Pope Elevates American Poverty to Level of “Scandal”

Pope Elevates American Poverty to Level of “Scandal”

Discussing the recent article

“Pope Francis is right: modern poverty in the United States is a scandal”

Here are some examples of  scandal that can be found by a Google search:

 Watergate was a scandal, Iran-Contra was a scandal, the Clinton Lewinsky Affair was a scandal, and  the Lori Loughlin college cheating case  is a scandal.

What do all these have in common?  

Scandals are practices or events that violate laws, or are a violation of a moral code, that draws enough outrage to cause discussions in gatherings, social platforms or broadcast on public airwaves for a period of time.

“Poverty” wouldn’t ordinarily be found in a Google search for “scandal,” at least not until some public person with a following decides to call it one.

And now the Pope wants to call American poverty a scandal. Does it really belong in the same class with burglary, illegal weapons transactions, adulterous relationships and conspiracy to commit fraud, as illustrated in the cases above?

Let’s look at the definition of scandal according the Oxford dictionary: 

Scandal: an action or event regarded as morally or legally wrong and causing general public outrage.

And what’s the definition Of Poverty? Here’s one:

Poverty is a state or condition in which a person or community lacks the financial resources and essentials for a minimum standard of living

Poverty is generally thought of as a state or condition, not an action or event.  Why give it another name, something it’s not? 

Is this perhaps just another example in today’s society, of a rhetorical tool to shape the argument into a problem impacting our senses of discomfort, evil and outrage?  Is common sense absent, or  just lacking because those positing the argument don’t want another option that rivals their solution?  When today’s arguments devolve into using extremes in comparisons, such as “Hitler-like” or “worst ever,” then it’s time to thoroughly examine the argument, looking for hidden motives

Back to the poverty story in the article.”

‘There is poverty everywhere, but most of the other developed, wealthy countries there is universal health care and some form of guaranteed income,’ said Joanne Goldblum, co-author of Broke in America and co-founder of the National Diaper Bank Network, which gives diapers, tampons and other essentials to families. ‘Our response to poverty is uniquely harsh, and we don’t do anything to address the systemic roots.

This is a red flag to watch for. “Systemic” problems might mean a massive overhaul needed: revolutions, Marxism  or  even socialism, as Joanne Goldblum suggests here. More on that later.

The United States has a poverty problem that dwarfs that of almost any other wealthy economy … Between 1978 and 2018, C.E.O. compensation rose 940 percent, while typical worker compensation increased 12 percent.

This  sounds like a statistic designed to startle, with another rhetoric tool called ‘inequity.” Without stating other data, is there a reason to suggest there’s a proper fixed ratio between CEO compensation and employer compensation?

Pope Francis has made clear his outrage over modern poverty, calling it a ‘scandal.’  The long-term solution, he says, ‘should always be to allow them a dignified life through work.’

Nothing to argue about in the last sentence but the author follows with this:

That is why Amazon’s defeat of unionization last month was such a blow. It illustrates that the United States does not have an unemployment problem: It has a wage problem, because so many companies can get away with paying workers under $15 an hour in a country where living is expensive.

This is the socialist top-down, one-size-fits-all answer proposing a national rate for a starting salary, irrespective of factors  unique to local markets.

Jesus had a few things to say about poverty and it didn’t sound like poverty was necessarily bad or fixable, in and of itself when he said, “The poor will always be with you.”

He did say helping the poor was a requirement of religion, but nothing to indicate that poverty was a sin or should be alleviated in ways other than a person-to-person encounter.

Note: precisely that was encouraged, pursued and applied in the developing world through Christian churches, for a long time before civil  government took on the task.

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