HTML 4.0 Transitional//EN"> July 2003 Legislative Update

Lutheran Office for Governmental Affairs

122 C Street N.W., Suite 125
Washington, D.C. 20001
Tel: 202-783-7507

LOGA July 2003 Legislative Update (pages 7-9)

Hunger and Poverty Quiz

Domestic Issues: questions and answers   

International Issues: questions and answers

1. How many children in the United States are currently living in poverty?

A. 2.5 million     B. 1.3 million     C. 150 million     D. 11.7 million

2. Food insecurity (hunger) is more common in rural households living in middle America. 


3. Almost all people who are eligible to participate in the Food Stamp Program are in the program.


4. Food Stamps are a waste of money.  The program drains money from the economy and only helps low-income people.


5. The average hourly wage needed to rent a two-bedroom dwelling at fair market rent in the U.S. is _____ per hour.

A. $5.50          B. $7.75           C. $10.27        D. $14.66

6. What would the minimum wage have to be today to have the same purchasing power as the minimum wage had in 1968?

A. $3.00          B. $5.78           C. $7.00          D. $8.14

7. Teenagers are the majority of Americans who earn the minimum wage.


8. In which advanced country do workers work the most hours per year?

A. Japan           B. Germany      C. United States           D. France

9. What services does the Head Start program provide low-income children?

A. Medical    B. Dental    C. Educational   D. All of the above

10. Seniors are one of the most food secure populations.


ANSWERS to Hunger and Poverty Quiz:  Domestic Issues

1. D.  The U.S. Census Bureau reports that one in six children in the U.S. live in poverty, a total of 11.7 million children.

2. False.  Food insecurity is more common in central city households located in Western and Southern states as reported by the Food Research and Action Center.  The U.S. Conference of Mayors estimates that an average of 16% of the demand for emergency food went unmet in 2002. 

3. False. Four out of ten eligible clients are not receiving benefits, according to the USDA's “Trends in Food Stamp Program Participation Rates: 1994 to 2000.”  Even with increasing medical costs, less than a third of seniors who are eligible for the Food Stamp Program are participating. 

4. False.  Recipients of food stamps are not the only people who benefit from the program.  On average, $1 billion of retail food demand by food stamp recipients generates $340 million of farm production, $110 million of farm sector value added, and 3,300 farm jobs (The Bureau of Labor Statistics).  It also puts federal money in the state and local economies.

5. D.  The average hourly wage needed to rent a two-bedroom dwelling in the U.S. is $14.66 per hour as reported by the National Low Income Housing Coalition.  On average it takes almost 3 full-time minimum wage workers in a household to afford a two-bedroom dwelling.  There is a 2 million unit gap in the housing available and affordable for the lowest income people.  In Massachusetts, a minimum wage of $21.14 per hour is needed to afford a 2-bedroom dwelling; California is $19.69, District of Columbia is $19.21, New Jersey is $18.85 and New York is $18.24.

6. D. To equal the purchasing power it had in 1968, the minimum wage would need to be at least $8.14 per hour, not $5.15.  In real value, today’s minimum wage of $5.15 per hour is worth about 70% less than the minimum wage of 1968 according to the Brookings Institute. 

7. False.  70% of minimum wage workers are adults over the age of 20 and 35% are the sole wage earner (National Campaign for Jobs and Income Support).

8. C.  According to the Economic Policy Institute, workers in the U.S. still work more hours per year than any other advanced world economy.  However, the U.S. still has the most unequal income distribution and one of the highest poverty rates of all advanced world economies.

9. D.  Head Start is a comprehensive early childhood development program providing children ages 3-5 from low-income families with educational, social, medical, dental, nutritional and mental health services.  It is the largest federally funded early childhood development programs.  (Department of Health and Human Services)   

10. False.  The U.S. Department of Agriculture reports that seniors account for only 13% of the population, but make up 16.5% of all emergency food pantry clients, 17% of all soup kitchen clients, 4% of all emergency shelter clients, and 17.5% of clients served by other non-governmental programs, such as Meals on Wheels.

Hunger and Poverty Quiz: 

International Issues

1.   African countries are struggling to pay off accumulated international debt in increments of about ________ every year.

A. $150 million              B. $1.5 billion  C.  $15 billion               D.  $150 billion

2.  The amount of international debt a government owes has little to do with the well being of the country’s population.


3.  What treaty, not yet ratified by the United States, seeks to eliminate discrimination on account of gender?

A. CEDAW                 B.  GATT                    C. HIPC                      D. WDR

4.  Which country, currently suffering from a food crisis, has exported missiles and missile components and technology to Egypt, Libya, Pakistan and Syria? 

A.  Iraq                        B.  Iran                        C.  North Korea           D.  Syria

5.  More than 13 million North Koreans suffer from malnutrition, including 60 percent of all children.


6.  In December of 2002, the three largest recipients of U.S. foreign aid were Israel, Egypt and ______.

A.  Colombia                B.  Russia                     C.  Rwanda                  D.  India

7.  The international drug trade has no environmental impact in Colombia.


8.  One of the problems caused by AIDS is the increased number of orphans.  Before the onset of AIDS, about two percent of children in developing countries were orphans.  By 1999, _________ in some African countries were orphans.

A.  2%                         B.  4%                         C.  6%                         D.  10%

9.  In mid-May, both the House and the Senate passed legislation lifting the ban on “low-yield” nuclear weapons and authorized $1 million for the study of “robust” warheads.


10. Israeli “settlements” have been built on Palestinian land occupied by Israel in 1967.  How many of these settlements are in the West Bank?

A. 22                           B. 48                           C.  140                                   

ANSWERS to Hunger and Poverty Quiz:  International Issues

1.  C.  Experts estimate that $10-$15 billion a year would turn around the AIDS crisis in Africa, and African countries are paying almost $15 billion in debt relief annually. Debt relief matters.

2.  False.  Not only does debt make life in the short-term difficult for people in debtor countries, but it makes long-term planning nearly impossible.  Bolivia, one of the poorest countries in Latin America, has to spend half of all its (legal) export income on paying its debt, and the country continues to have the highest child mortality rate on the continent. 

3.  A.  The Convention to Eliminate All Forms of Discrimination Against Women (CEDAW) seeks to eliminate "...any distinction, exclusion or restriction made on the basis of sex..."  The United States -- under Presidents Reagan, George HW Bush, and Clinton – has ratified treaties on genocide, torture, civil and political rights, and racial discrimination, but CEDAW has still not received the 67 Senate votes necessary for ratification.

4.  C.  While North Korea has exported missile components, such sales are thought to be motivated less by ideology than by economics.  Many church advocates are encouraging President Bush to support sending more food to aid the 21 percent of the population that is currently suffering from chronic malnutrition.   

5.  True.  The rate of malnutrition in North Korea is the worst rate among 110 developing nations surveyed by the World Health Organization and UNICEF.

6.  A.  The majority of the aid to Colombia was in the form on military aid.  Colombia has received far less aid to help the country deal with the large populations of displaced persons and widespread poverty.  Colombia spends over $1 billion annually in anti-trafficking activities -- a huge amount in a poor country that could otherwise use these resources to improve health care, education, and housing for its people.

7.  False.  In the past 15 years, narco-traffickers have destroyed more than 2.5 million acres of Colombia’s tropical forests to grow illegal coca.  These forests are threatened by the millions of gallons of toxic chemicals used in the production of cocaine. The amount of pesticides used and precursor chemicals (in gallons) spilled into the Amazon every year is equal to three Exxon Valdez spills.

8.  D.  These children have to face both the cruel stigma associated with AIDS, and the constant fear that they too have been infected with HIV.

9.  True.  “Low-yield” weapons could have an explosive force up to one-third that of the bomb dropped on Hiroshima, and the “robust nuclear earth penetrator,” intended to reach bunkers buried far underground, would have destructive power at least 70 times that of the Hiroshima bomb. Although radiation and debris could still kill many, this move to allow research on smaller nuclear weapons could lead to the perception of nuclear weapons as usable alternatives, not simply deterrents.

10. C.  There are 140 Israeli settlements in the West Bank.  These settlements are considered illegal under international law and a major obstacle to peace between the Palestinians and Israelis.  Israelis living in the occupied territories increased from 115,000 in 1993, when the Oslo peace agreement was signed, to 220,000 in 2003.


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