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(SANTIAGO, CHILE) A surprising number of the conservatives I've met here -- starting with President Piñera -- talk about the goal of eliminating poverty in their country by the end of the decade. The number of U.S. politicians -- including liberal ones -- eager to have that conversation has been dwindling, even as the number of Americans living below the poverty line has been growing (it's now 1 in 7). Piñera exudes a sense of urgency, as though there is not a moment to waste. His line of attack mirrors the approach he took with the trapped Chilean miners. His experts offered him three different strategies to try to get them out. Do all three at the same time, he ordered. "That," he told me, "is what I would do if it were my children in the mine." How different things might be here if our leaders took the same approach to the millions of Americans trapped by the economic crisis.

 
 
 

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