Letter to the Editor

Rich favored over needs of poor

To the editor:

After many years of working with women who are abused by their partners, I consider myself a kind of expert on the subject. I have watched women return to abusive relationships time and again, sometimes taking children back into violent homes. Occasionally these women even end up dead.

Why do they continue in abusive relationships? Psychological and religious reasons are often factors. But my bird's-eye view has led me to a broader perspective. Abused women in general don't believe they can make it financially, and rightly so. Our economy has stacked the deck against them. An uneducated woman alone usually can't get a job that pays rent, buys food and also pays for transportation -- let alone health care, daycare and education. Many return to their abusers or quickly find another partner who also turns out to be abusive. They then raise children who will repeat the same cycles of violence.

Why do we tolerate this? How can we justify a society where giant tax breaks are given to corporate officers who already make tens of millions of dollars while workers barely survive? Why do people demonize the poor while the super-rich hide billions of tax dollars in offshore accounts and rack up fortunes through corporate welfare at the expense of middle-class and poor taxpayers? Every statistic says that the rich are getting richer while conservatives slash spending for health care, education and other services.

No one who understands the facts could call this a moral society.

JOY BELL, Cape Girardeau