A little while ago, there was an article in my local paper. It was about a woman and her three children who were homeless, looking for a safe place to stay.
The story didn't say, but I'm guessing she didn't have much education beyond high school, but that's not the point.
She and her "husband" (the state of South Carolina no longer recognizes common law relationships, so I am assuming she has little legal recourse) had three children.
This woman did what she was supposed to do - supported her children. She might not have had a fancy college degree but she had arms and legs that worked and a strong back. She went to work as a maid in private homes and worked up a very good client list and was doing well enough to provide for her children.
Then the economy went shaky. Then it went bad. And people had to make decisions. In the story, she says one family she worked for had to chose between the nanny or the maid, and the nanny stayed. (Probably doing the maid's work now also)
One by one, her client list shrunk. She then couldn't make her car payment, then she couldn't afford rent, then her husband deserted her.
Little by little, she slipped from working class to poverty.
And the readers of the Post and Courier excoriated her:
"That tattoo on her arm was probably $200." (Um? It had been done when she was doing well financially)
"If they are so poor, why are they all so fat?" (Do these people really not understand nutrition?"
"She should just hire a lawyer and make the father pay support." (She's living in a tent in someone's backyard, hire a lawyer?)
"It's her responsibility to get out and work." (Yeah, she very successfully did that already. It's not as if she just one day decided she wouldn't work anymore.)
Those comments aren't hatred (I hope), those comments are flat out terror, in their hearts those people know how easy it is to fall into the spiral of poverty.
These are the consequences that are being played out all across America, people. Those with little education and few options who HAVE been busting their butts, working hard at menial, manual labor type jobs are finding those jobs are the first "luxuries" cut by those a few rungs up on the ladder.
They fall into poverty.
The lower middle class, those secretaries and lower management types who make just enough to maybe rent in a nice apartment complex, as their jobs are eliminated, they are having to step down into part-time, lower paying jobs.
They fall into the working class.
And we all continue to slip, bit by bit, down the ladder.
Except those at the very top. They haven't been hurt one bit by any of this. They sit in their multimillion dollars condos overlooking the Charleston Harbor and laugh at how easily they have turned us against each other.
And I've watched this Tea Party hostage like takeover of our Congress, I've watched them shift positions faster than a carny barker playing a shell game and I've wondered, surely I am not the only person seeing this? Surely more people see this and are as disgusted by as I am?
First, it was all those lowest since the 1990's taxes that were frightening The Job Creators. It was as if The Job Creators were some sort of super sensitive divas that the entire country had to tip toe around lest we upset them some how.
Then when the American people said, "Um, you've had low taxes for 11 years and you sent a record number of jobs overseas, why should we believe you that if we lower your taxes even more, you'll Create Jobs, this time?", did you see what they did?
No, no, it's the Environmental Protection Agency, THEY are scaring The Job Creators! All this insistence on clean air and clean water, not dumping toxic waste on next to schools and homes, that's JOBS KILLING!!
(And a note, I know many people were extremely angry with President Obama for holding off the new EPA regulations until 2013, but I understand that he had to do it in order to save it. The Tea Party was going to hold America hostage with the legislation and kill it. The President had to say, clean air and water are NOT a bargaining chip.)
So now, the Tea Party button men in Washington are awaiting their next set of marching orders. Who will they take hostage next?
They've already threatened the elderly, those on Social Security, the military (via pay), the poor, women, children.
The boyz say: Practicing to be homeless.