Tucson Progressive

Pamela Powers Hannley, a progressive voice for Arizona

Self-Actualization, White People Problems, & the War on the Poor

Maslow's Hierarchy of Needs. (Image Credit: Wikipedia Creative Commons.)

Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs. (Image Credit: Wikipedia Creative Commons.)

As one year comes to a close and another begins, people often look back at events to reflect and perhaps resolve to improve their lives or change their behaviors in the coming year. In 2013, the Do-Nothing-at-All Congress— led by the nose by Teapublicans– continued its war on the poor– fighting for cuts to food stamps and unemployment and fighting for austerity for the 99%, while disingenuously padding the pockets of their corporate benefactors.

As Abraham Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs teaches us, people must satisfy their basic needs before they can become fully self-actualized, before they can reach their full potential. To put this simply, if you don’t have food, water, and shelter, your time, energy and resources will be spent obtaining those basic needs. Until you have security and the necessities of life, you will not have the luxury to worry about trifles– Christmas gifts, video game releases, wine selections, fancy coffee, designer-label clothes, insignificant social snubs, political differences– in other words, “white people problems”.

Since our country is governed by the  Congressional millionaire’s club, it’s no wonder that they can’t relate to the poor (or the struggling middle class). The richest man in Congress is California Representative Darrell Issa, who has a net worth of $335 million. How can he know what it’s like to live in poverty? Has he ever tried to live on the food stamp allotment of $4/day? Has he ever had to choose between buying food or buying medicine? Has he been evicted? While members of the Millionaire’s Club occupy themselves with fundraising, satisfying the needs of the 1%, and climbing the ladder of success and power toward self-actualization, millions of Americans struggle to meet basic needs, at the bottom of Maslow’s hierarchy.

Keeping Americans desperate by off-shoring jobs, depressing wages, and promoting fear and division among those of us in the bottom 99% enables the upper class remain in power. As long as we allow them to manipulate our government with money, too many Americans will continue to live on the edges of society; too many children will go hungry; too many people will live on the street.

Progressives fought the good fight in 2013— pushing back against cuts to Social Security, Medicare, Medicaid, unemployment, and Food Stamps– while promoting fiscal responsibility, a humanely balanced budget, military spending cuts, peace, and revenue generation through higher taxes on the wealthy and the Robin Hood Tax on Wall Street trades.

We will continue that fight in the coming year.

One comment on “Self-Actualization, White People Problems, & the War on the Poor

  1. Pingback: Fruity or Oaky? Rambling Thoughts on White People Problems | Tucson Progressive

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About

The Tucson Progressive: Pamela Powers Hannley

I stand on the side of Love. I believe in kindness to all creatures on Earth and the inherent self-worth of all individuals--not just people who agree with me or look like me.

Widespread economic and social injustice prompted me to become a candidate for the Arizona House, representing Legislative District 9 in the 2016 election. My platform focuses on economic reforms to grow Arizona's economy, establish a state-based public bank, fix our infrastructure, fully fund public education, growlocal small businesses and community banks, and put people back to work at good-paying jobs. I also stand for equal rights, choice, and paycheck fairness for women. I am running as a progressive and running clean.

My day job is managing editor for the American Journal of Medicine, an academic medicine journal with a worldwide circulation. In addition, my husband and I co-direct Arizonans for a New Economy, Arizona's public banking initiative. I am a member of the national board of the Public Banking Institute, and I am co-chair of the Arizona Democratic Progressive Caucus, the largest caucus of the Arizona Democratic Party.

I am a published author, photographer, videographer, clay artist, mother, nana, and wife. I have a bachelor's degree in journalism from Ohio State University and a masters in public health from the University of Arizona. I grew up in Amherst, Ohio, but I have lived in Tucson, Arizona since 1981. I am a proud member of the Unitarian Universalist Church of Tucson and the Public Relations Society of America.

My Tucson Progressive blog and Facebook page feature large doses of liberal ideas, local, state, and national politics, and random bits of humor. I also blog at Blog for Arizona and the Huffington Post.

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