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Posted on August 16, 2012
Before you go to the Great Minnesota Get-Together and talk to candidates and legislators, please watch this short video and join the Minnesota Church Ladies on their mission. Using their trademark humor, they give important pointers on how to approach our elected officials.
"Capitol Capers for Our Kids" is the fourth video in the Enough for All Video Series, starring the Minnesota Church Ladies and produced by A Minnesota Without Poverty.
The year is 2020. A child speaks: "Grandma, tell us the story of how you and your friends became famous and ended poverty." So, we listen in as she recounts how the Minnesota Church Ladies decided to use their new-found "celebrity" to help end poverty in Minnesota-how they went to the capitol, with their hot dishes, to meet with two legislators who had been leaders on the Legislative Commission to End Poverty in Minnesota by 2020. Their mission: to reinvigorate the Commission's report and the recommendations! Only problem: How do you find a legislator? Follow them on their mission.
The Minnesota Church Ladies: Ahna Brandvik, Yolanda Cotterall, Greta Grosch, Kathleen Hardy, Janet Paone
Special Guest Appearances: Senator John Marty and Representative Morrie Lanning
A conversation guide to accompany all four of the videos will soon be available. Watch for the announcement.
Posted on August 08, 2012
By Jim Jordal
Most Americans grossly underestimate both the incidence and the seriousness of unequal and inequitable wealth distribution in the United States. They seem not to know or even care that our democratic society is rapidly degenerating into a plutocracy ruled by the super rich at the expense of everyone else. This is an unprecedented political disaster because even the most elementary political texts tell us that democracy depends on an enlightened electorate for its continued success.
Annual income disparity is now at levels not seen since the Roaring Twenties almost 100 years ago and the Gilded Age over a century ago. And the distribution of total wealth is even more unequal. I clearly remember a comment in the economics textbook I formerly used: Under extreme laissez-faire (hands off, no regulation) economics, "the rich man’s dog will drink the milk the poor man’s child needs to survive." That’s what’s happening in the U.S. as the rich get obscenely richer and the poor get dramatically poorer.
So what’s gone wrong? Among other things, it’s a shameful apathy among those Americans seduced by a craze for money, possessions, and entertainment into a state of non-involvement with anything except their own pleasure. Their comment might well be "don’t bore me with unpleasant truth; I don’t want to hear it."
Posted on July 18, 2012
By Jim Jordal
It does when it claims that poverty is God’s will. Poverty is not a curse sent by God, nor is it his will. Rather, it is the inevitable result of greedy, powerful human institutions that exist to transfer wealth from the bottom of the income pyramid to the top.
It does when it urges passive acceptance in the face of monstrous evil. Supposedly, religion is in the business of uplifting human beings. If this is so, then perhaps we could consider that any practice---like exploitation leading to poverty---that demeans and minimizes human beings has any place in religion. It does no good for well-meaning people to excuse poverty with the misinterpretation of Jesus’ statement that we will always have poverty with us. Right now poverty is always with us, but only because we lack the political will to end it.
It does when it throws itself solidly on the side of political and economic institutions of oppression. Such institutions do not deserve religious support because their actions are inimitable to vast numbers of suffering people. Their actions constitute one of the major causes of poverty.