By D L Ennis
Ethics--1) Motivation based on ideas of right and wrong --2) The philosophical study of moral values and rules
With all the talk about ethics in politics lately, I had to put this article together.
"America should always be mindful of the ravages of poverty, for if we are not among its victims, its reality fades from us."
--Dorothy Day, Founder of the Catholic Worker Movement
There is an ever widening economic disparity between the rich and poor. The poor fell to a much lower echelon during the Reagan presidency, and during the Clinton presidency, the rich went forth resplendently well. The top 1% of households accumulated roughly 17% of the nation's income in 1998. And, in 2003, Bush gave us a tax cut which the richest 5% of taxpayers received most of the economic gain. As Jack Newfield said so well, "This is a class-warfare policy of shooting the wounded and looting the amputees."
This mounting absorption of wealth has given the exceedingly wealthy dominion over politics by means of exuberant campaign contributions, and mass media possession, whose commentary makes them sound like constituents. Few politicians whom have nationwide followers are disconcerted about the ever-increasing gap betwixt rich and poor and the attrition of democracy by means of vast wealth. American politics can be summed up by Gary Hart's quoted statement in a February 2 New York Times Magazine profile: "How do you make the principles of equality and justice and fairness work in a time when everyone's well off?"
Ever increasing apartment or home rent, a minimum wage that has been moribund at $5.15 an hour since 1997, and the rising costs for health insurance are amongst the causes of hunger among the working poor in the United States. The greater majority of poor people work. However the roughly $10,700 a year that $5.15-an-hour minimum-wage jobs pay is in no-way adequate to keep a family together. More than 90% of Americans trapped in low-wage jobs are adults, more than 75% work full-time. They are not substance abusers, alcoholics or the mentally ill; they are average, hard working Americans trying to make it in a world where our country's elite work to keep them down.