Sunday, September 18, 2005

Pardon me,

I apologize in advance if this post comes off a bit angry. Unfortunately that’s what I got, so that what you get.

So let me get this straight, one of the most powerful hurricanes ever measured blows through the Gulf Coast and turns hundreds of thousands of poor people into refugees and now Bush is going to end the “legacy of inequality”? Is that right? Why now? Wasn’t poverty a problem before Hurricane Katrina left her path of destruction? Is Bush being sincere or is he just trying to get his approval ratings back up?

How pray tell are we going to end inequality? Repeal the tax break for the wealthiest Americans? Nope, Bush has already said no tax hikes to pay for rebuilding the South. So it’s doubtful he would use a tax increase. Maybe we could reduce military spending and cut government “pork” to help fund this effort? HA! That’s funny. In our current climate of fear we’re more likely to Jessica Simpson win a Nobel Prize than see a reduction in our military spending. Government “pork” will be with us until the citizens get angry enough and vocal enough to scare the politicians off of it. I’m not holding my breath.

Also, why is it that we have to fill Potter’s Field before we care about the poor? Why does a tsunami or a hurricane or a famine have to wipe thousands of them out before we take notice? Could it be because they can’t pad anyone’s campaign funds with generous donations or that they lack the means or the time to make their voices heard? Could it be that they are stigmatized as stupid and lazy? Could it be our consumer driven culture of “as long as I got mine I don’t care”? Could it be the media largely ignoring our most needy citizens as they focus in on celebrity trials and runaway brides? Maybe it’s all of the above?

We could fix poverty. But, I’m reasonably certain that the answers wouldn’t sit well with a lot of people. We may have to move towards socialism and away from our sacred capitalism. We may have to pull our focus away from the military and redirect that money into education. We may have to, Heaven forbid, tax the wealthy. Think anyone is willing?

Sorry to sound so bitchy, but it’s highly annoying to me that it takes the deaths of thousands o alert our country to a crisis. We never seem to be proactive enough. We ignore problems until they are out of control and then exponentially more difficult to solve.

"Poverty is the worst form of violence."
Mahatma Gandhi


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