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Dealers in Hope

Illbay Wrote: Sep 06, 2012 5:15 PM
Took an undergraduate-level German course at a local college a few years ago. In the first class session the professor was demonstrating phrases to describe things like your hobbies, things you enjoy, foods you like, etc. He went around asking class members what sorts of things they like to do along those lines. College kids, of course, so a lot of idealism. One young lady said "I enjoy doing community service." The professor stopped for a sec and then replied, "whoa, you know, I could just literally say something like "Gemeinschaft Dienst", a word-by-word translation but the typical German-speaker wouldn't really know what you meant. "The closest thing I could come up with would be 'sozialier Dienst," which actually means...
Illbay Wrote: Sep 06, 2012 5:16 PM
...'social services'. In those countries, no one worries about "the poor" or whatever. That's the GOVERNMENT'S job, that's why we pay all these taxes! They don't even think about 'the poor' in terms of what the individual CITIZEN'S responsibility is. That's the government's job."

CHARLOTTE, N.C. -- Columnist Leonard Pitts wrote a story for the front page of last Sunday's Charlotte Observer indicting both parties for failing to speak up for the poor. He inspired this column.

I could be writing the expected narrative from a conservative at the Democratic National Convention, but have chosen instead to acknowledge that Pitts, though a lefty, is right. If the Democrats and Republicans aren't talking about the greater goal of helping the poor become un-poor (rather than just sending them a check to sustain them in their poverty), is anyone doing something to help them? At least...