24 February 2004

Poverty, for most Americans, exists in a blur

A nice essay on the spiral of poverty that intermingles personal anecdotes with some referential links to recent NY Times articles.

To be in a state of poverty in America is to be invisible. Nobody wants to acknowledge it, everyone turns their gaze away. Or others proclaim outright denials of its existence, and tag those locked in the clutches of it as lazy.

I don't understand those who argue against raising minimum wage. It angers me but then I must consider that they've never had the experience of working on the lower echelons of the economy or they've been blessed to have a financial supportive family and have never truly fully supported themselves on that labor alone.

Yes, some will take issue and argue that the opportunity exists to achieve and succeed despite being mired at the bottom. But I can flip a coin ten times and get ten heads approximately every ten thousand trials. Because a small fraction overcome such a handicap doesn't negate the injustice.