We're poor here in the Valley. The county we live in, Merced, is poor. Still, most of us don't technically qualify under today's poverty yardstick - a family of four, including two kids, making less than $22,000 a year.
But because, as the Bible said, you always have the poor with you ... and because, as the poet said, no man is an island, apart from the main ... and because most Mercedians are good people at heart ... For all those reasons, whatever our income, we're poor. We're poor because some of us - nearly one in five - are poor.
Today the Sun-Star begins a five-part series on poverty. The Sun-Star believes most of our community's serious problems come from poverty. You can argue the other way around, sure, but we think poverty is more the cause than the effect of our problems. We believe that if, as a community, we do something concrete and constructive to deal with poverty, some of our other problems will diminish, or even disappear.