Why Are Some Americans So Shockingly Cruel?

From Benzinga: http://www.benzinga.com/news/11/09/1917354/why-are-some-americans-so-shockingly-cruel

By John Thorpe
Benzinga Staff Writer
September 14, 2011

This will surely get taken out of context in my future political career, but I will say it now anyway: I am embarrassed, saddened, and yes, disgusted, by the behavior and beliefs of the majority of Americans.

A new report came out Tuesday, showing that the poverty rate in America rose to a whopping 15.1% in 2010. That means that nearly one in six Americans gets by on less than $11,139 a year, or $22,314 for a family of four. At the same time, the average CEO rakes in $11.3 million EACH.

In other words, you can grab any six people off the street, and the odds are that the average CEO makes 1,000 times as much money as one of them. He only makes 400 or 500 times as much as the other five. That is obscene.

And the sick part? The entire Republican Party and portions of the Democratic Party are completely OK with this arrangement. One sixth of our citizens live below poverty and the calls are for more tax cuts for the wealthy, more benefits for the wealthy, and less for the poor. It’s disgusting and people should be ashamed.

Yes, ashamed. There is absolutely no reason for anyone, let alone one sixth of our citizens, to live in abject poverty. We are America and we can do better.

Letting people live in poverty is not the only issue where America is an embarrassment. We are unbelievably cruel and indifferent toward those same poor people, blaming them (and not the system) for their plight. The reality is, no one in this world gets ahead without help. Wealthy people have a natural advantage of a network of family and friends who can push them into the right school, teach them the right values, and help them get into jobs where they can succeed.

The poor do not have that advantage, and we blame them for it. We demonize them, calling them white trash or ghetto moms. We ignore the problems inherent in trying to raise children on minimum wage, working two or three part-time jobs and juggling child-care. We ignore their kids’ natural disadvantage in terms of nutrition (try finding somewhere to buy fresh broccoli in an inner city sometime) and schooling (would you send your kid to an inner city school?). Then, after the kids come out behind, we blame the kids. We blame their choices, as if they ever had a choice.

Continue reading at:  http://www.benzinga.com/news/11/09/1917354/why-are-some-americans-so-shockingly-cruel

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