Wednesday, July 31, 2013

"People are scared of the poor." --Retired Army Lt. Gen. Russel Honoré

Bobby, we hardly knew ye....

This happened 3 days ago:

Four out of 5 U.S. adults struggle with joblessness, near-poverty or reliance on welfare for at least parts of their lives, a sign of deteriorating economic security and an elusive American dream.

And today Die Welt reports:

"New Poverty of White People Alarms US Politicians"

But does it?  I googled that HuffPo story with the search term "american poverty 80 percent" and I didn't get anything that said any politician, from Obama to dogcatchers, from socialist to libertarian, had a word to say about this.  It could be buried in one of the articles on that page, but it isn't in the headline.

Does anybody think it will be?  Or it will cross a politician's lips except as an excuse to bash the other party?  "Alarm"?  Why do I think "alarm" on this subject is literally politically impossible?  Why am I thinking, not for the first time, that the first time in American history the government really cared about the poor (except to respond to riots) was FDR's New Deal, and that was a response to the Great Depression; and that interest in the poor petered out about the time RFK died?

And that Studs Terkel was right, and the young people of the '60's were the "Greatest Generation," but even they couldn't make the change in American culture sustain.  No one, after all, remembers that Dr. King died trying to fight for economic justice.


  1. Being a friend to the poor does not play well in politics. The talk in recent elections was all about the middle class, many of whom are now sliding into poverty. As the numbers of people living in poverty grow, will politicians be forced to eventually acknowledge their existence?

  2. Republicans in D.C. want to repeal Obamacare, slash Medicare, and eliminate Social Security.

    GOP state legislatures want to ban abortions and cut taxes.

    And absolutely nothing is being done about jobs or the disappearing middle class, except to insist they ban abortions, cut social spending, lower taxes, and....profit?

    More and more, I don't think the middle class has really mattered since the late 70's. As the middle class become poor, does anybody have to pay attention to the fact they were once middle class?