3 thoughts on “What If Policymakers Stopped Condemning Poor People and Considered their Real Needs and Circumstances?

  1. Wishing you and your family a peace-filled and blessed Christmas.

    Because we’ve so internalized the myth of the American Dream, we can use the examples of those who have been successful as proof of why hard work makes the dream possible for and open to all. By extension, it also allows us to explain away poverty as lack of initiative, laziness, gaming the system, etc. By defining the poor as “other” we further advance the growth of separation and further enable those farthest from the reality of living in poverty to base policy decisions based on judgmental perspectives rather than the responsibility for maintaining the social contract cited as the basis for American exceptionalism.
    Your use of “I wonder…” questions reminds me of the graduation speech offered to Harvard graduates by the then Dean of the Graduate School of Education, James Ryan, in which he listed what he considered to be the 5 questions that every one of us should be asking. He follows the “I wonder what would happen if” question with the “Couldn’t we at least…” question. Couldn’t we at least try to understand that poverty is not, by definition, a choice. I wonder what would happen.

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