The Urgency Of The “Now”

On Wednesday of this past week (the 18th), I read an article in our local newspaper, The Eagle, entitled “The Poverty stuck at 15 percent; record 46.5 million poor.”

The article addressed poverty in America, in general, but it also presented a lot of information about poverty in Texas, the state in which my family and I live.

The article reported that:

  1. 25% of Texans do not have health care insurance compared to the national average of 15.4%
  2. Texas ranks 8th in the nation in poverty, with 17.2% living in poverty ($18,500 a year for a family of three)
  3. Texas has made no progress in reducing the number of medically uninsured people or the number of people living in poverty, which includes a third of Texas children.

Poverty is a horrible economic condition for a person to live in. At the individual level, it can be the result of personal choices or laziness. But, it can also be the result of policies and laws that are made at the government-corporation level that are designed to benefit Big Money. Those decisions and laws have a true “trickle down” effect and poverty and hardship is the result for millions of Americans. In this case, poverty is a systemic issue.

We could feel overwhelmed and defeated by the poverty situation in Texas and the nation as well as by the overall economic condition of our country today. I say that with grave concern for the systemic causes of the economic and life hardships that many people and families have to contend with every day. But, rather than throw our hands up and “accept things the way they are,” let us resolve to make a difference in the ways things are.  Let us know that today – “now” – is the time to begin bringing positive change to America and the State of Texas that results in better lives and living for people.

Marshall Ganz, a social movement activist, labor organizer, and teacher, told Bill Myers in a recent interview,

” … we face the fierce urgency of a now that requires action ….”

So, let us take action and begin to educate, agitate or motivate, and organize people for the making of positive systemic changes in our country.

Begin by sharing the above statistics, and other information you may have about the economy and laws that affect the poor, middle, and monied classes with people. Ask them how they and those they know and love have been affected by the Recession and its ill effects – jobs cuts, austerity programs, and attacks on unions and working people. Are they content with the way that things are – incomes soaring for the already rich, profits raging for corporations, the middle class disappearing and the poverty class swelling, austerity programs that eliminate the safety nets that provide security for the poor, infirmed, and elderly, and so much more?  Ask people if they are registered to vote and encourage them to vote.

And lastly, remind them that if they are upset and angry about poverty in Texas and America and the plutocratic assault on America, we can do something about it. After all, there are more of us than there are of them.

“Now” is the time.

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Explore posts in the same categories: Economics, Labor, Politics, Poverty, Social-Economic Justice, Uncategorized, Unions

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