Poor America (2012), is an excellent half-hour exploration of American poverty, and meditation on what we owe to others in any society that allows so many people so little social mobility.
In our own time, conservative politicians seem intent on letting people suffer forever until they find the Nietzschean will to power to become independently awesome enough to win at life. If you can’t survive on your own, no matter your childhood or misfortunes, then die already! People deserve better.
The fact that so many people are so unwilling to invest in the growth of fellow neighbors is beyond me. They push for bizarre social causes based on values instead of realities. They take their selves so seriously. The whole political apparatus strikes me less as a coherent ideology than one, powerful one cleverly camouflaging itself to make various conservative groups cheer for it like a sports team once in a while when elections come around. That’s if they even bother to vote — we can barely get half the country to come out when it’s the damned president being elected.
This poverty stuff is real, and people need to get real, and a little more imaginative.
“How progressive are state taxes? Answer: They aren’t.
The Corporation for Enterprise Development recently released a scorecard for all 50 states… [it] shows that in the median state (Mississippi, as it turns out) the poorest 20 percent pay twice the tax rate of the top 1 percent. In the worst states, the poorest 20 percent pay five to six times the rate of the richest 1 percent… There’s not one single state with a tax system that’s progressive.” (full article on Mother Jones)
“When the 1 percent was in charge, hundreds of thousands of people emigrated to avoid starvation. Under the leadership of the working class, however, both countries built robust and successful economies that nearly eliminated poverty, expanded free university education, abolished slums, provided excellent health care available to all as a matter of right and created a system of full employment…
“Although Norwegians may not tell you about this the first time you meet them, the fact remains that their society’s high level of freedom and broadly-shared prosperity began when workers and farmers, along with middle class allies, waged a nonviolent struggle that empowered the people to govern for the common good.”