Quote: “It is a failure of basic human empathy to blame the poor”

George Orwell: “First you condemn a family to live on thirty shillings a week, and then you have the damned impertinence to tell them how they are to spend their money.” Plus contemporary commentary [click through].

Punditocracy

quotation marks

This week Tim Taylor blogged a thoughtful piece about empathizing with low-income Americans. I write ‘thoughtful’ because unlike many Taylor outright admits that he struggles with the easy mindset of blaming poor folks for being poor:

The U.S. Census Bureau has just published its annual report with estimates of the U.S. poverty rate, which was 14.5% in 2013, down a touch from 15.0% in 2012. It’s easy to have sympathy for those with low incomes. But for many of us, myself included, true empathy with the one-seventh or so of Americans who are below the  poverty line is more difficult. It can be difficult to avoid falling into easy and ill-informed moralizing that if those with low incomes just managed their food budget a little better, or saved a little bit of money, worked a few more hours, or avoided taking out that high-interest loan, then their economic lives could…

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