Of What Degree?
We see and hear this word a lot. It, apparently, is something that “comes with the territory of Life”. I am happy to report that poverty is not as prevalent, in American Culture, as is Mid-range affluence and Prosperity. It has been estimated that 14.3% of the American Populace is “below the poverty line”, (as of 2009). Some “lower” than others. Poverty is more prevalent than the upper ranges of wealth and power. More poor people than rich people…as seen by the “Middle“.
When We think of poverty, what do We mean? What degree of poverty comes to mind? And is the worst manifestations, of this dreadful state, in America?
The maximum poverty of thirst and starvation? Minimum, makeshift shelter from the elements? No electricity? Or the lesser poverties of “shanty towns” and “ghettos” and getting enough to drink and eat…but of food and water in quantities that are sufficient to sustain Life, but maybe less than the ideal enjoyed by the average working “Middle Class Family“? There is a wide graduating scale of poverty and Prosperity. From not enough, to too much.
We The American People, a culturally dedicated majority of Us, should develop a clear scaled standard of poverty. Starting with the lowest and worst degree of this plight and ending with where it transitions into the realm of the Middle Class.
Then, once We have established this well considered standard and a well defined and comprehensive scale, We should decide what the relationship of poverty is to Our Society and the “General Welfare” Clauses of Our Constitution. We should decide what level of poverty is acceptable and then resolve to eradicate poverty below that.
We should decide what level of poverty is acceptable and what level isn’t. What poverty’s role in America is. I suggest that poverty should only be a temporary state; something from whence to start and progress from.
I speculate that the American Majority will find the worst levels of poverty repugnant and not worthy of Our Evolving Culture. We will remove this stain from Our Great Nation.
We will also find it detrimental to Our Nation’s Destiny to allow a preponderance of Non-Producing Consumer Citizens that exist below the Middle Class Levels to use poverty as an excuse to not try to become Individually More and Better. Those of Us who won’t even try to overcome their lack of mastery over their laziness and other forms of indolence…even when they are basically healthy in body and mind. (of adequate I.Q. to achieve progress from infantile attitudes and notions regarding entitlement.) In my opinion We would do well to not allow this kind of dependency in Our Diverse Societies, and Humanely exclude it. Everyone, who proves to be capable, should contribute to the productive and Evolutionary Process of America.
All entitlement should be, as much as possible, earned.
At the same time We would include those who have experienced certain kinds of misfortunes that have inhibited their abilities to become full fledged participants in Middle Class, or Luxury Class Life. We should help these become all they can be. Especially if they can become productive within Our Economy.
There is potential for contribution to Our Society, among many of the afflicted. We should not waste this potential. It can add to Our Strengths as a People. Healthy Minds, even in unhealthy bodies, is a valuable national resource.
Poverty, as an endless state of the Individuals who refuse to participate, or are incapable of doing their share, in Our Growth as a nation, needs to come to an end.
All poverty must be of the temporary kind, or that kind that contributes to certain virtues; such as Humility, the art of simple living, or focus of self in public service. This is usually undertaken in the cause of increasing Spiritual Strength of Self.
I close this blog with: it is important that We The People develop an accurate, enlightened and working knowledge of poverty and establish standards to reduce it in Our Culture. Part of the reduction can be achieved through gainful employment for all who will work for a living. But this “work” should, as much as possible have the drudgery removed from it. The repetitious activity that invites boredom and tends to dull the mind.