This sentence really doesn’t make any sense. Read it. But as far as all your comments above, I don’t disagree, not entirely anyway.
As for poverty, I will say it’s a lot like hunger…there is a lack of human goodwill, and also corruption. We could solve these problems, if we really wanted to, but most humans get sidetracked into other concerns (like all the other side concerns you will bring to any given issue); and that is a form of minor corruption.
If we wanted to solve the problem of poverty, we’d just solve the problem of poverty. But the war on poverty wasn’t simply that, it was the same political tug-of-war that has been going down in America towards inception, where we take one step forward on an issue and two steps back…cause politics, cause “identity” politics, cause North/South. Cause you can’t give without taking.
But poverty will always be a mainstay in any civilized hierarchical society. It has to be. If not, what would be the organizing feature of the hierarchy be? Ever heard of a poor King? Of course not. In order for rich people to exist, poor people must as well, and thus ensuring the existence of poor people is critical to the continued existence of the rich.
The same is true of America. The larger our Middle Class, the less wealthy and therefore less powerful our rich were. And if you’re rich, or even think you have a shot at being so, there is no incentive to eliminate poverty and every incentive to keep it going. This hasn’t changed, ever. So for every attempt to eliminate poverty, there are probably ten other attempts to keep it firmly in place by powerful, wealthy interests, and they were all put in place with regard to the war on poverty.
Any real investigation of any of our social systems will reveal serious poverty enforcing mechanisms within them. I don’t think JFK or LBJ can be personally blamed for that. They tried, and yeah they failed, because nothing that was put in place was truly meant to eradicate poverty. Too many other forces working against that.
And it’s almost impossible to get rich legally, by following rules, by working any job, by paying taxes, by not gaming the f@ck out of any and every system you can get your hands into. So that conservative boot strap bullshit? Please, please save that. That sort of propaganda is intelligence insulting, so I hope you’re not planning on going down that rabbit hole.
You know who’s rich? You know who pulled themselves up out of grinding poverty, people heading up the drug cartels. They didn’t do it with “boot straps.” They did it with cunning, brute force and guns, mainly. Oh and also access to endless supplies of cocaine and heroine, and other such narcotics. Guess who helped with all that? The CIA. Guess who reaped a cut off of all that? CIA, DEA, FBI.
Guess who were exploited ruthlessly by all of that? Poor people. And if poor people (poor Americans actually) didn’t exist, how much of that market would go missing? A huge chunk of it.
The existence of large and easily exploited poor people is critical to wealth accumulation. Therefore, poverty will never be eliminated under the current system. There is so much incentive, by powerful forces to keep that going always, and as any honest political scientist will tell you, out Oligarchs always, always, always get exactly what they want. As that becomes more obvious people get more frustrated. What they want, now is a broken healthcare system, that is extraordinarily expensive and makes people sick. Why? It’s a trillion dollar industry, with 300% profits made off of various drugs and machines.
Can you tell me why an MRI is $1000? And is there not a easier, cheaper way to accomplish what an MRI does? I bet there is. I bet ancient Chinese medicine does the same thing at a fraction of the cost.
I was watching The Wire marathon yesterday. It’s basically a textbook on American corruption-among other things. Drugs, completely corrupted out entire political urban system. This show clearly ties the “corner boys” who are basically the greatest fear of so many white Americans -black, low-level drug dealers, ruthless, heartless, violent, murderous, no conscience having criminals to the highest echelons of the political system. To the mayors, the judges, the governors, etc. — as a matter of fact, the most evil villain, the psychopath drug dealer from the bottom does actually bootstrap himself into the corporate world. They wanted him…said he was their type of player.
So, now all that corruption, it’s moved on to wipe out rural as well. Between that and fracking? Rural America doesn’t stand a chance.
And even though I identify with none of these people, I assure you, I sure as hell care. Because for the past 50 years or so these people have grown out food, which used to be good food. Not so much anymore.