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Archive for January 13th, 2008

What Happened to the Poor?

Posted in Jennifer Ziemann's Blog on January 13th, 2008 10:01 am by HL

By: Jennifer Lynne Ziemann

In case you live under a rock and perchance have not noticed that in the recent Democrat debates, Obama, Clinton, Edwards, and Richardson are running for president to stand up for middle-class Americans. Every plan, concoction and soapbox initiative they peddle is for the middle class. From healthcare to ending the war in Iraq they are soldiering forward for that upstanding group in dire danger, middle class America. All of whom are one to two paychecks away from, dare I say it out loud, the dreaded LOWER CLASS or what some call THE POOR. A class that is comprised of people who used to be middle class and others who simply never got the chance to rise above the station life allotted them.

Yet none of the candidates are talking in the debates about THE POOR who consist of roughly twenty-five percent of America and here’s why: They are frequently unemployed and do not have a high school education thus causing many of them to be ignorant of their rights and benefits. If working their income falls below poverty level meaning they make less that 15,000 a year. These two items alone make for an unstable household causing them to move around frequently and thus hard to target for voting campaigns. Often times they do not even have an address, staying with relatives, in cars, homeless shelters, or on the streets. Yet again, not a likely group to vote. And if you factor in lack of transportation, you come up with an entire class being left out of the election machine.

This is unacceptable and is no different than the rich being catered to by the Republicans. We have a quarter of our population disenfranchised and according to John Edwards in the debate on Saturday night, 200,000 of them are homeless veterans. Way to go Edwards, one shout-out to the Poor…now what are you going to do about them?

What I want to know is what kind of programs are these candidates going to initiate to bring in and retain more people in the middle class. They have lots of programs listed on their web sites to combat poverty. Why with 25% of Americans falling into the poverty category are these programs not being discussed in debate on television? The lower class generally does not have access to the Internet, so it is up to these candidates to chat about these items when they are televised. This election is about all of America not just the middle and upper classes.
As Edwards stated, change means doing something different than the current government status quo. Well, if the current Democratic candidates are what we have to choose as leadership, then nothing has changed. It is still the status quo catering only to the upper classes, discussing only those things, which make the United States look like a shiny industrialized nation. Simply ignoring the rest that live in third-world poverty within our own borders.



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