Blog Credo

The whole aim of practical politics is to keep the populace alarmed (and hence clamorous to be led to safety) by menacing it with an endless series of hobgoblins, all of them imaginary.

H.L. Mencken

Tuesday, October 21, 2014

The Working Poor

Yesterday, for Community Service Day, I took four kids to help work at a food bank.  In a couple of hours, we served about 35 families with about a thousand pounds of food.

What was striking was how many of them had jobs.  They were either single moms, working families or people with some form of obvious mental impairment.  Single moms are the backbone of poverty in this country, and I think we can understand why those with cognitive problems would have problems sustaining enough employment to feed themselves.

But the idea that you can work full time - or more likely several part time jobs - and still have food insecurity is striking.  This is a small town in the richest state in the country, and they serve over 200 families each month.

Next month, Republicans will likely win the Senate and a lead pipe cinch retain the House.  The Democrats are running on a platform that is in large part centered on raising the minimum wage.  I would hope that anyone with compassion who would be exposed to the people I saw yesterday would vote to spread the enormous wealth of this country a little more equitably.

I know that Fox News would call that communism, but it is inexcusable that we have a country where you can work 40-50 hours a week and not be sure where your next meal is coming from.  And that's America in 2014.

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