Friday, October 31, 2008

I Just Don't Understand

I said in a recent letter to the BYU Daily Universe:

"It is a constant source of amazement for me how the self-proclaimed "Religious Right" can justify their elitist positions concerning the poor."

I am now more confused than ever as I see people that I trust and respect vehemently defend a corrupt and flawed economic system. When our voices become more raised in the defense of our wealth than in "providing for the general welfare," I feel a profound and deep sadness. I believe that until we realize that economic, social, and cultural strength derives from how we treat the most-destitute members of our community, we will never become the America that we think we are.

The rich are getting richer, and the poor are getting poorer. And we think this is the path to a strong economy? If so, then it is not an economy I can be proud of. Is an economy that depends on a large poor population any different than one that depends on slavery? Do we honestly believe that by making the rich richer ("trickle down economics") and keeping the poor poor ("raising minimum wage = inflation") our country will actually become better? Do we honestly think that it is a greater sin to raise taxes on the rich than it is to grind the faces of the poor? Do we really think that something as essential as the right to stay alive is to be subject to the selfishness of capitalism?

I fear that our phobia of communism is pushing us to place that we, in our right minds, do not want to be. When the most powerful country in the world still has widespread poverty, what is wrong? When the most productive economy in the world  shares a thousand mile border with a third world country, isn't there something missing? (And I don't mean a fence to keep the poor out.)

Am I the only American asking these questions?

Or am I just the only one not so distracted by maintaining my wealth that I don't notice all the suffering around me?

I just don't understand how good people can support this proposed economic system.

I just don't understand...

1 comment:

B-Rob said...

I personally feel that there is an ideal, and a reality when it comes to public policies.

Of course I want to help the poor. Of course I want to have a government that can take care of them. But my view, my personal opinion on the matter, is that the government, any government, simply can't ever do what it takes to take care of the poor. If we want to take care of the poor, we need to do it ourselves.

The less I need to think about what the government is up to, the better. All I need from it is to know that I can go to sleep at night without waking up in the morning and finding that my life, liberty, or the pursuit of my own happiness is somehow in jeopardy.