I Hear You
by Nelson Addison
I understand what you're saying better than some conservatives.
You think poverty is a crime - greedy, lazy people stealing
our tax dollars instead of working for a living. You work
hard to put food on your family's dinner table. Why should
you have to foot the bill for some slob who won't pull his
own weight? It's an extremely strong argument. I would almost
be inclined to agree with you. Almost.
The flaw in your argument - the fly in your ointment - is
that poverty is not a crime, it is a societal ill. Poverty
is a disease that has plagued mankind since the beginnng of
recorded history. You don't fight a disease, you cure it.
When a loved-one is in bed with a fever, you don't brow-beat
them about their responsibilities, you don't blame them for
being sick and you don't tell them to cure themselves. Instead,
you help that person. You take them to a doctor, you lay them
in bed, you place a cool cloth on their head and you comfort
them and patiently wait for a recovery. My man, if you've
ever been ill I hope someone kind and gentle took care of
Likewise, our society has a disease. Our society has a bad
case of poverty. But, unlike when an individual gets sick
and has someone to care for them, our society stands alone
and, logically, the solitary society must learn to heal itself.
This is our task. This is our responsibility. And it is every
individual's responsibility to do what they can to nurse us
to better health.
Now, if you want to fight a crime, I can name the crime that
is killing our society. I can point you at the people who,
in fact, our not fulfilling their share of their responsibility
around here. I can show you the people who hold the very resourses
that would cure our society. The true crime is greed and the
perpetrators are the same people that have victimized you
by laying an unfair burden on your shoulders It is those who
have more resources than they could ever use that are infecting
our society with the disease of poverty. If the rich were
paying their fair share of taxes, dollar for dollar, we could
cure our society. And it is up to you and I to fight the crime
of greed and economic injustice.
You can call me a populist, a socialist, a comunist, or a
liberal - all the words that they have convinced you are dirty,
but I'm just a guy calling it like I see it.
Fight greed, cure poverty.