The hurricane has forced images of struggling poor people into the comfortable living rooms of middle- and upper-class Americans who have, as Eagle columnist Mark McCormick pointed out, been able to avoid seeing or even thinking about the effects of poverty.
A lot of people seem to think that poverty can be easily escaped and that poor people remain poor because they refuse to take the steps to lift themselves up. Usually the people saying that have never experienced abject poverty. A couple of books that shed light on the realities of poverty and why it is so difficult to escape are: “Nickel and Dimed” by Barbara Ehrenreich and “Savage Inequalities” by Jonathan Kozol.
It remains to be seen whether this tragedy will spur policy changes that reduce the number of poor people in this country, but continued talk of tax cuts for the wealthy and the elimination of the estate tax donâ€™t provide much hope.
Posted by Melissa Cooley
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