October 6, 2013 at 8:31 am
The Times Sunday metro section regularly comes with a left-leaning column, which is odd because there is almost never a right-wing column to balance it out. Today's column blames billionaires for failing to help hungry poor people:
Another woman, who would give her name only as Carmen, was laid off as an administrative assistant at a hospital in November 2011 and has been looking for work ever since, she told me. She has a 10-year-old living at home with her and a 20-year-old on scholarship at Iona College, and the younger child has been gaining weight, she lamented, "because nutritious food is expensive." Carmen applied for food stamps in May for the first time, after her unemployment benefits ran out and she was granted temporary emergency assistance. But her plea for more prolonged help has been pending and pending. She visits the SNAP offices twice a week to try to move things along and in the interim has relied on friends who have been generous offering food.
As his days in office dwindle, Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg has been reminding us of his unimpeachable faith in the value of attracting the very rich to the city. The more of them there are, he believes, the better off those in the lower rungs will be, a claim challenged by the fact that although more wealthy people moved to New York during his tenure, the poverty rate did not decline. It is doubtful that among the friends helping Carmen are any of the billionaires the mayor calls such a "godsend."
The Times column gives the ages of Carmen's children but not of Carmen, and it makes no mention of the father of the children. That makes it easier to blame billionaires, rather than Carmen or her husband, for Carmen's problems.
The Times columnist seems to have missed the news article that ran in the Times the other day under the headline "Data Supports Bloomberg on Disparity With Income." It pointed out, among other things, that rich people pay a lot of taxes, which pay for things like food stamps. Some rich people also support or sit on the boards of hospitals (perhaps the one that used to employ Carmen, we don't know because it isn't named) and nonprofit organizations devoted to helping the poor.
Related Topics: Income inequality, New York
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