Editorial: Misplaced priorities by those who serve

By Editorial Board
November 16, 2000

There are 800 million hungry men and women, boys and girls in this world. This year 3.6 percent of American households were hungry. In the last 50 years, almost 400 million people have died from hunger or poor sanitation in the world. This is triple the number of people killed in all of the wars fought in the 20th century. Those who go hungry do not usually earn enough income to buy the food needed to sustain them. Local authorities, who we elect, are wasting tax money on debating the placement of near-billion dollar stadiums, sports complexes and art centers in this region.

How long is it going to take these politicians to realize that the difference between Kentucky Blue grass and artificial turf pales in comparison to whether someone is going to go hungry or not? The local politicians must prioritize bills that see to aiding the hungry and less fortunate. To be nutritionally sustained is more important than to have the local athletic club competing in the best arena.

President Clinton signed a foreign-aid bill on Nov. 6 that supplies $435 million to forgive the debts of the world’s poorest countries. This will allow the countries to direct more funding to its poor through food and education. Does the right hand know what the left hand is doing? While federal funds are being dispersed to fight hunger, state and local authorities are concerned with unimportant issues. When a person is poor, not only do they lack money, they also lack power. The American government is driven by the wealthy. They have influence and are able to propose alterations of the government to their liking. The poor do not have a voice in the government. They need the help of many to influence change and revamp the government to include all.

Right now Philadelphia authorities are feverishly searching for funds for stadiums, entertainment and art centers, while the shelters and soup kitchens are just other expenditures in the ledger. The city authorities cannot even allocate proper funding for the city’s school system. Without a proper education, children will have a difficulty finding an adequately paying job. This further adds to the dilemma of nationwide and global hunger with more people being unable to buy needed food and thus begins a domino effect.

All government must work for all of the people. This means drafting bills and taking measures to fight hunger and homelessness through tax dollars and government programs. The government must work to be fair for all people, rich or poor. It should not be one or the other, but rather both.

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