The Norman Transcript

Opinion

November 16, 2013

More effort needed in providing for the poor

NORMAN — Editor, The Transcript:

Mark R. Rank, professor at Washington University, has written an excellent article about lies and misconceptions about people in poverty. It is titled “Poor us: Myths about poverty.”

I am appalled when I hear those from the extreme right wing and people I know discussing why they think people are in poverty. They often argue this happens because people are lazy and mainly to minorities. They argue that there is only a small number and mainly in the cities. Professor Rank says close to 40 percent of Americans between the ages of 25 and 60 will experience at least a year of poverty in their lives and two-thirds of those below the poverty line identify themselves as white.

Professor Rank also states,” Our poverty rate is about twice the European average” and the main reason is failings at economic and political levels and not people’s work habits. Most people in poverty are not lazy. Most are hard working and there are many conditions that cause people to be poor that are not their fault. Our country simply does not recognize and provide for those in poverty as the rest of the world does. The small amount of our resources going into solving the poverty issue in our country is a disgrace.

Those politicians and extremists pushing for cuts in food stamps, Medicare and abolishing the Affordable Care Act have no concern for the old, poor and even veterans. It has been shown recently that cuts in these areas also affect many veterans that have served our country so honorably. I am a disabled Korean War combat veteran and this attitude concerns me not only because it affects the poor but because these cuts affect many veterans in need also.

Many people have no concept about poverty and no concern for hungry children. They should have grown up with me in the Great Depression when practically everyone in my part of the country went hungry and had no medical care. I went hungry as a child then and suffered from severe illnesses without medical care being available.

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