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Thanks to The News for publishing the front-page story on the state of the working-class poor in Western New York. This is a national dilemma.

The working poor are often the most unnoticed lot within the human race. Yet they sacrifice and work very hard just to survive. They compromise quality of life and opportunity because they are consumed with food and shelter issues. They hold the highest rates of bankruptcy and social despair, yet maintain above-average productivity.

Face it, the working poor are less of a priority. They are a commodity. Oftentimes, they don't choose to be poor -- they're born into it. They need more opportunity to succeed.

In the end, it may not mean a minimum wage increase at all. It may mean more banks and governments taking on risks by allowing the working poor to succeed in private enterprise.

Unfortunately, these people are redlined from business loans and grants because they are a risk. This could change if we helped each other, much like immigrant populations do. Immigrants stick together and help their families until each one succeeds. They all win in the end. Until social equity policies are designed to nurture the working-class poor, they will continue to slip.



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