Tipping perpetuates racism, classism, and poverty — let’s get rid of it! – Vox

The way we tip reflects our prejudices, argues Freakonomics’ Stephen Dubner. Here’s what he told Brian Lehrer: “The data show very clearly that African Americans receive less in tips than whites, and so there is a legal argument to be made that as a protected class, African American servers are getting less for doing the same work. And therefore, the institution of tipping is inherently unfair.”

But not only are black servers making less money than white servers — black diners are perceived to be leaving less money than white diners. Data collected in 2009 from over 1,000 servers all across the US “found that over sixty-five percent [of servers] rated African Americans as below average tippers.” As a result, restaurant workers of all colors dislike waiting on black customers, studies found. The economy of tipping is so racially charged that both servers and diners are affected by prejudice.

Racism isn’t the only kind of discrimination baked into the American tipping system. Female servers, too, face routine discrimination. As Lynn told Dubner: blonde, slender, larger-breasted women in their 30s earn some of the highest tips. Granted, the decision of how large a tip to leave is up to the subjective whims of the tipper, and different people have their own aesthetic preferences. But when a server’s main source of income is her tips, and if those tips are regulated by the prejudices of the tippers, then a case could potentially be made that certain wage practices of restaurants are discriminatory.

This is the very case Kamer made (emphasis mine): “In 1971′s Griggs v. Duke Power, the Civil Rights Act of 1964 was ruled to prohibit businesses with discriminatory practices against those protected under it, even if that effect is unintended. Tipping, which has been proven to be discriminatory, could be downright unconstitutional.”

via Tipping perpetuates racism, classism, and poverty — let’s get rid of it! – Vox.

John Oliver on Income Inequality & The Wealth Gap

John Oliver nails it here. He starts off with clips of Obama saying that income inequality will be a top priority and showing how quickly that topic was pushed under the rug thanks to all the rich bastards who cried out that this was the start of class warfare. So, nope… we don’t get to have a political discussion about income inequality (because hello, wealthy oligarchy). We just have to suck it up and keep falling for the boot strap myth.

Oliver also covers how ,even despite the odds and logic, Americans are led to believe that they can all be “winners” simply because they’re American and everyone has a chance at The American Dream,right?

 

Thoughts on “This is what happened when I drove my Mercedes to pick up food stamps”

The article  “This is what happened when I drove my Mercedes to pick up food stamps” was sent to me about a dozen times by mid-morning. I tweeted my thoughts about it and you can see them below in the Storify I made (which may look wonky since embed doesn’t work correctly in wordpress, so I had to convert to html and …yeah).

I don’t have much to add to the series of tweets. A lot of people really loved this piece and I respect that. I suspect it’s because people are liking a narrative that addresses going from stability to poverty in a short time since it’s becoming a common story.
As always, I just like to look at things through a more critical lens and offer perspective that may be outside of popular opinion.

Thoughts on WaPo “Drove my Mercedes to pick up food stamps”//

 

 

Thoughts on WaPo “Drove my Mercedes to pick up food stamps”

  1. OK, I read the Mercedes-Food Stamps thing.
    1st off: I agree that when you become poor, it’s illogical to sell things. #talkpoverty
  2. Selling things of value when you find yourself in poverty only reduces your access to opportunities & advantages. #talkpoverty
  3. I was bothered by the author’s wording sometimes. She seemed to see herself as above the “poverty stricken mothers” in their “grungy den”
  4. Referring to herself as the tall blonde girl on heels and it’s really a powerful statement against the way she describes the other WIC moms
  5. I had to stop going to WIC b/c I had to take 2 buses to get to the appointments & couldn’t afford bus fare.Reality for some
    #talkpoverty
  6. Even if we had a car, I could never guarantee at times we’d have gas money or be able to pay insurance.Grateful for having public transport
  7. In the WaPo piece, author mentions the Mercedes was a 2nd car. The Honda wouldn’t start. So, that makes me feel a certain way…
    BUT
  8. I mean…you have a paid off ,reliable Mercedes… that’s the car you should be driving. That’s reasonable.
  9. Someone also just asked me…”what did she mean ‘picking up food stamps’”?
    Good question because WIC isn’t food stamps
  10. It’s important for people sharing their stories of poverty,however brief, refer to gov’t programs & processes correctly in their writing.
  11. when you call WIC “food stamps” , it’s misleading as to how programs work. You can be eligible for WIC but not food stamps.
  12. @dumbsainted that confused me, too. You don’t pick up food stamps at a church.
  13. At no point in the WaPo piece does the author tell a story about using food stamps. She’s using WIC.
    #talkpoverty
  14. I appreciate that she mentions that the application process for safety net programs is not easy because really…it isn’t a piece of cake.
  15. @dumbsainted did she learn the lesson that poverty has nothing to do with character flaws? that other poor ppl “failed” bc systemic problem?
  16. .@MommysaurusRAWR There’s no lessons except to reveal that she felt embarrassed & internalized msgs about how poor people should live
  17. @dumbsainted For me her piece smacked of respectability, that she only became poor through larger forces, as if others did not.
  18. @dumbsainted I liked the article because it showed another side. Her language/descriptions weren’t always the best. The emotion was there.
  19. Whenever someone writes about their poverty experience, their individual narrative isn’t going to be something everyone can identify with.
  20. Poverty can look different. It can last for years and years or be a brief experience. Some people have more advantages to escape,too.
  21. Someone who is white,cishet, educated, ablebodied…. it’s less likely that they stay in poverty for long periods of time.
  22. No, I was not saying that white people don’t live in poverty for long periods. I think I’m proof of that.
    (Hi, I’m White )

 

Ithaca Mayor Myrick talks living wage, poverty on MSNBC and fast food workers strike globally

My local Mayor Svante Myrick was on MSNBC the other day talking  to Ronan Farrow about Ithaca’s Living Wage. The city minimum wage is now $12.62/hr.

Couldn’t embed the video in this post but watch it at the link. Myrick seemed to get a little emotional when asked about his Mom & her feelings about the new living wage.
Link : Why the minimum wage is a poverty wage

Related on the blogosphere. Rick Cooley has a piece on making minimum wage a living wage| rcooley123.wordpress.com/2013/02/17/mak…


Today, fast food workers protested poverty wages globally. Lots of updates and articles at the #fastfoodglobal ←link on Twitter.

Protest at , Whitehall, Central London as part of

Embedded image permalink

via Rep. Schakowsky says, “we as taxpayers are subsidizing McDonald’s poverty wages!!” That isn’t right!

Media preview

Even as a manager at a Charleston @mcdonald‘s, Shenee STILL only makes $7.25/hr. 


Relevant song to add to the PAF Soundtrack today…

Why’s the rich man busy dancing
While the poor man pays the band
Oh, they’re billing me for killing me
Lord, have mercy on the working man.

Hey, St. Peter, look down for a minute
And see this little man about to drown
There’s quicksand all around and man I’m in it
Please help me up Lord, ’cause I’m going down.

One Family’s Story Shows How The Cycle Of Poverty Is Hard To Break : NPR

Link : One Family’s Story Shows How The Cycle Of Poverty Is Hard To Break : NPR.

via @nprnews@SocialWorkersRJ

Well,goodness. I always stress than while personal narratives can share common threads, there are many ways poverty can look but I connect with this personally. Metcalf lives about 2 counties away from where I do. It’s hard to even get dental coverage through medicaid here if you’re an adult and very few dentists will even accept it. The one closest to me is a horror show. And by closest, I have the same issue as Metcalf …transportation. Right where I live, we have a great public bus system but traveling outside of the area isn’t easy.

We are also in that dangerous space where if I were to just get a part time job, we would lose assistance but any income I make wouldn’t be enough to offset the lost assistance PLUS cover the cost of childcare. Hell, a part time job probably wouldn’t even cover the cost of childcare here. The daycare subsidy waiting list is long, so that isn’t a huge help.

Metcalf faces another situation common among low-income workers. She knows if she starts making money, other benefits — like food stamps — will be cut or eliminated.

“I guess to me the system seems backward. I mean, they should be more for helping you, not kind of setting you up to fail, so to speak,” Metcalf says.Just recently, the family’s food stamp benefit dropped from $700 a month to $200 because her daughter started to receive $744 a month from Social Security to treat her emotional issues and her husband began working part time at McDonald’s. Of course, now he’s gone.

And there’s one more thing. Although Metcalf is only 24, she’s missing most of her top front teeth. She says it’s from hereditary gum disease. Medicaid paid $3,000 for a partial bridge, but now she can’t use it because her other teeth are crumbling.

Rezelman points out that Metcalf could get more dental work, but there are no providers who accept Medicaid in the Bath area. Metcalf would have to go to Rochester to have the work done, but again, she has no transportation.

“It’s distressing because you have to be so motivated and capable to navigate those systems and come out ahead,” Rezelman says.

It’s a complaint you hear again and again, not just from those who get government aid, but sometimes from providers.

Kathryn Muller is the commissioner of social services for Steuben County, where Metcalf lives. Muller says her office provides an array of services to help the county’s struggling families.

“Really, it’s sometimes hand-holding. It’s working with employers and putting case managers with individuals who are starting employment and helping them,” she says.

But she says sometimes their hands are tied by state and federal laws. For example, welfare recipients can meet their work requirements by going to school, but only for a year.

“One year is great. It’s better than what used to be, but you can’t get an associate’s degree in one year,” says Muller.

Even though, she notes, one of the main reasons people can’t get work is a lack of education.

Muller says some of the limits on government aid are there to prevent people from abusing the system, but she thinks there’s also a misperception about the poor.

“It’s not a chosen lifestyle. Certainly there is abuse out there. There’s abuse no matter what it is. But it’s not a chosen lifestyle,” she says.

Metcalf could not agree more. She just wishes it wasn’t such a struggle getting help. Still, she hopes someday to get back to college.

 

“I haven’t given up my dream yet. I just keep putting it on the back burner until it ain’t raining so hard, I guess,” she says.

Lunchtime Links: Stamp Out Hunger, lots of lentil recipes, and another study confirms stuff we know

My laptop is back. Thank the techy gods for buyer’s protection plans. They replaced the screen and it’s as good as new now.

So, back to things like Lunchtime Links!

Tomorrow is the annual Letter Carrier’s Food Drive, better known now as Stamp Out Hunger. On Saturday, May 10th, leave a plastic bag with canned and nonperishable food next to your mailbox. Your letter carrier will donate it to a local food bank.

If you don’t get mail delivery and still want to contribute, check out this list to find a food bank near you.

Does anyone see flyers for this in your own area? I never see anything here. I only know of this event because of social media and I go to my local post office nearly every day. Maybe I’m not aware since I don’t get home delivery?

Speaking of food banks…

via Sustainable Food Trust  -

Affordable healthy diet ‘too expensive for many

This isn’t news around these parts (meaning this part here of the blogosphere). We know that the need for food banks has increased. Eating healthy is really not something that some poor people CAN do.
Meanwhile,I can present studies and personal narratives every damn day ,all day long and I will still hear some people blame poor people for unhealthy eating “choices” ( saying choice implies there is more than one option) , fat-shaming poor people ignoring the “obesity-poverty paradox” and of course, saying poor people aren’t trying hard enough to do for themselves.

On the issue of “concern trolls” (people who raise “concerns” or non-helpful solutions about the things people do or act supposedly out of interest for the good of the people or cause at hand but who actually are working AGAINST what or who they claim to be advocating for, often ignoring the personal narratives and voices of people with the most experience )…. when it comes to the health and nutrition issues, weight is not the primary concern they need to be thinking about. From my perspective, brain health is the most important. Low income kids who don’t get the right food or enough of it can’t excel in school and tend to have more behavior problems. Obviously, the same is true for adults. Who can function well at a job when they’re hungry? Being hungry and not getting the right nutrition can literally make you pretty loopy and affect the way your brain works.

Hangry is a real thing.

 

Ok,enough of that.
How about some recipes? Lentils. Because it’s one thing people are like, “These were cheap but now what the hell do I do with them?”
This is a great list of recipes from Whole New Mom.

Lentil Collage Wmk

“Lentil-fy your life!”

Missing here is this thing my step-daughter makes (regional cuisine of Panama, where the step-kids grew up). Next time we Skype with her, I will ask her for the recipe.I tried to make it from memory but it wasn’t quite the same.
(I really love Skype. My step-daughter is living and going to school in Belgium right now. The other day, she took us on a live tour through her new town and showed us her container garden she has growing. That’s just SO cool,right?)

 

 

 

Stupid tips on how to save money…

via Cynical As Hell, ambienne

I had this discussion awhile back with a few people when I mentioned I was running out of actual tips for how to be poor. The “frugal tips that will save you money!” lists are often really not applicable to low income people. Nothing wrong with trying to live within a budget to help keep your financial situation sustainable and stable  but there’s quite a difference between that and being poor.

This coffee tip is on nearly every single list you see about saving money. “Save money by making your coffee at home!”
Yeah, we know this. And some of us don’t even have enough to buy coffee to make at home (or a coffeepot) ,so there’s that.

What are your favorite really not helpful “tips” for how to be poor?

 

Senate Doesn’t Pass Minimum Wage Raise

 

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 Senate GOP blocked a minimum wage hike today.

Even though raising the minimum wage would lift nearly 1 million Americans out of poverty

Even though $1BILLION of funding for  Food Stamps is spent helping just the workers in the fast-food industry. And that’s just the fast food industry, not corporate retail stores like Walmart. Raising the minimum wage would reduce the need for safety net programs.

I don’t get it.  The GOP hates “dependency” on food stamps, says people need to get a job. Most people on food stamps who are able bodied DO work and they still need food stamps. Logic defies here.

And no, raising the minimum wage does not mean hamburgers would cost $20 at McDonald’s winkprogress.com/teapartycat/29…

 

The good news is, Hawaii went ahead and raised their minimum wage to $10.10 anyway. Congress, hmmph.

 

I highly recommend Robert Reich’s documentary “Inequality For All” as a pretty complete info source and why we need to raise the wage.

Today’s Reads: “”We have an image of hunger that comes from Africa, but this is America.And unless your belly is distended we don’t have an image of what hunger looks like here.”

All the read-worthy things for this evening.

Viola Davis talked to People Magazine about digging through trash and stealing food as a kid growing up with hunger.

Now partnering with the Safeway Foundationand the Entertainment Industry Foundation, Davis is spearheading the campaign forHunger Is to raise awareness and funds to fight childhood hunger. 

“We have an image of hunger that comes from Africa, but this is America,” Davis adds. “And unless your belly is distended we don’t have an image of what hunger looks like here.” 

Food programs like Hunger Is were instrumental in helping Davis achieve her dreams and goals. “I am the first generation of my family to go to college. Those programs made all the difference for me,” says the actress, who has five siblings. “It’s been cathartic for me because I always had a lot of shame with going in the garbage dumps that had maggots in it, too. It has brought healing in my life to be able to talk about it.” 
djline
If you are 35 or younger – and quite often, older – the advice of the old economy does not apply to you. You live in the post-employment economy, where corporations have decided not to pay people. Profits are still high. The money is still there. But not for you. You will work without a raise, benefits, or job security. Survival is now a laudable aspiration.
Quoted from Sarah Kendzior’s “Surviving the Post-Employment Economy

“In the United States, nine percent of computer science majors are unemployed, and 14.7 percent of those who hold degrees in information systems have no job. Graduates with degrees in STEM – science, technology, engineering and medicine – are facing record joblessness, with unemployment at more than twice pre-recession levels. The job market for law degree holders continues to erode, with only 55 percent of 2011 law graduates in full-time jobs. Even in the military, that behemoth of the national budget, positions are being eliminated or becoming contingent due to the sequester.

It is not skills or majors that are being devalued. It is people.”

Her work is frank, speaking of a reality I hope that will never be mine. At the same time, it gives me a strange comfort to know that I am not alone.

(via sextus—empiricus)

 

djline


think-progress
:

This is the worst city in America to be homeless.

A must read.

djline

Meanwhile….
Florida homeless center’s superior reason for growth- more medical care:
bit.ly/1nWCjn5#poverty (Op-Ed via @bradentonherald)

And you thought nothing good ever happened in Florida.

djline

via victorequality

Not only does capitalism depend on it, it treats it the shittiest. Domestic workers tend to be women and non-white, helping capitalism contribute to the marginalization of those people.

 

 

Today’s Reads- Transgender employment challenges…Poverty, Stigma, and Disease….

Some notable reads from around the web today…
The Challenges of Finding Employment as a 52-Year-Old Transgender Woman - Finding employment when you’re over 50 is really difficult but then add in being a transgender woman, it’s damned near impossible. Sometimes I wonder if the reason I get upset by the near daily articles I see about trans people facing job discrimination is because I know transgender people and they’re a part of my life? Not enough people seem to be that concerned about the discrimination that places trans people at a huge risk for being in poverty. This woman’s story isn’t unique and that makes it even more heartbreaking.

djline

 

“Poverty has been rebranded as personal failure.” theguardian.com/society/2014/a…

Unless it’s a poor kid, no one really cares about poor people. And then even then, it’s that lazy,irresponsible parent’s fault that the kid is poor. Poor is segmented into poor ,innocent babies and lazy slackers.

djline

 

Global poverty, stigma, and the spread of disease     socialjusticesolutions.org/2014/04/24/glo… -
“Blaming cultural practices or poverty-linked practices of living, such as the potential link between poor rural regions consuming bush meat which could be contaminated by the virus, stigmatizes those stricken by this rare virus or by curable illnesses such as malaria, or diarrhea. Even though it is often inappropriate and counterproductive to blame culture or practices of different populations, poverty and socioeconomically oppressive structures propel the spread of disease.

It is poverty that further stigmatizes those who have been infected with a virus that is largely misunderstood by rural communities and scientists alike. It is poverty that causes overcrowded health care clinics that are unable to maintain a standard of sanitation due to a lack of funds which allows for the spread of disease. It is poverty that stigmatizes culture to be part of the source of their suffering. Fighting poverty and fighting disease are inextricably mixed, and neither one should operate in an isolated silo.”

djline

djline

via