Originally published at http://www.commondreams.org/views/2020/09/15/myths-and-lies-about-poverty
sigh_____ I really love the Preamble and I used to believe --when I was a little girl----that the nation lived that Preamble. When I got older, even in college, I still thought that, but I was not black, Latino or Asian and so I did not understand that WE the People seems to be cherry picked as to who runs the nation and who benefits.
Sometimes I think this all disappeared when the people who had been in WW 2 started to see cracks in the veneer of the nation----- maybe when Kennedy was murdered . -But now, all the white people that I grew up with are wondering where America went too.
Myths and lies about poverty are bad enough----but it’s the lies America is telling that are so sad and so wasteful. : (
Until all of FDR’s New Deal regulations and programs that have been dismantled during the past four decades poverty will continue to increase in the US until the 1% are living their neofeudal dream at our expense.
Jackson’s essay ends with a Biblical quote but fails to credit his Bible with being the source of the claim that the poor will always be with us in Matthew, Mark and John.
But like most scripture it isn’t true. Poverty can be ended but it takes ending class- society and the one we live under today - capitalism.
But some of the early Church Fathers knew this.
“The rich man is a thief”. – St. Chrysostom.
They recognized the socialist solution
“Nature furnishes its wealth to all men in common. God beneficently has created all things that their enjoyment be common to all living beings, and that the earth become the common possession of all. It is Nature itself that has given birth to the right of the community, whilst it is only unjust usurpation that has created the right of private poverty.” – St. Ambrose.
The aim of capitalism isn’t to see everyone on Earth living good lives, or even to see just one person living a good life. The aim of the capitalist system is to make a profit. Which invariably sees a small number of people enjoying immense wealth and the rest living in relative poverty or dire poverty. Tinkering with capitalism; tweaking capitalism which is Jackson’s approach, such reforms within the capitalist system ultimately will not bring about the kind of world people want. Any reform which is good for the workers, is never safe from being reversed.
“Under the existing system of society but a very few people no matter how well off they may be, can be certain that they or their children will not eventually come to want; and even those who think they are secure themselves, find their happiness diminished by the knowledge of the poverty and misery that surrounds them on every side.” - The Ragged Trousered Philanthropists by Robert Tressel
The Bible was written back when the global economy pivoted on slavery, formal and defacto, an era that the GOP has been working hard to return us to. That is why they have theocrat Pence in line to take over after Trump leaves the economy and environment in ruin.
Regular Americans have almost no effect on Congress, so blaming them for poverty policies is a non-starter. The fact that we have poor people, with no roof over their heads, no food for themselves and their children can be blamed on Congress. These problems could be easily solved with a stroke of a computer keyboard, the same way Congress bails out banks and corporations, and pays for endless war and military occupation in more countries around the world, than not.
It is Congress and their 1% donors who chose that we have rampant poverty, and no other reason.
Money and God do not mix… Money is bad ,God is good .
So the higher the value the job the lower the pay you get, carers, nurses, bin collectors ,public safety officials are not paid well.Homemakers and mothers even less .The better the deed ,the worse the pay .However jobs of less intrinsic value are paid in the millions. Thus society’s values discourage noble actions and encourage triviality and illegality.
The higher the purpose, the lower the reward.
Is this What God Wants as many people believe.
Interestingly in highly evolved society’s it’s the other way round.
For a society to be maximally functional this is obvious.
Best to forget the bible as half of it was made up and half written by men.
Transcend Organised Religion return to Spirituality .
For millennia we have been hoodwinked by fallacies .Time to question all of it.
“Half written by men” ?
Considering that women were considered chattel back then, its a safe bet that the Bible was 100% written by men.
Social Security enacted during FDR’s administration also decreased poverty.
Those at the top feel that more for those below would mean less for them. A living wage for their employees could cut into the Walton family income.
Native American’s say, “when Christians came to this country, they had the bible and we had the land. Now we have the bible and they have the land.”
I think Jackson is making an effort, but fundamentally, on a finite earth, you can’t have a system based on infinite growth. Capitalism is hitting the wall, ecosystems are collapsing.
dogpaddle, if you are suggesting that the planet does not have the resources to provide a decent standard of living for ALL peoples then i would have to differ. Too many environmentists are verging on neo-Malthusianism by blaming poverty on causes other than class ownership.
As with poverty in the USA, the wealthiest country in the world, even in history (although that is disputable) it is all about ownership and distribution
The capitalists aren’t hitting any wall, are they…the stock-market climbing higher and higher and the oligarchs and plutocrats riches breaking all records growing more and more concentrated.
Speaking of myths and lies, Rev.Jesse Jackson, who worked as an FBI informant around the time of Martin Luther King’s assassination, is neither an actual reverend nor a civil rights leader.
He serves the role of controlled opposition, and is a traitor of the worst kind.