Tag Archive | United States

The Heart of the Matter

What sort of people will we be?
What will we choose to believe?
Will we be open and unafraid;
Or angry, frightened,
Stuck in our own ways?

Will we choose generosity
And noble pursuits;
Will we be tight-fisted,
Uncaring brutes?

Will our power and wealth
Be invested for good
Or squandered and hoarded
Until all who would
Prosper alongside us
Are sickened and dead?
I say,
Let’s be people of principle instead.

The heart of the matter is,
We have a choice:
We can silence the cries of need
Or join with our own voice.
What will you hold on to?
What will be your way?
I invite you to choose rightly;
Let’s join together today.

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Let’s Do Some Math

There is a whole group of people in the world who work very hard…

And still live in poverty or in “near poverty.”

 

I’m writing to recognize and honor them.

They are almost never acknowledged when the powers that be talk about poverty and programs that help, so join me for a moment to consider them.

Many of these people get SNAP benefits and Medicaid…legitimately.

Many of them work at least two jobs, just to make ends meet.

 

They do things like:

Housekeeping at hotels, hospitals, resorts and malls

Pumping gas

Working in stores and restaurants

Care giving

 

They work for minimum wage.

Below is a link to show what the minimum wage in each State is.  Another good question to ask would be, “What is the cost of living in each State?”  That would paint a more thorough picture.

Just for kicks, let’s do some arithmetic here:

If John works 40 hours per week at $7.25/hour (the Federal minimum wage, what will his gross income be? Answer: $1290.50.  Now, take away about 30% of that…(that would be $387.15)  The final result: 903.35

That would be impossible to live on if John is an individual.  He might get a few dollars from SNAP; if his employer isn’t providing insurance, he would get a break under the ACA.  And so it goes.

Now, what if he has at least one child?

Hopefully, he is in subsidized housing; he definitely would get SNAP; Medicaid or help with insurance would be part of his support…

 

Even if John supplemented his full-time job with say another 15-20 hours (he does have to sleep sometime) he would be below the poverty line.  And nothing unexpected had better come up:  He won’t make it; he might even join the many homeless people in the land.

 

BTW:  Many homeless people work.  The challenge is, the cost of living is so high, they can’t get out of the financial hole.

 

https://www.dol.gov/whd/minwage/america.htm

 

Think of the people you know personally who work long and hard, only to struggle.  I am not talking about the ones who manage their resources poorly or refuse to work when they could.  They get too much attention as it is.

 

I know some:

Educational assistants – I have a neighbor who is doing that.  If she had to support herself, she would need a second job or some subsidies.

 

Fast food workers – Again, if there is a way to share expenses, maybe.

We need these people.  We need what they do.

Thank you, all who clean the motel room before I arrive, so that it is fresh, well supplied and clean.

Thank you, stockers at the grocery store, servers at restaurants and workers who make sure that the sheets on beds in hospitals and care centers are clean.

 

The next time you find yourself in a conversation about “the poor,” would you remind all involved that these are people…and countless numbers of them work?

Thank you.

The Tyranny Has Begun – Executive Orders That Close US Borders and Oppress Her People

While people go about their daily lives, working, eating supper and doing chores, and evil is set in place.

Oh, there’s plenty of distraction:  The squabble about illegal voters and numbers is back; Mr. Trump doesn’t believe reports…

Meanwhile, immigrants, refugees and the people who help them are about to be targetted; Social Security and Medicaid are in immediate trouble; federal agencies are ordered not to talk to the public.
There is more bad news:
*FHA insurance premium cuts for home buyers have been frozen
*The pipeline in North Dakota is moving forward by way of Presidential executive order – Let’s completely disregard Native Americans, environment and any progress that has been made!
*Mr. Trump has indicated his intentions to significantly reduce environmental regulations in the production of cars

 

I’m not sure which of these troubles me most.  Perhaps the communications lockdown of federal agencies:  This sets the stage for policies and actions to be taken without public knowledge.  Transparency has been a long-time value in the United States.  It frightens me to have this compromised or abolished altogether.

Here are three stories from Google News:

 

Trump to sign executive orders enabling construction of proposed border wall and targeting sanctuary cities
Washington Post  – ‎28 minutes ago‎
President Trump is planning to sign executive orders on Wednesday enabling construction of his proposed border wall, and targeting cities where local leaders refuse to hand over illegal immigrants for deportation, part of a multi-day rollout of his …

 

Trump expected to announce executive orders on visa and refugee restrictionsCNN

I listened to this one:  He is planning to make it very difficult for refugees to enter the US and is planning to ban visas from 7 Muslim countries.

 

Trump clamps down on federal agencies
The Hill  – ‎2 hours ago‎
The Trump administration is clamping down on public communications by agencies as it seeks to assert control over the federal bureaucracy.

I listened to this one, too.  Essentially, federal agencies are banned or limited from public comment, social media or disclosure of any sort.

 

The time for citizens to join together in support of each other and resistance to such unconscionable tyranny by an administration has arrived:  It’s now; not some day.

 

Are you ready?