One Billion Without Toilets

This piece is about a subject we shun, open defecation, but the article it stems from touched my heart and I think it will touch yours. Andrea Bruce, now a freelance photographer was on a National Geographic assignment and her photographs on the subject of open defecation were on exhibit at a photo festival in Perpignan, France in early September. Yes open defecation sounds like a topic we don’t want to know about, yet what it means is important to anyone who cares about the welfare of Continue reading “One Billion Without Toilets”

40% Struggle To Meet Basic Needs

In the midst of a booming stock market, low unemployment and despite a thriving economy 40% of US families struggle to meet at least one of life’s necessities. That means paying for food, rent, utilities or healthcare. The Urban Institute, a DC based non profit research organization which studies economic and social policy found that the difficulties where mainly among low income families or those with health issues. The study also revealed that these problems Continue reading “40% Struggle To Meet Basic Needs”

Welfare Benefits and Racism

People on the left such as NYT columnist and economist Paul Krugman have long held the view that white Americans resented minorities at least in part because they felt that they received more government benefits than whites did.  A new study now shows him and others right. Having been conducted by academics however, the phrasing of the findings is put in more cautious language. Robb Willer professor of sociology and social psychology at Stanford and Rachel Wetts of UC Berkeley call this the welfare backlash. They explain that as minorities make up an increasing Continue reading “Welfare Benefits and Racism”

Dental Care and Former Inmates

An inmate gets freed from prison, he or she has no job, no money, a prison record, often poor or no skills—and bad teeth. There’s a stigma about bad teeth which compounds reentry into society. It makes it much harder to feel natural in an interview and to be able to get a job. 74 million people in the US lack dental care, and often the former inmate’s dental problem began way before prison. While there, Continue reading “Dental Care and Former Inmates”