It is hard to understand how we can possibly live in a country where so many people are poor, the middle class is rapidly shrinking, and yet anyone who tries to do something about it is accused of being a socialist.
Even worse, the people who are poor become the villains because they are poor.
Philly.com columnist Will Bunch addresses the issue in his latest offering:
What about schools? Our education gap is largely the result of one factor, and it's not the teachers' union or too much self-esteem. It's poverty, pure and simple. The truth is that students who attend schools in resource-laden, affluent schools do as well as their peers in Norway or Singapore. But urban schools that are left to wither atop a property tax base of abandoned homes and factories achieve at levels closer to the Third World. And as long as a kid in a rich suburb like Lower Merion, Pa., has resources that a kid born a mile away in Philly couldn't dream of, it's going to stay that way.
Because the truth is we're OK with failing schools...in the Other America..
What about Obamacare? There's no excusing either the website's failings or President Obama's dishonesty in explaining how parts of it would play out. (The greedy insurance companies that actually cancel the policies get a free pass...go figure.) At the same time, we've taken America's obsession with Otherness to new levels. How we can consider it morally acceptable that Southern states with the highest rates of poverty -- concentrated among blacks and Latinos -- have GOP governors elected by their white majorities who deny federal Medicaid to their poorer constituents? Why does the media rush to brand Obamacare a "failure" because it changes things for a sliver of the middle class (some get a worse deal, some get a better deal, some pay more for more coverage) but no one calls it "a success" when Amercans have access to health care (and escape the risk of crushing bankruptcy) they didn't have before.
Is it because the Other Americans are the ones getting new coverage? You'd have to think.
It is a column that makes you think, except, of course, for those who will immediately brand Will Bunch as a socialist.