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More than word(s)



"Economically disadvantaged."

These are euphemisms, vague ways of describing problems that are, in fact, hard-edged and brutal. Thanks to these phrases, we can avoid talking about our country's broken economic system that has created a grinding cycle of poverty – more than just "economic disadvantage"poverty.

It's a system that has made it difficult to be middle class, excruciating to be poor, and downright impossible to be poor AND:

Poor and black. Poor and brown. Poor and female. Poor and gay. Poor and sick or old or addicted.

We live in a global superpower where over 18.5 million people live in deep poverty. But fixing it is all the more difficult if we can't even utter the word. Donald Trump delivered the third-longest State of the Union address on record this year. And during those 82 minutes, he used the word "poverty" just one time, to describe a different country.

I'm fighting to build a new system – one that doesn't look away from poverty or bury it under syllables. A moral capitalism, judged not just by how much it produces, but how widely it empowers. How much good it does for how many. How well it takes care of us. All of us.

Our country must focus on poverty, not sweep it under the rug. Because talking about it, is the first step to making it obsolete.


Posted on February 26, 2019.

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Joe Kennedy III represents Massachusetts' 4th District in Congress. A principled and passionate advocate for economic, social, and racial justice, Joe is working to improve access to quality, affordable health care, and is determined to fight for all who call this country home.

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