Fifty years ago this week, President Lyndon Johnson gave his famous speech declaring the war on poverty. The only class of people who became significantly and continuously better off were people 65 years of age and older; those on Social Security and Medicare.
Poverty among the elderly stays fairly steady at just under 10%. All other demographics remained as poor as they were, or became poorer. We still have a long way to go on eliminating poverty in the U.S. We have to start by reversing the downward spiral of the middle class into poverty.
I ran across the following TED Talk (TEDxMarin), and found it amazingly timely in our current economy. The larger the economic inequality between the haves and have-nots, the worse the outcome is for everyone in several areas, rich and poor alike.
Paul Piff shared his studies on the science of greed (17 min.):
How do the banksters and all their shills look at themselves in the mirror? How do our elected officials sleep at night knowing how many poor, hungry and homeless people live in the U.S.? Why aren’t they trying harder to fix these problems?
If you find yourself thinking and believing regularly that anyone is less deserving because of their socioeconomic status than your are, it’s time for an empathy and compassion check on your values and behaviors.
Have you witnessed such behavior from someone around you and intervened?
Please discuss your thoughts in the comments below.