Tuesday, March 8, 2011

How much is enough?

Today I took all of my coins to the bank to cash them in. It is something I do occasionally when the drawer I put them in gets full, usually around once a year. But today I did it because I had to cover my rent check. When I wrote it there was enough money in the account, but not by much. I wasn’t concerned as I had no pressing needs and I would be getting paid this week. But, I checked the account this morning and discovered a debit had been posted that I hadn’t anticipated. When the rent check hit the bank, there would not be enough to cover it.

So I gathered up all of my silver change and headed for the bank this afternoon. I had over $80.00 in change which was more than enough to cover the check and provide a small cushion until Thursday when I get paid. But it got me thinking about all of the protests in Wisconsin over the unions and collective bargaining. I work 40 hours a week and am barely getting by. I have seen the cost of everything go up, everything that is except my wages. You see, I work in the human services field as a caregiver and advocate for some very special people. It is a job that I love. Unfortunately, it does not pay well. It is also always one of the top targets for politicians who are looking to cut the budget.

One might think that I would be anti-union, that I might be jealous of what those in the public unions have in the way of benefits and salary. However that is not the case. I think we should all share in those benefits. I think we should all be paid a “living wage” and have the health care promised by the democrats in the 2008 election.

Yesterday I found the video of Michael Moore speaking to the protestors in Madison, WI. I started to watch it, but didn’t finish as it was almost a half hour long and I needed to leave for work. So I took the time to watch it again today. In it, Moore made the statement that 400 U.S. individuals were worth more than half of all American households combined. I found that to be obscene.

I checked Moore’s website and found that he posted proof of the statement here: The Forbes 400 vs. Everybody Else | MichaelMoore.com. Why should 400 individuals be worth so much more than the rest of us? And it is actually turned out to be worse that Moore had stated in the speech, it is actually 400 of the richest are worth more than 60% according to the article. With this in mind, it really begs the question. Why are the rich getting the tax breaks? Why don’t they pay more instead?

I highly recommend that you watch the video of the speech that Moore gave in Madison last Saturday. He states the case much better than I possibly could.

I do take ownership of my financial situation. I am short now not because of what I am spending, but because I decided to sign up for health insurance this year. Trust me, this is no Cadillac plan, it is down-right sucky! The premiums are high and it pays so little that I seriously considered not taking it again. I figured that if I stayed healthy I could at least save the money from the premiums. Because if I got really sick and needed it, I would still probably go bankrupt because it pays so little. But, I had been without health insurance for 2 years and in the end, I decided not to chance it another year.

So, once again I am looking at my budget to see if there is anything I can cut. A raise would be nice, but I know that won’t be happening. I really don’t need a lot. I would need just enough to be able to put some away so I would have a little cushion. I would like to have just enough to not have to turn in my change so I don’t bounce a check.

However, I am curious and would like to ask just one of the elite top 400 on the Forbes list, just how much is enough for you? Will you be satisfied with having more than 60% of those in the U.S or will you not be satisfied until you have it all? Really, I want to know. How much is enough?

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Blogger MrsWhich said...

Hooray! Let's keep educating everyone. We need to understand what's behind what we believe. We need to decide what and how we want to be, and why the economic engine really exists in the first place. There is no reason for such inequality when there is so much desperation. Thank you.

March 8, 2011 at 8:56 PM  
Blogger azsky13 said...

You are exactly right! Education is key and I don't think we can depend on the media to do it for us or the politicians. We the people must do it whether by blogs or simply word of mouth, we must start talking.

March 8, 2011 at 11:22 PM  
Blogger j said...

I love this post. Your honesty and clarity are so refreshing in a debate that seems to lack both much of the time. The thing that makes me crazy is that the rich are getting tax cuts and taking advantage of tax breaks that result in their not paying their share... or anything.

I'm furious about the direction the Republicans want to take us. I think more people like you (and people with big megaphones, like Michael Moore) need to shout the truth, louder than all the noise.

March 8, 2011 at 11:33 PM  
Blogger azsky13 said...

Thank you J,
I think we all need to shout the truth. The people in WI are showing the way. I just read tonight that farmers are joining the protest this coming weekend. I have been frustrated for years, particularly in my field. It is not just our wages, it is service cuts to people who have so little as it is. It just makes the divide even larger. In MN last year our residents on medical assistance (MA) were limited to only one dental visit a year. This year it is rumored that they may lose dental coverage altogether. I do not fear just for me, but also for those that I advocate for.

March 8, 2011 at 11:53 PM  
Anonymous Karen/Madabip said...

Well said, Mary. How much is enough? From the point of view of the Forbes 400 there will never be enough. All have tiger blood coursing their veins and each one thinks he is Adonis. They'll ALWAYS be the winners, in terms of income.

I'll watch the Moore clip.

March 9, 2011 at 12:01 AM  

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