The Common Good

Jim Wallis: Two Pieces on Poverty

There are two pieces on poverty from today's Washington Post that are worth reading and discussing. The first is by one of my favorite columnists, E.J. Dionne Jr., If Democrats Want to Help the Poor. . . :

Republicans once preached compassion, but then went off to war. Democrats waged a war on poverty, but then lost some elections. They decided the middle class is where it's at.

But the poor are still with us, and their ranks are growing. One in eight Americans lives in poverty, which seems obscene given that the really rich are enjoying a level of privilege that makes the Gilded Age Vanderbilts look like abstemious Puritans.

And A Powerhouse for the Poor, by Steven Pearlstein:

You often hear that the poor and working people don't have a voice in Washington, that they invariably lose out to special interests that give big campaign contributions or can mobilize a vast membership.

As it turns out, this bit of conventional wisdom is wrong for one reason: Bob Greenstein and his crew at the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities.

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