My family toured the Washington DC monuments on Saturday and almost all of them are tributes to elite leaders or soldiers. There are very few monuments for the poor, but the Martin Luther King monument has quotes about the poor and the nearby Franklin Delano Roosevelt monument even has the above statues representing the poor. In the center of it is the following inscription. This is a version of John Rawls’ conclusion about what a just society looks like. Although many people give lip service to the idea that the poor should be the focus of progress and justice, there are always many other people who disagree. For example many prominent Americans think that the poor in America have excessive food stamps and healthcare. Because there are always some people who dislike the poor or dislike efforts to help them, no society has really prioritized the poor anything like the way the FDR monument (and Rawls) said that we should.
Maybe working for policies that benefit the median would be more politically feasible? So far there is a blindness in the political corridors of power about the median. The beltway insiders are out of touch partly because they don’t have much data about the median American. There are no monuments to the median American in Washington. If medianism is successful, we will have a monument for the median in Washington to balance out the numerous monuments for the elites. Even the poor are represented in more monuments than the median because some Americans idealize helping the poor.
Many of the policies that benefit the median will also benefit the poor. There would be more trickle down to the poor of medianist policies than with current policies and the median American needs a safety net For example, the recent farm bill proposed cutting food stamps for the poor in order to maintain billions of dollars of subsidies that mostly go to rich farmers who earn above the median income. The median American has a much larger chance of losing her job and getting food stamps than she has of being given farmland and thereby benefiting from the subsidies that go to farm owners. A medianist farm bill would eliminate most of the farm subsidies (which go to elites) in favor of maintaining food stamps as a safety net for the median.