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Political Bickering Finds Disadvantaged Facing Potential Hardships

  • Synopsis: Published: 2013-09-25 - Editorial article on food security and the potential for financial and additional hardships for Americans with disabilities - Disabled World.

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Quote: "In the United States of America today, 4 out of 5 adults struggle to find adequately paying work, are near poverty, or rely on welfare for at least part of their lives."

Political bickering between the Republican and Democratic parties in America once again finds People with Disabilities, Seniors, Children with Disabilities and Veterans with Disabilities facing the potential for financial and additional hardships.

In a few days, the in-fighting between the two largest parties in this nation could find these populations, who already struggle with food security and more, struggling even further. One can only wonder if the term, 'leadership,' still applies to the process occurring in America's capitol.

The United States of America is a signatory of the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (CRPD). The Convention presents People with Disabilities with a number of rights that are to be protected by member nations. For example; under Article 28 of the CRPD, People with Disabilities have the right to an adequate standard of living and social protection. The United States signed the CRPD with smiles and congratulations.

Article 28 of the CRPD says, "States Parties recognize the right of persons with disabilities to an adequate standard of living for themselves and their families, including adequate food, clothing and housing, and to the continuous improvement of living conditions, and shall take appropriate steps to safeguard and promote the realization of this right without discrimination on the basis of disability."

Chart showing rights within Article 28 of the CRPD
About This Image: Chart showing rights within Article 28 of the CRPD
Without question, if the U.S. Government shuts down People with Disabilities in America will find ourselves without the Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) and SSI checks we regularly receive. The result will be an inability to obtain food, pay for housing or the bills to support housing; all in clear violation of the CRPD. People with Disabilities who do not have food or housing are People with Disabilities who do not have an adequate standard of living. The proverbial finger can only be pointed at one source - the United States Government, should it choose to shut down.

In the United States of America today, 4 out of 5 adults struggle to find adequately paying work, are near poverty, or rely on welfare for at least part of their lives. The situation is likely to become worse unfortunately. According to the Agricultural and Development Economics Division of the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) the term, 'food security,' refers to the availability of food and a person's access to it. A household is considered to be, 'food secure,' if its occupants do not live in hunger or fear starvation. Many People with Disabilities in America live on a month-to-month food security basis.

In America, 50.1 million people were found to be living in food insecure households. In these households, 33.5 million were adults, while 16.7 million people were children. The year 2011 found 4.8 million seniors experiencing food insecurity. The large numbers of children living in poor and food insecure homes makes them more prone to nutritional and additional health issues. Poor children experience:

Chart showing food insecure populations in America, in Millions
About This Image: Chart showing food insecure populations in America, in Millions

  • Lower immunization rates
  • Higher infant mortality rates
  • Less access to quality health care
  • Increased obesity and its complications
  • More frequent and severe chronic diseases such as respiratory infections

In section 2(b) of Article 28 of the Convention it says that member nations will, "ensure access by persons with disabilities, in particular women and girls with disabilities and older persons with disabilities, to social protection programs and poverty reduction programs." If the, 'leadership,' of America chooses to shut itself down due to bickering and in-fighting, it will clearly be in violation of the CRPD because there will be no access to the main social protection programs People with Disabilities rely on most through the Social Security Administration.

"A 2012 report by the United Nations Children's Fund (UNICEF) revealed alarming child poverty rates in the U.S., particularly when compared to other nations. For example, the U.S. ranks second-highest among all measured countries with 23.1 percent of children living in poverty, slightly better than Romania, with 25.6 percent."

The politicians of America most likely do not care; they are already in violation of the Convention. For example, 23.1% of children as a whole in America live in poverty; how many of them are Children with Disabilities? People with Disabilities as a population experience poverty at a greater rate than many in this nation already. The United States of America, as a steward of the CRPD, is already failing.

In a recent news story that is relevant an Iraq War veteran named Jason stated, "I turned 35 less than a week ago. My first job was maintenance work at a public pool when I was 17. I worked 40-hours a week while I was in college. I've never gone longer than six months without employment in my life and I just spent the last three years in the military, one of which consisted of a combat tour of Afghanistan. Oh, and I'm now on food stamps. Since June, as a matter of fact. Why am I on food stamps? The same reason everyone on food stamps is on food stamps: because I would very much enjoy not starving."

Please understand the same politicians who want to shut down the United States Government also desire to cut food stamps by millions of dollars. Instead of making genuine efforts to support the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities, or even to support the veterans who have fought in the wars the leaders of America have found to be so very needed, these leaders are seemingly doing everything they can to make sure People with Disabilities, Seniors, Children with Disabilities and Veterans with Disabilities suffer so they can attempt to make political points. The politicians have chosen bickering over vast populations in America, a truly disturbing thing to behold. A government with no respect for its own citizens certainly has no respect for the International community, or its treaties.

Iraq Veteran on Food Stamps Writes Letter to 'Caring' Conservatives
aattp.org/iraq-veteran-food-stamps-writes-letter-caring-conservatives/

This letter, posted on September 19th by a combat veteran named Jason, speaks volumes of what American poverty looks like on the side streets of our society, and of the people who sleep on them. "I didn't risk my life in Afghanistan so I could come back and watch people go hungry in America."

GOP lawmaker whines about his six-figure salary, votes for SNAP cuts
tv.msnbc.com/2013/09/19/out-of-touch-a-gop-lawmaker-whines-about-his-six-figure-salary/FB

Stuck making six figures? With a net worth of $3 million? The salary alone is more than triple the median income in America, which comes in at just over $50,000 a year according to the latest Census data. After complaining about his paltry salary, Gingrey then joined 216 other Republicans in voting to slash food stamps by nearly $40 billion dollars.

Congresswoman Speier Pleads to Save Food Stamps

Rep. Speier tore into the House GOP for their effort to starve the farm bill of food stamp funding. Saying, "they somehow feel like crusaders, like heroes when they vote to cut food stamps. Some of these same members travel to foreign countries under the guise of official business. They dine at lavish restaurants, eating steak, vodka and even caviar. They receive money to do this. That's right, they don't pay out-of-pocket for these meals."

Related Information:

  1. University of Illinois College of Agricultural, Consumer and Environmental Sciences (Mar 29, 2011). Hunger Hitting Closer to Home - Map the Meal Gap
    https://www.disabled-world.com/fitness/nutrition/foodsecurity/hunger-gap.php


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