Tuesday, October 16, 2012
Katha Pollitt | October 10, 2012
As has been noted, the word "women" was not uttered
once the whole evening in the prior debate.
But women's rights and economic situation were not the
only important issue inexplicably left out. Here are
some questions I hope the next moderators will ask:
1.Poverty. It's growing and deepening--some 46 million
people and counting. But the way the economic debate is
framed, you would think that every single person in
America either owned a small business or was looking to
start one, and the only question was how much they
should be taxed and regulated. It's as if we think we
can hardware-store our way into a whole new wave of
prosperity, one newly hired shop assistant at a time.
Given that wages even for full-time work can be so low
they leave one eligible for food stamps, what role do
you see for government in ensuring a decent life for
2.Follow-up: millions of children--almost one in
four--are growing up poor. According to UNICEF, of the
thirty-five richest countries, only Romania (!) has a
higher rate of relative child poverty (kids at less
than 50 percent of median disposable income). Moreover,
the United States does far less than other developed
countries to ameliorate poverty and its effects. Canada
and the United States, for example, start out with
roughly equal percentages of kids in poverty, but
Canadian government policies lift almost half of these
children above the line. What is your program for
ending child poverty in the next ten years?
Will these be in the debate?