Let me see if I can beak YOU down:
"The author is living hand-to-mouth. She's unhappy about it. This is in sharp contrast to the rest of us, who are living hand-to-mouth and enjoying every minute of it."
Who the (blank) do you know who ENJOYS living hand-to-mouth??? Review the rest of the article. Paychecks come in and are rarely enough, even with frugal living standards. Bills get paid as money is available, ALMOST NEVER with confidence that the needed funds will be there. Vehicle maintenance is needed to keep us traveling to and from the source of those funds. Yet such maintenance is, as a rule, put off until catastrophic system failure because regular upkeep to manufacturers, or even service technicians standards, is unaffordable. I suppose we could use public buses, but the cost in time makes cooking meals, even adequate sleep, a luxury out of a need. The cost saved in fuel is eaten away to nothing by eating out, or in with pre-prepped, largely unhealthy meals, and mid to long range health effects from sleep deprivation.
If you happen to be diabetic, like the author, the meal alternatives become deadly.
Believe it or not, the celiac referenced has even more insidious needs. I wonder if you've ever stopped to think just how pernicious is the inclusion of barley, rye, wheat and spelt in today's food products. Even oats can be dangerous. The result is destruction of the nutrient absorption capacity in the celiac's intestines. This causes starvation, no matter how much food is eaten. Imagine the gut-busting satisfaction of a Thanksgiving dinner. Now imagine still being hungry because your body can't, I MEAN CAN'T absorb ANY of the nutrients consumed!!! Stocking a pantry now requires a detailed list of things to avoid, 20-40% more time spent in reading labels, and various (expensive) specialty products JUST TO ENJOY BREAD!!! If you don't have special dietary needs, thank whatever power(s) you worship, but that's victory in only one budget battle, not ever the war.
I'll summarize "living hand-to-mouth:" it means that you are never sure if your household utilities will stay on. You can't confidently plan a food budget. You're constantly praying that your vehicle will stay running. Or, if it's (usually) reliable, whether or not you can fuel it. If you are financed, you worry if you can make your payment, and still pay the full-coverage insurance required by law. Have kids? Actually care about them? Want to keep them in a home, versus bedding down under a bridge? Try dealing with their highly variable expenses and constant needs while juggling the financial realities they rarely understand. And you know someone who ENJOYS that existence? I am a step-father with no blood children of my own, and this is my first marriage. One might think me unqualified to look natural parents in the eye. Yet I am TERRIFIED of not meeting my family's needs, even though my experience is only with an inherited family. If I can do it, meaning feel the daily fear of failure, then anyone whose brain cells touch can as well. So I ask again: who do you know that enjoys living in this fear? Whoever it is, I suggest they seek free to low cost counseling for early onset dementia because SOMEBODY'S head needs to be examined!!!
OK, that's the first point. Next . . .
"She doesn't like people who can afford to drive Cadillacs and have time to play golf. Shouldn't they be taxed more?"
From the article: "The poor now find themselves sharing space in day centers and shelters with the displaced middle class. The wealthy go about their daily lives with nary a thought to how the rest of us may be struggling. Unless, that is, if their caddy is late for their 3pm tee time because he had to make the choice between putting gas in his car or paying the light bill."
Windows Users: type "Control" + "F"
Mac Users: "command-option-space"
Once your respective dialogues open, search for the word "Cadillac" (not case sensitive).
You won't find it in the original article. In fact, the first reference to that vehicle brand is in the first comment (posted by "toddkreigh"), to which I am now responding. What does this mean? It means that perhaps one should learn more of the fine and subtle art to reading with comprehension before one drops drawers, showing donkey to other readers (second offense, incidentally, the first being the mention that some people enjoy living hand-to-mouth). The closest Mrs. Young came to mentioning Cadillacs was the use of the word "caddy." As I referenced above in "From the article," "caddy" was used in context with "3 PM tee-time" leading those WITH reading comprehension to the following:
(Wikipedia: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Caddy )
"In golf, a caddy (or caddie) is the person who carries a player's bag and clubs . . . "
What Mrs. Young alluded to are some of the inherent difficulties in the battle for 'survival of the richest.' The day-to-day priorities of the "haves" are near diametrically opposed to those of the "have-nots," and to list them would take another five pages (for those of us who remember how to write by hand). Don't worry, toddkreigh, I barely expect you to understand the verbiage of my responses, thus I won't burden you with further tortures, like crayons and craft paper.
To be fair: I'll assume that the rich have earned their money. Some means fair, some means foul, but all with hard work. Not all of us are naturally equipped to have, then capitalize on some idea that becomes a gold-mine. Being rich is not a disease or disorder. However, there are MANY amongst the "haves" that forget some important points. Ex: businesses are empowered by people. Without us, there would be no business. Obvious, right? Then how does one justify cutting back on hours and pay scale to the lower ranks of any business, leaving the upper pay scales untouched? It is those lower ranks who do the bulk of the work to make the money! Let's say a sidewalk could speak and said "Hey! Take it easy with those heels, I'm about to crack!" Do you grind harder to shut it up and keep it in place? Or do you fix the pavement cracks and then wear more sensible shoes? And what are the long term effects of each choice?
My employer uses medium and heavy equipment. Many of our working vehicles are functional only through figurative band-aids and the genius efforts of our maintenance staff. Let's say my employer decided to PROPERLY fix the fork truck I use. This would mean downing the vehicle from service, sending it out for in-depth repair, and retraining all of it's users to operate it in a manner that would cause less mechanical stress and harm. In this unit's current condition, the cost of such an undertaking might come close to it's original purchase price. However, failure to do so will soon result in complete multi-system failure, making the truck a complete loss, perhaps within 12-18 months. Purchase of a replacement, even used, with all of the same functions, would top the original purchase costs by a minimum of 30%. Whereas with more attentive repair, maintenance and use, this same vehicle could easily last another three to five years. Likely more, 'cause this truck's a tough little worker. And how does this financial decision get made? By reviewing salaries and bonuses across the range of staff. I transitioned from employment through a temp agency to permanent party four months plus seven days after I started. Had I transitioned exactly eight days earlier, I would have qualified to receive a share of a quarterly bonus that was paid out. This bonus was triggered by work efforts I took part in. My sweat and stress were part of the efforts that earned the money to pay those bonuses. Yet I was denied my little $200-$300 because of an eight day gap in paperwork. One of the owners got his bonus and bought a brand-new Harley Davidson motorcycle IN CASH!!! My vehicle is falling apart at the seams. His REGULAR VEHICLE is still under manufacturers warranty. I won't even discuss what options he bought with the bike. Between the two of us, who has more NEED for the extra money?
Don't take this rant as being against my employer. I actually like these people and the work I'm doing. What I'm railing against is a pervading trend in most businesses: spend as little as possible to operate, and consider lower rank's wages as the variable areas, among first to take cuts when expenses rise. This is, in my opinion, close to the heart of Mrs. Young's article. Business owners and corporations, and their ideas of where money should come from to meet operating costs. The "little people" that form the foundation of any work group, meaning the grunts getting dirty in the trenches, are the last consideration for the rewards of hard work. And that's part of why my vehicle is a rattle-trap. I do my fair share of work. I go above and beyond when the team needs it. Because I am loyal by nature, I will continue with the high ethics I have adopted over the years. However, I got screwed out of a bonus that would have been MOST welcome and needed. Not by a hostile supervisor, or even a greedy owner, but by paperwork dates. And no-one looked beyond the written policy to give a reward where it was due. Instead, they hid behind it. And that is working in the modern world.
"The rest is a campaign ad for the President."
Hmmm . . . the rest is a campaign ad for our president. That's an interesting interpretation to assign to . . . how many lines about him? Let's count them, shall we?
Try the search trick again with the word "president." It shows up one time in paragraph 3, sentence 4. Funny, I don't see it anywhere else . . .
How about the names "Barack" and "Obama"? Nope, nothing.
"Political" shows up only once, paragraph 15, sentence 3.
"Oval" (meaning office)? OK, that's in there one time, paragraph 15, sentence 2.
So, three references, both direct and oblique. Let's look at them.
Paragraph 3: "When tax season is upon us, most are hoping against hope that the numbers work in our favor as we fill out forms with a sense of dread. Businesses that have been in operation for years are closing their doors due to lack of revenue. Those that haven't closed, yet, are holding their collective breaths as monthly numbers are totaled. As lawmakers argue the finer points of economic reform, criticize a President coming into a mess that he's expected to have miraculously resolved in a very short time, and try to find fault -- or simply someone to blame -- the rest of us just suck it up and do what needs to be done."
I find the last passage to be the most telling in this paragraph: "As lawmakers argue the finer points of economic reform, criticize a President coming into a mess that he's expected to have miraculously resolved in a very short time, and try to find fault -- or simply someone to blame -- the rest of us just suck it up and do what needs to be done."
The only mention here of our President is that, at his time of election, he was "coming into a mess that he's expected to have miraculously resolved in a very short time." It's a contrast to other lawmakers who " . . . argue the finer points of economic reform, . . . and try to find fault -- or simply someone to blame . . ."
Paragraph 15: "We're looking for someone to blame for this. The easiest target is the poor sap who volunteered to have the cross hairs on his back in the Oval Office. It really wouldn't have mattered who won or with which political party the victor was affiliated. It is unreasonable for us, as a country, to expect all this to be fixed in a mere 1,095 days when the problem has been developing over a number of years prior to this election."
Here's what I see as most poignant: "We're looking for someone to blame for this. The easiest target is the poor sap who volunteered to have the cross hairs on his back in the Oval Office. . ." The passage goes on to imply that even if Sen. McCain had won the election, failure to bring us (the U.S.) IMMEDIATELY out financial trouble, or any other trouble for that matter, would have had the same result. Regardless of any other efforts, the "President" would be the scapegoat. It wouldn't matter who that person was.
I don't see how this passage canonizes Pres. Obama. It seems to remind us that he's not Robin Hood. He can't ride out of Sherwood forest with bags of bread and pouches of gold, throwing them to the poor. I can't seem to find where Mrs. Young is stating her political affiliation in any part of her article. She is trying to highlight where she sees the center of the financial difficulties she encounters on her level of society: Businesses large and small being greedy. She doesn't seem to me to be against profit, which is the heart of any business venture. She appears to be vilifying only those profits that are made by causing undue suffering on the parts of the people doing the work to make those profits.
F.D.R. and the "New Deal."
The last line of para 15 ties in with all of para 16:
" . . . It is unreasonable for us, as a country, to expect all this to be fixed in a mere 1,095 days when the problem has been developing over a number of years prior to this election."
"It took FDR years to get the New Deal passed. Even then, recovery from the Great Depression lasted well into his second term. Instead of finding fault in the powers that be and the lack of speed with which they seem to be moving, we should be looking to see what we can do to help each other."
"toddkreigh" closes his "argument" (if it rates the dignity of that term) with the suggestion: "We shouldn't be looking for someone to blame for the mess. We should be looking for someone who can fix it."
How interesting. Mrs. Young close para 15 with this: "Instead of finding fault in the powers that be and the lack of speed with which they seem to be moving, we should be looking to see what we can do to help each other."
That sounds to me like she was suggesting that we as a collective stop looking for a hero (or maybe a parent?) to fix everything for us. Perhaps instead, we should fix our own attitudes about how we make our money. If we find ourselves in a profitable position, on what do we focus the bulk of our efforts? Making more money for it's own sake? Or ensuring that our money is ethically and morally clean?
Article - Last para: "In the end, it's not just neighbor looking after neighbor -- it's companies and businesses acknowledging that they are part of the problem, not the solution; it's setting aside the bottom line and remembering that we're all part of the great family called Humanity; it's taking one for the team so that the little guy doesn't get tagged out at first; and it's remembering that, at some point, we've all had to ask for help and that we need to give back . . . "
Let me say this about Pres. F.D. Roosevelt: he wasn't just sitting back and reveling in his power. He didn't spend all of his waking hours trying to cement his presidency. He was trying to do something about our problems. He was human, he was fallible, and he did the best he could with the tools and resources at his command, fighting the enemies that arrayed themselves against him. He may not have been the best at it, he may or may not have even succeeded. That's for politicians and historians to debate. But he did something. He didn't "look for someone to fix it" for him.
About Pres. Obama: he's doing something. Maybe it's the right thing, maybe it's not. Again, that's for the historians. But he's doing something. He's not Robin Hood, though. According to legend, even Robin had a "band of merry men." He couldn't do it alone. I see the points of personal responsibility and initiative as underpinnings to this whole article and debate.
Not just "looking for someone to fix it."