Power of Story
Send a Tweet        
- Advertisement -

Share on Google Plus Share on Twitter Share on Facebook Share on LinkedIn Share on PInterest Share on Fark! Share on Reddit Share on StumbleUpon Tell A Friend 1 (1 Shares)  

Printer Friendly Page Save As Favorite View Favorites (# of views)   2 comments
OpEdNews Op Eds

Poverty is Still a Dirty Word in America

By   Follow Me on Twitter     Message earl ofari hutchinson     Permalink
      (Page 1 of 2 pages)
Related Topic(s): ; ; , Add Tags Add to My Group(s)

View Ratings | Rate It

opednews.com Headlined to H3 9/13/09

- Advertisement -
<

The figure on real poverty in America is far worse than the Census Bureau recently reported. It found that nearly 40 million Americans are living in official poverty ( less than $22,000 for a family of four). This is an 11 year high.

- Advertisement -

The Bureau figure does not take into count the number of persons tossed into poverty in the past year; the worst year so far of the recession. It also undercounts real unemployment. Officially nearly 10 percent of Americans are unemployed. Economists say that if seasonal and discouraged workers are counted the real unemployment figure exceeds 16 percent. As always, blacks and Hispanics have by far the highest poverty rate. Despite the massive economic hardship, poverty is still a dirty word. Politicians, much of the media and the public have largely ignored the crisis.

- Advertisement -

There was a brief glimmer of hope during the presidential campaign that top Democratic presidential contenders Barack Obama, Hillary Clinton and John Edwards would put the fight against poverty on the front burner of their agenda. The three contenders thundered in speeches in April 2007 that America had failed the poor and especially the black poor. With the exception of Edwards, whose candidacy soon disintegrated after public revelations about his love tryst, the candidates didn't utter another word about poverty for the rest of the campaign.


President Obama and most leading Democrats have been closed mouth on poverty for a reason. The poor don't have an active and viable political lobby to fight for their interests. The sole exception to this was a brief moment during the 1960s when Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. launched his Poor People Campaign. However, King was murdered and his dream of uniting the poor quickly fell apart amidst organizational and personal squables and disorganization. A small band of anti-poverty groups and organizers did shout, cajole, and actively lobby for a major expansion of anti-poverty programs, funding, and initiatives to reduce poverty in the nation. They attained some success in getting funds and a few new programs, but it didn't last. The anti-poverty crusade quickly fell victim to Lyndon Johnson's Vietnam war ramp up, increased shrill attacks from conservatives that the war on poverty was a scam to reward deadbeats and loafers, and sharp budget cutbacks.

By the close of the 1960s, poverty had not only disppeared from the nation's table, it again became a dirty word. The poor became a political embarassment. Their existence flew in the face of the embedded laissez faire notion that the poor in America aren't poor because of any failing of the system, but because of their personal failings. Conservatives vehemently oppose spending endless dollars on job, skills training, education, health and expanded child care programs to assure jobs for all. The widespread view that government should play a minimal role in assisting the poor has crept through in President Obama's speeches and talks in which he touts personal responsibility as the key to uplift.

- Advertisement -

Obama's economic stimulus plan didn't earmark any dollars specifically for anti-poverty programs or projects. There is no indication that Obama or Congress will propose any new initiatives or increased funding specifically targeting chronic minority unemployment or for low income family support programs.

Next Page  1  |  2

 

- Advertisement -

View Ratings | Rate It

Earl Ofari Hutchinson is a nationally acclaimed author and political analyst. He has authored ten books; his articles are published in newspapers and magazines nationally in the United States. Three of his books have been published in other (more...)
 

Share on Google Plus Submit to Twitter Add this Page to Facebook! Share on LinkedIn Pin It! Add this Page to Fark! Submit to Reddit Submit to Stumble Upon



Go To Commenting
/* The Petition Site */
The views expressed in this article are the sole responsibility of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of this website or its editors.

Writers Guidelines

Contact AuthorContact Author Contact EditorContact Editor Author PageView Authors' Articles
Related Topic(s): ; ; , Add Tags
- Advertisement -

Most Popular Articles by this Author:     (View All Most Popular Articles by this Author)

The House is duty-bound to Bring Articles of Impeachment against Clarence Thomas

Tea Party Now a Huge GOP Liability

Think of the Two Decade Embarrassment of Thomas We Would Have Been Spared If We had known about Thomas's Porn Alleged Ob

The Awful Transformation of Bernie Sanders

Clarence Thomas Can Breathe a Sigh of Relief with Weiner Downfall

Did Race Explain Penn State's Blind Eye to Sex Scandal?