Whether measured by inequality, the nature of the jobs market, or even lifespan, America’s poor have little to fall back on. To Lind, this is no accident. Governments have been cutting back on social safety nets at a time when employers have restricted benefits to the most highly credentialed jobs.
As Warren Buffett, the billionaire investor, said in 2006: “There’s class warfare, all right, but it’s my class, the rich class, that’s making war and we’re winning.”--Populism and the smouldering rage of American poverty, Financial Times
Signs of Humanity was a brilliant surprise. Willie Baronet is an artist and professor in Texas. Well, after watching his documentary I can say with confidence--he is also a filmmaker. His story illustrates the humanity and compassion evident in his interviews of over 100 homeless people. Offering to purchase their signs, he collects them and creates art installations to bring awareness and conversation to the front line of our debates on community and policy change.
I have always know that poverty isn't simply one thing. It is a cascade of small and large tragedies that can leave us hopeless, bereft, and completely alone.
Watch Signs of Humanity. If you have a Prime account it is free.
There is no "other" in discussions of poverty. In an economy where we must keep our fingers crossed that we don't lose our jobs (and the benefits they provide), become ill, or need to reduce work load to care for ailing parents--there is no floor. You can drop right down to the bottom at the blink of an eye.
Over the years we have been lucky. My husband and I had our parents during the fragile years of building our own little family. There were so many random challenges that didn't seem to care if we were highly educated and well compensated. His boss shot himself in the heart and we were left without a steady income that had seemed teflon over the prior 17 year period. I once worked in Pharma and as companies were sold, merged, and scrapped--I began to appreciate the fragility of long term security.
I work in healthcare for the human side of medicine--not the profit motives winding through our fragile US health system. I want us to ask better questions and to do a better job at questioning answers. We need to pay attention, become data literate, and share our stories.