Excerpts from the Globe’s “Voices of New England’’ blog at www.bostonglobe.com/podium
The true audacity of the Obama administration lies less in its proclaimed foreign policy hopes than in its insistence that its record is one of foreign policy success. It has, rather, been one of embarrassment, failure, and in some cases, disaster.
Because of the last four years, we face a world in which our enemies do not fear us, our friends do not believe they can trust us, and those who maneuver between the two camps feel that they will not get in trouble by crossing us.
The face of poverty has changed. It is now the face of children, with 16.4 million children — or 22 percent of children in America — poor in 2010. Six million of them are under 6 and nearly half — 7.4 million — live in extreme poverty, defined as 50 percent of the poverty level. It is estimated that up to half a million children may be homeless in the United States.
It is the face of women with a third of all families headed by single mothers in poverty. Poverty rates for blacks and Hispanics far exceed the national average. Poverty is spreading across many groups, from underemployed workers and new immigrants to suburban families to discouraged workers who are giving up on the job market.
Just as the nation rallied in the Kennedy era around the Peace Corps and Vista and the War on Poverty, now is the time for us to come together to give all Americans a foothold on the ladder of economic opportunity. We ask the public and private sectors, government, philanthropy, academia and all others to join us in that effort. It would be an investment with a huge return.