The Most Vulnerable

  The words are thrown out there for all to hear as if it were some Oscar nominating category.  “And the nominees for the most vulnerable in society are.” A Google search reveals the list.

The IMF (International Monetary Fund) sets up an entire list of countries separated by continent that are the most vulnerable to economic crisis, and so, the search for the most vulnerable begins with an analysis of whether people have enough money in their pockets.  For the IMF’s most vulnerable nominees we have created and defined the term – social safety net, and with that terminology we decent people can label others as those who need to be taken care of.  Apparently, we decent people have not accepted the premise that opportunity is a greater gift than subsidizing poverty, thus the IMF awards the social safety net to the most vulnerable.

“The most elderly, infirm and vulnerable in society will receive enormous benefits from the controversial health care reforms.”  So says an article in the Telegraph.  Here they are not referring to the Obama Health Care reformation but to an expansion of socialized health care in England.  The most vulnerable in this nomination are the three: elderly, infirm and vulnerable.  It’s redundant, however, to consider vulnerable as an acceptable group to be awarded the term “the most vulnerable.”  So the Telegraph nominates only two.  As for the elderly, they have been nominated simply because they are, well, old.  On that premise we all will become the most vulnerable if we merely survive; but if we survive doesn’t that alone defeat the argument that they are vulnerable?  Now the infirmed they have a good argument for “the most vulnerable.”  They are sick.  They need people to take care of them and it is likely that the elderly group will end up as the infirmed and qualify in that way as vulnerable.

The Robert Wood Johnson Foundation has created a program in Texas called the Promotoras, which translated into English, a language that is still spoken in Texas, means Health Angels.  The program is designed to help “the most vulnerable.”  In a You Tube video the program is explained as it  refers to the unfortunate Mexican families that live in poverty in Texas.  They live in ramshackle homes made of plywood and often have many children to feed.  The program discusses the great work that these dedicated angels are doing for this vulnerable segment by providing them the government services to help them into the social safety net.  It never asks the question why are these Mexicans in Texas?  It doesn’t mention the unspoken truth that Mexico does not take care of its most vulnerable.  Instead, it has become the burden of the United States, and in this case Texas to care for these poor families.  American policies exacerbate the problem by rewarding these families for having children and granting these Mexican children born in this country an unquestioned certificate of American citizenship simply because their mother was smart enough to get pregnant in Texas.  Well, that’s cold, you might say, but it’s not as cold as a nation that abandons and chases away its most vulnerable.

Back in England, the Mail says that a crackdown on disability benefits will hurt “the most vulnerable” in society.  The paper complains that a Personal Independence Payment will replace a Disability Allowance and be granted only after a medical evaluation.  Apparently cracking down is synonymous with verification.   Certainly those who receive disability checks and are not disabled are vulnerable under this new system.

The Record in Ontario, states lawmakers are being chastised for reducing the monthly welfare check to $600 and striking at the most vulnerable in society.  It seems that $600 is only one third of the pay of a person being paid minimum wage.  The article fails to point out that the $1,800 that a person makes at minimum wage is actually earned by going to work.

The Google search nominations for “the most vulnerable” in society spends much effort reporting from England, where it appears that “the most vulnerable” reside.  Either that or England is trying its best to become the next Greek tragedy.  So, I added United States to the search and found this.

At a site called the Democratic Underground a blog written by Masters Nemesis, (don’t know if that is the person’s name or just a comment on the difficulty of writing a cogent thesis), titled “If Standing Up for the Most Vulnerable in Our Society is Socialist, I am Guilty.”  He begins the tirade with “I spent too much time at DOL (what the government insiders call the Department of Labor), listening to workers broken and savaged by our greedy capitalistic system to let this travesty the GOP has inflicted on the country to go unanswered.”  It’s not hard to notice a few assumptions in the article’s declarations.  In his mind Republicans are hateful, racist, bigoted, homophobic, women hating, dangerous little cockroaches.  Should I say that I am offended to be called a cockroach, and a little one at that?  The other insults that’s just standard fare.  Everyone knows that Republicans want to starve widows and orphans.  We want to poison the water supply and pollute the air so that Masters Nemesis will just stop writing.  How clever of him to see right through us but what does all that have to do with “the most vulnerable?”  Are those who get something from the government truly the most vulnerable if they have the free will and ability to work and rise up, or are they the new breed of victims who point to everyone else as the problem and dare not see their own reflection?  Are they just the self-entitled with a lack of self-esteem?

Back to the nominations, finally we’re getting somewhere.  In an opinion piece in the Gannet News, Richard Durnwald discusses the courage of child abuse victims who have chosen to talk about their abuse to help others understand what society keeps behind closed doors.  These children talk about a subject that nobody wants to hear because it is just too contrary to our mores to allow children to be treated so brutally, so we ignore it.  We hope it goes away.  It will if we choose not to look.  Have we found “the most vulnerable” in society?  Children are certainly not capable of protecting themselves.  They are susceptible to the brutes whose perversions of thought or simple ignorance of responsibility causes the death of 2,500 children in America per year.  But even for these children there is a thread of hope, a recognition that society must protect them with laws and agencies, and safety nets.  These children are recognized as persons and the law states that as persons they have rights, and others have responsibilities toward these vulnerable children, these precious gifts.

I have run through the Google nominee searches looking for “the most vulnerable” and still there has been no mention of the one group that has no rights, the group that is not recognized with any legal authority.  Yet, they are tortured and killed in the most brutal fashion.  Like the victimized children of abuse and neglect it is better to not look at the brutality of their slaughter for if we were to look at that brutality we would surely recognize the barbaric infanticide of abortion.  They are “the most vulnerable,” yet they appear nowhere in the Google search.  Our society has a great heart that looks after the downtrodden whether they arrive from another country or are the outcasts from our own streets.  We as Americans strive to make life better for everyone and because of our values we will always search for a better way to improve the lives of all of the most vulnerable people.  Can’t we find in our hearts to renew that search and avoid the death of over a million infants per year?  They cannot speak.  They have no voice.  They have no rights.  They are not recognized as anything but a mistake.  The real mistake is that our society is taught to look away from this infanticide crisis and deny that death through abortion represent the deaths of our most vulnerable lives.  One million lives per year and we choose to close our eyes.  That is very sad.