Poverty is the symptom, our economic system is the problem.

Moral Monday is on the road again this week, this time gathering voices in Manteo, Burnsville, and Charlotte, North Carolina.

The focus in Charlotte will be poverty, and if you don't believe poverty is a problem in your city or town, think again. As noted in this piece from the Observer, things are tough all over.

In this city of bankers and others of affluence, 64,000 people live on an income that’s roughly $11,500 a year for a family of four. That’s considered extreme poverty. In all, more than 140,000 Mecklenburg County residents – 15.6 percent of the county’s population – live in poverty.

Worse, a good chunk of the poor are children. Twenty-two percent of Mecklenburg’s children live in poverty, and an astounding 40 percent of its children of color are poor.

The center’s research says Charlotte area is one of five urban areas with “the most intense, deep poverty” in the state – Raleigh, Durham, Greensboro and Winston-Salem are the others. Today, two-thirds of the state’s concentrated poverty Census tracts are in urban rather than rural areas, Nichol notes. Mecklenburg and Greensboro have the largest shares of that poverty. In 2000, Mecklenburg had 16 tracts of deep poverty. By 2010, that number had zoomed to 26.

This is not news to Beverly Howard, executive director of Loaves and Fishes, which provides food to people in need. “Our numbers have risen substantially,” she said. “And they keep growing.”

Among those most in need? Children. “Of the 126,000 (we feed), 48 percent are children,” she said

But does it really have to be this way?

Poverty is the symptom, our economic system is the problem. It's time to eradicate poverty, even if it means raising taxes on the rich. Until all have plenty, none deserve so much.

Comments

Who would Jesus allow to starve?

I'm going to start asking that question, or one like it, every time some Tea Party deficit/spending hawk balks at spending on the poor or raising the minimum wage to a decent level.

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"...the question is not whether we will be extremists, but what kind of extremists we will be."

Martin Luther King, Jr., Letter from Birmingham Jail

Great idea

So will I.

The GOP Pharisees don't like Matthew 25:40.

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"What I see from the folks who are opposing our agenda is whining coming from losers." -- Thom Tillis

Upward mobility is very bad for Art Pope's bottom-line.

Most egregious is Art Pope's blatant misanthropy toward the very souls who haplessly fill his political coffers. If you live in an area where the median household income is $40,000 or less, and, with a minimum 25 percent African-American population living within five miles, you'll likely find a Roses or Maxway store nearby. Offering low quality, low overhead merchandise, at prices some residents still might barely afford, your community fits the demographic targeted by Pope's business model. A distinction proudly boasted on his very own Variety Wholesalers web site.

Each time one of his underpaid employees rings a cash register, I imagine Pope laughing hysterically as one hand tallies the money streaming in, while the other feeds his political machine yet another oppressive piece of legislation designed to perpetuate the depressed economic conditions that keep his unwitting victims locked in the cross-hairs of his reprehensible greed.

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"Let's not be too rough on our own ignorance; it's what makes America great!" - Frank Zappa (6/29/1988)

It doesn't have to be this way

A disproportionate number of those children rely almost exclusively on their (single) mother's income for their survival and prosperity, and we're still only paying them 75 cents for every dollar we pay men.

Until we correct that disparity, children will continue to join the ranks of the hungry.

Burnsville Moral Monday

we've got a wonderful program set

Best of wishes to Manteo and Charlotte.