Archive for the ‘Travesties’ Category

Why Poor People Stay Poor

Thursday, June 8th, 2017

Saving money costs money. Period.

Excerpted from Hand to Mouth: Living in Bootstrap America by Linda Tirado.

I once lost a whole truck over a few hundred bucks. It had been towed, and when I called the company they told me they’d need a few hundred dollars for the fee. I didn’t have a few hundred dollars. So I told them when I got paid next and that I’d call back then.

It was a huge pain in the ass for those days. It was the rainy season, and I wound up walking to work, adding another six miles or so a day to my imaginary pedometer. It was my own fault that I’d been towed, really, and I spent more than a couple hours ruing myself. I finally made it to payday, and when I went to get the truck, they told me that I now owed over a thousand dollars, nearly triple my paycheck. They charged a couple hundred dollars a day in storage fees. I explained that I didn’t have that kind of money, couldn’t even get it. They told me that I had some few months to get it together, including the storage for however long it took me to get it back, or that they’d simply sell it. They would, of course, give me any money above and beyond their fees if they recovered that much.

I was working two jobs at the time. Both were part time. Neither paid a hundred bucks a day, much less two.

I wound up losing my jobs. So did my husband. We couldn’t get from point A to point B quickly enough, and we showed up to work, late, either soaked to the skin or sweating like pigs one too many times. And with no work, we wound up losing our apartment.

It’s amazing what things that are absolute crises for me are simple annoyances for people with money. Anything can make you lose your apartment, because any unexpected problem that pops up, like they do, can set off that Rube Goldberg device.

One time I lost an apartment because my roommate got a horrible flu that we suspected was maybe something worse because it stayed forever–she missed work, and I couldn’t cover her rent. Once it was because my car broke down and I missed work. Once it was because I got a week’s unpaid leave when the company wanted to cut payroll for the rest of the month. Once my fridge broke and I couldn’t get the landlord to fix it, so I just left. Same goes for the time that the gas bill wasn’t paid in a utilities-included apartment for a week, resulting in frigid showers and no stove. That’s why we move so much. Stuff like that happens.

Because our lives seem so unstable, poor people are often seen as being basically incompetent at managing their lives. That is, it’s assumed that we’re not unstable because we’re poor, we’re poor because we’re unstable. So let’s just talk about how impossible it is to keep your life from spiraling out of control when you have no financial cushion whatsoever. And let’s also talk about the ways in which money advice is geared only toward people who actually have money in the first place.

141205_FAM_HandToMouthCover.jpg.CROP.original-originalI once read a book for people in poverty, written by someone in the middle class, containing real-life tips for saving pennies and such. It’s all fantastic advice: buy in bulk, buy a lot when there’s a sale on, hand-wash everything you can, make sure you keep up on vehicle and indoor filter maintenance.

Of course, very little of it was actually practicable. Bulk buying in general is cheaper, but you have to have a lot of money to spend on stuff you don’t actually need yet. Hand-washing saves on the utilities, but nobody actually has time for that. If I could afford to replace stuff before it was worn out, vehicle maintenance wouldn’t be much of an issue, but you really can’t rinse the cheap filters and again—quality costs money up front. In the long term, it makes way more sense to buy a good toaster. But if the good toaster is 30 bucks right now, and the crappiest toaster of them all is 10, it doesn’t matter how many times I have to replace it. Ten bucks it is, because I don’t have any extra tens.

It actually costs money to save money.

It is impossible to be good with money when you don’t have any. Full stop. If I’m saving my spare five bucks a week, in the best-case scenario I will have saved $260 a year. For those of you that think in quarters: $65 per quarter in savings. If you deny yourself even small luxuries, that’s the fortune you’ll amass. Of course you will never manage to actually save it; you’ll get sick at least one day and miss work and dip into it for rent. Gas will spike and you’ll need it to get to work. You’ll get a tear in your work pants that you can’t patch. Something, I guarantee you, will happen in three months.

When I have a few extra dollars to spend, I can’t afford to think about next month—my present day situation is generally too tight to allow me that luxury. I’ve got kids who are interested in their quality of life right now, not 10 years from now.

Here’s the thing: we know the value of money. We work for ours. If we’re at 10 bucks an hour, we earn 83 cents, before taxes, every five minutes. We know exactly what a dollar’s worth; it’s counted in how many more times you have to duck and bend sideways out the drive through window. Or how many floors you can vacuum, or how many boxes you can fill.

It’s impossible to win, unless you are very lucky. For you to start to do better, something has to go right—and stay that way for long enough for you to get on your feet. I’ve done well in years that I had a job I didn’t mind terribly and that paid me well enough to get into an apartment that met all the basic standards. I’ve done less well in years where I didn’t have steady work. The trouble’s been that my luck simply hasn’t held out for long enough; it seems like just when I’ve caught up, something happens to set me back again. I’ve been fortunate enough that it’s rarely compounded, and I’ve stayed at under sea level for short periods instead of long-term. But I’ve stared long-term in the face long enough to have accepted it as a real possibility. It’s only an accident and a period of unemployment away.

Reprinted from Hand to Mouth: Living in Bootstrap America America by Linda Tirado by arrangement with Putnam, a member of Penguin Group (USA) LLC, Copyright © 2014 by Linda Tirado.

About the Author
Linda Tirado is a completely average American with two kids and, until recently, two jobs. Her essay “Why I Make Terrible Decisions, or, Poverty Thoughts” was picked up by the Huffington Post, the Nation, and countless other publications, and was read by more than six million people. This is her first book.

Review
“The woman who accidentally explained poverty to the nation.” —The Huffington Post

“[A] whipsmart woman’s firsthand account of what it looks and smells and tastes and feels like to be living in poverty …brilliant and to the point. You won’t soon forget her voice or her message.” —Entertainment Weekly

“Funny, sarcastic, full of expletives, and most of all outrageously honest. . . . Tirado has a way with words that’s somehow both breezy and blunt.” —BusinessWeek

“In this riveting memoir, Tirado shares in vivid detail what it’s like to be a college graduate in the throes of poverty.” —Women’s Health Magazine

“Must-read…powerful.” —Good Housekeeping

“Educative . . . Tirado’s raw reportage offers solidarity for those on the front lines of hardship yet issues a cautionary forewarning to the critical: ‘Poverty is a potential outcome for all of us.’ Outspoken and vindictive, Tirado embodies the cyclical vortex of today’s struggle to survive.” —Kirkus Reviews

“Tirado tells it like it is… Enthralling and horrifying, this should be required reading for policymakers.”—Booklist, starred review

Hand to Mouth: Living in Bootstrap America141205_FAM_HandToMouthCover.jpg.CROP.original-original

The Media Avoided These Stories

Monday, September 26th, 2016

Inhumane, irresponsible actions for profits, power and control!

Foxworthy on Country Run by Idiots

Wednesday, May 8th, 2013

foxworthy on country run by idiotsA Country Founded by Geniuses but Run by Idiots

Attributed to Jeff Foxworthy:

If you can get arrested for hunting or fishing without a license, but not for entering and remaining in the country illegally — you might live in a nation that was founded by geniuses but is run by idiots.

If you have to get your parents’ permission to go on a field trip or to take an aspirin in school, but not to get an abortion — you might live in a nation that was founded by geniuses but is run by idiots.

If you MUST show your identification to board an airplane, cash a check, buy liquor, or check out a library book and rent a video, but not to vote for who runs the government — you might live in a nation that was founded by geniuses but is run by idiots.

If the government wants to prevent stable, law-abiding citizens from owning gun magazines that hold more than ten rounds, but gives twenty F-16 fighter jets to the crazy new leaders in Egypt — you might live in a nation that was founded by geniuses but is run by idiots.

If, in the nation’s largest city, you can buy two 16-ounce sodas, but not one 24-ounce soda, because 24-ounces of a sugary drink might make you fat — you might live in a nation that was founded by geniuses but is run by idiots.

If an 80-year-old woman or a three-year-old girl who is confined to a wheelchair can be strip-searched by the TSA at the airport, but a woman in a burka or a hijab is only subject to having her neck and head searched — you might live in a nation that was founded by geniuses but is run by idiots.

If your government believes that the best way to eradicate trillions of dollars of debt is to spend trillions more — you might live in a nation that was founded by geniuses but is run by idiots.

If a seven-year-old boy can be thrown out of school for saying his teacher is “cute,” but hosting a sexual exploration or diversity class in grade school is perfectly acceptable — you might live in a nation that was founded by geniuses but is run by idiots.

If hard work and success are met with higher taxes and more government regulation and intrusion, while not working is rewarded with Food Stamps, WIC checks, Medicaid benefits, subsidized housing, and free cell phones — you might live in a nation that was founded by geniuses but is run by idiots.

If the government’s plan for getting people back to work is to provide incentives for not working, by granting 99 weeks of unemployment checks, without any requirement to prove that gainful employment was diligently sought, but couldn’t be found — you might live in a nation that was founded by geniuses but is run by idiots.

If you pay your mortgage faithfully, denying yourself the newest big-screen TV, while your neighbor buys iPhones, time shares, a wall-sized do-it-all plasma screen TV and new cars, and the government forgives his debt when he defaults on his mortgage — you might live in a nation that was founded by geniuses but is run by idiots.

If being stripped of your Constitutional right to defend yourself makes you more “safe” according to the government — you might live in a nation that was founded by geniuses but is run by idiots.

What a country!

How about we give God a reason to continue blessing America!

Glenn Beck Speaks Out About Boston Bombing

Saturday, April 20th, 2013

Here is the transcript of this broadcast:

Just a few minutes ago our jib operator Justin came up to me. He said, ‘Glenn, out of all of the things you’ve covered in your life where does this fit in importance? And I said ‘Most people are going to think this is maybe 20 or 50.’ In the last 50 years this is we’ve had the Watts Riots, and the death of the Martin Luther King and the things that I have covered in the last 40 years, I would say this is top five. Maybe number 2. And possibly number one in importance. Number one, is clearly the World Trade Center bombing.

I want you to listen to me carefully for the next 20 minutes.This is very, very important. What we do going forward from here will determine the fate of our nation. Make no mistake. This story is number 2 because of what I know. What we do will make this the most important story of our lifetime. What’s happening now is very important. What happens in the aftermath will make it the most important, because it will either save our country or we will be done.

We’ve had a press all week that has been celebrating the idea that this might have been a Tea Party person that wanted to perpetrate this crime. Now never before in my history have in my history of broadcast, in my history as an American, have I ever heard the press gleefully wish that they want an American to be responsible for an American tragedy.

I’ve never heard people want to believe the worst in people. It;s what makes us America. We trust each other. We like each other. We want to believe the best in each other.

But our media wants to believe the worst of about 50% of this country. When I talk about progressives, I’m not talking about the average person. I’m talking about maybe 8% of our population that they truly understand what progressivism is. I believe the average Democrat, even the average progressive doesn’t really know what they’re doing. I mean they think they do. They’re not. They have not done the years of homework and study that I have on that movement.

I still believe the best in our country. But hear me clearly – after what I have learned this week I’m a changed person. After what I have learned this week, I believe our country is over. America is dying and breathing her last gasp. If we do not resuscitate on this story, we close the lid and close the book on our country and begin to write a new book. Now that doesn’t mean that you’re not the author. That there’s not a constitutionalist that is the author of the new book. It just means what we have is over and a struggle begins for a new Republic.

That sounds awfully dramatic. But when you have the press not only rooting for it to be a white American that blew up Americans, but then on top of it, in total denial that Islamic extremists even exist, and that caliphate is somebody that anybody wants. That Jihadists even exist.

Think about the thing we were discussing passing this week. Gun control because we have to be able to protect. Because the government can protect you. We were talking about talking about making it more difficult to buy guns while somebody just blew the legs off American citizens. With what? Guns? No. With something that my grandmother used all summer in her kitchen.

At the same time we’re talking about comprehensive immigration reform on things that nobody has even read. Meanwhile who has been blowing the legs off of our citizens? People who are foreign nationals here on a Visa. Here under amnesty. Because our immigration, and amnesty situation is so screwed up, that these guys did they really escape persecution? We’re finding out now that mom is in jail because she was a thief. This summer she was stealing. We just heard the audio of the dad back in Russia. He sounds pretty much like an extremist.

But that’s not the worst of it.

I want you to listen carefully. Yesterday, the F.B.I. released the pictures of and video of two men they say were suspects in the Boston bombings. These are the one was killed last night, and the other hopefully being killed right now. They say they believe the two men carried and placed the two bombs that killed the three innocent Americans including an eight year old boy and injured more than 200 Americans.

Absent from their announcement was any mention of the Saudi national. Now the documents were brought to our attention at TheBlaze, and those documents indicate that this guy is scheduled for deportation next Tuesday due to issues related to national security. The document goes on to say that the individual is linked to the Boston bombing. That’s what the federal document says.

This is the same person that we were initially told was a person of interest. This was the Saudi national in the hospital. His apartment was in Revere, Massachusetts. It was raided. The items were removed. And then we were told he was just a possible witness. And then we were finally told by the authorities he had nothing to do with the attack in fact he wasn’t a witness to the crime. Why was he in the hospital? How did he get to the ground zero? What was he doing there? He wasn’t even a witness? Really?

This guy who wasn’t a witness is suddenly being deported next Tuesday, whisked off our continent to go back to Saudi Arabia, and he wasn’t even a witness – yet the documents he’s being deported voluntarily on terror charges linked to the Boston bombing.

I want you to hear me clearly. If you think everybody in the government is bad you’re wrong. The only reason TheBlaze knows this because we have several — I can’t count them on both hands – several sources who’re brave, valiant Patriotic Americans that work in all departments at all levels of this governmnent. Who have contacted TheBlaze one way or another, and said “help, help, help.”

There are several dedicated Americans in the law enforcement community that decided they could not stand idly by, and let the truth be swept under the rug. That a deportation order was being issued. It was issued Tuesday 4:00 p.m. by an organization or a government entity that most people have never heard of called the National Targeting Center. It’s a little known federal antiterrorism division.

After reporting this on TheBlaze.com yesterday, U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement categorically denied, calling it grossly in error. ICE claimed there was a Saudi national in custody waiting deportation but it was completely unrelated to the Boston bombing.

After that the story discrediting me and TheBlaze was carried by a number of national media outlets, and some of those national media outlets were given the story by “The Blaze” top executive to top executive. After a number of those media outlets discredited us or tried to with the ICE disclaimer, we received another call from yet another Patriotic citizen in our government. This one from a high ranking congressional aide who told us that the deportation order that we had just reported on had just been requested and delivered to his boss. He requested anonymity to protect those who had secretly ordered report, but read to us the eight page report that we reported yesterday and throughout the day.

Director of the Department of Homeland Security, the head of the department that you created to keep Americans from having their legs blown off, Janet Napolitano yesterday was asked about the Saudi national and his pending deportation. She refused to answer. ICE angrily mocked our story calling it false. The F.B.I. has changed their story about the man every day since the bombing. Made no mention of him at yesterday’s news conference., even though there is still a standing order of deportation and on the documents it says linked to the Boston bombing.

Now you ask yourself, what’s going on? Why did the President just happen to stop by when a Saudi official happened to be in an office?

Anybody who has ever been been around Presidents, Prime ministers, kings, knows. I have done it myself. ‘I cannot meet with that person.’ ‘Glenn, you’re going to go into this office and you’re going to talk to him.’ ‘I don’t want to talk to him. Who the hell is he?’ ‘Go in and talk to him.’ Five minutes in, ‘Hey Bill’ ‘Oh Glenn’ ‘Oh Mr. President how are you?’ That’s the way it works.

Why was the President meeting with somebody unscheduled earlier this week? A Saudi official. Who is this Saudi man who was in the hospital, given a new international cell phone and apologized to according to him in Saudi press? Who is he, I wonder? Why would anyone linked to the bombings be deported? If he’s involved wouldn’t he be prosecuted? If he’s a witness why wouldn’t you want him to testify? Why would you allow someone who was standing by the bomb be deported? Why would he leave? And why hasn’t anyone in the media taken an interest in finding out why? Why are they silent?

“The Blaze” is interested. And TheBlaze will not comply. We will not sit down. We will not shut up. We will not be intimidated. We look hard into looking who he is. Who he’s connected to, and why he seems to be offered a ticket to freedom even though he’s been linked to bombing. Don’t believe me? Don’t believe me. Six Congressmen have verified.

One of our brave sources asked me to do something very specific and when I was told to do it I said ‘That’s crazy talk. What does the hell does that mean?’ They told me what it meant. I can’t at this time tell you what it means. But I want to do it one more time.

On Monday I reveal everything we know. So let me just say this to those at the highest echelons of government. No the tagging system. They know about events. Not files, events.

Let me send this message very clear: We know who this Saudi national is. It is in your best interest of the integrity of the people of United States of America. It’s best coming from you, not from a news organization. It’s best coming from you. You have until Monday. We have information on who this man is. And listen to me carefully. In your little “event” world, we know he is a very bad, bad, bad man. I know that doesn’t make any sense to you right now. But on Monday it will.

It makes sense to somebody in Washington.

I don’t bluff. I make promises. The truth matters. I’ve had enough of what you’ve done to our country.

I thought I had heard and seen it all. I thought I didn’t trust my government. Oh no, no, no, no.

There is no depth that these people will not stoop to. They have until Monday and then TheBlaze will expose it.

Give Up Your Arms Give Up Your Liberty

Wednesday, December 19th, 2012

“Laws that forbid the carrying of arms… disarm only those who are neither inclined nor determined to commit crimes… Such laws make things worse for the assaulted and better for the assailants; they serve rather to encourage than to prevent homicides, for an unarmed man may be attacked with greater confidence than an armed man.”
~Thomas Jefferson