Growing Number Of Americans Can’t Afford Food, Study Finds

The Huffington Post, Alexander Eichler 
First Posted: 02/28/2012 6:56 pm 
Updated: 02/28/2012 6:56 pm

Here in the United States, growing numbers of people can’t afford that most basic of necessities: food.

More Americans said they struggled to buy food in 2011 than in any year since the financial crisis, according to a recent report from the Food Research and Action Center, a nonprofit research group. About 18.6 percent of people — almost one out of every five — told Gallup pollsters that they couldn’t always afford to feed everyone in their family in 2011.

One might assume that number got smaller wrapped up with the national unemployment rate falling for several consecutive months. In actuality, the reverse proved true: the number of people who said they couldn’t afford food just kept rising and rising.

The findings from FRAC highlight what many people already know: The economic recovery, in theory now more than two years old, has done little to keep millions of Americans out of poverty and deprivation. Incomes for many haven’t kept pace with the cost of living, and for a large swath of the country, things today are as bad as ever, or worse.

Forty-six million people lived below the poverty line as of 2010, a record number, according to the Census Bureau, and one that’s not even as high as some other estimates would have it. Take a further step back and the situation appears even more dire. About 45 percent of people in the U.S. have reported not being able to cover their basic living expenses, including food, shelter and transportation, according to the group Wider Opportunities for Women.

The official poverty rate is about 15 percent, but over two-fifths of Americans have so little saved that one financial emergency is all it would take to put them in poverty, according to the Corporation for Enterprise Development.

These high rates of financial insecurity — a consequence of the weak job market, and the prevalence of jobs that don’t pay very well – are making themselves felt at the level of everyday spending.

Recently, for example, a Center for Housing Policy study found that a growing number of middle-income owners and renters are paying more than half their earnings just to keep a roof over their heads. And as of 2009, almost one in five Americans over 50 years old were skipping on doctor visits, switching to cheaper medications or forgoing some medicines entirely out of financial necessity, according to a recently published study by the Employee Benefit Research Institute, a think tank.

As for widespread hunger of the kind recorded by FRAC, research shows that the entire country ends up paying one way or another. While the people who can’t afford food are obviously suffering the worst, the social costs incurred – from the money spent to keep food pantries open to the lifelong diminished earning power of impoverished children — come to about $167 billion a year, or $542 for every man, woman and child in the country.

via Growing Number Of Americans Can’t Afford Food, Study Finds – Occupy Monsanto.

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Anonymous brings down Interpol website in retaliation for 25 arrests

Published: 29 February, 2012, 03:57
Edited: 07 March, 2012, 12:18

Interpol’s main website has been downed by the Anonymous hacker group in retaliation for the international police agency’s hacker arrests worldwide. And such attacks will continue, the hacktivists promise.

The website Interpol.int was unreachable for a half hour on Wednesday. Access was later restored, although the loading time remains slow. The attack appears to have been conducted using a botnet. Anonymous Twitter accounts tweeted “interpol.int seems to be #TangoDown. We can’t say that this surprises us much,” and “Looks like interpol.int is having some traffic issues. Now who would have expected that?”

The attacks came as Interpol announced the arrests of 25 suspected Anonymous members, aged between 17 and 40, who it alleges planned coordinated cyber-attacks against Colombia’s defense ministry and presidential websites, Chile’s Endesa electricity company and national library, among other targets. The arrests were part of Operation Unmask, during which police in Colombia, Argentina, Chile and Spain seized computers, mobile phones, credit cards and cash at 40 locations in 15 cities.

Among the 25 under arrest are four Anonymous hackers detained by police in Spain on Tuesday under claims that they conducted attacks on Spanish political party websites. The Spanish National Police also said two servers in Bulgaria and the Czech Republic had been blocked as part of Operation Unmask, and that a manager of Anonymous operations in Spain and Latin America, known by the aliases Thunder and Pacotron, was among those arrested.

The four are also suspected of vandalizing websites, conducting DDoS attacks and publishing sensitive data on police officers assigned to Spain’s royal palace and its prime minister’s office.

Anonymous has added Interpol’s scalp to its already impressive collection of successfully downed websites.

Their most notable operation up to date was the response to the closing down of the Megaupload file sharing service. In retaliation, Anonymous attacked the websites of the White House, after succeeding in taking down the websites of the CIA, FBI, Department of Justice, Universal Music Group, RIAA and Motion Picture Association of America.

In another headline-making case, WikiLeaks released over 5 million emails of the private intelligence company Stratfor, dubbed the “shadow CIA.” Reports say Wikileaks obtained the data through the Anonymous network.

A message spread by an Anonymous spokesperson said the group intends to continue attacks for the “unforeseeable future”.

A Twitter message reportedly associated with the Brazilian wing of the group said “Interpol, you can’t take Anonymous. It’s an idea.”

via Anonymous brings down Interpol website in retaliation for 25 arrests — RT.

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