More than 20 political leaders are making their pitch for the “Soul of America,” hoping to appeal to our better angels. Whether Democrat or Republican, I suggest they all dig a little deeper before they proclaim their angst over what they seem to think of as “Rust Belt America” — that is, their concerns about the families, as one candidate said today, whose household income is $90,000 and they “can’t make it” on that amount of money. I’d suggest they get out of their comfort zone and see the Rust Belt that has eroded everywhere in America.
Let’s take our nice little Hometown USA. Census figures cite the median household income in 2017 dollars as $48,716 and poverty rate as 16 percent. And we are not alone! That Rust Belt has eaten into cities all across our nation. We hear a lot about fake news these days — better do your homework, candidates, and get your facts straight. Whether a household struggles on $90,000 or $48,716, the fact is, the majority of us are hurting and just getting by (and even then, some can’t do that much). To all the candidates, I’d say, “get real.” Come and visit Hometown USA — we are everywhere, waiting for you to get to really know us.
Kate Roos, Glens Falls