Masters Of War

Come you masters of war You that build all the guns You that build the death planes You that build all the bombs You that hide behind walls You that hide behind desks I just want you to know I can see through your masks. You that never done nothin' But build to destroy You play with my world Like it's your little toy You put a gun in my hand And you hide from my eyes And you turn and run farther When the fast bullets fly. Like Judas of old You lie and deceive A world war can be won You want me to believe But I see through your eyes And I see through your brain Like I see through the water That runs down my drain. You fasten all the triggers For the others to fire Then you set back and watch When the death count gets higher You hide in your mansion' As young people's blood Flows out of their bodies And is buried in the mud. You've thrown the worst fear That can ever be hurled Fear to bring children Into the world For threatening my baby Unborn and unnamed You ain't worth the blood That runs in your veins. How much do I know To talk out of turn You might say that I'm young You might say I'm unlearned But there's one thing I know Though I'm younger than you That even Jesus would never Forgive what you do. Let me ask you one question Is your money that good Will it buy you forgiveness Do you think that it could I think you will find When your death takes its toll All the money you made Will never buy back your soul. And I hope that you die And your death'll come soon I will follow your casket In the pale afternoon And I'll watch while you're lowered Down to your deathbed And I'll stand over your grave 'Til I'm sure that you're dead.------- Bob Dylan 1963

Friday, May 6, 2016

Poverty in America: the Deepening Crisis



..................Poverty is an endemic feature of American capitalism.  As tracked by the Census Bureau in a September 2015 study, “Income and Poverty in the United States: 2014,” the U.S. has witnessed 11 periods of “recession” over the last half-century, including: 1948-1949, 1953-1954, 1957-1958, 1960-1961, 1969-1979, 1973-1975, 1980, 1981-1982, 1990-1991, 2001 and 2007-2009.  One consequence of the capitalist boom-bust cycle is repeated upswings in the poverty rate.  According to researchers at the University of Michigan, the poverty rate hit 22 percent in the late-1950s, involving nearly 40 million Americans. The rate peaked in 1959, hiting 22.4 percent, the highest in the post-WW-II era.
The same year that Pres. Nixon took the U.S. off the gold standard, 1973, the poverty rate hit its lowest level over the last half-century – 11.1 percent, involving 23 million people.  Like a rollercoaster, the poverty rate increased to 15.2 percent in 1983, then fell to 11.3 percent in 2000, jumped to 15.1 percent in 2010 and has now flattened out at 14.8 percent.  In 1964, when Pres. Johnson called for a “war on poverty,” the rate was 19 percent.  Has the 15 percent poverty rate become the new normal?  Does this mean that a 0 percent poverty rate is no longer conceivable?

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