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I try not to mention the word "politics" anymore, it seems to invoke a firestorm depending on party views. But, it's been on my mind lately and I wanted to express my opinion on the fact that in this country, the wealthiest nation on earth, there are literally millions of people who are desperately poor and struggling daily to survive. When I think about the number of people who have lost their jobs, homes and savings, who have lived by all the rules, paid their taxes, saved for retirement, helped the needy and suddenly find themselves in a position of a needed "hand up" only to be told they aren't "poor enough" or they aren't "trying hard enough," I am so saddened that our national discourse has become so polarized that no meaningful assistance is forthcoming.
It seems to me that collectively we have lost our perspective and insight on what is important. I don't begrudge anyone who has worked hard and has "made it to the top," on the contrary, I am very happy for them. But, when I see the people who have been blessed turn a blind eye and refuse to share in their good fortune with people who, through no fault of their own are less fortunate, I become upset. Overall, it appears that national sentiment is currently focused on reducing governmental assistance to the poor. Corporations and the wealthiest among us feel that they are currently paying too much so where will the needed help come from?
Men and women of a "certain age" often become the target of cutbacks partially because they have become more expensive and, in today's economy with a surplus labor pool, much cheaper younger labor can be used to replace them. This causes older people to have to take early retirements with reduced benefits which normally does not include any health care, often forcing them to choose between food or medicine. The working poor, and more importantly perhaps, their children, are deprived of security, good nutrition, adequate shelter and educational opportunities. All of this weakens the social fabric and threatens the future of our country in many ways.
The free market advocates who currently dominate the public conversation and are influencing the course of government say people should pull themselves up by their bootstraps (even though a great majority of these folks were handed their fortunes by their ancestors) but it is impossible to do this when you don't have any boots!
When I go to bed and after I say my prayers, I often ask God what he must be thinking when he looks down upon us and sees the sadness and desperation in so many of the eyes of his children and I have to think that he struggles too in trying to understand how selfishness, greed and apathy have become the new reality on how we live our lives.
I was hungry and you gave me no meal,
I was thirsty and you gave me no drink,
I was homeless and you gave me no bed,
I was shivering and you gave me no clothes,
Sick and in prison, and you never visited.
~ quote from revnadinedraytonkeen.wordpress.com