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Poverty Rates on the Rise

Nicklesberg/Getty Images, R. (2012, September 23). Go figure – Bloomberg blames city’s poor for

getting poorer while Hizzonor gets richer Read more: http://www.nydailynews.com/new-york/

figure-bloomberg-blames-city-poor-poorer-hizzonor-richer-article-1.1164765#ixzz27RDmXL1S.

Retrieved from New York Daily News website: http://www.nydailynews.com/new-york/

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Poverty rates have skyrocketed across America, especially in New York City, and a recovery plan is not yet apparent.

This picture shows a man digging into a trashcan. He has bags that are presumably his settled around him. We do not see his face, just his hand reaching far down into the trash can, possibly in search of something. He is on the street that at this time is not too busy, but we do see people walking around him going about their business. There is what looks to be the entrance to a subway station across the street behind him. He looks thin and his hands seem dry and brittle. His hunched over posture makes him look tired, and run down.

If we dissect this picture, many would come to the conclusion that this is a poor, possibly homeless man looking for nourishment or a way to make some extra money. We can see the clear contrast between the man in the foreground reaching into the garbage, and the other faceless people walking down the street. They don’t stop at the sight of the trashcan and have the same thought process as he does, for if they did, they might be waiting behind them for their turn. The idea of digging around in a public trashcan would disgust most; but the people in the street don’t even seem to be phased, suggesting it’s a normality, and a common sight to be seen.

This picture was taken in New York City, where the percentage of people living in poverty has risen to 21%. That is the highest its been in a decade. This picture, although only one person out of many, shows us what it is, or could be like for that 21%. New York City is not an easy place to make it, and now has one of the highest poverty rates in America. Many are like the man shown here, everyday digging through garbage bags to find anything from food, to recyclables. They will use whatever they can get to make something for themselves, or to ensure survival. This rise in poverty has much to do with the recession that began in 2008. Although the government has tried, they have not been able to salvage the old economic culture. It is clear that, instead of trying to put back the pieces, we must create a new economic climate. At this time the richer are getting richer and the poorer are getting poorer, there needs to be that middle ground again; which requires job creation. The recent census showed that more than 1.7 million new Yorkers live below the poverty line. While big businesses have had success, it isn’t doing anything for the creation of living-wage jobs. The city is experiencing more and more people fighting to feed themselves and their families. This picture, and the idea of digging in a garbage can as a way of survival, should send a message to the policy makers; there needs to be change.

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America: The International Judiciary?

Image

“Team America Teaser 01.” Team America Teaser. Star Store, n.d. Web. 24 Sept. 2012. <http://www.starstore.com/acatalog/Team_America-teaser-01-01.jpg&gt;.

The Poster for the Movie Team America: World Police portrays a satirical world in which America has the authority to single-handedly protect freedom across the globe.

At first glance there is a lot going on in this image. In the center, there is a man facing away from us holding a weapon and wearing web gear. He is dressed in a shirt that says world police at the back, and camouflage pants. To the left of him, there are helicopters in the sky over pyramids and a statue. In the foreground, a tower stands along with an unrecognizable building to its left. In front of the character (background of the image) there is a large fireball engulfing much of the image.

Upon closer inspection it is clear that this is a movie poster for the satirical movie Team America, a movie that pokes at the notion that America polices the world. In this picture, a member of team America watches over the world represented by the Giza Pyramids, the Eiffel Tower, Mount Rushmore and the Tower Bridge of London as it is being ripped to shreds by war.

One major symbol that the poster uses is the uniform that the main character in the foreground is wearing. He has a shirt that says “world police” on the torso, but it also has the American Flag on the sleeves. The two ideas that each represent conflict. One represents 1 country out of 207 sovereign states in the world, a player in the game of international diplomacy. The world police title on the shirt suggests that this man is part of a different sort of group: a referee over world politics. Referees in games are not players, and there’s a reason for that. Players try to win, while referees objectionably mediate to make sure no wrongdoing occurs during gameplay. Translating the referee/player model to international affairs, it seems that the world police would be representative of a referee in a sport, a group that makes sure that no factions of people are doing wrong to others. But at the same time, how can that group be from one country? That defies the basic rules of playing versus officiating. The two don’t mix in sports because of the clash in purpose between the two groups, so it seems questionable that the situation should be any different in the real world

This movie as a whole, and particularly the poster encourages the viewer to beg the question, does it seem right that we believe that we have to “protect” freedom for other peoples and nations. The movie also suggests through humor that America is one country of many, it shouldn’t have the authority of an international judiciary.

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Poverty in the South: Living with the Bare Essentials

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Stravato, Michael.Tropical Diseases: The New Plague of Poverty. Digital image. Nytimes. N.p., 18 Aug. 2012. Web. 20 Sept. 2012.   <http://www.nytimes.com/2012/08/19/opinion/sunday/tropical-diseases-the-new-plague-of-poverty.html?_r=0&gt;.

Some people in the south of the United States are experiencing poverty through broken down homes and living off the bare minimum.

The image by Michael Stravato features three men in the South of Texas in a town called Brownsville. These men are sitting in plastic folding chairs on the lawn outside their home. These men seem to be Latino and possibly related in some way. Circled in front of their house there is tall uncut grass, an old soccer ball, and a beat up table up against the side of the home. There is a TV on the table, it is shattered so they are staring at a blank screen.The broken roof and the distressed paint seems to be slowly crumbling. In the distance you can see part of a trailer and another beat up car. The three men seated have their backs to the camera and seem uneasy about their current situation. The door to the house is just an opening covered with a black tarp  nailed to a piece of wood. To the left of the door is one window which is covered by a plastic bag rather than glass; the wire to the TV is coming out through the window. Their house is coming apart on the side because the paint is chipping and the whole exterior is decaying.

If we interpret this image, we are able to clearly see these people live off the bare minimum. Their seating arrangement outside looks cheap and old, and their TV is shattered yet they continue to sit around it and watch the blank screen. They seem to have little to nothing. These three men seem isolated from the rest of society because their beat up home looks to be in the middle of nowhere with nothing but tall trees around them. Their one story house has only one window and one door, which are only covered by a piece of plastic taped against the wall.

We can also interpret from this image that these men might not have much money for food or clothing because they are not dressed very well with stains on their clothes and have no food or drinks beside them. There house seems to only have at least two rooms which is why there is barely enough room to sit inside their house so they are forced to watch television outside. These three men are Latinos living in Texas who probably make minimum wage and are unable to fix up their home or obtain a better life for themselves. Their beaten up house signifies that they have little to no income and are barely getting by, struggling to provide for themselves and their families. Brownsville Texas happens to be located on the Texas/ Mexico boarder and in this geographic location; poverty is a rising problem particularly for Latino Americans.

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