Envy and bad data confuse poverty issue

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By Harold Morgan

The forbidden dinner table topics are sex, politics and money, as I remember. Money —having it and not having it — has been getting pundit pontification recently in reaction to the 50-year anniversary of Lyndon Johnson’s War on Poverty.
I have little experience with really serious money. My upbringing and my adult life have been fairly middle class. I have attended a few events where, as I said after one, “You can smell the money.” But I have never thought much about the money, one way or the other, good or bad. Ideas have always been more important.
The most recent financial association came when state treasurer candidate Tim Eichenberg put me in the same sentence with the Koch brothers of Wichita, Kan. The brothers, most of you may know, are very big money supporters of conservative causes.
Eichenberg was defending his “progressive” (i.e., left wing) bona fides against my argument that the progressive policy agenda of John Wertheim, also a state treasurer candidate, did not apply to being treasurer. The Koch aura was something! I don’t know if my ego can stand it.
In New Mexico, we have plenty of poverty and not all that much massive wealth. Sure, we have the occasional financier or movie star tucked in the piñons. But not the concentration found around New York.

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