Friday, September 13, 2013

Five Alarming Statements About Poverty

  • Poverty in America: Bigger Than Ever and Rapidly Spreading
  • One in three Americans are now poor, sapping our nation’s social, economic, and moral strength
  • People fall between the cracks because there are cracks
  • 25% of our children now live in poverty
  • The richest few among us have abandoned the many to a future of poverty

Difficult to read? to take in? to put one’s mind and heart around? YES!  Do I delight in repeating these statements to you, my reader? NO!  I feel helpless, ashamed, not wanting to believe what I read and see around me.  Where is the lived truth in statements such as: “We’re all in this together” or “Why don’t the poor themselves take initiative?” Really? Are the poor the ones who create the problems?  I don’t think so.

How is it that we, the richest country in the world, have come to the point where 50 million Americans are poor, i.e., 50 million of our own brothers and sisters are trying to make ends meet on $11,000 or less a year for an individual; $15,000 a year for a single mom with one child; and $23,000 a year for a family of four? Fifty million Americans! (The Census Bureau).

Yet there are those who would cut the food stamp program for the simple motive that our economy is improving and, therefore, “who needs food stamps in good times?” or perhaps cutting Medicaid would cut our national budget!  Where is there significant pondering of how such action endangers our national healthcare standards or affects homebound senior or low-income veterans? 

We can do better! In whose faces and lives do we see the hungry Christ, the thirsty or imprisoned Christ, the homeless and unclothed Christ?  There are 50 million, right here, right now, in our homeland!  

Renee Domeier, OSB

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