HomeLatest ThreadsGreatest ThreadsForums & GroupsMy SubscriptionsMy Posts
DU Home » Latest Threads » Forums & Groups » Main » General Discussion (Forum) » The Inconvenient Poor

Sun May 4, 2014, 08:19 PM

The Inconvenient Poor

Shameful. The House is going to hold a hearing on poverty but they will not let the poor testify. How can you claim to speak for the poor if you will not let the poor speak?

Ask some of the self-styled supporters of the Affordable Care Act who now take any mention of the plight of the uninsured as an act of treason. To hear them talk, there is no longer a health care crisis in this country. No more unemployment either. The administration has taken care of all that. As this fallís midterm elections near, the sick and poor are told to keep their mouths shut for their own good. If they talk about their misery, this will only help the GOP---and they would not want to do that. Oh, no.

My friend is sorry to be an inconvenience. But he has worked himself half to death. Literally. He used to be a full time school teacher. Now, his heart is so weak that he is on disability and Medicare. But since no one can live on $800 a month, he substitute teaches for just over minimum wage. Twenty hours a week on his feet. His swollen feet. His heart has about one third the pumping power of yours and mine. When he gets home and props up his legs, the swelling goes down. Mostly. But not all the way. Little by little, the fluid accumulates in his legs. And then in his liver. And then in his lungs. And, when he can no longer breathe, itís back to the hospital to get the fluid out. So he can go home and start the cycle all over again. And heís one of the lucky ones. He has insurance. He has a job, of sorts. He is not on the street. He is not starving. Good thing, too, because even the Republicans who call food stamp recipients wild animals might shed a tear or too at the thought of the teacher who taught their children being homeless. But being poor and breathless and constantly living under the shadow of death at 60---hey, for a lot of us, that is as much of the American Dream as we are ever going to get----

No moral here. I just wanted you to meet my friend. His story is inconvenient for some folks at the moment, but it is his story and his life. He's a nice man, gentle and patient, even when he is doubled over from lack of oxygen. A good teacher. He does not expect miracles. He is just glad to know that someone cares.

Hmm. Maybe the Senate should hold some hearings on poverty, too. Maybe the Senate could invite my friend and others like him to speak. I am sure that there are plenty of people in America who would like to hear their stories.

10 replies, 1353 views

Reply to this thread

Back to top Alert abuse

Always highlight: 10 newest replies | Replies posted after I mark a forum
Replies to this discussion thread

Response to McCamy Taylor (Original post)

Sun May 4, 2014, 10:07 PM

1. Most of us are now invisible, an inconvienience and liability to our party when we are seen,

a disgusting swarm of rodents to be eliminated to the Republicans when we are heard.

We have no party to fight for us.
We have no hope that anything will improve.
We have no dreams in a world where dreams are only fantasy.

We have very little chance of even surviving.
Is it any wonder we will have no voice in a Congress that exists only for the rich that own them? We have a bipartisan Government whose only interest in any that are not wealthy is the odd appeal to the few remaining comfortable people in the suburbs whom they call "middle class" (and even they only receive lip service around election time)

The American dream has become a nightmare for most. The American people are just balls on a playing field in a sport with cheerleaders and the stars they cheer achieve victories that do little but further harm those they are supposed to represent.

As to the poor - they seem completely oblivious to them and convince themselves that welfare reform didn't harm anybody, it did and does to this day I assure you, it was not a pragmatic solution to a "welfare queen" problem handled well because a Democrat helped to all but destroy it. It will not be a brave pragmatic solution to "earned benefit queens" as they collude yet again with republicans to begin to shred these last vestiges of the new deal and great society.

They cause the poor to become poorer still while applauding the politicians responsible. Their applause and support are what make them just as responsible as their political idols.

They think this is a game, or a sport with my team and their team, not realizing or caring that the ball that is tossed around in this sport is a child that only gets to eat at school and will soon lose that food, or the ball is an elderly widow or widower that can only afford to take their medicine every other day or maybe will freeze to death in a small flat during a winter they could not pay their gas bill (this happens ALREADY).

There are many other balls tossed around for their sport and amusement, too many to list them all here, some are dead or dying, some are living under a tarp in a vacant lot hoping the cops don't roust them or the suburban teenagers don't decide to slum it and amuse themselves by assaulting them while laughing and taunting the "bum" for cell phone footage. Some of these comfortable people give advice to "the poor that in fact do ok". One of them suggested dumpster diving as a viable and reasonable option.

Too many of them applaud policies and politicians that make all these problems worse, they need to get it through their heads, many are dying and more will die of poverty, this is no game and the poor aren't doing ok, they are doing worse all the time with less help available all the time.

It is not serious, pragmatic, or brave to cause more people to suffer and die in poverty because it is referred to flippantly as "eating peas" or "being adult". It is not pragmatic even when the ones shipping away the jobs or destroying welfare "feel your pain". It never was bravery, but cowardice. It is not balanced when an increasing number of people fall into poverty and die while others become wealthier at an exponential rate.

The punditry, politicians, and comfortable may think it is a fun sport full of serious brave adults that make hard decisions.

Cowards all really, making easy decisions, easy because their decisions don't harm them, but rather the poor they barely acknowledge exist for the profit of the wealthy.

http://www.democraticunderground.com/10022668527

K&R

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to McCamy Taylor (Original post)

Sun May 4, 2014, 10:12 PM

2. Makes me think of that hearing about reproductive rights where only men spoke. n/t

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to McCamy Taylor (Original post)

Sun May 4, 2014, 10:23 PM

3. Just a small quibble with your excellent rant. Most substitute teachers make more than min wage

 

My daughter subs so I know for a fact they make more than min wage. While a lot of it depends on your location, most make $100 per day for a 6.5 - 7 hour day. Teachers with a degree and teaching certificate usually earn more (my daughter has her masters but doesn't have a teaching cert and only makes $100 per day - the minimum in her area).

That doesn't change the fact that most of their pay is intermittent and unreliable.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to McCamy Taylor (Original post)

Sun May 4, 2014, 10:36 PM

4. Shhh!

 

You're not supposed to remind people that we exist. Its far better for us to be represented by the mythical 'Average Poor Person' strawman that gets trotted out to make everyone feel better. We're not supposed to actually be -out- here yannow. We don't have lives or problems or anything, because everything has been taken care of. 17 million, ain'tcha heard? Why, if you're not one of those, you must just not have wanted to be! Affordable! AFFORDABLE!! It's in the Bill name, how can it not be right?!

Don't forget to be quiet about us when it's time to start talking about tolls, too. We promise we'll try not to rock the boat too much.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to McCamy Taylor (Original post)

Sun May 4, 2014, 10:53 PM

5. Remember they had a panel on womens health,

 

And invited no women.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to McCamy Taylor (Original post)

Mon May 5, 2014, 06:50 AM

6. If the poor "talk about their misery, this will only help the GOP" = DLC mantra.

 

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to Scuba (Reply #6)

Mon May 5, 2014, 08:50 AM

7. Yeah

If they "talk about their misery," it will "help the GOP" by inconveniently requiring the DLC to acknowledge that they exist.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to McCamy Taylor (Original post)

Mon May 5, 2014, 09:18 AM

8. Actually, I have yet to meet anyone who talks about the ACA as if it has solved everything

...or who would "take any mention of the plight of the uninsured as an act of treason".

In fact, I'd say it's a much bigger problem that too many who support the ACA are more likely to downplay it, lead with, "Oh, it's far from perfect, but at least it's a start", which is true, but not a very enthusiastic way to promote a law that has already done a lot of good in spite of its flaws.

If you're talking about negative reactions to "Obamacare scare stories", that's another matter, however. Some of those have turned out to be complete fabrications, or perhaps actual bad situations, but being unfairly used as if they characterize the entire ACA and negate any of the good it does.

The problems demonstrated by your friend's story goes beyond the scope of the ACA, and speak to a need for much better support for the old and disabled in this country. It's sad to say that with many Democrats who aren't ardent supporters of such things, and nearly all Republicans having turned into vicious opponents of anything they'd sneer at as "the welfare state", help doesn't appear to be on the way anytime soon. Not government help, anyway.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to McCamy Taylor (Original post)

Mon May 5, 2014, 05:26 PM

9. Kick

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to McCamy Taylor (Original post)

Tue May 6, 2014, 12:37 PM

10. The last time "poverty" was mentioned as an ISSUE that should be addressed by the Democratic Party..

.... was the day John Edwards (warts and all) was forced out of Campaign 2008 for an offense that is regularly overlooked by everybody else in Washington.

John Edwards was Right-On-Target with his "Two Americas" campaign,
and THAT was his worst sin.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink

Reply to this thread