One of the first stories I read this morning was one titled How Access To Public Assistance Impacts Political Participation. It talks about one of my pet peeves…the huge difference between how a low income person is treated from state to state. It has been obvious to me that each state has a mental image of who “the poor” are…and decisions are made based on that mythical and distorted belief. Media likes to play up an image of the poor as being folks of a certain color, lacking education, riddled with addictions, having poor impulse control, people unable to budget, etc, etc. I disagree. I think low income folks are diverse. The biggest difference between me and people not on food stamps is that they have more money than I do. Not my color, education, addictions, impulse control or budgeting abilities. I think, of necessity, I have fewer addictions, problems with impulse purchases and budgeting defects than most people in the US. I cannot afford to make many mistakes. How well would you do on $733/month? With $2.93/day to spend on every morsel of food or beverage you consume? And of course, this is day after day, year after year….not as a short experiment.
Invariably, person to person, I am told that I am different! I deserve the help more than “most people on assistance”! Really? That’s because of the preconceived ideas of who needs and gets low income assistance…not because I am better than anyone else. The older I get, the more I loathe the concept of “the deserving poor”. You cannot just look at a person and understand their struggles. Chances are, the more you get to know and understand another human being, the more you will think they deserve help. It’s the faceless mass that’s scamming the system. True judgement requires a heck of a lot of wisdom and input to make a decision. It’s a lot easier to make generalizations than to care about individuals.
Although my particular disabilities are unique to me…being poor and disabled is a plight I have in common with millions of people. Some folks are way worse off, some not. I am interested in justice for all of us.
Another pet peeve is something frequently heard from so-called right wing Christians. They say that Jesus commanded that we care about others, but that does not mean it can be legislated and forcefully taken from us by taxes. In other words, personal acts of charity should be enough. That means only those quickly deemed deserving would get anything? Perhaps charity should go to cute kids and not the less cute? Only those of your faith? Your color? From your block? You don’t believe in blood transfusions, so a few people get to go without and die? You don’t think women need education because they are supposed to stay home? Only those with curable diseases get help? Old people will just die anyway, why feed them now? The whole judgement thing quickly devolves into a quagmire 😦
How many people donate a few cans of food they don’t want to eat anyway and call it a day? Does anyone really know how much it would cost to support the people in the US….let alone the rest of the world? If only those who are able to work and bring home a liveable wage, are deserving, and the rest of us are vile beggars, isn’t there something fundamentally wrong with how the world conducts business and values human life? Each person has to come up with their own answers. People who are doing OK usually don’t like to be reminded that if their own health fails or their company steals their retirement account, or if their house burns down and insurance won’t pay…they are screwed. People who are doing OK right now like to believe that they are more blessed than the unfortunates, that they work harder, that they are more valuable human beings. It’s a nice illusion while it lasts.
I watch Bernie Sanders with awe. He’s an old guy. He spends countless hours talking and traveling and interacting and learning and all that. I visit a doc a block away and the effort takes days to recover from. We are not all blessed with the same attributes.
Article about tiny homes for the homeless.
This just popped up in my feed. It makes me furious. Yes, living in a dog house is better than living on a sidewalk…but the real problem is inequality. There is nowhere near enough affordable housing in the United States. We need all sorts of housing situations, section 8 vouchers, places like I am in with flat rents, just lots and lots more affordable choices and possiblilities. With waiting lists for subsidized housing being years long, where are people supposed to go? You just cannot afford decent housing…or any!….with a low income. While us poor folks wait years to get in a low rent apartment, more well-to-do folks go pick out a house, get a mortgage and get breaks on their taxes right away. We need the subsidy just to exist….they need it to live in a place that’s merely bigger and better. How is that whole system fair and equitable? If people with mortgages had to get on a years long waiting list for their subsidy, things would change pretty quick
Gosh, this fits in with plenty of my usual rants 🙂 I found it on the Poor as Folk blog. I know I freaked out the guy who helped me put the wheel back on my wheelchair in the middle of the road. He seemed surprised I could stand up. My swaying also scared him….so he was glad when I sat back down 🙂 I will never forget how devastated I felt the day someone grabbed me at the hospital in Vermont, took me to a room and had a wooden cane cut to size for me. Was I in my 30’s? I felt humiliated, embarrassed, a faker, too young….you name it. I was also secretly grateful because walking has almost always hurt and made me look like a drunk. By the time I got my power wheelchair, my world had shrunk to a tiny bit of space. Getting a chair meant exponentially more freedom.
Geeze….check out today’s myasthenia gravis Google Alert. Myasthenia gravis is grossly misunderstood by almost all doctors. Docs read a book or heard a lecture that briefly mentioned MG and then think they know and understand it. Utter BS 😦 After a couple of decades in MG support groups, even I am sometimes surprised at what can happen to people. MG is called “the snowflake disease” because no 2 people have it the same. When I lived in Florida, I had a neuro who was declared best MG doc in the US. His practice was mainly people with MG. Not only was he smart, but his nurse seemed to know and understand every little symptom and complication. From my reading of this news story, it sounds like typical health care ignorance and arrogance. It seems like the hospital was not giving her appropriate care because they labeled typical MG as a mental problem. Jerks. “she seemed more preoccupied with her symptoms than on previous occasions when he had nursed her.” No shit Sherlock, when going into myasthenic crisis, it’s pretty hard to think about anything else!
I wonder if she was on Mestinon and steroids? Steroids can make a person kinda weird and also cause weakness…as well as help with strength. Was this woman getting IVIg? Were they giving her meds contraindicated for MG? I often wish sanctimonious idiots could get MG for a month or a year, have to deal with the meds, the weakness, the health care system and every other detail of hospitalization and being disabled. I bet their attitudes would change pretty quick. Myasthenia gravis is a neuromuscular autoimmune disease. My body jerks around on a regular basis thanks to those #@%*&!! myoclonic jerks that are like being electrocuted. I feel bad about how Tracy Lee Whitchelo was treated, mistreated and ultimately killed 😦
I always have the same old lament. Why can’t we all treat the next person like a human being? Why do we all have to be sequestered in our own little worlds? It’s lonely in my box. Sometimes the sadness overtakes me.
I get really, really confused by the time it’s evening. I think my brain cells are too tired for strenuous thinking by then. I need to be done with serious decision making by maybe 7 PM. I just realized I made all sorts of email mistakes last night, and tonight I am lost and confused. Thank goodness sleep still rejuvenates my brain cells! People with autoimmune diseases get “brain fog”. Every evening, at least nowadays, I go through fever and chills. I think it makes my brain scrambled.
Ooooohhhh…..the news just said a bunch of nearby mountains got 2 feet of snow or more in the last 3 days. At noon on Wednesday, it got so dark I had to turn on a light. Then we had ice balls, rain and snow. Different precipitation every time I looked up. By 7 PM, we had blue sky and sun. Another crazy spring day.
I had a surprise this morning. I saw the bedbug truck in front of my window and wondered who had cooties this time. Then there was a knock on my door! It was an unannounced visit by pest control. I just had on my flimsy nightgown. I thought we were supposed to get notice before they barged in? All units got sprayed down for regular old bugs. Exciting life I lead, huh? 😛