Tuesday, November 4, 2014

Amazing Disgrace

According to reports, the 2014 midterm election cycle is shaping up to be one of the most expensive campaign seasons in history.

That expense is not determined by what things cost, but by what people choose to spend. 

This article from the Huffington Post cites estimates over $3 billion spent nationally.

Three. Billion. Dollars. Plus.

I do noon duty at my son's school two days a week. On those days I'm there alongside a Russian immigrant who works the night shift in a box store in order to be home in the morning to take her daughter to school. She then sleep in her car until it's time to help at lunch and recess. She wants to volunteer for the work, but she also really need the $10/hour.

The other day she asked me if I knew of any inexpensive places to rent. Our city is notorious for a very low vacancy rate for rentals and for a very high rental cost. (The market, you know.) Her current situation use all she earns, save $300, to cover her rent.

I discussed some food options with her and told her I would keep my ear open for any less expensive rental possibilities. She doesn't want a handout, but she needs the space to be able to make different choices.

Three billion dollars. A tenth of what was spent in the Alaskan Senate race could have funded a desperately needed spread of affordable housing in Anchorage, rather than the smear campaigns and half-truths that were the fruits of those funds.

In smaller settings, I remind people that our checkbooks reveal what we value.

It's true on a societal scale as well.


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