A few days ago I wrote that the President would not talk about poverty in the State of the Union address. Perhaps I pre-judged a bit harshly. He did, in fact, use the word “poverty.” Exactly four times in a 6,419 word speech.
I do think some of the ideas he talked about might help raise people from poverty – just not the ones you might think. Yes, raising the minimum wage is a nice start, but if we can make real college educations (not for-profit McUniversities) more available (without tying them to massive debt), if we can put large numbers of people to work fixing our infrastructure and if we can put quality pre-school education within reach of all Americans … we might be able to make a dent in this national scourge. Reforming immigration might be a nice help in that regard as well.
But as long as our leaders refuse to use the bully pulpit to make us stand up and take notice of the truth about poverty in America, a dent is all we’ll make.
Look for more from me on this in my Sunday post.