Poverty, it has many a meaning but the one that most comes to mind is the definition that’s given in Webster’s Collegiate Dictionary, “”the state of one who lacks a usual or socially acceptable amount of money or material possessions.” Well now, the first thing I want to know is who set the criteria for what’s considered socially acceptable? The are millions in this country that can be considered “poverty stricken”, and they’re working more than forty hours a week in some cases. And by the time they’re done paying their weekly bills, what they have left could hardly qualify as “socially acceptable” so a new phrase was coined for them, “ the working poor".
Some people are under the impression that their government is addressing the problem of homelessness and hunger when the truth of the matter is some in government could care less. Oh politicians talk a good game during election time but when it comes time to step up to the plate conservatives waver at the thought of extra money for food stamps. Instead of talking about ways to help the hungry and poor, the Republican candidates for president want to cut more money from social programs while cutting taxes on the rich. What kind of people cut millions of dollars out of social programs that for years were the safety nets that saved many a child from starving to death? The same people who tell us that the country is broke but then come up with the money to go to war or sue the president because they don’t like the way he wears his britches. It sometimes seems like the destitute are being given a message that says that it is their lot in life to be poor and they should not expect things to get any better so learn to accept it.There are countless organizations across the country that run food pantries and soup kitchens and they do all that they can do on donations alone with no help from our so called concerned politicians. Donations are the life blood of these Samaritans who will not stand by and watch children go hungry.
It seems as though that every problem that the poor and the hungry come face to face with is the result of bad party policy that was implemented to save the rich tax dollars while those barely living are being hounded by the IRS for back taxes and penalties and so on. Social security is being looked at as just about to run dry and some want to turn it over to the private sector. That would only make it a target of the dishonest and Lord knows there’s plenty of those people standing around with their tongues wagging at the prospects. Should we as a country be doing more for those that are in dire straits? There are arguments far and wide about the “free-loaders” gaming the welfare system and using the benefits for unlawful activities. Now there is talk of drug testing welfare recipients which is drawing criticisms from human rights groups. To be honest, drug testing wouldn’t be so bad, and as a taxpayer I would know that my dollars are being spent wisely. The irony is that we pay into the welfare system when we’re working, but when we hit hard times and count on that same system to be there as a safety net, you’re suddenly labeled lazy bums.
But all that aside, the problem of hunger is real in not only America, but around the world and there should be no argument when I say we need to do a hell of a lot more. If everyone pitched in just one half of one percent of their yearly earnings to get food and clean water around the globe to the poorest of souls, we could take a huge bite out of hunger.