sinisterporpoise: (Default)
[personal profile] sinisterporpoise
The week where my moped was stolen and my laptop screen got cracked are behind me. I cannot fix these things right away, so I should not spend too much time worrying about them. (This doesn't mean they didn't suck.  They did.  It's just that there's not much I can do about things right now.) The MRI with contrast dye on the right wrist has been rescheduled, and the semester continues to wind down. So far, things are going okay. I even got a B on the quantitative reasoning test. (Despite going into an IT field, basic math is not my strong area. I tend to do okay with discrete math until you ask me to find the union of sets.) Now, I just need to come up with $23.79. I'm okay with borrowing it, if necessary, but I should be able to generate that much through my writing activities.

In any case, I'm doing okay.  It could be better.  Instead, I've been thinking about a Washington Post article that was posted two days ago. I first read about it on Media Matters. The Media Matters article accused it of bordering on poverty shaming. Later sites commenting on the article  seem to have dropped the phrase bordering on. Naturally, I read it for myself.

It was a difficult read. The situation too closely mirrored mine. The man in the article was dropped from his employer as soon as he was injured and no longer useful to him.  (Much like I was forced out of my job when my problems started.) He was reluctant to go on SSI, but he felt he had no other choice. I was not quite as reluctant. I've tried before. I didn't seriously apply because my mental health problems *were* getting better and I figured I no longer needed it. I was okay with this situation as long as I had a job. But well, physical disabilities can happen to anyone too, and they are more likely as a person gets older.

But I didn't see actual poverty shaming, I saw a good description of what is going on in mostly rural America. It was about someone who was too proud to accept help until he had no other choice. This is standard working class American values.  The social justice warrior can argue all day about how there is no shame in accepting help, but the article also goes a long way to explaining why Trump won. The people in these areas don't see welfare as a solution. They see the return of higher paying jobs as a solution.  Never mind that automation and outsourcing has forced many people out of such jobs, and technical companies have CEOs who mistakenly though outsourcing call center jobs to India was a good idea. (Many of these places have now moved back to the United States or Canada, but they are employing prisoners at a ridiculously low hourly rate. By the way, I'm not sure I agree with all of the IWW's politics, but I hope they organize more prisoner strikes in areas where they aren't being compensated for their labor. Texas should be ashamed of itself for this and many other reasons.)

But the reality is these jobs are gone and may not be coming back for a long time. Despite the job numbers, I have to wonder how many people are no longer on the unemployment roles, and how many people who are no longer counted in the labor force participation rate -- the number Dear Trumpenfuhrer was trying to quote during the campaign -- actually want to go back to work.

The only solution I see for the current problem is a minimum income that lets people pursue their own interests for a while. New businesses might even emerge during this process.

Date: 2017-04-07 07:17 pm (UTC)
vladdraculea: Rainbow Autistic Pride lemniscate over the black, grey, white, and purple stripes of the Asexuality Pride flag (Default)
From: [personal profile] vladdraculea
I agree about the minimum income idea, though I very much disagree with some conservatives who insist that if it were implemented that we simultaneously “do away with all the programs”, especially when said conservatives say it ought to be no more than $10,000 per year with only up to $3,000 per year subsidy for health care.

Without Section 8 *and* energy assistance *and* SNAP, not to mention Medicaid, $10,000 per year — plus $3,000 in place of Medicaid — would never be enough to live on for pretty much anyone who is unable to work at all due to disability. Not even close. And that $3,000 wouldn't cover even half the premiums for health insurance for someone with a pre-existing condition, or over the age of 65, let alone all the co-pays etc., especially if you have the kind of illnesses where you have to see the doctor frequently and/or take several medications for the foreseeable future!

What I think is, if we:

1. create Medicare for all
2, massively expand the Section 8 program in all cities so there wouldn't be anymore years-long waiting lists for low-income people to get housing (e.g.: they wouldn't have to wait for more than say 3 months, and they'd have emergency housing in the mean time),
3. keep things like energy assistance and SNAP,
4. create low-cost high-speed internet access for everyone like they have in Romania, Finland, and South Korea,
5. continue and expand programs to educate people who are unemployed, low income, and/or Disabled so they could qualify for new or higher paying jobs,
6. continue and expand programs to help people find jobs that match their qualifications and access needs (if any),
7. expand existing (and/or build better) non-car solutions for getting around and create low-income subsidies for people who couldn't otherwise afford to pay train/bus/ferry fares, and
8. create programs to fund moving expenses for people in areas where there is little work who want to move to cities for better access to employment, or to have better access to health care and/or long term care for themselves or family members they support/care for,

then we could stand to have a universal income of maybe $15,000 per year (not just $10,000 per year.)

And that's just for adults. I can't even guess how a guaranteed minimum income program would address the needs of families with children.

Date: 2017-04-07 08:24 pm (UTC)
vladdraculea: Rainbow Autistic Pride lemniscate over the black, grey, white, and purple stripes of the Asexuality Pride flag (Default)
From: [personal profile] vladdraculea
No worries. 💜


sinisterporpoise: (Default)

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