3.17.2023 – piling on problems

piling on problems
persistence of poverty
in life should shame us

Poverty is measured at different income levels, but it is experienced as an exhausting piling on of problems.

Poverty is chronic pain, on top of tooth rot, on top of debt collector harassment, on top of the nauseating fear of eviction. It is the suffocation of your talents and your dreams.

It is death come early and often.

From 2001 to 2014, the richest women in America gained almost three years of life while the poorest gained just 15 days.

Far from a line, poverty is a tight knot of humiliations and agonies, and its persistence in American life should shame us.

All the more so because we clearly have the resources and know-how to effectively end it.

From the Guest Opinion piece, America Is in a Disgraced Class of Its Own by Matthew Desmond, a sociologist at Princeton, where he is the director of the Eviction Lab.

Mr. Desmond continues:

Most Americans — liberals and conservatives alike — now believe people are poor because “they have faced more obstacles in life,” not because of a moral failing.

Long overdue, however, is a reckoning with the fact that many of us help to create and uphold those obstacles through the collective moral failing of enriching ourselves by impoverishing others.

Poverty isn’t just a failure of public policy.

It’s a failure of public virtue.

I am not so sure that most Americans don’t think that the poor are poor because they deserve to be poor due to some moral failing.

And I don’t care why poor people are poor.

The fact that they are are poor should be enough.

Truly I think we cannot do anything about the poor in the long run, as the poor will always be with us, but what do we do, what did we do in the short run?

Jesus himself said that “The poor you will always have with you.

Myself, I think if that as being a bit of test for us.

And Jesus also said, “For I was hungry and you gave me nothing to eat, I was thirsty and you gave me nothing to drink.

I was a stranger and you did not invite me in, I needed clothes and you did not clothe me, I was sick and in prison and you did not look after me.’ “

They also will answer, ‘Lord, when did we see you hungry or thirsty or a stranger or needing clothes or sick or in prison, and did not help you?’

“He will reply, ‘Truly I tell you, whatever you did not do for one of the least of these, you did not do for me.’

Is there another way to express that last line?

The line that says, whatever you did not do for one of the least of these, you did not do for me?

A failure of public virtue seems to fit nicely.

Tts persistence, both poverty and the failure in public virtue in American life should shame us.

But those words, virtue and shame.

Lets just say when the State of Florida gets around to releasing their approved dictionary, I doubt either word will be in there.

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