Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Heritage Foundation raises indignation with its comments on Census report on increase in poverty

The “conservative” Heritage Foundation has raised some wrinkles with a report “Understanding Poverty in the United States: Surprising Facts about America’s Poor”, link here. This report refers to a Census Bureau data report that shows a marked increase in official poverty between 2009 and 2010, yes, during Obama’s presidency, but certainly partly a legacy of the Bush years.  Try the Wall Street binge for openers. (Even George W. said that Wall Street got drunk.)  For the record, here is the Census Bureau’s own public link on the whole report and discussion (url ). No question, a lot of this has to do with JOBS.  And too many "jobs" are of the low wage "pay your dues" variety that Barbara Ehrenreich writes her books ("Nickel and Dimed") about. 

Washington Post Metro area columnist Courtland Milloy has a piece this morning “One think tank’s positive spin on poverty in the US”, titled online “Study dismisses poverty, but try telling that to the poor”, link here

Yes, the poor here are better off than kids in Somalia. “To join the middle class, all you have to do is drop Comcast or Fios”.  You can ration your way back, just as you expect others to ration their lives and sacrifice for you.

My posting here yesterday distantly refers to the way we put “immutable” circumstances (and personal "external trappings") in a moral context. We view life as a competitive game and then say some people, like the old Washington Senators baseball teams of the 50s (the new Nationals really are better) wind up losers (even if some of the “loss” is part of natural process).  We say, “If you don’t want to be poor, don’t have heterosexual intercourse until you make enough to raise children.”  Or “don’t try to get something for nothing.”  Don’t fall for the pitches for more house than you can afford and wind up upsidedown.  And make sure you can smell the Bernie Madoff’s of the world.

A minister here in Arlington recently said “Compassion is our hidden resource.”   Think about it, before you do anything about it, personally.

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