The Common Good

Times Writers Group: Bridge gap with a living wage

Date: November 22, 2012

We are a nation divided. The division is not between those who prefer dark meat over light, conservative or liberal, Democrat or Republican. The divide is between the rich and the poor, the “haves” and the “have-nots.” Those of us living above poverty or subsistence levels can be considered rich. Most of us are on the side of those who have.

There are more than 46 million Americans living below the poverty line, according to Sojourners magazine. At least 16 million of those are children. Fully one out of every four children in the United States lives in poverty. Locally, our numbers are better than many, but we still had nearly 600,000 Minnesotans living below the poverty line in 2010 (the most recent figures readily available).

These numbers are not surprising considering the recession from which we are still struggling to recover. Our economy is arguably on the mend, yet we still tussle with higher unemployment figures than we care to see. But unemployment is not the problem for many who are thrust into shopping at food shelves all across this beautiful and generous nation.