You may recall that the cover of our August issue featured Elizabeth Edwards, spouse of John Edwards, one of the subjects of this month’s cover. We’ve never done back-to-back husband-and-wife covers before, but we wanted to highlight the important work each of them is doing—both independently and together. In August, Elizabeth Edwards wrote about the urgent need for health-care reform. In this issue, John Edwards—along with Mike Huckabee—addresses the pressing challenge of overcoming poverty.
As the presidential election campaign heads into the homestretch, it’s crucial that the factors that contribute to poverty are acknowledged and addressed at the national level. With that in mind, we asked Edwards and Huckabee, two former presidential candidates themselves, for their views and strategies on combating poverty. Do they think overcoming poverty is even possible? If so, how? What is the role of government and of faith-based organizations? What will it take to get more politicians and citizens truly engaged in this fight? While the two don’t agree on every solution, they do see caring for the most vulnerable in our society as a collective responsibility.
Making serious progress against poverty also requires that we look honestly at the wealth gap among Americans. As Sojourners board member Chuck Collins writes here, most of the wealth and income gains of the last 30 years have gone to the wealthiest 1 percent of households. Our growing economic divide certainly doesn’t bode well for those with fewer financial resources, but it also undermines our life as a democracy. And that isn’t good for any of us.