Your views: Paul Ryan doesn't get reality of poverty

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Monday, July 28, 2014

Having worked in both health care and poverty programs, I'm annoyed with Paul Ryan's naivetÚ in both areas.

Privatizing Medicare assumes that private enterprise can do it better and more efficiently. That's a na´ve assumption. Yes, Medicare will cost more because our population is aging, but under Kathleen Sibelius, Medicare has taken very positive steps to curb unnecessary spending.

Let's remember that private companies must make a profit. Profits add to the cost of goods or lead to cutting corners. Look at the tragic GM recalls. “Good enough” thinking killed a lot of people.

If Ryan spent an entire summer as I did volunteering in South Chicago, he might be walking a different talk. I saw “investors” buying row housing using paper corporations. They divided single-family flats into multiple rentals sharing a common kitchen and bath. They paid code enforcement officers to ignore the unsafe living conditions. Nonpayment of taxes was part of their business plan. They made big profits exploiting southern blacks coming to Chicago seeking employment and opportunity for their families. The row houses were in shambles by the time the city foreclosed. The paper corporations went bankrupt. The “investors” increased both their net worth and their credit rating.

Tailoring welfare to each recipient's needs sounds great. Most of the poor need skills training and money for expenses while in training. Don't count on the Tea Party to say “yes.”

We need someone who understands reality. In my book, that's Rob Zerban.


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