[Spridgets] Be careful what you post pt II

Robert Weeks lists at woozy.com
Tue Nov 20 19:21:13 MST 2007

Had to break this up into two posts for it to go through. I'm sure you 
right wingers will appreciate the extra effort.

Happy Thanksgiving,


Continued from pt I:

A far-right essayist for one of Raleighs most out of touch think tanks 
was recently pining for a world where there were no taxes to pay for 
government programs and services and described it as a world without 
subsidized dependency, bureaucracy, special interest capture, 
inefficiency, waste, government-induced poverty, useless functionaries, 
and nannies breathing down our necks at every turn.

It would be quite a world, one without public schools, treatment for 
people with mental illness, safety inspections at day care centers, etc. 
It would be a world where those who choose to be poor would be ignored 
and the quality of life for the rest of us would suffer mightily too.

National think tanks like the Heritage Foundation and their market 
fundamentalist siblings in North Carolina often claim that poverty is 
vastly overstated anyway because many people counted as poor have a VCR 
or a DVD player. The Heritage folks havent been shopping lately as DVD 
players now sell for as little as $30.00. Buying one cost less than 
taking kids to a movie.

But that misses the point anyway. Poverty isnt measured by whether or 
not a family cannot afford to rent a movie once in while or buy a used 
washing machine to do the laundry. It is a way to designate the bare 
minimum a family must earn to meet the most basic needs of food, shelter 
and clothing.

This Thanksgiving one in five North Carolina children lives in a family 
that does not have enough to meet those basic needs. Thousands more live 
just above the federal poverty line but struggle mightily. The Bush 
Administration says that 12.9 percent of North Carolina households could 
not afford enough food to feed their families at some point last year.

Lets hope folks follow half of the advice from President Bush and 
conservative commentators and right wing pundits and do volunteer at 
shelters and fill up the shelves at the food banks and soup kitchens. 
People need help this holiday season.

But they need it all year round too and they are just as worthy of our 
support in May as they are in late November. We can help them with our 
charity, but its not enough. They need our voices to reject the calls 
to blame poverty on the people who are poor and recommit ourselves to 
work for public investments to help families improve their lives.

Poverty isnt a choice. But ignoring the attacks on the poor and 
underfunding the public solutions to help them isand many of our 
leaders have been making that choice for too long.

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