You might expect a photo contest about poverty to be depressing.
But it's not. And if you're a skeptic, all you need to do is look at entries in the annual contest about poverty that's been run by the Consultative Group to Assist the Poor (CGAP) for the past 10 years.
The contest asked photographers to submit images that document the strengths and struggles of the working poor. This week, CGAP announced the winners from the 3,300-plus entries.
Low-income residents Washington state are disproportionately burdened by debt, according to a new report by the grassroots advocacy group Alliance for a Just Society.
One reason: increasing student loan debt. The report says the average student loan debt at graduation in Washington jumped 23 percent from 2008 to 2012 to a total of more than $23,000. And the average credit card debt in the state is more than $5,000.
The number of Americans living below the official federal poverty line stayed steady last year. That was a surprise to most experts, who predicted it would rise for the fourth year in a row.
Still, poverty is near it’s highest rate since the modern welfare system began in the 1960s. And, the rate in Washington state appears to be rising.
Currently, about 850,000 people in Washington are officially poor. Poverty is defined by a certain income level – which was adopted back in 1959 and gets adjusted for inflation. Today, it’s about $23,000 for a family of four.
Food stamps are getting cut in half next week for many of Washington’s legal immigrants. They were cut to help balance the state’s budget.
The food assistance goes to about 11,000 families. Counting their children, that could be nearly 30,000 people impacted statewide, according to estimates by the Children's Alliance, and advocacy group.
They’re immigrants who came here legally, from countries all over the world. Many have their "Green Cards," which means they have permanent resident status. Others are here under other programs.
Kentaro Toyama is clearly a heretic. A geek heretic.
And, based on his career path, I would guess brilliant.
A computer scientist currently at the University of California, Berkeley, Toyama co-founded Microsoft Research India in 2005 and remained there as assistant managing director until 2009.
If you’re not familiar with what they do at Microsoft Research, think artificial intelligence, computer vision, terabyte juggling, high-octane mathematics and the craziest things you can try to do with bits, bytes or any kind of information technology.