“The wealthiest country in the world manages to remain complacent in the face of alarmingly high levels of poverty by continuing to blame poverty not on the economy or inadequate social supports, but on the poor themselves. It’s time to revive the notion of a collective national responsibility to the poorest among us, who are disproportionately women and especially women of color.”
It would be nice if this is what President Obama said tonight in his State of the Union Address, and if he proposed policies that would address the real roots of the problem.
Unfortunately, as democratic socialists we know he is unlikely to suggest a full employment jobs program or universal basic income, even though 4 in 5 Americans think the government should do something to reduce poverty, and 7 in 10 think the government should do something to reduce the gap between the rich and the poor.
Poverty and inequality are rooted in the capitalist system, and only a movement led by working people can build the political will necessary to find long-term solutions.
What can you do today?
• Sign up to join the National Domestic Workers Alliance’s Thunderclap before the speech tonight. The Thunderclap (a social media tool that allows a group of people to all send the same Twitter and/or Facebook message at once, to maximize its impact) spreads a unified message that women and families must not be forgotten in the debate over economic justice.
• Read It Is Expensive to Be Poor by DSA honorary chair Barbara Ehrenreich (quoted above) before the State of the Union tonight for some perspective. Then, make sure to share these insights with friends and family as you watch and discuss the speech.
• If you tweet your commentary, make sure to use the hashtag #SOTU so the widest number of people possible see your feedback for the president and our elected officials.
Your voice, collectively with other socialists and economic justice activists around the country, is needed to break through the “there is no alternative” to capitalism attitude of those in power, no matter their political affiliation.
Thank you for all you do!
Maria Svart, DSA National Director