Everyone deserves a living wage…. even if they can’t spell ‘fries’

The above response is perfect.
*edited to add* The author is David Gerrold.

As a writer, I appreciate grammar and spelling. As a human being, I recognize that some people don’t speak or write with “perfect English” does not disqualify them from earning a living wage.   Perhaps I am able to see this because I was raised by my Grandpa who had to drop out of school in the 6th grade to help support his Mom and 6 younger siblings after his father died or because I have step-children who were raised in another country and speak English as a second language (they also speak Chinese and step-daughter also speaks French,Flemish, and Dutch but this doesn’t matter at all to employers and assholes of the general population who only hear an accent and “broken” English)  or because I have a child with a learning disability . But I’m a firm believer in the idea that we don’t need personal experiences to help us empathize or acknowledge obstacles others face.  So, get it together people. Use of language as you might deem ideal is not a reason for someone to struggle.

This does not only apply to the assholes like in the meme who are probably Republican fans of the “pull yourself up by your bootstraps!” myth. Liberals/Democrats will mock those w/ other political ideals openly for their lack of academically acceptable grammar. They call them hillbillies and call them stupid, ignoring lack of education or cultural differences. This has always been interesting to me since education is a thing that Liberals/Democrats seem to really love but they can’t recognize that what they’re mocking may be a symptom of what they supposedly champion for?

That’s all bad but worse is that White Liberals most definitely exclude the voices of poor and marginalized people who do not present as articulate and well spoken. When looking for a voice or face to use as a representation of the living wage cause, they most definitely choose to boost those who are “mainstream friendly”.  Trust me, I know. I’m an educated, White lady who is constantly used as an example of “good people who are poor through no fault of their own”. It’s offensive as hell. Knock it off. There are women in my exact predicament and far worse who deserve to be recognized and heard, no matter what language or dialect or speech patterns they use.

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Despite Our Saviour Gwyneth Paltrow, politicians are still being jerks to poor people

Ok, let’s get this over with before moving on to more important things.

Gwyneth Paltrow went food shopping with $29 and pretending to be poor for a week. You might have heard about it. 

She only made it through 4 days and then went back to biz as usual but predictably, as with other celebs & politicians who pretend to eat poor, she was applauded for raising hunger awareness and showing people how to eat with $29/week. Because we poor people had no idea before.

The disregard for poor people’s voices is what I’d rather address more than how ridiculous Gwyneth’s SNAP challenge was.

People who are actually on SNAP tried to tell what it’s like to live on SNAP and were told to sit down and shut up. We were told to stop picking on Gwyneth. Be grateful that someone is trying to speak up for us. Those telling poor people to appreciate the celeb’s efforts claimed to be “advocates for the poor”. Allies. Yes, allies!

Dear Allies –
If your ally-ship involves silencing the voices of marginalized people in order to boost those of privileged people who lack the firsthand knowledge and experience, than your ally-ship is crap.

Love,
All the marginalized people

People who are living in poverty are constantly explaining the challenges they face daily. Please listen to them. If you have the opportunity, share their experiences with others. Amplify their voices in a way that does not exploit them but empowers them.

Thank you. The end.

Meanwhile, in Kansas this week, the strangest welfare reform bill was passed. The bill was designed to prevent TANF recipients from spending government assistance money on things that poor people on welfare love according to popular stigmas instead of research, like tattoos, beer,cigarettes,lottery tickets, and fortune tellers. No taking cruises,either.Or going to the movies and swimming at public pools.

The average TANF benefit in Kansas is $114 per person. Besides the obvious question of what sort of cruise one can take for that money, most are wondering how to get around the logistics the state has put in place to try to enforce the new rules. TANF recipients can now only withdraw $25 at a time using their EBT cards. So, I guess landlords and utility companies will have to be patient and learn to accept $25 at a time? That sounds like an added frustration and stress poor people don’t need. Also,the fee for each transaction at an ATM is 85¢ after the 1st one and if using the cashback option at a register, whatever fees the store applies. A typical family of 3 would have to make a dozen trips to the ATM and then not even get their full amount thanks to bank fees.

In Indiana, Rep Terry Goodin (D- Austin) is proposing a drug testing for welfare bill. Via Indy Feminists, “He admits it’s an urban myth and that only 9 adults without kids are using TANF in Scott County, but he still wants to use 2 million in tax dollars for this discredited plan.”

This drug testing bill is slightly different from others in that the basis is to prevent the spread of HIV through IV drug use and based on flawed ethics. Still, it’s operating on the mythical  premise that those on TANF hold the key to pinpointing where HIV drug use is happening.  And they will spend $2 million to find out that’s not actually the case.

Also, Missouri is the latest state to introduce a bill to restrict what SNAP can be used for. No seafood (which might even include tuna & fish sticks) ,steak,cookies, and whatever else poor people aren’t entitled to eat.

That concludes all the new policies happening in the States this month. I think we’ll continue to see “welfare reform”  and SNAP restrictions on the state levels. We could have a whole passel of celebs do SNAP challenges and it isn’t going to affect policies.  I think anti-poverty advocates who have concentrated their efforts on keeping safety net programs available need to extend the effort out wider. We need to be working on multiple fronts here to help low income families. Better wages for working families and  benefits for disabled and elderly people would make a world of difference. Demand living wages, reduce need for safety net programs. Ta-da.

Companies That Hire Felons

via Facebook

After serving time for felony charges, many are more likely to be at deep risk for falling into poverty and becoming further marginalized. That’s why this list is so important. The bad news is that quite a few of these employers are corporations known for not paying a living wage. One might argue that any job is better than no job even if it pays below living wage but it’s important to remember that in some states, felony convictions prohibit people from receiving food stamps and other assistance. As I’ve talked about before, companies that are low wage payers depend on food stamps and medicaid to pick up the slack to cover what their paycheck doesn’t.

I suspect the origin of this list is from HERE.

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.

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.

▶ Largest Fast Food Strike Ever in U.S. | Resistance Report segment

▶ Largest Fast Food Strike Ever in U.S. | Resistance Report segment | Acronym TV – YouTube

As Salon first reported, the fast food effort went public last November, with a strike by about 200 employees of various chains in New York City. Over the past four months, that walkout has been followed by similar work stoppages in five other cities, and a second New York City strike roughly twice as large. Each of those strikes has been backed by the Service Employees International Union and local allies, and each has shared the same demands: a raise to $15 per hour, and the chance to form a union with intimidation by management. This week’s strikes will include five of those six cities — New York, Chicago, St. Louis, Detroit, and Milwaukee- and two new ones: Kansas City and Flint, Mich. (A spokesperson for the campaign in Seattle, where workers struck in May, told Salon to expect “a series of escalating direct actions” there this week.)
“I might be doing the work of three people” due to under-staffing, McDonald’s employee Kareem Starks told me after Wednesday’s rally, “but still getting paid one wage.” Starks, a 30-year-old former Parks Department employee, said it’s “been hard trying to live off the minimum wage, $7.25, and support my two kids plus pay rent.” As we spoke, a fellow fast food worker walked over to introduce himself, congratulate Starks on the speech he’d just delivered, and show him a scar on his arm. “I got burned too myself,” he told Starks. “But my manager doesn’t care.”

Read more of Josh Eidelson’s report herehttp://www.popularresistance.org/fast…