15 October 2006

Backward, PA

My first time working as a volunteer for the local Democratic Party was nothing short of an adventure. Starting only a month from Election Day, I counted on a hectic schedule and some disorganization, but Murphy's Law stole the show.

Two other people helped me canvass a neighborhood, all three of us participating for the first time. We middle-class white folk were assigned to a neighborhood that was:
The people there weren't very receptive to our invading of their quiet, desolate space with pleas to go vote and make a difference.

Nothing was accomplished except a change in my perspective: some people only appear to be poor because their priorities don't line up with mainstream society. The houses were ratty -- no windows, a dilapidated front porch, and a broken front door -- but everyone had DirectTV satellites and good-looking cars.

A few observations and budget calculations later, a voter who agrees with either the Democrat or Republican platform would become very confused. I figured that with Pennsylvania's new minimum wage of $7.15/h, a single-person household living on a full-time minimum wage income would not only rise above poverty level, but also fund an inexpensive car and a cell phone to boot. My conclusion? Raise the federal minimum wage and cut back on welfare spending.

That places me at odds with both major political parties in the U.S. right now. I'm also a pro-life Democrat. And I'm not alone in either idea. Welcome to my corner of the country, which I fondly call Backward, PA.

Comments:
Alex, thought you'd enjoy this article: http://www.findarticles.com/p/articles/mi_m1058/is_7_121/ai_n5992711
 
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