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  • Edición impresa de Agosto 2, 2011

Two weeks ago I mentioned the debt problem facing the nation. During these two weeks most people have been hearing about the problem and how the partisan fight has offered no real solution to it.

People are aware by now that if there is a default on the US debt, this would have serious repercussions in their daily lives. There might be an interest increase in any outstanding debts, on housing loans, auto loans, student’s loans and regular credit cards.

Meanwhile during these two weeks people have continued to eat, drink and entertain as usual. Are they ready to face a deeper recession? Are they aware that military spending has not been considered for cuts while other things like benefits, Medicare, and education funds are on the block? Many are aware, but as it happens in Third world countries in the midst of violence, war or scarcity, people have to continue living. In the same way people here have had to adjust to harder times, less money and less opportunities.

Right now, the United States is suffering from the highest levels of poverty and food insecurity that it has seen in more than a decade. According to statistics, right here in the wealthiest nation in the world, one in five children live in poverty, one in four children live on food stamps, and one in 10 people don’t know where their next meal will come from.

The Census Bureau indicates that 43.6 million Americans lived below the poverty line in 2009, earning less than $21,954 per year for a family of four, and now we have the highest number of people living on the threshold of poverty in the history of the nation. At the same time the poorest areas of the country have the highest rates of obesity, diabetes and death. When people face poverty they resort to cheap, sugary, starchy, fatty calories in order to avoid hunger. In that sense calories are cheap and real food is expensive.

Nevertheless the force of life has always been stronger than politics and current events.

There is a stronger current of individuals and groups that are looking at the production and consumption of food in a different way. That is why we continue to emphasize the presence of sustainability projects, small organic farms, and the existence of local community gardens and farmer’s markets.

These points of light not only address the issue of good food, but also offer the opportunity for people to be with each other solving the day-to-day concerns.

Now that the return to school approaches, there are also several local groups trying to get kids ready for school with backpacks and supplies, and also vaccinations, haircuts, shoes, clothing.

Once more the people have organized to supply what the administration not only does not provide, but also has taken away by shrinking more and more the finances and not providing jobs.

The masses have always been smarter that the ‘so called’ leaders; they are trying to solve things ‘here and now’, they have no time for discussions and meetings. Life goes on and they are within the current of life.

Maybe one day the ‘leaders’ in Washington will find out that the people left them behind.

A big applause for your neighbor, church, friend, group that is working for a common cause! Could we all remember how this takes place when the time to vote comes around?

 

 


 

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