Wednesday, May 7, 2008

Memba Me, The Working Poor?






I was talking with one of my friends yesterday about the current episode of the Obama/Clinton soap opera "Played and Dazed All our lives!" and I expressed that I felt this was just a con job and that at one time I believed Clinton and Obama ran just to neutralize John Edwards; who's candidacy, was one of the few candidacies not taking corporate money and speaking about and on behalf of the poor and working poor.

Remember them? The Poor!

And she replied, "Well Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton are speaking about the poor!"

I replied, " No, They're not! They're speaking about the Middle class and who is the middle class?

I won't bore you with the whole conversation but think about it who or what is the middle class? If you had to describe your personal background what would you say? Most folks would probably say they grew up in a typical middle class home, or lower middle class or in some cases, upper middle class, but never rich, wealthy or poor!

We get fooled by the euphemism's. Not rich but well off right? So, Dig, let's get at what makes a person Middle class.

Is it our social values? Logically, it couldn't be cause dirt- poor Grandma's have been among the most socially conservative groups of people that have ever walked this planet. Just ask, any young lady whose skirt went slightly above her knee at school or church. Just ask any young dude who noticed that skirt was above said knee. Believe me I know! I....Know! But I digress!

So if not our social values alone then it must be our economic status.

I got this definition from Wikipeda....The middle class, in colloquial usage, consists of those who have some economic independence but not a great deal of social influence or power.

The term often encompasses merchants and professionals, bureaucrats, and some farmers and skilled workers. That used to mean white collar professionals who while they worked for wages did not work in the factories under the same conditions or subject to the dangers associated with factory work. But now it's a nebulous term defined many different ways depending only on the individual using it.

Here's an example. Non degreed, skilled worker, brings home $42,000.00 this year. He resides in Los Angeles County, his wife, some college, working in a white collar professional workspace brings home another $36,000.00. $78,000.00 dollars combined sounds like a nice piece of dough right? But it's not!

Three Children, Daycare, health insurance for everyone, two car payments, auto insurance, food, fuel, rent and minimal entertainment.

Single Man, no dependents, with exception of that one young lady who's not even showing yet, but I jest, brings home $29,000.00 gross and lives in Los Angeles County. A single apartment, one room, separate bathroom and kitchen, non furnished with stove and frig runs $850.00 a month. No lie! This does not include utilities, health insurance, car payment, auto insurance or minimal entertainment.

Minimal entertainment is defined as Cable/Direct TV, Pizza for a family, a movie or a night out on the town.

Which one is Poor and which one is Middle class? Can you say working poor? Who the H*ll are the working poor? What does working poor mean anyway?

Working poor is a term used to describe individuals and families who maintain regular employment but remain in relative poverty due to low levels of pay and dependent expenses. The working poor are often distinguished from paupers, poor who are supported by government aid or charity. Ibid. Wikipedia

The "working poor" in the United States

The nature and extent of the working poor in the United States is a contested subject; while both sides of the political spectrum acknowledge that there are non-negligible numbers of working people living near or below the poverty line Excerpted Wikipedia Ibid.

To be fair, the US Department of Health and Human Services set the poverty line for a single person household at $10.800 give or take a buck or two but we haven't added taxes, auto insurance, car payment, health insurance, food and fuel, day care, or minimal entertainment such as a movie, video rental or Cable/Direct TV so again, which one of these examples is middle class? Now, whenever the President or Congress speaks, platitudes of helping the Middle Class fly like a protein shakes from a blender with no lid.

OK, now, you're getting mad, so I'll say it! When the President or other elected officials say middle class, they ain't talking about you! There I said it! Most elected officials are RICH! Some are WEALTHY! A few are MIDDLE CLASS but MIDDLE CLASS is defined by the group standing next to the MIDDLE CLASS. The RICH and the WEALTHY see MIDDLE CLASS as College Educated, White collared professionals, making at least two hundred thousand or higher combined a year. Now if I was making 200 K, I would consider myself RICH but alas I am not and even if I was I wouldn't be RICH. Now I know, all of my examples are fluid, subject to change where ever my audience happens to reside but I think I've made a good solid point.

Most of us are working poor with solid morals, values and hopes and now it's time for us as a group to GET REAL with the politicos and VOTE FOR OUR REAL INTERESTS! TAX BREAKS and PROGRAMS that will benefit us.

Just something to think about so again don't get caught in a political Euphemistic fog. Get real about what your interests are and vote for your interests!

Remember, the views expressed in A Choice of Weapons are those of Mista Jaycee and are not necessarily the views of anyone featured or associated with A Choice of Weapons or Mista Jaycee.

So Be Prayerful! Be Mindful! Be Careful!

1 comment:

jjbrock said...

Great article and keep up the good work and thanks for stopping by The Old Black Church.