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Response to nashville_brook (Reply #127)

Mon Sep 3, 2012, 07:24 PM

152. Why do we even dignify these "anecdotes"

...suggesting that someone on public assistance has it too good?

They don't. Nobody thinks that. What entitles someone to scrutinize someone who is struggling to make sure to shame and despise them if they accept help, but don't seem sufficiently miserable to "deserve" it? What is this human rage at the thought that someone with less than they still has too much? How stupid are we to want others diminished and humiliated before we lift a finger to help? How do we not get that poverty hurts all of us, all the time?

There is such a thing as welfare fraud. If we respected social services well enough to fund them properly, we could address that. But it is not the norm. The norm is that we are lucky to be able to try to have a system that keeps everyone above a certain floor. This should be a civic goal for anyone. A source of pride that in America, no one must go hungry. It would be a better country for all of us if we offered even more, and we can. We outspend the world on weaponry and defense, despite there being no need for it. We have billions to give away to banks and oil companies.

We cannot keep having this conversation about whether it is somehow morally wrong to try to keep people out of poverty.

It's the only reason to have a country in the first place.

Great post.

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