Mississippi single mothers poorest in the nation

Shae Hill holds her 3-month-old daughter inside a store May 7, 2009 in Glendora, Mississippi, a highly impoverished town in the rural Lower Mississippi Delta region. (Mario Tama/Getty Images)

Mississippi is the poorest state in the nation.  But its status is not without trying to walk away from this title.  Although social services and benefits have allowed the poorest of the poor to receive more food and health care, the ability for Mississippi’s poor to journey out of poverty has been a long and challenging battle.

The Mississippi poor consist of a large population of single mothers — who are working.  Many have graduated from high school but are unable to find a living wage in the small town and rural communities for which they live.

In an article by NPR’s WUBR, “Women and Children Most At Risk in Mississippi,” Carol Burnett, executive director of the Mississippi Low-Income Child Care Initiative, discusses the situation in Mississippi, as well as underlying issues and myths.

Facebook:  www.facebook.com/survivingtimes1

Twitter:  @_survivingtimes

Contact:  editor.survivingtimes@gmail.com

Report reveals large gap between states in unemployment claims

Initial unemployment claims are profoundly different depending on which U.S. state a person lives and is seeking employment. ohud.com photo

-  SurvivingTimes.com staff report

Although U.S. unemployment claims have reduced from more than 5.6 million in January 2013 to a cut of more than 3.7 million in January 2014, millions of Americans are still facing unemployment with rate fluctuations between states throughout the country.

A U.S. Department of Labor report for the week ending Jan. 4, 2014, shows a large gap between U.S. states for initial unemployment claim reduction and increase. For example, Texas reports close to a 13,000 increase in claims and California reports more than 8300 claims. On the flip side, Georgia reports close to 7200 decrease along with New York showing a reduction as much as 18,000 in unemployment claims.

States with the highest increase in unemployment claims, including Indiana, Illinois, Massachusetts, Florida and Pennsylvania, report a substantial increase in layoffs in agriculture, manufacturing, construction and administrative support services.

In the meantime, states dropping in unemployment claims attribute fewer layoffs in manufacturing, transportation and trade industries. Other states facing this drop include Wisconsin, South Carolina, Minnesota, Oregon, Kentucky and Alabama.

The unemployment rate stands at 6.7 percent as of December 2013.  Seasonal employment layoffs might show a higher rate in February.

Facebook:  www.facebook.com/survivingtimes1

Twitter:  @_survivingtimes

Contact:  editor.survivingtimes@gmail.com

Martin Luther King, Jr.’s speech a benchmark for peace and equality

Martin Luther King, Jr. spoke to millions at the Lincoln Memorial in Washington, D.C. on August 28, 1963.

By Sharon Dunten, editor of SurvivingTimes.com

In 1963 I was only five years-old, but I knew something extraordinary was happening in this country.  As I watched the television network news with my family, I saw the raw footage of riots in the South and fires in Detroit as this country fought for civil rights for all its citizens.  As a child, these images sometimes frightened me, but they also intrigued me.  I just couldn’t figure out what the fuss was all about.  I guess at five we are still color blind.  I don’t remember watching Martin Luther King, Jr.’s speech on television, but I do remember the news of his speech on the steps of the Lincoln Memorial was all over the newspaper headlines. Very soon after his speech, President Kennedy was shot and killed.  And in 1968, Martin Luther King, Jr. was assassinated.  I was ten years-old in 1968 and was beginning to understand the chaos in this country concerning poverty and race, as well as the rising discourse concerning the Vietnam War.

Martin Luther King’s speech imprinted a broad change in this country that led its people toward King’s dream of quiet and peaceful protest, and even more important, equality.  Even though fighting for equality was not always peaceful, his speech and actions created a benchmark toward peaceful resolutions.

As we celebrate Martin Luther King’s birthday, please re-read his speech to understand his mark in U.S. history. We might  have come far as a  nation in the understanding of equality, but we need to remain relentless in redefining equality as it was is spoken so clearly in King’s speech in 1963.  Read Martin Luther King’s speech, “I have a dream,” by linking here.

Facebook:  www.facebook.com/survivingtimes1

Twitter:  @_survivingtimes

Contact:  editor.survivingtimes@gmail.com

Hunger agency asks for help on Day of Service

America’s are asked to use Martin Luther King, Jr. Day of Service volunteer at local agencies serving the needs of communities, such as a food pantry. sfgate.com photo

Food banks provide nourishment for millions of people each year. Feeding America encourages people to work at food pantries on the MLK’s Day of Service, Jan. 20. Texans.clubs.com photo

- SurvivingTimes.com staff report

Chicago, Illinois – The nation will pause to reflect and remember the legacy and teachings of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. on January 20. To honor his memory, his birthday is now commemorated as the Martin Luther King, Jr. Day of Service. Each year millions of Americans across the country gather on this day to serve their neighbor s and communities, especially for those who are hungry.

Feeding America, the nation’s largest hunger relief organization, is asking people to consider volunteering at a local food bank, food pantry or soup kitchen to honor the holiday this year. Feeding America is a network of 203 food banks providing food and groceries to 37 million Americans each year.

“Why should there be hunger and deprivation in any land, in any city, at any table, when man has the resources and the scientific know-how to provide all mankind with the basic necessities of life?” said Dr. King as a challenge to the nation.

The United States Department of Agriculture reports 49 million Americans are food insecure, including 16 million children. “Our economy continues to be troubled, and many Americans are out of work,” said Bob Aiken, CEO of Feeding of America. “Our state and federal governments face enormous budget shortfalls, and there is concern that there will be significant cuts to SNAP (food stamp) benefits.”

Aiken says everyone can do something to help their neighbors who live at risk of hunger whether it is sorting food, packing boxes, or serving a meal at a soup kitchen. “We particularly want to encourage children to volunteer on this national holiday, when most schools will be closed,” said Aiken.  He said it is important for future leaders to learn more about the 16 million children who live at risk of hunger.

“Feeding America believes that together, we can solve hunger.” said Aiken.  To find volunteer opportunities in your community, visit: http://feedingamerica.org/foodbank-results.aspx

Facebook:  www.facebook.com/survivingtimes1

Twitter:  @_survivingtimes

Contact:  editor.survivingtimes@gmail.com

Unemployment rates dropping, also wages and quality jobs

While unemployment percentages dropped in December, 3.9 million Americans are still on long-term unemployment. overfiftyandoutofwork.com photo

By Sharon Dunten, editor of SurvivingTimes.com

Today’s jobs report at first glance looks promising with the unemployment rate falling to 6.7 percent.  But if you look at the guts of this information, the unemployment crisis is still affecting so many Americans.

In an Associated Press’ article, “US economy adds 74K jobs; rate falls to 6.7 percent,” by Christopher S. Rugaber, this week’s figures are only a weak gain compared to other reports since October 2008. Yes, the unemployment percentages are falling, but the figures might not show the circumstances behind the drop.  For example:

  • Many individuals looking for jobs have stopped looking; therefore, the government no longer counts them as unemployed
  • The jobs acquired might be part-time or contract positions leaving many Americans with lower and unpredictable wages
  • Many new older workers now working again are earning less pay; new younger workers are in entry-level positions
  • December is a time for seasonal employment, and many employers are not hiring for permanent positions, especially in retail
  • US minimum wage has not kept up with the cost of living since the 1970s

To stimulate the economy, U.S. businesses need to provide better paying jobs, support more job training and provide more security in the job market. Without these elements, the dropping unemployment percentages could only be an illusion of statistics rather than the reality of workforce.

Facebook:  www.facebook.com/survivingtimes1

Twitter:  @_survivingtimes

Contact:  editor.survivingtimes@gmail.com

Most members of Congress are millionaires

U.S. Congress namaddjeiprymc.wordpress.com photo

For the first time in history, most members of the U.S. Congress are millionaires, according to a new analysis of personal financial disclosure date by the Center for Responsive Politics.  To link to this report, link here.

How do you feel about so many millionaires in the U.S. Congress?  Go to our Facebook page, Facebook.com/survivingtimes1 or Twitter   @_survivingtimes to respond.  We want to hear from you.

Facebook:  www.facebook.com/survivingtimes1

Twitter:  @_survivingtimes

Contact:  editor.survivingtimes@gmail.com

42 miners died in U.S. mines in 2013

The most common cause of mining accidents last year involved machinery and powered haulage equipment. Thinkprogress.org photo

- SurvivingTimes.com staff report

WASHINGTON, D.C. - According to preliminary data released by the U.S. Department of Labor’s Mine Safety and Health Administration, 42 miners died in work-related accidents at the nation’s mines in 2013, an increase from the 36 miners who died in 2012.

While mining fatalities occurred at a record low rate for the first three quarters of 2013, during the fourth quarter of 2013, six coal miners and nine metal/nonmetal miners died in mining accidents, a significant increase from the same period in 2012, when four coal miners and two metal/nonmetal miners died.

Facebook:  www.facebook.com/survivingtimes1

Twitter:  @_survivingtimes

Contact:  editor.survivingtimes@gmail.com

Unemployed over age 55 face only 47 percent chance of new job, statistics reveal

The unemployment trend since the beginning of the Great Recession is to layoff workers over the age of 55. Many are joining the college graduates in search of career opportunities. Phys.org photo

At the beginning of the Great Recession and continuing today is the trend to layoff individuals over the age of 55. The layoffs or firings have nothing to do with job performance or loyalty to a business or corporation. Employees over 55 just cost to much. If you think about it, most 55+ are at the highest salary of their careers and are looking toward the end of the tunnel called retirement. Another reality check facing 55+ employees is their increase use of health insurance to cover medical needs as they grow older.  In return, those medical needs could possibly cost an employer more and affect their financial bottle line.

Read Tom LeCompte’s blog from Boston’s NPR news station website, WBUR, which discusses job loss statistics and why over 55 might mean delayed retirement and new career challenges.

Facebook:  www.facebook.com/survivingtimes1

Twitter:  @_survivingtimes

Contact:  editor.survivingtimes@gmail.com

Federal minimum wage issue stalls, states and cities take action

As the 2014 moves forward, some states and local cities are changing the minimum wage. Harvardpolitics.com photo

Throughout the country many states and local municipalities are raising the minimum wage by 50 cents or up to $15 per hour.  So why is the federal government ignoring the wishes of the American people to raise the minimum wage?  To read more, CNNMoney.com gives the details here.

Visit Facebook.com/survivingtimes1

Follow Twitter:  @_survivingtimes

Contact:  editor.survivingtimes@gmail.com