Letter: Increase social justice and decrease need for charity

July 30, 2013 

The recent articles on local charities elicit a number of strong emotional reactions. One is an appreciation for folks who support the agencies that serve the most vulnerable among us. The other is a reflection about our collective values. It is interesting that we rarely equate the need for charity with social injustice. It seems to me, if we lived in a more just and equitable society, there would be less need for charity.

As it is, our economic policies during the past 30 years have ensured that a record number of Americans, nearly 50 percent of the U.S. population, live in poverty or with a low income. Yet, about half the country still believes the right response is to continue giving billions in corporate welfare while dismantling the middle class and impoverishing the poor even more.

We do not need charities. We need social justice. That would require income equality, true civil rights, a sustainable living wage, affordable housing, affordable medical care, racial and gender equality and educational opportunities, to name a few. Unfortunately, the plutocrats have taken control of this country and have no interest in our economic prosperity. It is time to take our democracy back.

MELISSA SOUZA, Pasco

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