General Government & Technology

Big Data Emergency: The Kids of California

tech for good

We like big data here. We apply metrics and massage it for messages. Here’s some big data of an unsettling sort.

I visited El Palo Alto the other day. It’s 1073 years old. That’s an impressive number. Kind of like Apple’s cash store or …well, enough of comparisons. Both are impressive and congrats to both.

Here’s another impressive number: according to a recent article in The New York Times: 24% of California children live under the poverty line.

That is unacceptable. Who are we to live side by side with hungry children and let them be unseen? Do we really know hunger and fear? see my post: Between the Lotus and the Lambroghini on Palo Alto poverty. (Getting uncomfortable? I don’t want you to be. That’s not what this is about. )

From Robert Greenstein, Director of the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities in Washington, D.C. we find out: (and please, take the time to read this – Bob has been called one of Washington’s least known but top 10 most influential people)

… the Republican leadership’s bill to cut SNAP (formerly known as food stamps) by almost $40 billion over the next decade marks a new low for an already dysfunctional Congress. It would increase hunger and hardship all across our country.

By cutting food assistance for at least 3.8 million low-income people in the coming year — including some of the very poorest Americans, many children, senior citizens, and veterans — this cruel, if not heartless, legislation could jeopardize a vital stepping stone to many families who are still struggling to find work or who depend on low-wage jobs. As the nation slowly climbs out of the deepest recession in decades — with 22 million people still unemployed or underemployed — millions of families rely on SNAP to help feed their children.
SNAP recipients already are preparing for an across-the-board cut in their SNAP benefits beginning in November that will reduce their modest benefits to less than $1.40 per person per meal.

For decades, policymakers have shared a bipartisan commitment to reducing hunger and hardship. This legislation turns its back on that commitment.

What are we going to do? We who like to massage the data, disrupt the status quo and find new answers to old problems? How about 1073 million to celebrate the tree and feed the kids for a start?

Ann Bradley at El Palo Alto Tree, Palo Alto

El Palo Alto Tree is 1073 years old. Happy Every Day, wonderful tree.

The Center on Budget and Policy Priorities is a nonprofit, nonpartisan research organization and policy institute that conducts research and analysis on a range of government policies and programs. It is supported primarily by foundation grants.”

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1 Comment

  • Reply
    October 28, 2013 at 11:55 am

    Another example of our dysfunctional government. While the SNAP program was boosted in 2009 due to the recession, and has indeed become much larger in its budget than it should, the focus should be on creating sustainable jobs for these individuals to feed their children rather than leaving the tax payers to feed them. This is a pure power move by congressional Republicans in order to brag about the budget cuts and fiscal house cleaning they have done when the 2014 elections come around.

    I can’t help but see this to be the fault of Americans who chose to vote (or NOT vote at all) for tea baggers and GOP congressional representatives in 2012. The writing has been on the wall with respect to the Republican party’s dysfunction since 2000 and the “minority” populace feels a disconnect to Washington DC. One example of this is the 55% of Texans composed of non-white hispanics, African-Americans, and Asians, a minority majority who did not show up to the polls. We will always be beholden to corruption, greed, and lies as long as people choose not to vote with their hearts and allow the heartless to make major decisions on our lives.

    I guess people are too busy posting pictures of their dogs on Facebook than worrying about the future.

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