Gloria Ferris

one woman’s view from a place by the zoo in the city

Archive for the ‘subprime lending’ tag

Why Do We Demonize Poor People?

with 4 comments


Having read the comments on this Plain Dealer article and this one, I couldn’t help but wonder why the commenters attack the very people that need help more than any of us.  How do the borrowers who are victims of predatory lending become the cause of the problem?  I believe that the statistics show that at least 80% of the loans are being paid.  And are we ignoring the fact that at this point in time 10% of conventional loans are 60 days past due?  What are the causes of THAT statistic? How have the women, children, and chronically ill who rely on Medicaid become the reason that an HMO contract is seen by a hospital as too restrictive and not sustainable?

The poor in this country are our children who certainly are not perpatrators but victims and our elderly that live longer lives without resources.  I grant that there is a group of people who have made poor choices that end up the recipient of public assistance, but how large a percentage?  And when we focus on that segment do we diminish our ability to solve the social issues that cause extreme poverty?

For the majority of us, I think that the underlying emotion that fuels this animosity is fear.  After all, many of us in this country are just a heartbeat away from that which we fear.  And if not a heartbeat, just a phrase away.  Downsizing  will certainly start rolling off the lips of employers for many reasons.

Now is not the time to be fearful and attack the victims of what has occurred.  Now is the time to be bold, to invent new ways of dealing with runaway healthcare costs, to innovate new ways to create jobs and to educate our children so that they will be prepared to compete in the world.  A sure way of  losing what we have is to jealously guard it from unseen “foes”.

I believe that the opportunity here in NEO to reverse twenty years of poverty has never been better.  We have the talent, the resources and the capabilities to become very prosperous here if we don’t forget that inclusiveness serves a better purpose than exclusivity.   The possibilities for innovation are almost endless-new ways of educating our youth, creating jobs through new industries, approaching healthcare from the viewpoint of wellness instead of sickness, collaboration among businesses to create an enterprise mind set…. 

I believe that if we heed these words of Hubert Humphrey:

It was once said that the moral test of government is how that government treats those who are in the dawn of life, the children; those who are in the twilight of life, the elderly; and those who are in the shadows of life, the sick, the needy, and the handicapped.

when moving forward that we indeed will be prosperous.  We as a society–forget government– cannot forget the children, the elderly, the sick, the needy and the disabled.  We should not be looking elsewhere for the answers on how to transform our region.  It is not up to the government.  It is our task.  We must be fearless.

Written by Gloria Ferris

October 17th, 2008 at 12:36 pm