Vice News ran a story about Sen. Corey Booker (D-N.J.), who is being criticized for his statements about “the poverty of empathy,” without considering that Booker’s assertions were stemming from his questions about America’s cultural values — values that are a key variable in whether communities rise out of or fall into poverty. By focusing only on liberal criticism of Booker — liberals more concerned about materialism only rather than the cultural values that lead to an impoverished state of being.
Conservatives know that these values are key toward lifting someone out of poverty, yet Vice’s Rex Santus offers no consideration that Booker — who was channeling conservative writer David Brooks — could be calling for improved cultural values as a means of improving community and social capital. Conservative policy scholar Arthur Brooks has written and spoken extensively about academic literature showing the four components of faith, family, community and work as the vital ingredients to keeping someone out of poverty. Booker is tapping into these values with his assertion, and the nuances were completely ignored by Vice.