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Opinion page editor Rick Holmes and other writers blog about national politics and issues. Holmes & Co. is a Blog for Independent Minds, a place for a free-flowing discussion of policy, news and opinion. This blog is the online cousin of the Opinion ...
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Opinion page editor Rick Holmes and other writers blog about national politics and issues. Holmes & Co. is a Blog for Independent Minds, a place for a free-flowing discussion of policy, news and opinion. This blog is the online cousin of the Opinion section of the MetroWest Daily News in Framingham, Mass. As such, our focus starts there and spreads to include Massachusetts, the nation and the world. Since successful blogs create communities of readers and writers, we hope the \x34& Co.\x34 will also come to include you.
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By Rob Meltzer
Sept. 2, 2013 11:05 a.m.



Yesterday on NPR, the host interviewed a young black woman from Philadelphia. Unmarried and with three children, she works in a convenience store. Her welfare benefits have been cut off, and the convenience store is cutting her hours to under 30 per week in order to avoid paying her benefits. She was held out as a member of the oppressed poor. What was striking about the interview was the three questions not asked: 1. Where was the father(s) of her children and why weren’t they paying child support? 2. Has she ever heard of inexpensive birth control? and 3. Did she vote for Obama in the 2012 election, at which time it was fully known that chain companies were going to be cutting hours to avoid the Obamacare requirement, a requirement which Romney wanted overturned? What was missing in the interview was any sense that she had any responsibility for her own plight. She needed to answer some pretty tough questions, which were totally absent. I guess we were supposed to sob and tear out our hair and wring our hands about the deserving working poor on this Labor Day, when all I could wonder is whether the United States has totally lost the concept that we are a society of individuals tasked with self-preservation.

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