social justice concerns : LUSENET : nms notes for John K. : One Thread

Congressman Horn's website lists "43 high impact federal programs" that are currently not y2k compliant, and many of the readiness dates extend into November and December. The failure of these programs disproportionately affects the poor. A delay of even one day in the delivery of food stamp benefits means that millions of families will go hungry until they are delivered.

The poor have zero margins of safety. In the past 2 years, recent studies indicate that the poorest 10% of the population LOST 14% IN INCOME! (I make no apologies for "shouting" this news.) Millions of Americans live with the sound of gunfire every night. Drug dealers go door to door selling death and stolen goods. Their schools are dysfunctional. Clerks in stores are behind bullet-proof glass and there are bars on the windows. People move furniture in front of their windows so they won't be hit by flying bullets.

In the neighborhood I lived in in Kansas city, Missouri, 1997-98, 4 houses burned in one month on my block due to a gang war, and then the night before Thanksgiving, 15 people (10 children and 5 adults, 3 of the kids had serious disabilities) were made homeless when their one bedroom house burned because the landlord wouldn't make proper repairs to the wiring. Poor people are regularly demonized by Democrats and Republicans for the purposes of political gain, and their food stamps are snatched from their hands by corporate welfare queens and aid to dependent rich people programs.

The point of this litany of horrors is to remind the highest levels of the United States government that a mass social disaster is already unfolding underneath their noses right now, beginning just a few blocks from the White House, and I am concerned that the poor are being set up to take a very bad hit if the federal and state welfare systems go down for the count.

It is also to ask:

Will the government have food stamp coupons printed and checks ready for writing for immediate distribution if the EBT benefits systems are disrupted by y2k?

Also, what provisions has/will the government make for moving emergency food supplies into areas affected by food shortages?

Robert Waldrop

Archbishop Oscar Romero Catholic Worker House, Oklahoma City, Oklahoma Got printable flyers for distribution during y2k disruptions?

-- robert waldrop (, August 27, 1999

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