Monday, October 31, 2016

'I Can't Recall any Candidate Campaigning to Reduce Poverty'

Winthrop Quigley is one of those writers whose columns sometimes leave you shaking your head and other times have you nodding in full agreement with the theme and the depth of his pieces. The column in Sunday's Albuquerque Journal fits in the latter category. For, those of us who have involved in one form or another the Vote to End Hunger campaign, Quigley's column could not have stated the issue any better.

The issue of poverty (and hunger) seems to get lost in the electoral campaigns. While that's a problem anywhere in the country, the omission is even worse in New Mexico. Here are a couple of excerpts from Quigley's Oct. 30 column, entitled NM’s biggest problem needs a bigger response
Photo: Mary Singleton
The most intractable problem New Mexico faces is poverty. From low birth-weight babies to violent crime, poverty is either a cause, an effect or a complicating factor in the state’s many dysfunctions. With about as many New Mexicans receiving Medicaid as there are New Mexicans in the workforce, with almost half of our children under the age of four years receiving food stamps, there is evidence the problem is getting worse.

And yet I can’t recall a political candidate campaigning on a platform of reducing poverty. Candidates talk about bringing jobs to the state, cutting or raising taxes, imposing or opposing right-to-work legislation, reforming the schools or making New Mexico more business-friendly. Any one of these approaches might do us some good, but none of them looks at the poverty of our state in its totality.     Read full column

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