Struggling to Survive | Letters | Salt Lake City | Salt Lake City Weekly

Struggling to Survive 

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During the Great Depression, when so many were struggling to get by, Herbert Hoover refused to believe people were starving in America. Hundreds of thousands of Americans found themselves homeless, and began congregating in shantytowns—dubbed “Hoovervilles”—that cropped up across the country. It took liberal photo-journalists such as Dorothea Lange to document the growing rate of dire poverty in America that eventually required a New Deal to correct the unbalanced accumulation of wealth.

From The Grapes of Wrath by John Steinbeck: “And the great owners, who must lose their land in an upheaval, the great owners with access to history, with eyes to read history and to know the great fact: When property accumulates in too few hands it is taken away. And that companion fact: When a majority of the people are hungry and cold, they will take by force what they need. And the little screaming fact that sounds through all history: Repression works only to strengthen and knit the repressed.”

As the debate rages as to whether the wealthiest Americans should pay more (if any) taxes, and so many are unwilling to extract their heads from the sand and acknowledge the story that is unfolding once again in this country, the economic onslaught continues unabated today with skyrocketing health-care costs, food and gas prices, reduced income, etc.

Thanks to social-services programs, advocates for community action, child-welfare services, church groups and many other community-outreach programs that are oblivious to the demonization from foam-at-the-mouth political groups that label them as “do-gooder liberals,” “socialists,” or just plain “crappy Americans,” many of our neighbors and their children are going to bed less hungry.

Dennis Kostecki
Mammoth Lakes, Calif.

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