I think we all just need to admit it, why try to ignore the poor as if they were not there. We do little things during the holidays like donate food to a food shelf, or put pocket change in the Salvation Army bucket. These are small trivial efforts that will not really address the real problem, they just let us ease our minds.
In Babylon 5 we see through out the series what are referred to as the lurkers in down below. The lurkers are really the poor homeless people that live on the station, calling them lurkers is really just a way to help keep the distance. In the show we see the poor treated much more like we as a society treat them then we see in almost any form of media, even the news.
Politicians refuse to take action to help the poor in most cases and businesses say it costs too much to solve the problem. This is why big businesses lobby against welfare and food stamps, yet complain when their sales are down when they rely on a lot of that money. The reality of things is that it would better for the economy and the growing national debt to deal with this problem head on.
In Babylon 5 we see the government trying to prevent unions from negotiating for better pay and working conditions. Although it is not mentioned you can tell from some of the conversations that many of the poor take odd jobs for less then a livable wage just to have something to eat. The poor have little to no access to any kind of health care which causes diseases to spread rapidly among them.
In our modern world we have a shrinking middle class and many more families are at risk of falling below the poverty line. How do our politicians respond to this, of course the only way they know how, by refusing to work together making any attempt at help fail.
One big example of this is The Affordable Care Act, it is far from perfect but it the politicians would actually work together it could be great, saving families and adding money to the economy. As it stands now it costs a lot making it not so affordable care and it takes so long to get most benefits that most people only see a new expense.
Another current issue that could be at the core of this debate is the minimum wage. With many states raising their minimum wage above the required minimum wage we see a lot of businesses complaining about the costs. The truth is that if people are paid more they can spend more. Yes in the very short term you pay more but see nothing extra but as people start spending the extra money its should return through increased sales.
Lets continue down this track for a bit. Now that you have had the increased sales because more people can afford your product you need to hire more people to do the job. And one more person has a job, this can help that person get above the poverty line.
This also means people are making more taxable income and more people are working and paying taxes. This means we have more money coming in to slow the rate of growth of our national debt, lets face it we won’t eliminate it.
Many of the lurkers on Babylon 5 had criminal records because they did what it took to survive including theft. This also parallels the real world because the poor often have to steal to eat or do questionably legal odd jobs for enough money just to eat a meal or two. Poor people are more likely to commit a crimes and get sentenced to jail time. This is yet another way addressing the problem of the poor would help our society. Less poor means less crime which means less money spent on a costly prison system.
Well we have gone far enough on this topic for a point to be made.
Check out Jessie Ventura on Off The Grid for more common sense on why we need to end our war on the poor.