Retailers Love Holiday Giving

Once again the media is promoting “giving” for the holidays. Everywhere you turn, there are collection boxes for food, toys, clothes, blankets, etc. for the needy.

While I totally support helping the less fortunate, every year I wonder why it becomes such a ‘big deal’ during the holidays. In today’s economic times, there are hundreds of people who need help year-round. Yet it is only towards the end of each year that the focus becomes laser sharp. Could it be just one more marketing ploy by retailers? 

I also feel a certain amount of distaste for the “Toys for Tots” type campaigns. Why is it so important that every child has a gift under the tree? Yes, I know all about tradition, but that’s the problem. Kids today have learned to expect a “visit from Santa Claus.” And the retailers love it!

There is no denying that we should all feel a certain responsibility for helping others who are destitute and/or impoverished. But when it’s promoted and pushed by local stores through newspaper ads and TV, one can’t help but wonder exactly where charity ends and greed begins.

Poverty and Opportunity in America

This is from an article entitled “5 Ways Most Americans Are Blind to How Stacked Their Country is to the Wealthy” —

Mitt Romney said he wasn’t concerned about the very poor, because they have a safety net. This is typical of the widespread ignorance about inequality in our country.

How many people know that out of 150 countries, we have the fourth-highest wealth disparity? Only Zimbabwe, Namibia and Switzerland are worse.

It’s not just economic inequality that’s plaguing our country, it’s lack of opportunity. It’s a dismissal of poor people as lazy, or as threats to society. More than any other issue over the next four years, we need to address the growing divide in our nation, to tone down our winner-take-all philosophy, to provide job opportunities for people who want to contribute to society.

[…]

Critics bemoan the amounts of aid being lavished on lower-income Americans, making dubious claims about thousands of dollars going to every poor family. But despite an ever-growing need for jobs and basic living necessities, federal spending on poverty programs is a small part of the budget, and it’s been that way for almost 50 years, increasing from 0.8 percent of GDP in 1962 to 1.2 percent of GDP in 2007.


This is me talking … people who are content (full belly, roof over their head, steady job) tend to look askance at the poor. We all need to remember that sh__ happens and none of us are immune to it happening to us. And then what?

 

 

 

The entire article can be found here.