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?
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”//
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 # ←link on Twitter.
Even as a manager at a Charleston @‘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.
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.
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 -
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.
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?)
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?
Even though raising the minimum wage would lift nearly 1 million Americans out of poverty http://goo.gl/ArLUYX
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.
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.”
|—||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.
A must read.
And you thought nothing good ever happened in Florida.
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.
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.
“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.
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.”