I don't really get letters, like some people, but I do get comments. Some of them I feel should be posts of their own, like this one (a comment on my "I acknowledge that I'm lucky" post) regarding making poverty elimination a priority.
I often realize that I'm similarly lucky. But it's way too easy to get bogged down in the tiny problems we have instead of being thankful that our problems are really nothing compared to people who have to live from check to check and a big heating bill could make the difference between being able to pay the rent on time or not.
Even though I am not very economy-oriented, I do feel that poverty is the biggest problem in the country and the world. And it is solvable. I'm not suggesting redistribution of wealth in a socialist state. I'm suggesting that someone in government make poverty a priority already.
Even Clinton, for all the wonderful liberal agendas he pursued, never attacked poverty head-on. I can't understand why not. Let's invest heavily in job training, social and mental health services. Let's invest in drug and alcohol rehab. Let's make sure there are small business loans and councilors for people who want to break the cycle of poverty in the cities. Let's make it something that people are talking about.
The US has long been criticized for having such a huge disparity between the wealthy and poor, and it's just getting worse. It's unconscionable that we're becoming more and more affluent, yet leaving behind those that aren't on the bandwagon. Yes, there are some people that are to blame for their own failures. Yes, there are some people that will never be able to help themselves. But the majority of the poor in the US don't have to be poor, don't want to be poor, and don't need to be poor. They don't need to be stock brokers, either. But it would be better to use them for customer service instead of outsourcing to India. And it would be better that the intelligent and ambitious in the inner city have a better choice for entrepreneurship than becoming a drug dealer.
It isn't just the POTUS that should be doing this. Every mayor should be working on this. Every governor should be working on this. This winter has the potential to break a lot of families that are struggling. And it doesn't have to be that way.
I believe that ideas can be more important than food -- freedom more important than bread. I'm more interested in international politics than state politics. But the next time you answer a survey or get in a political discussion, consider the answer that poverty is actually the most pressing issue today. This issue is that big and its time has come.
Mark Wintle | Homepage | 09.27.05 - 1:21 pm | #