The Columbia Critic

A place to debate anything we want to. We'll talk Columbia campus issues. We'll talk up the homosexual problem. We'll talk China. And we'll talk without resorting to partisan rhetoric. We may be left. We may be right. But we aren't going to be quoting any party line. We're leading the discussion. But feel free to chime in. Hannity and Colmes this is not.

Wednesday, August 31, 2005

A letter to someone...

Hello Sir,

The real issue at hand, to cut to the chase, will never be abortion or moral issues; it shouldn't be war or peace or some woman in the street waving a sign. The reality check of the century should have been the headline in today's paper, until Katrina brought her whimsical heart straight into the path of dozens now dead. The headline should have read "Third World America" or something to that effect. It received good coverage on the New York Times, on the local news, but is good...enough?

With poverty increasing for a 5th consecutive year: it asks larger questions about American standard of living, America's so-called victory over the recession, and to what end will we allow this statistic to stain our consciences. Some look to lead anti-poverty measures abroad in the areas of the world with most need, and without question this is virtuous work, where money and (more importantly) time will change the lives of millions. But in this antifederalist world we live in: our nation remains sovereign, and our problems remain ours. To believe, for some good, that increasing poverty is a trade-off that we ought to take is preposterous, insulting, and a self-defeating concept for a nation built on opportunity for all. What will we do? Sit around and consider that the guy down the street is worth cutting in the name of some other country, in the name of a more globalized economy? And to be fair, globalized economy will improve greatly the lives of many, and it may increase the benefits of the poor. So whatever policy is raised must not be isolationist, but it must not either be corporatist and elitist. The new American spirit lies in globalized individuality. Raising the prospects of a good life for individual in the Sudan as much as the individual in Bed-Stuy. Because when we remove ourselves from statistics, numbers and identifiers: lie people. The basis of our society. Without question the duty of all societies (both in the political ans civil spheres) ought to be to attack any injury to one of its own as if it hurt the society itself. The stench of poverty wreaks in the land of America. Will anyone make it the top priority at the expense of being unpopular and liberally compassionate? Our individual rights matter not if the same opportunities we have been blessed with fall through the hands of people less fortunate.

[Of note: the solution lies in society and not in government; it will be the leaders of both worlds, and most prominantly government to persuade a transfer of resources, to command this necessary change].

Yours Truly,
Someone Else


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