The paradox of poverty

Poverty impacts us all!Recently, Linda Colón, ex-coordinator general of the Office of Special Communities offered one of the most realistic and lucid descriptions of what many people talk about. In general she claims that the number of families below the poverty line in the island has increased due to the increases in the cost of living and inflation. According to Colón "We are now in an extreme economic crisis, and the effect of all the increases in the cost of living, plus inflation, has caused families that were in the middle class (or considered borderline) to fall into poverty.

Now here is were she really whacks the mole: What aggravates the problem is that the politicians would have families believe that their situation is improving and that Puerto Rico is not a poor country, but under development. She believes that the political parties manipulate the poor, which are the majority of the voting sector.

On the An Inconvenient Truth website they have a quote which I believe truly sums up our existence in so many ways. The quote from Upton Sinclair is "It is difficult to get a man to understand something when his salary depends on his not understanding it." If we take the liberty to change things a little, "It is difficult for a politician to understand something, when he does not feel the impact of his decisions".

For proof, let us examine the latest example. While the Puerto Rican congress passed a measure to increase the minimum wage in Puerto Rico from $5.15 to $6.25 an hour, Governor Anibal Acevedo Villa decided to veto the measure and defended his action by stating that he wanted to wait to see what the United States was going to do on minimum wage. It's funny when all of the parties claim that Puerto Rico is a colony, but in this instance who is controlling (holding back, with-holding) Puerto Rico?

In proclamations we should all remind ourselves daily, Colón states: "To the extent we can have a clear conscious that the problem of poverty continues, it ruins all of the demagoguery that politicians use to remain in power. She states further: "This comes from two points...on the one hand we want the world to believe that we are in a model of change, development, and social progress, but, on the other hand, the problem of poverty does not support this world vision." The stark contrast between the extreme riches contained by a small percentage of citizens and the extreme poverty in which a large majority of the island exists, is one of the many paradoxes that confounds my understanding of Puerto Rico.

Flickr Creative Commons Contributor Today: Jean-Sébastien Bédard