Tag: social welfare

Background Briefing: December 22, 2021


Celebrating the Birth of Jesus and the Poor People’s Campaign

We begin as we approach Christmas and the celebration of the birth of the prophet Jesus with an analysis of why we have fallen from grace in not following the teachings and examples of Jesus who ministered to the poor and as the gospel of Matthew makes clear, “Truly I tell you, it will be hard for a rich person to enter the kingdom of heaven. It is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle than for someone who is rich to enter the kingdom of God … For mortals it is impossible, but for God all things are possible … Many who are first will be last, and the last will be first.” Joining us is the Reverend Dr. Liz Theoharis, co-chair of the Poor People’s Campaign: A National Call for Moral Revival, alongside Bishop William J. Barber II, and the director of the Kairos Center for Religions, Rights, and Social Justice at Union Theological Seminary. She has been named by Politico as one of 50 “thinkers, doers and visionaries whose ideas are driving politics,” and by Sojourners as one of 11 Women Shaping the Church, and by the Center for American Progress as one of 15 Faith Leaders to Watch. An ordained minister in the Presbyterian Church who teaches at Union Theological Seminary, she is the author of Always with Us? and coauthor of Revive Us Again, and her latest book is We Cry Justice: Reading the Bible with the Poor People’s Campaign, we discuss her article at Politico, “Congress Approved $778 Billion for the Pentagon. That Means We Can Afford Build Back Better” and how in February she and the Poor People’s Campaign confronted Senator Joe Manchin in his home state where there are more than 700,000 poor and low-income West Virginians out of the 140 million poor and low-income Americans nationwide. We will discuss Manchin’s casual cruelty in dismissing the poor who depend on the child tax credit as “crackheads” who spend taxpayer’s money on drugs and our priorities as a nation spending freely on the Pentagon’s machinery of death while resisting the need and refusing to invest in improving the quality of the lives of the American people.


Reviving Build Back Better and Saving American Democracy

Then, we explore further why we have become a society of winners and losers with so many of our fellow citizens homeless and destitute in what has become a disposable society instead of the entitlement society that Joe Manchin and other conservative like to argue we are becoming while legislating to prioritize help for the rich and powerful. Joining us is Richard Parker, who teaches economics and public policy at Harvard’s Kennedy School of Government and is a Senior Fellow at the Shorenstein Center. He is a former managing editor of Ramparts, was a cofounder of Mother Jones magazine, and serves on the editorial board of The Nation. His books include, The Myth of the Middle Class and John Kenneth Galbraith: His Life, His Politics, His Economics. We discuss what can be done to rescue Biden’s Build Back Better plan to invest in America’s social infrastructure and how we can win the battle to save American democracy from a permanent Republican-engineered tyranny of a minority.