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(c) by Mary Griggs

There is a viral thing going around the web that what the 10 US cities with the highest poverty rates have in common is Democratic mayors. It started with this commentary by Glenn Beck.

Here is the main gist:
Detroit, MI (1st on the poverty rate list)…hasn’t elected a Republican mayor since 1961;
Buffalo, NY (2nd)…hasn’t elected a Republican mayor since 1954;
Cincinnati, OH (3rd)…hasn’t elected a Republican mayor since 1984;
Cleveland, OH (4th)…hasn’t elected a Republican mayor since 1989;
Miami, FL (5th)…has never had a Republican mayor;
St. Louis, MO (6th)…hasn’t elected a Republican mayor since 1949;
El Paso, TX (7th)… has never had a Republican mayor;
Milwaukee, WI (8th)…hasn’t elected a Republican mayor since 1908;
Philadelphia, PA (9th)…hasn’t elected a Republican mayor since 1952;
Newark, NJ (10th)…hasn’t elected a Republican mayor since 1907.

I understand that it is fun making partisan jabs but I don’t think saying that the only common thread these cities have is that they were run by Democrats does justice to the complexities of their individual situations. Any study of the specifics would illustrate that correlation does not equal causation. If it did, then San Francisco, as a bastion of liberal policies and with Democratic mayors stretching back to 1964, would not be leading the list of cities with the lowest poverty rates!

But what about the states? I would think that the policies of Federal and state governments have a greater impact on poverty. Considering that in 8 years of Republican presidential power our economy damn near collapsed from irresponsible management, how do you explain that the five poorest states in the US all voted Republican in the last presidential election?

State Average Household Income
• Louisiana –$39,768
• Alabama –$48,934
• Kentucky –$39,033
• Arkansas –$38,668
• West Virginia –$37,671
• Mississippi –$36,533

Further, Fox News reports on the Top Ten Deadliest Stretches of Road in America. Eight of the top 10 were in Western states — California, Arizona, Nevada and Texas. The other two roads were in Florida. What do those states have in common? All have Republican Governors. Is Mr. Beck also going to argue that Republicans are therefore responsible for the deaths on their roads?

Our nation is currently mired in a recession that is ever deepening. The poorest of our citizens are getting hungry from eating the stale bread of hatred and the spoiled meat of partisan politics. It is past time to stop arguing blame and start working together on a solution.

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