Is this our future?
Is this what we want for our future?
Recently I’ve been referred to a few poverty resources that I want to share.
- A powerful video (by United States Conference of Catholic Bishops) sent to me by Shannon Scruggs of the SC Bar Foundation.
- Poverty in America has published its LIVING WAGE CALCULATOR, an interactive online tool.
When I pulled up South Carolina, 10 of the 22 occupational areas had typical hourly wages within the poverty range.
Almost half. Almost half of the people going to work every day in South Carolina are working for wages that keep them in poverty.
That’s scary! Especially when most of us consider that employment helps to break the poverty cycle. It’s daunting when you think that the South Carolina Access to Justice Commission was set up expressly to ensure that people living in poverty receive equal access within the civil court system. Essentially one of the unspoken beliefs is that full access to the same legal rights helps lift people out of poverty.
It’s certainly time for us to wage a war on poverty.
- People living in poverty face barriers within the public education system.
- People living in poverty face barriers within the public health care system.
- People living in poverty face barriers within the civil and criminal justice systems.
If people going to work everyday remain in poverty, then how can we expect to break the cycle of injustice? Educational injustice. Health care injustice. Civil and criminal injustice.
And yes, I’m familiar with the saying that the only way to eat an elephant is one bite at a time, but if Madame Secretary Hillary Rodham Clinton will forgive my paraphrase/alteration/juxtaposition of it takes a village to raise a child – it is much easier to eat the elephant if the whole village takes one bite.
In order for us to break the poverty cycle, it will take effort from each of us.