You Owe Me…..

Lately there have been incredible and heart wrenching stories about immigrants in all sectors of the world. The refugees of Syria have made their way to camps of Jordan and Turkey. Some of those settlements number 500,000. Even more tragic are the people that flee Somalia and other African nations. They pay smugglers anywhere from $3-5,000 to get them going in the right direction.

As they cross Africa they take two paths, some on boats others on foot. Many depart From Libya to Italy where the gangs load them onto old tubs of a ship and set the auto pilot straight for Sicily. Others make their way across eastern Africa to South America and then through an assortment of trains, boats and snake laden swamps to Central America, Mexico and eventually the US.

As some of us or our fellow Americans blithely comment to “send all them suckers back” I would like you to give some thought that these people aren’t exactly arriving on Air Emirates to demand hospitalization and welfare.They have truly risked everything to get here. I daresay we or some of our neighbors have trouble walking four blocks to the store or God forbid not get a spot close to the entrance of the mall. I wonder how we would fare if it was this hard for each of us to immigrate? Don’t know.

But all this begs a larger question. It can relate to a new arrival or a long time resident of one of our poorer neighborhoods. It can be anywhere in the world. Just what if anything are you owed? Okay I get the life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness thing but just what are the basics?

Let’s start with shelter. I think I can unequivocally work with a roof over your head. Now is infested with all sorts of vermin okay? Do we go two or twenty to a room. Let just throw in heat, water and electricity. AC? No I have to draw the line there. Hell, I didn’t have AC growing up. Now the accoutrements. TV? Interesting. Color? Big TV? Cable? Man we are going to have to set some boundaries. House phone or cell phone? Now some of my bleeding heart buddies will say that people have a right to be just like everyone else. We don’t want to have them feel like they are any different.

Food? Yes you have to have it. Should your food stamps buy Twinkies, booze or butts. No way (I was going to say Jose but you know how PC I am). The food pyramid still does not work in the ghetto or the rural heartlands. Clothes? Sorry but designer is out. ARC and Goodwill have sales every month. My worn out Izods will look great on you. Kathy had to steal them away from my armoire. Had several good years left in them.

Transportation comes to mind. Not as easy as it sounds. You have no money. You have no way to get to a job interview because you can’t even afford the bus. Now we can cram 8-10 into a Uber Ghetto sedan but then you run the risk of being pulled over by the gendarmes and then it is back to Mogadishu with you. Yes you can walk but we really have to set parameters as to distance and weather. You might make five miles in Denver and fifty yards in Nome,Alaska or Death Valley.

Schooling? Hmmm, now you are trying to stump me. I think we have to give you the basics of reading, riting and rithmetic. GED’s are desirable but not a slam dunk. Junior and four year college? This is a trap. We sell everyone on the concept that you have to have higher education. Forget about the trades. The real money is in being an accountant or communications major. What was your last bill when the plumber or HVAC man showed up at your house? Better yet how long did you have to wait? Forget it TTG. Image is everything.

I am getting close to my limit on what I will provide but I have to include medicine. Not as clear as I would like it to be. The first take is one of basic needs. You have a cold or pneumonia? That is a no brainer. But that doesn’t mean you can go to the emergency room at a gazillion dollars a pop. Speaking of which, let’s say you jump off a cliff and you have now multiplied the number of bones in your body by an order of three. Should I be responsible for you? I don’t think so. You know my feelings if you show up at the hospital after drinking or eating yourself for fifty years to 7/8 gone. Do I owe you to be healed ? Sorry not in my kingdom. I work in hospice for people like you. Cruel TTG. Cruel. Sorry about that.

We have talked about immigrants and the poor. You could use these guidelines throughout this wonderful country. If you have smaller means you have to think in terms of a smaller house. Smaller could even be the difference between earning $250k vs $1million. The concept is the same. You don’t go out to the finest restaurants if you are struggling to meet your mortgage, It’s the old champagne taste on a beer budget.

In pure fact you are owed nothing. That is a cold and pragmatic approach. You can see some poor bastard lying in the street and say “tough shit”. That is your prerogative. But as some one who sees his fellow man and thinks, “There but for the grace of God go I,“ I can’t just move on. I am not going to give you a free ride. But I will give you a leg up. A chance, but you have to make it work. I owe you that.

As always
Ted The Great

Factoids:

Poverty is a state of deprivation, or a lack of the usual or socially acceptable amount of money or material possessions.Ergo my question. The poverty level for the US in 2014 was set at $23,850 (total yearly income) for a family of fourThe U.S. Census Bureau said more than 16% of the population lived in poverty, including almost 20% of American children. (approximately 43.6 million). California has a poverty rate of 23.5%, the highest of any state in the country.

$8 per hour wage yields $16,640 annually based on a 40 hour work week.
$10 per hour equals $20,800. The apocalyptic $15 per hour comes to $31,200.

There are 43 million refugees worldwide. Major refugee populations include Palestinians (4.8 million), Afghans (2.9 million), Iraqis (1.8 million), Somalis (700,000), Congolese (456,000),  Myanmarese (407,000), Colombians (390,000), Sudanese (370,000).They have been displaced by violence in their countries as well as famine and drought

I think Colorado is a pretty cool and modern state. 1 in 7 of our populace struggles with hunger. 1 in 5 kids aren’t sure where their next meal is coming from. 1 in 8 live in poverty UGH!

In 1964 LBJ declared the War On Poverty. We have spent up to $22 trillion by today’s standards on every conceivable program. Sadly the rates of poverty have barely budged the needle. Interesting is the fact that 85% of the poorest counties in the US are rural. So much for the governmental approach. Any ideas.

2 thoughts on “You Owe Me…..

  1. The poverty rate is simply a reflection of the lack of education, whether it be K-12, Jr. College, Trade Schools or College. Isn’t the definition of insanity doing the same thing over and over but getting the same result? Now we get to point the finger at publically funded and run education + unions. Vouchers and Charter Schools…….guess that’s just white privilege.

    How about working up a Ted’s Head review of the three VA hospital projects around the country like Fitzsimmons? There might be some meat with respect to the government’s ability to meet a budget or better yet their attitude about once it’s started, cost overruns don’t matter because the government will fund whatever it takes to finish the job. Nobody cares. No VA jobs are at risk. Why not just provide veterans with vouchers that enable them to get quality care in institutions where the better doctors work? Have you ever considered whether or not the #1 grad from Harvard’s Med school (if they have one) chooses to practice at a VA hospital? I think that you might find several months’ worth of “Headworthy” comment in this cesspool. (I just invented a new word, I think)

    Hope all is well. How about a turf tour at DCC early next week?

    Mike

    • Mike
      As always thanks for your thought. I will be so bold to say we need a totally cultural revolution. I am going to stick my neck out. I can’t solve poverty if we have families who are bereft having more kids under multiple parentings with no obvious signs of support. I don’t disagree with Baltimore and Missouri demonstrations but let’s have Uncle’s Jesse and Al getting their butts in gear and addressing the basic problem. There is no support and no role models in poor families because every guy plants his seed and beats feet.

      Then the question of education comes in. Every study I have seen on education addresses everything but the big question…parental involvement. It wasn’t by accident that an inner city school I was involved in at Paterson NJ had a 100% graduation rate. The kids were uniforms, were courteous and the parents HAD to be involved. If the tuition was $5 peer month THE PARENT had to bring it to school.

      Going back to my first point you cannot have an 80% out of wedlock birthrate and expect there to be any semblance of family and support and followup Yadda Yadda Yadda. This is not only blacks There was an article about rural poverty in the Post a few weeks ago. They were white families living in a plywood shack with SIX kids. This is nuts. But you can’t talk about this stuff. I have to be PC.

      There I feel better already.
      TTG

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