Kaitlin Mahar: Low-income people are fighting a battle without weapons

UntitledThere’s an article circulating on Facebook about a hardworking, metaphorical college student with a 4.0 GPA whose father, when his daughter described her friend’s laziness and resulting 2.0, suggested that she deduct 1.0 from her GPA and give it to her friend, so they’d both have a 3.0.

Appalled, the dutiful student protested that she worked hard for her grades, unlike her indifferent friend. The moral was that the rich work hard and are rewarded and shouldn’t have to bankroll the poor’s laziness.

However, keeping with the college student metaphor, let’s add a third student. Like Student #1, she works as hard as possible, but, like Student #2, she has a low GPA. Maybe she has a disability that makes it especially difficult to understand what’s going on in class, or maybe she’s from another country and English isn’t her first language. Regardless of the reason for her low GPA, what about her? Should she have to suffer?

Income inequality in America isn’t a black-and-white issue; if it were, then it would be fixed, or at least significantly remedied, by now. The poor are used as scapegoats to provide an excuse for their lack of resources and the refusal to even out the scales. Of the 64.8 percent of work-eligible poor, 62.6 percent have full-time jobs, and this is while Congress thwarts various attempts at job creation, which undoubtedly contributes to unemployment rates.

The poor cannot fight their destitution if they aren’t given any weapons.


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