The Presidential campaigns in the US have been busy jumping from voter demographic to voter demographic, hoping to appeal to powerful voting blocs within their constituency. We’ve heard a whole lot about the women’s vote in this election. Everyone is paying attention to the Latino vote. It’s not just the conservatives and progressives, there are a million and one ways that politicians have broken down the electorate.
But there’s one group of US citizens who are getting very little acknowledgement, unless of course you count being written off completely by Mitt Romney during what was supposed to be a closed-door fundraising event. Yes, I’m talking about the poor. I’m talking about low-income families. There happen to be a lot of them here in the United States, but neither campaign has done much to reach out to these voters and explain how they’ll be helping them in the next four years. I guess it’s just another example of the differences between the US and their closest ally across the pond, where Queen Elizabeth II is looking to use plots of royal land to build housing for young, low-income families.
That’s right, we may be all but abandoning our poor here in America, but Great Britain is taking a different approach. According to The Telegraph, the Queen wants to use all of her privately held estate at Aberdeenshire to build low-income housing, suitable for young families who are just buying their first home. The estate is 49,000 acres and has been used as a retreat by the royal family since it was first purchased by Queen Victoria and Prince Albert.
What’s more, the housing won’t just be built for young families. These residents will have the opportunity to help build the homes themselves. According to Hank Dittmar, head of the Prince’s Foundation for Community Building, the idea won’t just keep costs down, it will show “how self-built homes can increase the supply of housing more widely for people who live and work in rural communities, within a pattern that also complements the sensitive natural environment.”
So the Queen is going to open up royal land in a rural community and let young families help build their own homes, work for what they’re getting, and start their families on a productive, independent path? I can see why no one in the United States would want think about a way to emulate that practice. Obviously, it’s way too European to ever work here where we’re proud to pull ourselves up by our bootstraps and put in a good days’ work.
There’s been lots of talk about the middle class recently in this country. And yes, everyone’s been struggling just a bit. But no one more than the very poor, the ones who Romney said would never take responsibility for their lives. President Obama may seem like the natural ally to these citizens, but he’s never mentioned that the Ryan budget plan that Mitt Romney has embraced would completely decimate programs that help the poor. While Medicare is a hot button issue, let’s talk about what these campaigns want to do to Medicaid.
Obviously, the Queen is a monarch free to do what she wishes with her own private land. Our country is vastly different from the UK. But I think that she has an amazing idea for helping young families, for helping those that really need it. It would be nice to hear a little more thoughtfulness like this from the current crop of politicians fighting to win our votes here in the States.