Sep 23, 2014

We don't want a hand up, or a hand out, we just need to be paid a fair wage for this hole we've been digging for you.

You've read the story... struggling adult doesn't know how she's going to make it until random stranger tips her $1,000.00 / until football player pays for the kid's operation / until anonymous angel buys her groceries / until undercover boss pays her house off and sends all the kids to college and gives her the first vacation in her life. It's a story that's supposed to warm your heart and make you feel great about humanity and inspire you to maybe pay it forward.  Get out there and give, change a life by throwing a couple hundred dollars at a  poor person, save someone from the brink of ruin.

I can't help it every time I read one of these stories I get seriously pissed off.  What about the millions of people who didn't get that magic windfall?

People should be able to work hard and pay for their own.  A bartender should be able to afford a few appliances, a waitress should be able to buy Christmas presents, but we now live in a society where basic needs can't be met by people who work their asses off.  People we see every day, the cashier, the gardener, the lady wiping the snot of your kid's nose at preschool. I'm supposed to be all choked up at the sudden un-freezing of Scrooge's tiny cold heart at the end of Undercover Boss - instead I am pissed that we are in a place where folks can't afford to buy their own house any more or afford to pay for schooling.

The people on the top get to feel good for throwing a few scraps to the people at the bottom and the people at the bottom are supposed to thank them and be ever so grateful for that angel who paid for their coffee and we area all supposed to clap and cheer about this heart-warming scene when instead we should ALL be outraged that not every American can afford coffee.

Please understand, I'm not trying to discourage charity or paying it forward, or big tippers, I'm just saying we should all be ashamed that are so many opportunities in this country to rescue. We should stop feeling all warm and fuzzy on the inside when we read these stories and instead opt for frustration and outrage that the relief was needed at all.  A thousand dollars here, eighty thousand there... it's pennies barely missed falling from the top earners' wallets, into a vast bucket of need.  Working Americans need a bigger more permanent rescue than a nice tip or a tax credit, we need a living wage.

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