A sad bit of news from last month's headlines: The Census Bureau's annual poverty report, released last September announced that 46.2 million Americans, or one in seven of us, were poor in 2010. The prolonged recession, with high levels of unemployment, has swollen the ranks of the poor. The Bureau reported that the poverty rate in 2010 reached the second highest since back in 1965.
The numbers of Americans without health insurance stood at record highs.
And recently, I am sure all of you saw the Denver Post Supplement of Delinquent Taxes. Thousands and thousands have not paid or only paid their property taxes partially. I'll wager it weighs a quarter pound in paper pulp. It's going to take me a while to tally how many folks actually make up this list of taxpayers in delinquency. I will let you know later.
These folks were not camped out in Civic Center. They are struggling to keep a home over their heads and food on the table for the kids. These camp-ins, which should have included teach-ins on the economy, remind me of the effects of Gutenberg stumbling on moveable type, though the Chinese had invented the process centuries earlier. When he started printing hundreds of copies of the bible, little did he know he was helping bring on the Reformation. Folks could take their own copy of scripture, formerly chained to the reading desks in the chapels and monastic libraries into their own reading room away from the influence of clergy.
We are not sure what citizens are signaling with these camp-ins, we will have to wait and see if they really get organized. "Don't mourn for me, organize," spoken by Joe Hill, labor organizer, about to be shot in Utah. He later asked that his ashes be mailed to place out of Utah. He said he did not want to be caught dead in Utah.