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Things Are So Bad In America That Now Even Sesame Street Muppets Are Poverty-Stricken And Hungry

Big Bird, Elmo, Cookie Monster, Bert and Ernie are about to get a new friend.  This new character comes from a family that is poverty-stricken and that struggles to get enough food.  She is going to teach the other residents of Sesame Street the facts about hunger in America.  Her name is Lily, and she will be appearing on a special one hour primetime special of Sesame Street that will focus on the plight of hungry children all over the nation.  You can see video of this new Sesame Street character right here.  This is yet another sign that things are so bad in America that nobody can really deny the reality of what is happening anymore.  When you have more than one out of every five children living in poverty and one out of every four children on food stamps, it would be an injustice to call it anything less than a national crisis.  Our economy is dying because of our foolishness and our children are paying the price.

But a new Sesame Street character that is poverty-stricken and hungry is not the only unusual sign that things have changed in America.

-Things are so bad in America that now Hallmark is actually offering a 6 card line of “job loss” greeting cards.

-Things are so bad in America that now gangster rappers are actually making rap videos about using food stamps.

-Things are so bad in America that the number of Americans that are submitting applications for temporary work visas in Canada has approximately doubled since 2008.

-Things are so bad in America that thieves are now stealing air conditioners, drain covers, hair extensions and even embalming fluid.

But things are especially bad for children.

The following are some jaw-dropping statistics about how children are faring in our declining economy….

*The poverty rate for children living in the United States increased to 22% in 2010.  That means that tonight more than one out of every five U.S. children is living in poverty.

*Right now, one out of every four American children is on food stamps.

*There are 314 counties in the United States where at least 30% of the children are facing food insecurity.

*In Washington D.C., the “child food insecurity rate” is 32.3%.

*More than 20 million U.S. children rely on school meal programs to keep from going hungry.

*Approximately one-third of the entire population of Alabama is now on food stamps.

*The number of Americans that are going to food pantries and soup kitchens has increased by 46% since 2006.

*It is being projected that approximately 50 percent of all U.S. children will be on food stamps at some point in their lives before they reach the age of 18.

*Last year, the number of Americans living in poverty increased by an all-time record 2.6 million.

*It is estimated that up to half a million children may currently be homeless in the United States.

*More than 45 million Americans are now on food stamps.  The number of Americans on food stamps has increased 74% since 2007.

Sometimes it is hard to believe that this is still the United States of America.

Aren’t we supposed to be the most prosperous nation on the planet?

It is almost as if we are under some sort of a curse.

As I have written about previously, the average American family is having a harder and harder time surviving in this economy.

Unemployment is rampant, and the number of good jobs continues to decrease.

Right now, there are actually fewer payroll jobs in the United States than there were back in 2000 even though we have added 30 million extra people to the population since then.

Sadly, it looks like things are starting to take a turn for the worse once again.  U.S. employers announced 212 percent more job cuts this September than they did last September.

That is not a good sign.

Also, everywhere you look the cost of living is going up.

For example, according to the Daily Beast utility bills across the country are about to go up significantly….

Already weary of high gas prices and 9.1 percent unemployment, many Americans are about to get another kick in the wallet thanks to large increases in their electricity bills.

From Alaska to Georgia and Wyoming to Florida, utilities are seeking permission to pass on hundreds of millions of dollars in new charges to customers to help upgrade aging infrastructure and build new or retrofitted power plants that comply with tougher environmental regulations, a Daily Beast review of regulatory filings has found.

Another example is the rising cost of health insurance.  The cost of a health insurance policy for the average American family rose by a whopping 9 percent last year.

But those that actually still do have health insurance should consider themselves to be fortunate.  Things have gotten so bad that an all-time record 49.9 million Americans do not have any health insurance at all at this point.  Not only that, the percentage of Americans covered by employer-based health plans has fallen for 11 years in a row.

So what is Barack Obama doing about all this?

Not much.

Actually, one thing that Barack Obama is doing is that he is pressuring Congress to pass legislation that will make it much easier for private debt collectors to badger people on their cellphones about delinquent student loans.

According to the Obama administration, this change “is expected to provide substantial increases in collections, particularly as an increasing share of households no longer have landlines and rely instead on cellphones”.

Instead of focusing on ways to make it easier for debt collectors to bug us, perhaps he should start thinking about ways to get the economy moving in the right direction.

Up to this point, Obama’s economic proposals have been a bad joke.

Right now, millions of Americans are incredibly frustrated with the economy.  People want to be able to feed their children and pay their bills.  When you don’t have enough money you start to think about it constantly.  Tonight, millions of Americans will lay in bed and stare at the ceiling and wonder where their lives went wrong.

As the economy continues to crumble, we are going to see millions more Americans fall into poverty and struggle with hunger.

Hopefully the rest of us will be kind, compassionate and generous.  The truth is that any of us could catch a bad break and end up without any money.  We should remember to treat others the way that we would like to be treated if we were in desperate circumstances.

America is changing, and not for the better.

Unless fundamental changes are made, our economy is going to continue to deteriorate and a lot more people are going to suffer.

Let us hope for the best, but let us also prepare for the worst.

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  • J2201987

    Here in my neighborhood we have a public vegetable garden that’s becoming more popular, and many of my neighbors have started growing their own food. Surprisingly I think alot of people are starting to “get it” (in my neck of the woods at least). My family and I will be making that attempt next spring to grow some food, meanwhile, I’ve been using my petty cash to buy stocks of food for this winter.

    In some way I do give Sesame St. props for shining a light on the issue of backyard hunger. Hopefully it’ll inspire the children and parents who watch it to spread the word and do something in their community.

  • Michael

    “And this is the writing that was inscribed: mina, mina, shekel, half-mina. This is the interpretation of the matter: mina, God has numbered the days of your kingdom and brought it to an end; shekel, you have been weighed on the scales and found wanting; half-mina, your kingdom is divided and given to the Medes and Persians.” (Daniel 5:25–28)

    Or, rather, to the Chinese and the Muslims.

  • HeartofShadows

    I almost laughed in mute anger at that student loan cell phone garbage. At this point there is no hope.. Just strap in for the ride everybody.

  • SMASH THE CONTROL MACHINE

    NEVER THOUGHT I’D SEE THE DAY WHEN I PAID 5 DOLLARS FOR 1 QUART OF OIL!!LETS SEE FOR A OIL CHANGE 6 TIMES 5 30$ DOLLARS FOR OIL 5$ FOR FILTER.35 DOLLARS FOR A OIL CHANGE.AND I DID IT MYSELF!!THING ARE GETTING CRAZY!!!!!

  • Gary2

    True story I heard on the young turks radio show:

    The most popular porn web site is ***********. It is apparently some type of live web cam with guys telling the person on cam what they want to see her do etc.

    Here is where it is interesting-the web site has moved operations overseas to Eastern Europe as the American porn stars cost too much. They can literally pay some poor women in Eastern Europe/Asia etc US$12 per hour as opposed to what ever American porn actors charge which I am sure is way more than $12US per hour.

    Now you know the country is in trouble when the porn is getting moved overseas.

    • pB

      I guess if people like their porn stars desperate and drug-addled then Eastern Europe is the place.

      • PJ London

        You have obviously never been to eastern Europe.
        The main reason to move offshore is that the ladies weigh less than 200 lbs

  • Gary2

    And the republicans still want to cut programs like WIC in order to fund more tax cuts to millionaires and billionaires. Anyone who is not rich who ever votes conservative has to be a few fries short of a happy meal.

    • JasonD

      Gary2, I’m surprised you haven’t angrily pointed out that your avatar’s status is being replaced by Lily! :)

      • Gary2

        I missed this???

  • Gary2

    PS-regarding debt collectors-simply do not answer the phone. With called ID etc they are easy to deal with, trust me I have had many experiences.

    • Aurelius 7

      Sounds like you were one of those that were living beyond his means — one of the many who helped build this crisis.

      Anyhow, that explains your POV in wanting handouts, conservatives killed and embracing of socialism/communism.

      • Benjamin

        And you sound like a wealthy sociopath

      • pB

        Don’t be so stupid. Either that or go misdirect some other forum.

  • Aurelius 7

    Yes, because living in a garbage can just isn’t poor enough on Sesame Street.

    • mondobeyondo

      Garbage can? I’d call it a penthouse!

  • mark

    The job outlook is very poor. People are losing over priced homes that they could not afford. The economy of the future looks dire because of huge debt loads, public and private. The wealthy were bailed out and taxpayers picked up the tab. What are the central bankers and governments answer to this problem, more debt. Print more money. This is foolish. Like it or not this economy is in a depression and governments are only going to make it worse. Children are not going hungry yet unless their parents do not feed them. This country is awash in food programs for children. Schools feed breakfast and lunch to children. Food stamps are easier to get than ever before. Do we conserve our resources for when it really hits the fan, no. We waste funds every day for programs we do not need. The lefts answer is to raise taxes. The more we feed government with more cash, the bigger it grows. The answer is a much smaller federal government. Let the states take on the load that it’s citizens want to pay for. If you want a socialist nightmare, live in a state where you vote your programs in. At least we would have a choice of how we might want to live. Obama’s growing of the debt in such a short time is insane. He, his party and the RINOS need to go. We need real term limits in congress. One two year term should be all you get and then go home. No pensions for congress. Get rid of the popular vote for the Senate. The States need to have some say in the Federal Government again. The progresives during the Wilson era got these changes through and over time it has made a mess of our country.

  • http://stopneocons.bravejournal.com Winston Smith

    Yest conservatives-a large part also of the problem-claim school lunches reward lazy people, when in fact, it is more of indoctrinating younger people to givt aid programs….both are bad ideas and bad groups, conservatives and so called “liberals”. Both have false paradigms..

    • http://lastdayrapture.blogspot.com/ TK

      Good point! I never thought about school lunches in that light before. The same would go for free breakfast as well.

    • PJ London

      We should of course, just let the children starve.
      We have found that the starving children of India, China and Pakistan are happy to work for a crust of bread a day, and we are happy to give it to them, as long as they work hard for 12hrs.

  • El Pollo de Oro

    When I was younger, I used to think I would eventually have a kid or two. But I never did (being a self-employed workaholic at the mercy of state and local governments that hate small businesses isn’t conducive to family life). And now, I thank God I never had kids because it would be absolutely heartbreaking to watch them grow up in a dying, collapsing Third World hellhole that offers so little hope. It must be absolutely heartbreaking to watch your kids go hungry, which is what we have to look forward to in The Banana Republic of America (formerly the USA).

    Michael T. Snyder writes: “Sometimes, it is hard to believe that this is still the United States of America.” My thoughts exactly. Between the wretched economy, the destruction of the American middle class, the Patriot Act, bank bailouts, the erosion of civil liberties, a crumbling infrastructure, and an ever-abusive police state, this horror movie isn’t the beloved USA I grew up in. But it sure is looking more and more like a banana republic. God help The Banana Republic of America.

    • D

      I wish more people were as wise as you, El. It seems most of the relatively educated people are aware of the dire situations and holding off having kids until the future (which won’t get better) or not having any at all. Don’t worry though, there are still plenty of dead beats and illegals popping out six kids each – which they can’t afford, of course. We will indirectly have to take care of them anyway.

    • Michael

      You’re right, El Pollo de Oro. A nation that allows the rich to prey on the middle classes and the poor doesn’t deserve children.

      • mondobeyondo

        Sell the kids for food.

        (The very first words in Nirvana’s hit, “In Bloom”.)

  • William

    Quite sad numbers on American children…….to all you who supported the unnecessary war of choice in Iraq which was based on LIES, do you think it was worth it to BORROW a TRILLION dollars for the war in Iraq???? If you do, just WHAT do you want to do for HUNGRY children in America…….NOTHING would be the answer from the Smirking Chimp and war criminal BUSH.

    • A.S.

      Hey, it is not Bush alone to blame…

      Obama has increased the spending in Iraq.
      Obama has increased the spending in Afghanistan.
      Obama added a new war in Lybia.
      Obama added a new war in Pakistan (which will cause problem between China, like them declaring war upon us).
      Obama added a new war in Yemen.
      Obama added a new war in Somalia.
      Obama is thinking about a war in Syria and Iran.

      So I think Bush is an angel compared to a Black Muslim Communist.

  • mondobeyondo

    Things are so bad on Sesame Street, that Mr. Snuffleuphagus is having to drink swamp water!

    (Rim shot)

    And Big Bird’s no longer shopping at Petsmart for bird seed. He’s got to find some excess bread crumbs at the local park!

    (Another rim shot)

    Ernie and Bert just moved into an apartment to share rent and electricity – and no, they are NOT gay!

    (can’t find sound effects for this one)

    The late night TV comedians can relax, their job is safe.

    • Michael

      Sesame Street humor – I love it!

      Michael

    • El Pollo de Oro

      Mondobeyondo: Things are so bad on Sesame Street that Oscar The Grouch’s trash can is now in foreclosure.

  • mondobeyondo

    Re-read the article, and then say to yourself, “We’re doing pretty good as a superpower, huh?”

  • Noneya

    We cannot blame Obama for everything. As soon as medicine became about big money, it became a broken system. Greed is rampant among the wealthy and has been that way forever. I don’t believe that any one president can fix everything that needs fixing in our nation. This world and all of its various systems and things is passing away. There is a new world coming, one that will be ruled in righteousness and justice. Only God can do that, and He has promised to do so. Look up, for our redemption draweth nigh.

  • Golden Child

    All of these articles point out that we need one thing in America: Revolution. It has been happening all over the globe. America is next. However, our government is more tyrannical than ever. When the last straw is broken and Americans finally take to the streets, our government will not hesitate to bomb residential areas and strap bombs to babies like they did in Vietnam. Over the past 30 years, the elite in America have proven that they don’t give two sh*ts about the American people. The average American is so distracted and dumbed down by pop culture, biased news media outlets, commodified cheap chinese slave labor made plastic crap (i.e Nike, latest smartphones and gadgets) we don’t need, brain cell killing mainstream live broadcast entertainment, booze, illegal drugs and prescription pills. Most of us are too fat, out-of-shape and stupid to even rise and riot anymore.

    • virginia

      Wow! You hit that nail on the head.

  • A.S.

    If people need food, especially kids, every local government (e.i. city hall/city council) should rescind all its laws regarding having your own garden.

    Every person in America should take the example of that woman from Michigan that got sued for growing her own organic vegetable in front of her house.

    Every person in America should try to produce their own eggs and milk (a whole neighborhood can jointly own a few cows or goats).

    But well all know every government from federal to city will stamp out any person trying to make their own food. Then they have the hutzpah to say “we have so many hungry children…what are we to do?” Voting them out of office will not help because another idiot will take their place. Time for another American Revolution!

  • Ken

    “our foolishness”? It wasn’t our idea to keep interest rates at draconian anti-saving lows, it was Ben Bernanke’s. It wasn’t our idea to start illegal war after illegal war and wantonly waste lives and resources, it was the idea of the military-industrial complex and the U.S. government.

  • http://moneycrisisgameplan.com Money Crisis Game Plan

    With food and goods prices still rising…

    With Obummer shutting down coal-fired energy plants and seeking to raising energy prices…

    More and more middle-class families will drop into the poverty levels.

    If people don’t take action now to increase their cashflow by generating additional income streams, saving money, and reducing their taxes… they will fall further and further behind.

  • http://www.peterjamesx.com peter james
  • Perry

    Mike I see that you always mention the “food stamp phenomena” but one thing you have to remember is that a good part of these kids on food stamps have parents who are irresponsible. I have seen A LOT of parents who claim they don’t have money for food yet you see them stuck on their smart phones, smoking cigars, or wearing expensive clothes. The way I see this food stamp situation is that it’s a social problem not an economic one, well for the most part.

  • JD

    I wonder if Oscar the Grouch will wave to defend his trash can from the dumpster divers yet? You know what Michael im not just going to sit around and complain on the computer anymore and dwell on how bad everything is all the time, Im going to do a small part in helping to end hunger in my community. I have been so blessed recently with an excellent job I think im going to buy a hamburger cow and process it and donate it to my local food bank. Instead of yelling in the streets about how unfair life is, im going to put my money where my mouth is. If everyone could stop being so selfish, and whining about their life throw yourself into heling others as my old AA sponsor would say. Im not perfect by any means but I dont like to see families going hungry.