Editorial cartoon

Dear Editor:Your Jan. 15 editorial cartoon, which appeared to ridicule families dependent on food stamps, was a poor choice in its implication of gleeful rip-off of the welfare system. It harkens back to the Reagan years and their fictional depiction of a welfare queen driving a Cadillac (itself a cartoon). Sure, there are people who abuse systems designed to benefit the needy, but they pale next to the actual and growing number of people desperate to get through the day with at least some food in their stomachs and a roof over their heads. Decent people, like the ones who once set up food banks for others and now need them themselves. The cartoon would have been much more relevant had it shown the Wall Street plutocrats - you know, the ones who threw themselves a party and sent us, the taxpayers, the bill for a trillion or more - lining up at the door of the U.S. Treasury as if at an ATM. The ones who threw the entire U.S. economy into a tailspin and virtually wrecked the American middle class dream of home ownership and small business startups, not to mention a decent job. The cartoon smacks of the obscene depiction of the poor, or people down on their luck, as somehow morally inferior parasites. This is not a new concept. During the Depression, these same high-flying Wall Street types thought that the bad luck and circumstance of poverty was the fault of the people who fell into it. "God gave me my money," John D. Rockefeller proclaimed. In our own time, the head of Goldman Sachs said, "We're doing God's work." Some things don't apparently change, or else we haven't learned from the mistakes of the past. But I note the irony of so many of your letters to the editor trumpeting Christian values while your own editorial attitude seems to forget, judging by the cartoon that stands in for an editorial voice, Christ's injunction, "Whatsoever you have done to the least of Mine, you have also done to Me." - Lawrence Christon, Downey

********** Published: January 29, 2010 - Volume 8 - Issue 41