by Fred Kammer, S.J.
In the past two weeks the Louisiana Legislature rejected regulation of payday lending that would have protected working poor families from predatory loans, refused to extend federally-funded Medicaid coverage to hundreds of thousands of workers unable to afford health care, and determined that our lowest paid workers did not deserve a raise. Legislators in other Gulf South states made similar decisions on so many fronts, decisions driven not by care for their own people but by special interests, business lobbyists, prejudice, and yes, virulent opposition to President Obama and the Affordable Care Act.
For overwhelmed advocates for the "least among us," it has not been a good year. For the poor and working poor, it has been more of the same mean-spiritedness and lack of compassion that has left this region at the bottom of almost every indicator of educational achievement, health status, and economic well-being. MORE>>