Friday, November 29, 2013

New York Times' Kristof Calls for Compassion



The New York Times


November 27, 2013

Where Is the Love?

When I’ve written recently about food stamp recipients, the uninsured and prison inmates, I’ve had plenty of pushback from readers.
A reader named Keith reflected a coruscating chorus when he protested: “If kids are going hungry, it is because of the parents not upholding their responsibilities.”
A reader in Washington bluntly suggested taking children from parents and putting them in orphanages.
Jim asked: “Why should I have to subsidize someone else’s child? How about personal responsibility? If you procreate, you provide.”
After a recent column about an uninsured man who delayed seeing a doctor about a condition that turned out to be colon cancer, many readers noted that he is a lifelong smoker and said he had it coming.
“What kind of a lame brain doofus is this guy?” one reader asked. “And like it’s our fault that he couldn’t afford to have himself checked out?”
Such scorn seems widespread, based on the comments I get on my blog and Facebook page — as well as on polling and on government policy. At root, these attitudes reflect a profound lack of empathy.
A Princeton University psychology professor, Susan Fiske, has found that when research subjects hooked up to neuro-imaging machines look at photos of the poor and homeless, their brains often react as if they are seeing things, not people. Her analysis suggests that Americans sometimes react to poverty not with sympathy but with revulsion.
So, on Thanksgiving, maybe we need a conversation about empathy for fellow humans in distress.
Let’s acknowledge one point made by these modern social Darwinists: It’s true that some people in poverty do suffer in part because of irresponsible behavior, from abuse of narcotics to criminality to laziness at school or jobs. But remember also that many of today’s poor are small children who have done nothing wrong.
Some 45 percent of food stamp recipients are children, for example. Do we really think that kids should go hungry if they have criminal parents? Should a little boy not get a curved spine treated properly because his dad is a deadbeat? Should a girl not be able to go to preschool because her mom is an alcoholic?
Successful people tend to see in themselves a simple narrative: You study hard, work long hours, obey the law and create your own good fortune. Well, yes. That often works fine in middle-class families.
But if you’re conceived by a teenage mom who drinks during pregnancy so that you’re born with fetal alcohol effects, the odds are overwhelmingly stacked against you from before birth. You’ll perhaps never get traction.
Likewise, if you’re born in a high-poverty neighborhood to a stressed-out single mom who doesn’t read to you and slaps you more than hugs you, you’ll face a huge handicap. One University of Minnesota study found that the kind of parenting a child receives in the first 3.5 years is a better predictor of high school graduation than I.Q.
All this helps explain why one of the strongest determinants of ending up poor is being born poor. As Warren Buffett puts it, our life outcomes often depend on the “ovarian lottery.” Sure, some people transcend their circumstances, but it’s callous for those born on second or third base to denounce the poor for failing to hit home runs.
John Rawls, the brilliant 20th-century philosopher, argued for a society that seems fair if we consider it from behind a “veil of ignorance” — meaning we don’t know whether we’ll be born to an investment banker or a teenage mom, in a leafy suburb or a gang-ridden inner city, healthy or disabled, smart or struggling, privileged or disadvantaged. That’s a shrewd analytical tool — and who among us would argue for food stamp cuts if we thought we might be among the hungry children?
As we celebrate Thanksgiving, let’s remember that the difference between being surrounded by a loving family or being homeless on the street is determined not just by our own level of virtue or self-discipline, but also by an inextricable mix of luck, biography, brain chemistry and genetics.
For those who are well-off, it may be easier to castigate the irresponsibility of the poor than to recognize that success in life is a reflection not only of enterprise and willpower, but also of random chance and early upbringing.
Low-income Americans, who actually encounter the needy in daily life, understand this complexity and respond with empathy. Researchers say that’s why the poorest 20 percent of Americans donate more to charity, as a fraction of their incomes, than the richest 20 percent. Meet those who need help, especially children, and you become less judgmental and more compassionate.
And compassion isn’t a sign of weakness, but a mark of civilization.

Labels: , , ,

10 Comments:

Blogger oakleyses said...

coach purses, louis vuitton handbags, kate spade outlet online, nike air max, michael kors outlet, michael kors outlet store, oakley sunglasses, burberry outlet online, coach outlet store online, michael kors outlet online, louis vuitton, louboutin shoes, louis vuitton outlet, louis vuitton outlet online, louis vuitton outlet, polo ralph lauren outlet, gucci handbags, oakley vault, longchamp handbags, polo ralph lauren, coach outlet, michael kors outlet online, tiffany and co jewelry, jordan shoes, burberry outlet online, ray ban outlet, nike air max, coach outlet, cheap oakley sunglasses, kate spade handbags, red bottom shoes, ray ban sunglasses, chanel handbags, christian louboutin shoes, nike free, tory burch outlet, christian louboutin outlet, nike shoes, prada handbags, tiffany jewelry, longchamp outlet, michael kors outlet online, prada outlet, longchamp outlet online, michael kors outlet online

Wed Oct 22, 10:01:00 PM 2014  
Blogger oakleyses said...

north face pas cher, louis vuitton pas cher, nike roshe run, hollister, barbour, ralph lauren pas cher, converse pas cher, nike air max, vans pas cher, nike air force, abercrombie and fitch, nike trainers, louis vuitton uk, true religion outlet, mulberry, sac louis vuitton, ray ban pas cher, nike huarache, nike free pas cher, michael kors canada, hollister, timberland, longchamp pas cher, hermes pas cher, sac vanessa bruno, air max, nike blazer pas cher, longchamp, ray ban uk, lacoste pas cher, michael kors uk, chaussure louboutin, air max pas cher, nike free, sac michael kors, louis vuitton, burberry pas cher, ralph lauren, nike roshe, air jordan, true religion outlet, new balance pas cher, lululemon, oakley pas cher, guess pas cher, nike air max, scarpe hogan, tn pas cher, north face, true religion

Wed Oct 22, 10:05:00 PM 2014  
Blogger oakleyses said...

babyliss pro, p90x workout, valentino shoes, canada goose pas cher, rolex watches, canada goose outlet, abercrombie and fitch, mcm handbags, lululemon outlet, canada goose outlet, new balance outlet, soccer shoes, bottega veneta, wedding dresses, insanity workout, hollister, canada goose, jimmy choo shoes, ugg outlet, ugg boots, north face outlet, uggs outlet, ghd, asics shoes, marc jacobs outlet, giuseppe zanotti, ferragamo shoes, longchamp, reebok outlet, birkin bag, north face jackets, canada goose uk, celine handbags, vans outlet, nfl jerseys, uggs on sale, ugg, moncler, mont blanc pens, roshe run, canada goose outlet, moncler outlet, mac cosmetics, chi flat iron, herve leger, beats headphones, moncler, ugg soldes, soccer jerseys, instyler ionic styler

Wed Oct 22, 10:06:00 PM 2014  
Blogger oakleyses said...

longchamp outlet online, burberry outlet online, michael kors outlet online, christian louboutin shoes, longchamp handbags, ray ban outlet, michael kors outlet online, louis vuitton outlet, oakley vault, chanel handbags, nike air max, louboutin shoes, kate spade handbags, prada handbags, louis vuitton handbags, coach outlet store online, kate spade outlet online, christian louboutin outlet, longchamp outlet, nike free, gucci handbags, louis vuitton outlet online, polo ralph lauren, louis vuitton outlet, oakley sunglasses, tiffany and co jewelry, michael kors outlet online, cheap oakley sunglasses, michael kors outlet, tiffany jewelry, burberry outlet online, ray ban sunglasses, coach outlet, louis vuitton, michael kors outlet online, prada outlet, coach purses, jordan shoes, nike shoes, tory burch outlet, nike air max, red bottom shoes, polo ralph lauren outlet, michael kors outlet store, coach outlet

Mon Oct 27, 10:19:00 PM 2014  
Blogger oakleyses said...

oakley pas cher, hollister, timberland, air max, nike roshe, true religion outlet, air max pas cher, sac vanessa bruno, ralph lauren pas cher, abercrombie and fitch, new balance pas cher, north face pas cher, chaussure louboutin, hollister, longchamp pas cher, hermes pas cher, nike roshe run, lululemon, barbour, nike air force, vans pas cher, air jordan, nike blazer pas cher, michael kors canada, nike air max, louis vuitton pas cher, ray ban pas cher, guess pas cher, nike free pas cher, louis vuitton uk, nike trainers, nike free, scarpe hogan, nike air max, true religion, longchamp, ray ban uk, north face, ralph lauren, sac louis vuitton, tn pas cher, converse pas cher, burberry pas cher, nike huarache, true religion outlet, louis vuitton, mulberry, sac michael kors, lacoste pas cher, michael kors uk

Mon Oct 27, 10:21:00 PM 2014  
Blogger oakleyses said...

insanity workout, mac cosmetics, vans outlet, ghd, moncler, moncler, wedding dresses, moncler outlet, abercrombie and fitch, jimmy choo shoes, north face outlet, instyler ionic styler, north face jackets, roshe run, canada goose pas cher, new balance outlet, uggs outlet, rolex watches, asics shoes, ugg outlet, soccer shoes, canada goose uk, herve leger, birkin bag, longchamp, canada goose, reebok shoes, canada goose outlet, valentino shoes, canada goose outlet, ferragamo shoes, nfl jerseys, uggs on sale, p90x workout, soccer jerseys, hollister, lululemon outlet, mcm handbags, ugg soldes, celine handbags, ugg boots, mont blanc pens, canada goose outlet, chi flat iron, bottega veneta, marc jacobs outlet, ugg, beats headphones, giuseppe zanotti, babyliss pro

Mon Oct 27, 10:22:00 PM 2014  
Blogger Zheng junxai5 said...

2015-09-15 zhengjx
michael kors bag
Michael Kors Outlet Factory Handbags For Sale
burberry outlet
Abercrombie & Fitch Clothing With Big Discount
michael kors outlet
Michael Kors Outlet Online 70% Off Handbags
coach outlet store online
michael kors outlet
cheap nfl jerseys
Christian Louboutin Shoes Outlet Sale Cheap Price
Abercrombie And Fitch New York Clothing Warehouse
hollister uk
cheap jordans
michael kors outlet
Louis Vuitton Outlet Authentic Handbags Discount
ugg boots sale
Cheap Jordans Shoes For Sale
uggs outlet
abercrombie & fitch
Mont Blanc Pens For Sale
ugg boots
Louis Vuitton Handbags Official USA Website
Michael Kors Outlet Factory Online Store
Louis Vuitton Handbags Outlet Online
Coach Factory Outlet Official Website
Gucci Outlet Online 80% OFF
Ralph Lauren UK Sale Polo Shirts
Abercrombie And Fitch New York Outlet Store
fitflops
ugg boots

Tue Sep 15, 02:45:00 AM 2015  
Blogger mao qiuyun said...

dansko outlet, http://www.dansko-shoes.us/
cyber monday 2015, http://www.blackfriday2015.in.net/
canada goose coats, http://www.canadagoose-coats.us.com/
tiffany outlet, http://www.tiffany-outlet.us.com/
tiffany jewellery, http://www.tiffanyjewelleryoutlets.co.uk/
cheap jordans, http://www.cheapjordanshoes.in.net/
wedding dresses, http://www.weddingdressesoutlet.co.uk/
soccer jerseys, http://www.soccerjerseys.us.com/
ray ban, http://www.occhiali-rayban.it/
hermes belt, http://www.hermesbelts.us/
chanel handbags, http://www.chanelhandbags-outlet.co.uk/
oakley sunglasses, http://www.oakleysunglassescanada.com/
hermes bags, http://www.hermesbags.co.uk/
cheap nfl jerseys, http://www.cheapnfljerseys.org/
nobis outlet, http://www.wellensteyn.com.co/
adidas wings, http://www.adidaswings.net/
coach outlet canada, http://www.coachoutletcanada.com.co/
louis vuitton outlet, http://www.louisvuittonoutletstore.name/
ugg boots, http://www.uggbootsclearance.in.net/
canada goose jackets, http://www.uggbootscheap.eu.com/
tory burch outlet, http://www.toryburch.in.net/
designer handbags, http://www.designerhandbags.us.com/
nike huarache, http://www.nikeairhuarache.org.uk/
timberland boots, http://www.timberlandboots.name/
louis vuitton handbags, http://www.louisvuittonhandbags.org.uk/
nike outlet store, http://www.nikeoutletstore.us/
ed hardy clothing, http://www.edhardy.us.com/
ralph lauren, http://www.poloralphlaurenoutlet.it/
ugg boots, http://www.uggboot.com.co/
1013maoqiuyun

Mon Oct 12, 10:06:00 PM 2015  
Blogger xumeiqing said...

151218meiqing
coach outlet
hollister kids
ugg outlet
ralph lauren polo
ralph lauren sale
toms
canada goose jackets
ugg slippers
louis vuitton handbags
instyler curling iron
ugg outlet
gucci outlet
canada goose jackets
hollister co
tory burch sale
nike huarache
coach factory outlet
michael kors outlet online
prada outlet
abercrombie
coach outlet
louis vuitton
michael kors outlet clearance
hollister uk
lebron james shoes
rolex watches outlet
louis vuitton outlet stores
toms outlet
canada goose outlet
lebron james shoes
ugg outlet
gucci handbags
oakley sunglasses
tiffany and co
coach factory outlet
ugg slippers
louis vuitton handbags
ugg outlet
coach factory outlet
coach outlet

Thu Dec 17, 08:19:00 PM 2015  
Blogger xjd7410@gmail.com said...

coach factory outlet
coach outlet store online
ray bans
beats headphones
air max 90
fitflops sale clearance
oakley outlet
ray ban sunglasses outlet
michael kors handbags
kobe 9
louis vuitton handbags
giuseppe zanotti sneakers
michael kors outlet
cheap oakley sunglasses
supra shoes
nike uk
oakley sunglasses
coach outlet
louis vuitton outlet
tods shoes
toms shoes
michael kors outlet clearance
adidas nmd
coach outlet
coach outlet online
air max 90
louis vuitton outlet
toms shoes
jordan concords
nike sb shoes
adidas originals
air jordan pas cher
nike uk
adidas shoes
ray bans
kate spade
nike roshe flyknit
hollister clothing store
michael kors outlet online
cheap jordans
2016.7.14haungqin

Thu Jul 14, 02:19:00 AM 2016  

Post a Comment

Subscribe to Post Comments [Atom]

<< Home