Monday, December 26, 2005

“Father Christmas!
Give us some money!
Don’t want no more of your stinking toys!”
Father Christmas
The Kinks

Sorry about my little Kinks outburst there. I was feeling all yuletide and all. Let’s face up to facts Father Christmas by The Kinks rocks. If you don’t think so you are a dweeb. Sorry about your luck.

Whilst in the midst of my Christmas sugar buzz I settled in to watch the NBC Nightly News and heard a few rather depressing statistics.

First of about 38 million Americans are living on the verge hunger. That’s right kids in a country with a weight problem we also got 38 million hungry folks. That’s almost one out of every eight Americans has an empty belly.

Also, that number of 38 million was about 36 million last year. That’s right 2 million more people are living with not enough to eat. Wow! Our economy is really booming huh? Well it’s apparently not booming for everyone.

Also disturbingly enough that report also stated that food banks all over the country are running short. Given the catastrophes that haven taken places in the last year, tsunamis and hurricanes, food banks have been pushed to the brink. Just to make matters a bit worse, donations are down.

Now I can already hear the steam pouring off of someone’s forehead. I know what you’re thinking. It’s their entire fault. They need to work harder. Those bums need to get a job. Well you’re wrong. Unfortunately this country has a new problem, the working poor. There’s people out their with two jobs that can’t feed their kids or themselves. Given this country’s low minimum wage, high cost of medication and fuel it’s really not that surprising.

One of the things that truly irritates more so than almost anything else about our current economic status, we have far too many privileged people making decisions that impact the less fortunate. All these politicians, most of who have lived their entire lives in relative comfort, are making decisions for people they don’t understand. It would be very hard to a Bush or a Kerry or a Kennedy to truly understand what it is to suffer from poverty. So largely the poor go ignored. Plus they’re usually too busy out looking for food and such to make a lot of political noise. So once again they don’t get the attention they deserve.

How come we can cough up 453 billion dollars for the defense budget but still cut social programs like Medicaid? Me thinks our national priorities are a wee bit askew. How secure are we if we have overflowing arms warehouses and empty bellies?

Capitalism always fails the poor. It’s why I’m not such a big fan of it. I can’t bring myself to think that any humane society would leave its people hungry, ill, ignorant or abused. Oh calm down. I’m not suggesting that we totally abandon Adam Smith and his economic voodoo. But we must stop leaving people in such bad shape. Our society makes no progress if we are not all making it together.

“Have yourself a Merry Little Christmas.
Have yourself a good time.
Just remember the kids that got nothing.
As you’re drinking all your wine.”
Father Christmas
The Kinks


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