Poverty

Ryan Loyd / TPR News

Update: Many listeners took issue with our guest, James Jacobs', view on both the impact of marijuana possession charges and the process of getting criminal convictions expunged in Texas. He is a national expert.  We wanted to include some local commentary from our Interim Chief Public Defender.

A misdemeanor marijuana conviction will cause your driving privileges to be suspended for 6 months, disqualify you from federally backed student loans, cause you and your family to be evicted from Section 8 (low income) housing. 

The idea that low-wage jobs and jobs at the very bottom dehumanize workers isn't a new one. It launched diatribes from religious figures and political ones at the launch of the industrial revolution. The idea that being poor means you can't save or plan ahead because the unrelenting need to work to live is also not a new one, but the first-person narrative of someone living it and being open about the effects of impoverished life bring the issue into focus in a way that feels new. 

Living On One Studios

More than one billion people live on a single U.S. dollar a day and almost three times as many live under $2 each day. While the number has dropped significantly in the past 20 years, the daily struggles of those living it are likely unimaginable to those living in the developed world. 

Aaaarrrrgggghhhh! / http://tinyurl.com/lc42a4h

Texas is certainly the Lone Star State – but it appears to be composed of two different states. One for the wealthy and the other for the impoverished and these states are growing ever further apart.

The income gap in Texas has never been bigger. The incomes of the richest 5 percent of households were 14.3 times greater than those of the poorest 20 percent. – That’s according to the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities.

And a new study shows that the rich are getting richer and the poor have a shrinking chance of working their way out of poverty.

Like it or not, television has the power to shape our perceptions of the world. So what do sitcoms, dramas and reality TV say about poor people?

In life and on TV, "poor" is relative. Take breakfast: For Honey Boo Boo's family, it's microwaved sausage and pancake sandwiches; for children in The Wire's Baltimore ghetto, it's a juice box and a bag of chips before school; and on Good Times, set in the Chicago projects back in the 1970s, it was a healthier choice: oatmeal.

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