Speak Out: Poverty in our country
by our readers
Jan 21, 2014 | 1773 views |  0 comments | 19 19 recommendations | email to a friend | print
Re “No interest in fixing ignorance” (Speak Out, Jan. 12):

Letter writer David Duncan asserts Americans living in poverty are just victims of bad decision-making. His nauseatingly misleading rant labels the poor “ignorant” and “stupid” as he declares the war on poverty initiated by President Johnson to be a failure of government giveaways.

One only needs open eyes and a heart not heavy with hate to see the falsehoods inherent in those statements.

Federally, the IRS taxes investment and capital gains incomes at a about one-half the rate of earnings from labor resulting in a much lower overall tax rate for the rich than for the poor. Plus, Congress gives huge tax breaks to corporations who hire lobbyists to wine and dine “our” representatives; effectively buying legislation that benefits them at the expense of the people.

Here in Alabama, our state government clings to the 1901 state Constitution that was designed to maintain the antebellum class structure, protecting the rich while disenfranchising the poor, to protect this system from democracy.

Many decades after the end to legal slavery, this state’s segregation laws and the willful neglect of the education needs of black Alabamians insured a continuing underclass of poor. The practice of taxing the poor to educate the rich continues today with last year’s passage of the Alabama Accountability Act, which takes state-collected tax dollars out of public schools and uses tax credits to divert those funds to for-profit private schools attended by the more affluent.

Corporate earnings now represent the largest share of this country’s GDP while employee wages make up the smallest. And, governments at the local, state and federal levels all actively contribute to wealth disparity. That fact alone leads me to believe a government claiming to be of the people, by the people and for the people should take an active role in alleviating poverty for the greater good of our country.

James R. (Jim) Moore
Anniston
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