It’s a hard world…even in a Ben and Jerry’s scoop shop. Sitting there immersed in a book about J.R.R. Tolkien, a small bowl of butter pecan ice cream as my sole companion, I glanced up when a panhandler came in asking if anybody had a dollar. Before I could react, a loud menacing male voice bellowed, “Hey, get the hell outta here. You can’t do that there here.” It was a man seated next to the door who had been working his cell phone.
He looked up at the panhandler with a threatening expression on his face. The badly frightened panhandler quickly backed out on to the sidewalk. I got up and walked out the door. I caught up with panhandler who warily took my dollar. He still looked pretty scared, but was composed enough to thank me. As I walked back into Ben and Jerry’s, Mr. Cell Phone looked up and said,” He’s just going to come back you know.” I didn’t even look at him and said quietly, “Yeah, well that’s his problem.”
Oak Park Ben and Jerry’s
Filed under: Global Economy & Politics, Society & Economy, U.S. Healthcare
Unless you are wealthy, sick economies are bad for your health. Jobs become scarce. Living conditions deteriorate. Medical care becomes more expensive and more restricted. Conflicts increase among family members, unrelated individuals and even nations. These conflicts can lead to wars—global wars, regional wars, civil wars, class wars, neighborhood wars….you name it. Sick economies breed bad consequences and nurses must deal with those on a daily basis.
Filed under: Discrimination, Society & Economy, U.S. Politics, Unions
“Ostensibly rigorous and realistic, contemporary conservatism is an ideology of denial. Its symbol is a smile button.”— Christopher Lasch
Deborah Goldring has a multitude of problems. After losing her job as a hospital executive assistant, she received a foreclosure letter from the bank. After 30 years, she was faced with loss of her home. She had already lost her husband from a fatal illness and had lost their modest life savings to nursing home costs.
Driven from the middle class by economic forces beyond her control, she was now in poverty and facing possible homelessness. In the wake of the 2008 economic crash, Mrs. Goldring was not alone. There were many stories like hers across the nation. Read more
Filed under: Global Economy & Politics, Society & Economy, U.S. Politics, Unions
“No poor man ever gave me a job.” How many times have you heard that one? Sadly, these words are often spoken by a working class person who should know better. It’s always said with a self-satisfied sneer, sometimes accompanied by some racial or gender slurs. Maybe you’ve heard people repeating the cruel sound bites from TV about how lazy and irresponsible poor people supposedly are.
I’m not much good at snappy comebacks, so here is what I would like to say in response to these individuals.
If you go around saying stuff like this, aren’t you just trying to conceal your own insecurities? You think you need people “below” you to prop up your self confidence, don’t you? You know in your heart that you are just one lay-off, just one health problem or just one family tragedy away from poverty yourself. So overcome by fear, you adopt a worshipful attitude toward the wealthy 1% and their allies, hoping that you’ll be exempted from financial disaster.
But secretly, don’t you feel you feel a bit ashamed? I hope so, because that means you haven’t surrendered your humanity yet. So let’s talk about poor people. Maybe no poor person ever offered you a job, but it takes a lot of poor people to maintain an employer. In fact, let me introduce you to some of the poor people who help keep employers in business.