Today’s society has a tendency to disparage the homeless, and it is becoming one of our most divisive, broken, and visibly apparent faults. The way some people’s minds immediately jump to conclusions, diagnosing complete strangers down on their luck with drug problems, alcoholism, and bad judgment is an obstacle in the way of giving aid to those who need it the most.
DePaul UK, a group with the mission of helping the homeless and disadvantaged, started a Street Corners campaign to promote its Nightstop program, in which homeless young people aged 16-25 are matched with a volunteer host.
One thing people across the political spectrum often agree on is that we can help fix the budget by spending less on foreign aid. The problem, though, is that according to a November 30 questionnaire, Americans have no idea how little we really spend on foreign aid in the first place. And the amount Americans think would be responsibly conservative is actually 21 times the amount we currently spend.
In this context, politicians can rail against profligate spending on foreign aid and get traction with constituents even though that spending is lower than people want it to be. Public debates about the budget—or any point of policy—can be completely divorced from reality when the public doesn't have its facts straight. The solution? A more responsible media (and, perhaps, a more discriminating attitude from the audience).