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Can’t wait for movement on poverty…

Can’t wait for movement on poverty…

Greg Kaufmann in The Nation, in preparation for Friday when “48 million people—including more than 21 million children—will see their food stamp (SNAP) benefits reduced”, looks at the timing of the cuts, recent history concerning the addressing of poverty, and then says that a “Movement on Poverty” is in order:

It’s time to stop bemoaning “the lack of political will” to take on poverty and focus on what we are doing to create that political will. Because no matter how great a speech someone delivers, or how compelling a study someone conducts, or how smart the talking points are for those advocating for good policy, or how many twitter storms, e-mails, or online petitions we push—there will be no significant change without a truly broad-based movement along the lines of what we are seeing with immigration reform and marriage equality.

Otherwise, expect the advocacy community to always be playing defense and the most vulnerable people to keep paying the price for it.

See more on the changes to SNAP on yesterday’s The Lead.

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Marshall Scott

Jeffrey, I hear plenty about the statistics on SNAP - that more than half the recipients are either children or seniors; or that many of the adults who receive are employed and paid so poorly that they qualify for SNAP. Maybe it's my news outlets; but there are indeed folks talking about that. Unfortunately, we can't seem to get members of the House of Representatives to talk about that.

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Jeffrey Cox

The truth in Boston is that there is considerable pressure from the low classes to start a class war with the lowest class (immigrants). It is about the perception that "he/she is getting ahead and I am not." This is being baited by conservative media sources. What we need is actual data on who is on SNAP and what they receive. This data is hidden and not readily quoted. If SNAP was about supporting the elderly, this conversation would go away.

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Jeffrey Cox

The truth in Boston is that there is considerable pressure from the low classes to start a class war with the lowest class (immigrants). It is about the perception that "he/she is getting ahead and I am not." This is being baited by conservative media sources. What we need is actual data on who is on SNAP and what they receive. This data is hidden and not readily quoted. If SNAP was about supporting the elderly, this conversation would go away.

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John B. Chilton

Let's list some things which should or do attract mass movements.

1. poverty

2. womens' rights

3. LGBT rights

4. immigration reform

5. gun control

5a. gun rights

6. racism

7. voter suppression

8. health care

9. the environment

10. bioengineered foods

11. globalization

11a. free trade

12. animal welfare

13. small government/lower taxes

What have I missed?

Which have a mobilized mass movement?

Rank them by how far we are from some reasonable goal.

Where's the disconnect in terms of number of people affected and how far short we are falling?

Answer: Poverty.

There are tradeoffs. I think our limited energies are misplaced.

That said, poverty is the toughest of these to get our arms around and solve. In my opinion.

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Richard III

Unfortunately too many people in our country are in complete denial of the existence of poverty and the growing chasm between the haves and the have nots, referred to by some as income inequality. As long as someone can call doing anything about it income redistribution, socialism, communism, take your pick, it isn't going to be seen as anything less than taking the food out of the mouths of those who are more deserving because they worked for it and those who didn't - read poor whites, blacks, latinos, etc., etc. We should be ashamed of ourselves but too many of us aren't.

Richard Warren

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