KONICA MINOLTA DIGITAL CAMERAQuick thought on Barney Frank’s exit interview on PBS’s Newshour last week. When asked why he wanted to join Congress in the first place, Frank responded that he wanted to make the U.S. “a fairer country…in the sense of people not going hungry and being deprived through no fault of their own, or even it was their fault, but not letting people sink to that level of misery.”

To me, outgoing Representative Frank makes a pretty basic point about how much we all want to take care of each other. Even if we think that it’s a particular individual’s “fault” that she hasn’t succeeded in life, is our societal response to just let her suffer as a consequence? I don’t think so, and instead believe that we want to ensure that everyone has some basic level of subsistence. By doing so, we can help others have a second chance at success, and more fundamentally, to prevent unnecessary “misery.”

Photo credit: mcmrbt