True to Values

Mark Robert Rank

in One Nation, Underprivileged

Published in print April 2004 | ISBN: 9780195101683
Published online April 2010 | e-ISBN: 9780199894048 | DOI:
True to Values

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This chapter takes up the issue of values. The goal of reducing poverty is consistent, and in fact critical, to the realization of two core sets of values held in high esteem by the majority of Americans. These include the Judeo-Christian ethic and the American civic values that have shaped the country (liberty, justice, equality, and democracy). It is argued that if we examine these sets of values carefully, we find that attitudes of apathy toward the poor contradict their very core. In order to remain consistent with American principles, a concerted attempt to reduce poverty is necessary on the part of the country's inhabitants. Although there is room for disagreement regarding the causes and solutions to impoverishment, there can be no disagreement about the imperative to confront this issue if one professes allegiance to either the Judeo-Christian ethic or the founding values on which the country was built.

Keywords: United States; American poverty; poverty reduction; Judeo-Christian ethic; civic values; apathy; poor

Chapter.  8262 words. 

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