Presidential candidate Edwards is at least looking into the issue of poverty. I don't think that the fact that he has a lot of money or spends $400 of his own money on a haircut means that he's not concerned about the lower classes. It *might* mean he can't spend money very well if he couldn't find a better bargain, but anyway...
He's going to various places in the country and lamenting that poor people have things hard. The solution MUST be some sort of government intervention. You knew this was coming, right?
So, the minimum wage should be raised to over $9 an HOUR. OK, now that might look really GREAT on the surface if you are someone trying to make it by on minimum wage. But if you really think about the economic impact on the whole country, you'll see it's a very bad idea. Imagine yourself busting your rear end for four years to go to college. You leave with over $100,000 in debt. (That's a conservative estimate!) Imagine yourself now getting $11 an hour at your first job, if you are lucky enough to find a job in your area of expertise. When you do the math (four years' wages lost AND debt, etc.), the person who bothered to go to college loses big-time.
Now imagine that you're an employer. You can legally hire poor people for over $9 an hour. Be realistic. Poor citizens, who often have sick kids, transportation problems and bad grammar, aren't really worth hiring for $9 an hour. It sounds cold, but you're not running a charity when you do business. You have to pay Social Security on these people as well. Hmm. How about hiring an illegal immigrant for about $4.50 an hour instead? He'll work pretty hard because he knows if he won't show up, there are 20 more out there in his situation willing to take that very job.
Interesting how these presidential candidates all seem to be promising a life free from poverty, bad educational systems, poor health care and, what else is it you want? Oh, yeah. All the troops will be home the week after the next president takes office and the world will live happily ever after. We will be friends with all Islamic countries and have lots of mutual respect and tolerance for one another.