More and more juveniles are charged with terrorizing. I do not condone such conduct, and it must be taken seriously. However, their anger is a symptom of a socioeconomic ill. It is hard to go to school with duct-taped sneakers, hungry and humiliated by low academic performance. Often, poor youth in school view their options as limited: suffer, quit or worse. In their powerlessness, they target the world they know — their school. They are not sophisticated enough to know the forces responsible for their despair.

The Guardian newpaper said of Harvard professor Robert Putnam’s book “Our Kids: The American Dream In Crises,” “the political scientist convincingly describes an America poisoned by inequity of opportunity, but fails to see the political forces behind the disintegration of its communities.”

The kings of Wall Street, the overpaid CEOs and the lobbyists’ lackeys in our government unite to terrorize the American people with threats of economic collapse, joblessness, immigration — anything to distract us with fear while they enjoy corporate tax cuts enabling the rich to become richer. These terrorizing money-grabbers go unregulated, but the juveniles expressing hopelessness face criminal consequences.

Our legislative representatives decide for us what is right or wrong. I asked a legal scholar why the law is disproportionately punitive to the poor. He shrugged, “That’s democracy.”

But we seem to be living in a plutocracy — government by the wealthy, for the benefit of the wealthy. Governmental representatives are beholden to those who bought their office, not the people.

The wealthy get wealthier and the poor get angrier. Kids need hope for a better life. I’ve represented hundreds of juveniles’ accused of crimes. These kids often feel they have nothing to lose.

Carolyn Adams

Waterville


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