Wednesday, August 21, 2013

The Other Half

Calvert City, KY – According to a speaker I have heard on several occasions, 75% of America is wealthier than 75% of the rest of the world. A native of the Philippines I spoke with yesterday told me that a minimum wage job here pays, in one hour, about as much as a regular job pays in an entire day in his country. Another young man I spoke with who came back from Egypt told me that many of the people he spoke to, they wanted to move to America, thinking of it as the land of opportunity.
In America on the other hand, if one connects to enough news outlets and opinion watchers, one will hear every day about how America is about to end its time as a world force, how our government is old and corrupt, and maybe it cannot even be fixed by anyone. About 58 percent of Americans turned out for the last presidential elections, according to Wikipedia, and over 80 percent of Americans disapprove of Congress, according to recent polling work released by CNN News.
That is because there are two sides to the coin. There are those that do very, very well. And there are those that do not. (The haves and the have-nots.) Many, many books have been written to explain why some are have and the others are not. There are those, such as Thomas Malthus, an eighteen hundreds thinker and clergyman, who, in his book An Essay on the Principles of Population stated that the poor are poor because they are not virtuous and thus should be exterminated. However, we must remember the words of one of our presidents “But for the fortune of birth, we could be each other.”
There are sometimes moral failings and failings of wisdom that cause people to move to the “other side of the tracks” but not always. And probably not normally. My grandfather ate at soup kitchens when during the great depression, even though he had had a job since he was twelve.
Not everyone will be successful, some will work hard all their lives so that their children can have more, others children will still not make it for many reasons, education, etc. The poor are not all poor because they are not virtuous and it is not a crime bordering on communism to feel pity for them and to wish to help them.
More handouts are not needed, we cannot afford to pay out all the ones we have already promised, but we can extend a helping hand. A loving hand. When a nation works together, great things can be accomplished.

Andrew  C. Abbott

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