The poverty in America makes me want to weep with sadness and shame. The imposed austerity in this wealthy nation is inexcusable, if not criminal. The despair of our people is palpable.
We see homeless people everywhere we travel...blue tarp shelters along freeways, tents under overpasses, people sleeping on park benches or curled up on sidewalks. The downtrodden pushing loaded grocery carts or broken down bicycles along the roadways. We've seen dilapidated residences, boarded up businesses and abandoned farms. Buskers and beggars, poverty ragged and dirty, line our city streets. People---men, women and children, young and old, blind, leg less, hurting...everywhere. But in New Mexico it is deeper still. And, it is entrenched.
Most of the small towns are quickly becoming ghost towns...
And the water is scarce...
The Rio Grande, once a sprawling, overflowing river of abundance is now reduced to puddles in southern New Mexico. Irrigation canals pull off water all along the way. Drought, little snow in the mountains, and an increasing demand for water are making the situation more severe. I suspect dried up wells account for many of the abandoned homes and farms, perhaps even towns, we've observed.
I feel sadness and shame, as well as very rich and very grateful.
"The test of our progress is not whether we add more to the abundance of those who have much; it is whether we provide enough for those who have too little."
~ Franklin D. Roosevelt