Over the holidays, commentators and politicians -- both outgoing and incoming -- had lot to say about the state of the economy. They criticized (or defended) tax cuts for the wealthy, well off or “connected.” They waxed eloquent on their love for the “middle class” -- and the importance of restoring their economic foundations, stopping home foreclosures, and creating jobs.
Some use the catch-all term, “working families,” which can reasonably describe any family from bank executives to road repair workers.
But one designation seems to have disappeared from public discourse, and that is the “poor.”
We rarely hear the word in political circles. Yet, people are dropping out of the middle class in disturbing numbers as the “wealth gap” widens in this country.
Many people don’t worry about foreclosures because they simply don’t own a home. And lots of those who were once part of a “working family” wish they were again -- but can’t find jobs. They are, in short, “poor.”
There seems to be a political reluctance to use one of the terms most commonly found in the Judeo-Christian scriptures: the poor.