Monday, August 25, 2014
Inquirer Daily News

Why do so many Americans demonize the poor and unemployed?

A reader asks columnist Harry Gross: where is the conscience of America when it comes to the poor and unemployed? Here, Democratic supporter Sergio Villarreal  holds an American flag during an event supporting President Barack Obama´s health care overhaul on Thursday, June 28, 2012 in Fort Worth, Texas.  (AP Photo/The Fort Worth Star-Telegram, Ron Jenkins/File )
A reader asks columnist Harry Gross: where is the conscience of America when it comes to the poor and unemployed? Here, Democratic supporter Sergio Villarreal holds an American flag during an event supporting President Barack Obama's health care overhaul on Thursday, June 28, 2012 in Fort Worth, Texas. (AP Photo/The Fort Worth Star-Telegram, Ron Jenkins/File )
A reader asks columnist Harry Gross: where is the conscience of America when it comes to the poor and unemployed? Here, Democratic supporter Sergio Villarreal  holds an American flag during an event supporting President Barack Obama´s health care overhaul on Thursday, June 28, 2012 in Fort Worth, Texas.  (AP Photo/The Fort Worth Star-Telegram, Ron Jenkins/File ) Gallery: Why do so many Americans demonize the poor and unemployed?

DEAR HARRY: I worked in a job for a company that had more than 4,000 employees. The company fell into bankruptcy early last year. They let us all know by putting signs on all the cash registers indicating that they were no longer operative. No notices; no pink slips. We just found out about the bankruptcy when we saw those signs. I had to go on the unemployment-comp rolls. Today, for many people, that means that I'm lazy and don't want to work. This is no picnic because the pennies they pay you sucks, but they keep us from starving. I'm 55, have a small mortgage, no credit-card debt, 10 remaining payments on my car, and a spouse who is only able to work part time at a minimum wage. And Congress won't do anything to help by increasing our amounts or the time limit! And we are said to be a religious country. Where is the conscience of America?

WHAT HARRY SAYS: For too many, America has lost its conscience. Those in power would rather you, and others in similar situations, have a tough time keeping their heads above water than see a small increase in public debt or taxes. There are far too many who blame the unemployed for their own fate and proceed to demonize them. The answer is the right to vote. Learn who's supporting each candidate are and where they stand on the issues. Then get out there and vote.

 


Email Harry Gross at harrygrossDN@gmail.com, or

write to him at Daily News, 801 Market St., Philadelphia, PA 19107.

Harry urges all his readers to give blood. Contact the American Red Cross at 800-Red Cross.

Harry Gross Daily News Personal Finance Columnist
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