Wage the Working Poor

July 6, 2015

picasso__le_repas_frugal-e1340367392424Overcast and rainy-looking this Monday morning on California’s north coast — apparently, we had some heavy drizzle during the night, which might have been the early arrival for that ‘chance of showers‘ predicted by the NWS for tomorrow and Wednesday.
No drought-buster, though.

In the wake of freedom celebrations this past weekend, and Greeks voting fuck-you to the EU, was a financial story I spied on being way-poor, but still having a job — a big political target by some assholes who want to cut aid to those who work, but still can’t make ends meet.
A news release from Brigham Young University: ‘The majority of the United States’ poor aren’t sitting on street corners.
They’re employed at low-paying jobs, struggling to support themselves and a family.’

(Illustration: Pablo Picasso’s ‘The Frugal Meal,’ found here).

In their sense of really-screwed, delusional mantra, Republicans have been after America’s poor people for a long while, the learning curve wrapped around the concept of  “…there’s no such thing as a free lunch,” and have slashed funds accordingly — Jeb! has called for immediate elimination of the minimum wage, Scott Walker doesn’t think it “serves a purpose.”
So forth, and so on…

Along with just a small sense of human kindness, and a certain knowledge in the realities of life, one can see that type mentality is fucked on its face. Seemingly, the big hurdle in the past has been how many of the ‘poor’ work, and the definition of “working poor” — now we know:

But a new study by sociologists at BYU, Cornell and LSU provides a rigorous new estimate.
Their work suggests about 10 percent of working households are poor.
Additionally, households led by women, minorities or individuals with low education are more likely to be poor, but employed.
Science magazine says the data from this study is relevant to the upcoming presidential election, as candidates discuss ways to help the working poor move out of poverty.
Understanding the size and characteristics of the group makes this goal more realistic.
BYU professor Scott Sanders says the findings dispel the notion that most impoverished Americans don’t work so they can rely on government handouts.
“The toxic idea is if we clump all those people together and treat them as the same people, then we don’t solve the real problem that the majority of people in poverty are working, trying to improve their lives, and we treat them all as deadbeats,” Sanders.

The study estimates that between 6.4 and 8 million heads of families classify as working poor, which is actually less than the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics’ 2011 estimate of 10.6 million.
Accurate data on the working poor is timely for current political dialogue.
Recent months have seen low-wage workers staging “Fight for $15” rallies to raise the minimum wage nationwide.
Whether or not a minimum wage hike would fix the problem is still up for debate, Sanders says.
But one thing is for certain, the status quo is not the answer.
“It’s been the push, that if we can get people working, then they’ll get out of poverty,” Sanders said.
“But we have millions of Americans working, playing by the rules, and they’re still trapped in poverty.”

How much this plays in 2016 is still to be seen — but as the Greek tragedy now unfolding attests, austerity don’t work, money needs money…

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