I am not middle class. I’m not rich. Actually maybe I am middle class, but I know I am closer to the top than at the heart (or the middle) of the middle class. To be honest I make more than the average American family (Google what that is if you need to know my business, but how much more than that average will remain my business). I make more than two adults in a average household, I hold a mortgage in good standing, own my car outright, and have a good amount of savings in the bank (not what I want but more than a lot of folks I know), some stocks (that kept their value), annuity, and a few mutual fund accounts that will be ok once we get through this recession. I actually have a pretty nice net worth when I sit down and think about it. All and all I would say financially I am doing ok, I am carrying more debt than I want but I am working on that as we speak and have a plan to be in gray (can’t be in the black completely cause I’m not paying my house off anytime soon) by the next year.
Now by NO MEANS is this a literary brushing of the shoulders I just wanted you to know where I am coming from when I get ready to broach the subjects of this recession, the credit crunch and the election or in this case welfare . I was reading letters to the editor in the Metro this morning and someone wrote a letter asking why there was no poll that asked voters what Americans thought about Obama giving 60 million Americans that do not pay one RED cent in taxes$500-$1000 of our hard earned money in welfare?
Man I sat on the bus disgusted. I was like this Rene H Contreras is outraged that we are giving out welfare? What? Wow! My first thought was to write a letter in response and I still might. However I wanted to blog about it and talk about WHY! WHY it is necessary to help your fellow man. I mean when did we get away from helping our fellow man? I grew up with my mother mostly, my dad made sporadic child support payments, and the village helped out when I needed things my mom couldn’t afford right at that moment. I mostly babysat my many cousins in return for school clothes, driving lessons, and spending change. If it were not for my extended family on both sides, I am sure we would have been on some type of assistance or perhaps we would have just been worse off as the working poor (those who make to much for assistance but not enough to really live- you know paycheck to paycheck).
Anyway I just don’t understand people like Mr/s. Contreras, who are angered by a plan that gives some 60 million non-tax paying Americans a $1000 of his hard money. Why isn’t he angered at an administration that has given 10 billion a month to non-American citizens while they sit on surplus of cash? Or the fact that we give social services to everyone here in America, citizen or not. Or at John McCain’s frenemies Bush/Cheney for the TRILLIONS lost in the stock market or made on over priced gas and government contracts.
I mean when did we become such a cold uncaring nation? Just for the record those Americans do pay taxes, they pay sales tax well I guess they don’t in some states, but most states have some type of tax on things purchased. Look I’m not saying there isn’t fraud out there, but come on have we become a nation that is no longer willing to help those less fortunate than ourselves out. I shudder to think of a world with out good old fashion humanitarian gestures. No not the philanthropic entities that many of the rich and famous head, but the good old deeds I grew up with. People helping me, people giving me a job to earn money my mother couldn’t give me, people buying me Christmas presents even though I wasn’t in their immediate family, people picking me up from the library late in the night, people letting me drive there extra car for the price of insurance to cover it while I worked the summer to buy my own car, people selling me a car for next to nothing so I could have a piece a car. If any of those people were Rene Contreras I probably wouldn’t be who I was today.
You see the thing is when you help someone out who is below poverty level or on it makes it a little bit easier for those people to succeed. If no one had helped me out I could have very well just been a statistic. Or maybe I could not like people who were successful and let my childhood of HAVE NOT justify my adult life of any MEANS necessary.
Look I understand we can not help everyone, but at the same time helping one another to me is an American tradition and not one that we should abandon. Here’s where all that jazzy stuff I just told you comes in, I mean it would be very easy for me to say some bullshyt about I got mine THEY better get theirs. Only problem is I didn’t get mine, I had help, as many Americans do, getting mine. From my full academic scholarship to Rice which was based on my need. Some nice lady set aside money for need based scholars who got into Rice to my first car at 21 that a co-worker sold me for DIRT cheap because he knew I needed a car and he’d rather I get it than the dealer mark it up to something ridiculous (best 1000 dollars I ever spent!). There have always been people both know to me and unknown that have provided for me to lift myself a little bit higher each time. Its clear many on the right still don’t get it. If you don’t want your property threatened or family in danger you must help create opportunities for others if you have the capacity to. You must invest in the future. There should be opportunity for those who were not born into a family with enough clout to make you POTUS. I do know the one thing the higher I move up on the food chain the more I notice that the people who get the most help and hook ups are the ones who DO NOT need it. If I knew some of the things I know back when I was struggling, I wouldn’t have struggled as long as I did.
As I sit here and count my blessings, I know it is likely that I will most likely not be able to send my kids to many government funded programs or have my daughter/son go somewhere free based on need. I mean if things work out for me in the next few years I PLAN to be paying more taxes, meaning I hope to be one of the people making more than 250K in the next four years (a girl can dream huh!!) after all I believe to whom much is given much is expected. Sorry, plus hoarding money come on, that’s not a good look. Now don’t get me wrong I plan on trying to leave a legacy for my family, but I also think it is unpatriotic and UNAMERIAN not to help your fellow man in some way when s/he is down on his/her luck. I know it’s such a liberal way of thinking, but I just can’t imagine what my life might be or what kind of person I might have become if no one showed me kindness and let me retain my dignity while learning how to be better.
Just a random Tuesday thoughts, brought to you by some AZZ who wrote the Metro.