No one talks much about poverty anymore. Not the Presidential candidates (with the exception of Ralph Nader, and I'm not sure he counts). Not the environmentalists. Not the economists. Not the cocktail party set. The perception nowadays seems to be that if you are poor in America, it is because you are either on drugs or just too lazy to work. There is an assumption that we have filled all the cracks with our aid programs and that if one is truly unable to provide for oneself, there is a government agency one can turn to. Not true, not true, and not true.
The good news is that the solution to poverty is the exact same solution I've proposed for global climate change, peak oil, crime, violence, war, over-population and depletion of natural resources. And it is so simple, it can be said in two words. GROW UP. That's it!
Next problem . . . ?
Okay, so maybe my solution needs a bit more explanation.
There is no need for poverty or war or depletion of resources or drug-addiction or any of the long laundry-list of today's ills. Those are all stupid in the extreme. So if we stop being stupid, in other words, GROW UP, we won't have those problems anymore. I repeat myself, but it is an idea that has not yet gained global acceptance, so I'll say it again: If we stop seeing Other as something separate from ourselves, something to be conquered and controlled, and start seeing Other as an extension of ourselves and as necessary to our own well-being as the heart is to the brain, then all forms of exploitation will be replaced with new relationships based on partnership and cooperation. Now, poverty won't be eradicated over-night. The energy conundrum won't be solved next week. The effects of climate change that have already been put in motion won't cease to plague us for years to come. But if we GROW UP and recognize our true relationship to Other, abuse, neglect, violence, waste and degradation of the environment will be seen for what they truly are: unthinkably stupid.