Tuesday, October 21, 2008

(Random) Tuesday Thoughts

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.

Be EZ,


This Cheeky Goddess... said...

reading your post reminded me of a news article I read today with some scary UK stats - A third of women in work earn less than £100 a week, but the figure falls to 14% for men

it sucks that statistically odds are I'm earning 83% of what I'd get if I was male, and I don't doubt being female has held me back within my male-dominated industry, but it's nice to have the view from the upper end of the wage spectrum... makes you a little more thankful for what you have

also this... I had no idea... 40% of households are now headed by single mothers

just food for thought

Cherish said...

i agree with you about helping out our fellow americans but i also feel that americans should also have to do more for themselves. i classify myself as one of those working poor people who cant get a subsidized nickel and i bust my ass to provide for me and my son but i look to all my wlefare girlfriends who sit on their asses all day in section 8 homes and receive 700/month in foodstamps. that kills me because i am tryin and cant get help but those who arent even trying get their whole life paid for.

OG, The Original Glamazon said...

@Cheeky- Welcome to my spot and YES equal pay for women is something that really needs to be addressed here in the states as well. And did you know it black women make even less than white women as well? Crazy.

@Cherish- Welcome to my spot. I feel you my mom spent my childhood like you working to catch up always catching up. But making to much to receive the help she really needed to catch up. My point is the amount of money we spend on those welfare girlfriends is not even a DROP in the bucket to the billions of dollars we provide in corporate welfare and NOW we are even bailing these rich mo fo's out. I mean really if it were us, the government would be so quick to bail us out.

My point was we've lost focus on the wrong thing, we shouldn't be mad about 1000 going to those who don't pay taxes why aren't we worried about those who get ten of thousands of dollars in loop holes left for them. Just a thought.


Keith said...

Yeah, I'm glad you brought that up OG..The people who get the most help and hook up's are the people
who need it the least. It's kept real quiet, while a light is shined brightly on the poor and downtroddin. I see what you're talking about everyday by way of Nepotism, "Grandfather clauses" and all sorts of other euphemisms used to disguise give aways and straight up hook ups. It's only bad when some people get hooked up..not others.

CurvyGurl said...

There's a lot of confusion/misleading info about Obama's tax plan. I happened to see a guy who represents www.politifact.com on CNN early tonight and he clarified that "no worky, no money" applies so the plan is not a thinly veiled version of welfare -- http://www.politifact.com/truth-o-meter/statements/813/.

I agree with you though, if I had to choose I sure wouldn't want to make the wealthy wealthier.

Chi-Chi said...

Hey OG! Food for thought . . .

I think the problem/resentment comes in when you consider people who are just tenuously middle class. You know, those at the bottom of that tax bracket. When you're there, you never qualify for any free anything but you don't have the money to pay for things outright. It almost feels like it's better to make less (be poorer)! Of course, your anger and resentment should not be directed at those who do qualify but it's tough when you are in line at the grocery store putting stuff back because it busted your weekly grocery budget and the next person is swiping their government assistance card. It's tough when you are struggling to pay your rent or mortgage and the next person doesn't worry about it because of Section 8. When you notice those supposedly less fortunate than you have the money to get their hair and nails done, buy new clothes and shoes with much more frequency than you, it's hard to be all benefactor-y. I should think the more money you make, though, the more comfortable your life is, the more willing you are to not bat an eye at social programs aimed at helping the less fortunate. But when you just barely miss qualifying for those programs . . . sometimes it leaves a sour taste in your mouth--even though you may have benefited from some kind of assistance to get to your modestly middle class status.

Surely, it's the best blessing to give freely when you have the least (remember that story in the Bible about the woman who gave her last in the temple) but we're human and sometimes, when you've worked so hard and still can't seem to come out on top, it makes you tightfisted.

Torrance Stephens - All-Mi-T said...

well most folks dont understand economics, i know i dont, and i know most folks aint well read. makes me mad how folks can come to conclusions wo reading the plans of eaither, i have read bot thourougly, and it bugs me that people who aint have the nerve to comment (ms. contares(sp)) and would hope folks who aint read them would not comment

ignorance and freedom is incompatiable

NoRegrets said...

Is it liberal thinking or just humanitarian thinking? Helping others that is.

sdg1844 said...

Great post OG. It seems that giving a damn about others has gone the way of the Dinosaur. I think you can care and set up social programs, but they are only as effective as their requirements. There should be certain caveats. I'll help you if you are willing to help yourself.

What I find intertesting is how the little guy feels the lash, but we let the rich slide day in and day out. We gave $700 billion worth of welfare to those with the most and yet sneer at so-called "Welfare Queens."

There is something very wrong with this country and selfishness is right there on top of the list. We just don't give a damn anymore and that's sad indeed.

Raven said...

Wonderful post! This is my first visit, but I will be back. I find it interesting to hear people talk about how they pulled themselves up by the boot straps and made it happen on their own...very doubtful! It seems as this country gained in its capitalistic venture more and more people started keeping their hands in their pockets as opposed to holding it out to help others. Most people in need don't want a hand out...they just want a hand up.

By the way...one of the friends that I blogged about graduated from Rice. Small world.

Somebodies Friend said...

Great post, It is a shame how the very well to do in this country expect all the tax breaks and the "welfare" kick backs.

Then when someone who really needs a hand because the are down on their luck gets looked at like they are trying to "cheat" the system. What a world we live in.

Sister Girl said...

I do believe in helping to better themself because EVERYDAY that I live & breathe is due to a higher being.

It pisses me off how the very people that need help can't get it & those that don't need it get all the free shyt. I see it right where I work because of "who you know" & those that can't get assistance because of some damn technicality.

But what would this world be like if NOBODY helped NOBODY else ? We've all seen or have had Good Samaritans that have helped us somewhere along the way.

Just like the writer of that article, she didn't get where she is in the world by her own damn self(she must have obviously forgot).