Sunday, August 9, 2015

Food, Education, and Income

What we eat is perhaps affected by both education and income.  This illuminating graphic from Bloomberg Business is based on statistics and information from the U.S. Dept. of Agriculture.  It suggests that that poverty is unhealthy; what a surprise.

The impact of economic distress persists across generations.

A fellow I met recently laughed about working two jobs and sometimes three in order to meet the needs of his baby boy.  The child's mother had left him with custody and impossible debt.  As he wrapped up one job around 7 PM, he was off to another after a stop for supper at the gas station, a couple of burritos.  His own upbringing hadn't been easy; his father had been out of the picture for most of twenty-seven years.  Despite the difficulties, he was enthusiastic about moving forward career-wise as a worker on major construction projects, but employment opportunities have been scarce.  Walmart turned him away because he was 'overqualified'.

The difficulties some face are greater than for others.  Opportunity isn't truly equal and advanced education is difficult to tackle financially.  Those who attempt it are often left in debt for years whether they finish or not.

In the recent debate among presidential contenders, much was said about business and tax cuts and national strength, but not a word about our decades of accelerating inequality.  I'd hoped they would notice.

For the record, neither party is addressing the issue.

No one has an easy path.  Both success and meaningful life require great effort and perseverance.  None of us has any chance of doing it on our own alone.