This is an old Central Massachusetts expression meaning roughly anyone who "has little". Having lived in several very different parts of the United States, after all this time, the amount of regard Americans have for each other continues to amaze me. Every day we see others on the street with needs unfullfilled: Education, dreams, emotional wounds, war wounds...; Then we meet those shut out of contributing: legally, socially, economically....
Could a people such as we ever do anything together?
I am aware that we seem to have in the Past, but this always involves more than 40 years of history. Sasha Abramsky writes in WR: "Obama should use the State of the Union address to reassert his moral vision of what America is and what America can one day be, to again challenge Americans to dream of better tomorrows." Fine words, but the Republicans are already warning the Voters about "investment" and taxes; Fact is, many Americans who participate in opinion polls cannot access voter's polls.
The President should start by asking what are the enduring resources of the United States (I believe that is how our global competitors: China, India, Brazil...and adversaries: Iran, Russia...do "planning". Talk about Plan B-Everybody looks around and wonders why we don't even have an A.) Not physical resources or budget calculations-These come from our people: Could these become social mending tools?
Every community has a public library system, however funded. Apply this to the problems like our inability to absorb facts in our educational system: We have an ocean of functional illerates our enterprises cannot provide for. Many of them wind up in our libraries trying to become part of the world.
Every community has a public transit system, however funded. In most places most riders are persons denied a driver's license by courts or those holding no credit or cash worthiness. There are many states where people can't text and drive now; Even in small towns walking and texting can be a hazard. Lets put texting on wheels.
Step 1 is moving beyond "class"; "Mobility" has to be the new integration.