has a splendid ring to it.
It rolls off the tongue of the glib politician
and makes him sound like a man with a mission.
A mission to answer the noble call
to eradicate poverty, once and for all.
But I’m perplexed, you might be too,
so I’ve been trying to think this through.
No matter what is said and done
the War on Poverty is never won.
With all the money there is to spend,
why does poverty never end?
Perhaps we’ve all just been mistaken
and all the skirmishes undertaken
have been a wretched waste of time?
And I confess that lately I’m
inclined to think it’s all been planned:
we’re not supposed to understand.
For after all, this War is fought,
as we have all been so well taught,
by people just like you and me
who represent democracy.
In other words, the government,
but just who do they represent?
Rulers and Capital through the ages
have kept a lid on minimum wages.
You can’t have rich if you don’t have poor,
that’s why so many must endure
a life of hardship and deprivation
in the world’s most prosperous modern nation.
The War on Poverty can’t succeed
without eradicating greed.
How can a War like this be won
when some have all and the rest have none?
When those who have have long forgot
The many wretched who have not?
It is no secret, the workforce is
one of Capital’s main resources.
If the labor’s bought more cheaply
profits simply rise more steeply.
When the goal is affluence,
raising wages makes no sense.
So when I hear the tired old saw
that we will fight and win this War,
I look at those who lie to me,
amazed at their hypocrisy.
I don’t believe their call to battle,
would cowboys fight a War on Cattle?