Thursday, March 30, 2006 2:10 PM
6 Comments »
John Edwards has taken a stance on poverty in a way that no other major politician seems to have done. I don’t believe for a second that Bush has any interest in the issue, for example. To stand up to it and look for solutions is a principled stand, and having invested time, money, effort, and political capital in this issue is something very few politicians are willing to actually commit to.
Comment by n — March 9, 2006 @ 6:39 pm
A rich man who claims to be fighting poverty but is still rich years later is nothing more than a fraud. And I deeply resent our university system prostituting itself to further his career by creating this phony platform for him.
Comment by Jim Stegall — March 9, 2006 @ 8:46 pm
Which world do you live in?
Yes, everyone agrees that poverty is a bad thing… well most people. But when was the last time we talked about poverty in this country (discounting Katrina)? What have we done to lift people out of poverty since the 60s? Nothing.
This issue gets you no votes. You can scream from the rooftops about the poor, and Americans want to hear about what you are going to do for them?
Historically, no candidate has every run on the issue of poverty because the same polls you cite show that it is a losing issue. People DO NOT care. That is why bush has been successful: he promises people that he is going to cut their taxes and let them keep their money. That is why clinton victimized the middle class. Politicians pander… they want to let people hear that they feel their pain and want to do something about that.
Well, poverty is not an issue people sit on their kitchen talbes thinking about (the ones in middle America)… they don’t know much about the working poor.
When John Edwards talks about poverty, he is educating people about those who work full time yet live below the poverty line. He is doing something most Americans are afraid to do for themselves.
Just because you think that poverty is an “uncontroversial” issue, does not make it so. A lot of republicans think that the poor are poor because they are immoral or because they are lazy. Edwards is telling us that the working poor deserve an equal chance and fair wages to show the worth of their work.
It is sad that some people who lay claim on a blog named “talkingaboutpolitics” have no clue why talking about poverty is a heroic thing in a political climate that feeds on pandering to those who are going to vote and the POOR DO NOT VOTE. Edwards gains nothing here; he is trying to focus us on an issue that has long escaped our national conscience. think about it and you’ll understand why he displays a lot of “strength” in doing so.
He talked about poverty before it was cool to talk about it in Katrina’s wake.
It isn’t coming out against poverty that is brave, it is coming out on the issue of poverty, against or in favor, that is BRAVE! Edwards isn’t just taking a stance, he is offering solutions. Read this: http://www.tompaine.com/articles/2006/01/31/the_america_we_believe_in.php
Comment by Jackie — March 10, 2006 @ 12:26 am
Jackie, just what has Mr. Edwards actually done to “lift people out of poverty?” Has he created any high-paying jobs? I mean, other than the one at UNC he snagged for himself? Has he put ANY of his own money where his mouth is? Have you?
Don’t talk to me about policies and programs; this country has spent TRILLIONS on such stuff since the sixties and even before, and the poor are with us still. No matter how heavily the productive sectors of the economy are taxed to provide these benefits, the poor will remain poor unless and until they acquire the job/life skills needed to be productive citizens, and the economy is allowed to create the opportunities they need to employ those skills. Government can’t ‘cure’ poverty. At best it can only treat the symptoms; at worst it aggravates them by enabling non-productive lifestyles while discouraging the private sector.
John Edwards is not an idiot. He knows all this, but he counts on the fact that there are a lot of people out there who can’t or haven’t yet figured it out (and plenty others who just don’t want to figure it out, because doing so would demolish their cherished left-wing world view). So he panders to the “politics-as-feel-good-therapy” crowd. He’s the worst kind of demogogue, no better than the race-baiter or the fear-monger.
Comment by Jim Stegall — March 10, 2006 @ 10:55 am
I agree with Jackie. People look to abuses of the system as complete reasons to oppose social programs. I would rather tax dollars go to social programs anyday than to war and obscene corporate welfare and profits.
My mother, who was born during the depression, whose father died when she was six, who had a physical handicap (hard-of-hearing), whose mother struggled alone to raise her children and never received welfare (her 12 year-old son went to work), received government help with a rehabilitation scholarship. She went to a secretarial college where she learned to type. She worked hard all her life and could barely make ends meet, especially if her old, used car broke down. She nows live with her pension and social security, but with her oil heating bills already topping $1300 this winter, she is very scared.
I don’t want my country to turn into a third-world country. The middle class is what makes America the great country it is. But with more people falling into poverty level, I suggest Mr. Stegall put up gates around his property and hire armed guards. When the poor get too hungry, desperation may occur.
One more thing, looking after the poor and downtrodden is the kind thing to do and the right thing to do. It is also the smart thing to do.
Comment by Valerie — March 10, 2006 @ 1:10 pm
“…looking after the poor and downtrodden is the kind thing to do and the right thing to do. It is also the smart thing to do.”
I totally agree. The question is how to do it. We know that in all of human history, nothing has worked better to produce general prosperity than the free market. So let’s have government create the conditions for functioning markets (law and order, respect for private property, sure enforcement of contracts, etc.) and provide for the education and training of those who would not otherwise have access to same.
If government would do those two things, and then get out of the way, there would be so few truely poor people that private charities could easily handle the load.
Comment by Jim Stegall — March 10, 2006 @ 3:27 pm