecutive annual increase in the poverty rate. There were 46.2 million people in poverty in 2010, up from 43.6 million in 2009 — the fourth consecutive annual increase and the largest number in the 52 years for which poverty estimates have been published.

    The number of people without health insurance coverage rose from 49.0 million in 2009 to 49.9 million in 2010, while the percentage without coverage –16.3 percent — was not statistically different from the rate in 2009.

    So between 2009 and 2010, 2.6 million new candidates were elected to the Council of Poors. Makin' moves, y'all!

    If there are any winners in this fustercluck of statistical despair, it's "Asian and Hispanic-origin households." Because while whites and blacks saw a decline in real median income between '09 and '10, those other groups didn't. Congratulations on achieving model minority status, persons of Hispanic origin. Asians, you keep being you. White folks and black folks, it's time to step your game up.

    Now let's all hold hands, put our heads down on our desks/Wal-Mart cashier stations/dirt floors, and sob.

    Tags: Census, Money, Poverty
  • Tina Fey and SNL on the Make-Believe 'Sarah Palin Network' Which Will Not Be So Make-Believe in a Few Years

    I give it less than a year after Oprah Winrey's network — the Oprah Winfrey Network, which is going live on January 1 — is proven to be a financial success that other celebrities start unveiling their own networks. To mind mind, the smart money is on Sarah Palin's to be rolled out after Martha Stewart's but before Corey Feldman's…

    Tags: 30 Rock, Abstinence, Alaska, Banks, Bobby Jindal, CBS, Census, CSPAN, Health Care, Katie Couric, Michael Steele, Sarah Palin, Saturday Night Live, Sex, Stephen Baldwin, Tea Party, Television, Tina Fey
  • Karl Rove Would Like to Tell You a Thing or Two about the Census

    Uh-oh… "A 2010 Census Message from Karl Rove." What's this going to be, a loaf of ham spitting out a frothy mix of right-wing talking points?

    Never mind, it's just Karl Rove's mash note to James Madison. In spring a cranky old man's fancy turns to thoughts of love, etc.

    Tags: Census, Karl Rove