"Americans have always believed that hard work will bring rewards, but vast numbers now cannot meet their bills even with two or three jobs. More than one in 10 citizens live below the poverty line, and the gap between the haves and have-nots is widening. [...]
America does have vast, wealthy suburbs, huge shopping malls and a busy middle class, but it also has vast numbers of poor, struggling to make it in a low-wage economy with minimal government help.
A shocking 37 million Americans live in poverty. That is 12.7 per cent of the population - the highest percentage in the developed world. [...]
Under President George W Bush an extra 5.4 million have slipped below the poverty line. Yet they are not a story of the unemployed or the destitute. Most have jobs. Many have two. [...]
The gap between the haves and the have-nots looms wider than ever. Faced with rising poverty rates, Bush's trillion-dollar federal budget recently raised massive amounts of defence spending for the war in Iraq and slashed billions from welfare programmes.
The Republican machine is all about winning, and dealing with poverty doesn't win elections in "compassionate" America:
During the 2004 election the only politician to address poverty directly was John Edwards, whose campaign theme was 'Two Americas'. He was derided by Republicans for doing down the country and - after John Kerry picked him as his Democratic running mate - the rhetoric softened in the heat of the campaign.
But, in fact, Edwards was right. While 45.8 million Americans lack any health insurance, the top 20 per cent of earners take over half the national income. At the same time the bottom 20 per cent took home just 3.4 per cent.
Outsiders can see the real problems, the real failings in our system, but the leadership in Washington likes to deflect attention away from their failures so they depict poor people as lazy, selfish or unmotivated.
In America, to be poor is a stigma. In a country which celebrates individuality and the goal of giving everyone an equal opportunity to make it big, those in poverty are often blamed for their own situation. Experience on the ground does little to bear that out. When people are working two jobs at a time and still failing to earn enough to feed their families, it seems impossible to call them lazy or selfish. There seems to be a failure in the system, not the poor themselves. [Emphasis mine.]
For the most part, the system IS the Republican Party, so its time to put the blame on them, where it belongs. How ironic that they call themselves the party of morals, values and religion. They don’t embrace the ideals of any religion that I know of – unless worshiping money and power obtained through corruption and deception counts.