The Pity Party

At the Harrah’s Terrace Hotel in Tunica, MS this weekend, the only news channels available were CNN basic and Headline News.  Craving news; I watched.  And yelled.

All over the news was the story from the Census Department reporting that 43.6 million Americans are living below the poverty level.  The highest number since 1994.  1 in 7 people live in American poverty.

When I think if poverty, I picture the emaciated children of Ethiopia (et al.)  with gaunt faces, nearly invisible arms, and distended bellies.  I picture parents and children squatting on dirt floors with flies darting around their faces.  I picture the make-shift shelters, massive populations, zero food, famine, disease and drought.  THAT’S POVERTY!!

Not in America.  In America, we throw Poverty Pity Parties on CNN because a government organization decided to declare a certain income level to be ‘Poverty’.

CNN decided to dig deeper and found 3 women living in poverty and told their stories.  As I observed the tales, I went from concerned to aggravated to angry to outraged as each person gave a glimpse into their lives.

First, all three women were overweight!  They weren’t a little chubby; they were (by government declaration) likely obese!  Apparently their poverty is not preventing them from presenting their trays at the local Hometown Buffet and Feed Trough 10 times a week.  If you want more concern about your plight, don’t show up needing a gastric bypass.

Second, two of the three women were wearing make-up; two were wearing ear-rings; and one had a cheek-ring?  Again, their poverty is so bad, it needs to show up on CNN, but they have the time and money to drop by the local Beauty Brands store to stock up on rouge, eye shadow, eye liner and lip gloss.  Oh, it was a gift?  Return it and buy something your family NEEDS!  AND, to top it all off, one of the mother’s had her HAIR COLORED!!  It’s real hard to believe a woman is doing everything she can to provide for her family when she has money to get her hair colored, but is living in poverty.

And lastly, they showed the apartment and house of two of the women, and they are both filled with nicer items than are in my house.  Nice refrigerator; nice cabinets; nice framed pictures; nice glass table.

So, we endured the CNN pity party — another State Run Media effort to garner the support of the Progressives in pushing for tax increases, bigger government, and advanced wealth distribution.  But, had this been a real interview, there might have been some real questions.  Such as:

  • For what vocation are you qualified?
  • At what companies have you applied for employment?
  • What jobs are available within 10 / 20 / 50 miles of your home?
  • Where could you move to be closer to family or better jobs?
  • In what ways are you training yourself for those or other occupations?
  • Are you taking classes?
  • Are you visiting the library?

I understand that things can get rough, jobs are lost, and money can be scarce, but it’s YOUR responsibility to make all effort possible to remedy YOUR situation… …just like I and millions of other Americans have done.  You can have a CNN Pity Party, or you can have a CNN Feature about your rise from the ashes of your poverty.

That’d be a story that clearly depicts the American Dream!

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