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Nation's Most Vulnerable Are Fighting Back Against the 1% Tide


Nation's Most Vulnerable Are Fighting Back Against the 1% Tide

Lisa García Bedolla

As Americans, we cling to the idea that a rising tide lifting all boats is the means to end the growing gap between the wealthiest and poorest Americans.

But the hard truth missing from this image is that not all boats rise equally. History has shown that the ones at the top will rise higher and faster than the ones at the bottom.


I just came across this compelling documentary and it speaks to this (and related) issue:


A nation can and should be, judged on how its most vulnerable are treated/cared-for in their society.......Our "leaders" have failed in this most basic measure.......wealth distribution and poverty show that conclusively....

"A society will be judged on the basis of how it treats its weakest members"
~Pope John Paul II

"...the moral test of government is how that government treats those who are in the dawn of life, the children; those who are in the twilight of life, the elderly; those who are in the shadows of life; the sick, the needy and the handicapped. "
~Last Speech of Hubert H. Humphrey

"A nation's greatness is measured by how it treats its weakest members."
~ Mohandas Gandhi

"The measure of a society is found in how they treat their weakest and most helpless citizens. As Americans, we are blessed with circumstances that protect our human rights and our religious freedom, but for many people around the world, deprivation and persecution have become a way of life."
~James Earl "Jimmy" Carter, Jr.


"We must stop believing it is somehow unfair to target attention and resources to those who need the most help."

In short, we must stop watching tv and reading newspapers.


More importantly, we need to stop giving our money to/ buying the products of the oligarchs, and plutocrats that oppose a fair society.


@Lisa García Bedolla

I've never believed that and know a great many people that don't. That hasn't changed anything. We have to stop financially supporting the companies that don't support a fair society. If we don't hit them in the wallets they'll never care. They're psycho and sociopaths.

Before anyone says "that will never work." Please read this article...

If boycotts didn't work they wouldn't outlaw them. I will agree that the resolve of the American people may not work... It won't take all of us. A small fraction of the population protested Vietnam w/o boycotts. If 5-10% of the population did it they would feel it.


I'm a little surprised to see a mention of white poverty. The great majority of poor are white, as are the majority of those who are in severe poverty (the homeless poor). Our middle class wrote off poverty as a matter of "bad behavior" rather than recognizing it as the inevitable consequence of years of very bad policies, with the rise of the corporate state. We know that not everyone is able to work (health, etc.) and that there aren't jobs for all. The US shipped out a massive number of jobs since the 1980s, ended actual welfare in the 1990s, yet can't grasp what connection this would have with today's poverty crisis. The last I heard, there are 7 jobs for every 10 people struggling to find one, and while this is an improvement, what do you think happens to those who are left out?


While the nation's most vulnerable are fighting back, they should consider supporting Bernie Sander's revolution. He's the only politician who has any chance of opposing the 1%.


Instead of fighting a war on poverty let us wage peace on poverty.


Isn't it odd how, despite such profundities of judgement, so many nations, states and societies fail such judgements? Something to do with human nature?


Poverty Programs DO WORK. They were highly successful with Pres. Johnson's Great Society program in the 60's. As repubs came in and defunded the programs they then became less successful. Head Start especially was a great program.
Our problems with jobs, poverty, etc. are now so grave. we need to start a program of guaranteed basic income for everyone.


Agree, this 15$ an hour stiff is not the answer. One it's too low and two let's not pretend in 10 years inflation won't cut into it and we'll be back where we started.


You need to correct this article. It says that "...have contributed to 40% of young people between the ages of 14 and 25 committing suicide." I thought that number was ridiculously high, so I checked the article that you cited and it clearly does not say that. It says that "... 40% of those who die by suicide are between the ages of 15 and 24." Big difference!


Yes, this is a good piece, needed, but the citation on youth Native American suicide is incorrect, and vastly overstated in number. Things are bad enough on those gulags we call reservations; you don't need to cite such incorrect stats to illustrate this. From the chart on the piece cited, the research says per 100,000 individuals between 15-24, 24 Native Americans commit suicide. The rate for whites per 100,000 people that age, looks to be 15 who commit suicide.
Jobs, good education for them, access to funding to build businesses on the rez, places to socialize that aren't bars, decent housing and medical care, respect and learning about a culture that values the earth, these are necessary for these youth to survive and thrive.


Perhaps it is not intentional but it seems that the author is blaming we the people for the actions of the plutocrats. It is clear that the will of the people has no bearing upon the decisions made by the plutocrats who make national policy. If our voices were heard, we would be living in a much more just society that would give attention to those most in need.