In the Christian imagination, the joining of heaven and earth has long been refracted through the joining of people in disparate social situations.
In the Bible, forgiveness involves repayment of what is owed. One way to pay down the debt is through charity to the poor.
Ezra Klein’s work at the Washington Post is indispensable; he brings much insight to the task of making domestic policy accessible to those of us who only follow it part time. But I’m not buying this one: There’s a tendency among some on the left and, with the “libertarian populists,” some on the right, to portray the interests of corporate American and the interests of low-income Americans as directly opposed to each other. That’s not true. They can conflict, of course — it’s easy enough to imagine a proposal to raise taxes on corporations in order to fund a low-income tax cut — but they’re not always in tension. Sometimes they’re even in concert. Sometimes, sure.
If you’ve been here long, you won’t be shocked to hear that I’m not impressed by a lot of what American conservatives have to say about domestic poverty. (Though I do appreciate the basic political courage it takes for an elected official to even use the word.) But there is at least one idea from the right that I’m more or less on board with: we should be very careful about cutting the tax deduction for charitable contributions.
I gave the woman a Dunkin Donuts gift card and told her to get something hot. She didn't thank me. She said, "Those mittens look warm."
When I saw the headline in the New York Times—“The Hidden Prosperity of the Poor”— I thought of something very different than what Tom Edsall’s commentary is actually about. Edsall highlights an insidious and specious argument about income inequality made on the right. In essence, the cost of basic human needs has gone down in relation to income, while consumer goods have become cheaper and cheaper.
"I don't think we have laid the ground for a national conversation on poverty. People just don't know the facts."
A record number of Americans are poor. And by any measure, the poverty rate is rising.
James Bailey has written a superb, creative and timely book whose primary audience should be the U.S. Congress. Unfortunately, the current members of Congress do not seem to possess the intellectual wattage necessary to profit from it.