Thursday, May 24, 2007

The Poor and American Idol

Bob Herbert has always been one of my favorite writers for the New York Times, and today he brings up a topic that most Americans, and especially their elected leaders, have neglected. That subject is poverty. As Herbert explains, New York City, with 700,000 millionaires, is living a modern gilded-age. The average Manhattan apartment costs about $1.5 million. A meal for 4 can easily cost $500. But for many in the Big Apple, especially public school students, that is just unbelievable.

New York is becoming, or actually has become, a tale of two cities. Mayor Bloomberg, a billionaire, is just one of the filthy rich running a city that counts 25% of its population under the federal poverty cutoff line. Herbert interviewed some students who dwelled in a world where fear of gangs, safety, and getting food stamps were commonplace.

I have listened to the candidates wax on about many things, but poverty, like Mr. Herbert reports, doesn't get much space. Maybe the politicians just don't believe that anyone votes with poverty on their mind.

Speaking about voting, last night hundreds of millions of votes were cast to decide the outcome of American Idol. The show is something that seems to cross all divides. It is definitely on American minds. Being poor in New York, well, that is a whole different show.

No comments: