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February 1, 2013 at 4:00 PM

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Times front page pairs wealth and poverty

Local wealth should aid homeless

The Jan. 26 front page of The Seattle Times provides a telling depiction of our economic and human condition. On one side sits a smiling Starbucks chairman, Howard Schultz, reporting personal 2012 earnings of $28.9 million [“Starbucks boosts Schultz’s pay 80%”]. The other side, a freezing homeless man, Mark Dobranski, lighting the butt end of his last cigarette, the caption reporting significant increases in local homelessness [“Big shift in aid for homeless: funds for emergency shelters”].

It may not be as depressing as the bread lines of 1929, but how far have we really come from there? The rich get richer, the poor poorer, and the middle class stagnates at the will of fat cats and a dysfunctional Congress. Is homelessness an acceptable social condition in 21st-century America? What’s wrong with this picture and what can be done about it?

We cannot count on government, which focuses on debt, deficits and fiscal cliffs. Perhaps it is time for local wealth to open the doors to their hearts. What a wonderful world this would be if Schultz’s legacy were that he developed systems and facilities diminishing homelessness. Then we would not have to ask, “What’s wrong with this picture?”

--David Sadick, Edmonds

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