Digby caught an amazing exchange on CNN (which you can watch here):
Thelma Guttierez: Fear for people like Mildred Copeland, who’s 84 and still waiting tables after 34 years.[….]
Ali Velshi: That woman who you had in your story, the woman who’d been a waitress, I almost wonder whether people who live close to the edge, but don’t carry a lot of debt are not as affected by this recession. They’ve sort of been living in that state for a while. There’s not a lot of room they’ve had to fall.
Guttierez: Ali, you’re absolutely right. I think that’s the lesson here. You look at somebody like Mildred, she’s 84 years old. She’s still waiting tables, but she’s doing it to supplement her social security income. The most important thing here is that she has no mortgage..
Ali: right ..
Guttierez: She doesn’t have the monkey on her back that we all have and so she doesn’t have to worry. She feels that she can move through this crisis because she lives simply, she was able to pay off her house, and she doesn’t have the big worry so many people out there have, which is mortgage.
The lack of empathy here is truly stunning.
A lot of what is wrong with our public discourse is summarized by this exchange. Once you accept the fact that 84 year-olds who are forced to wait tables to make ends meet are lucky people, you naturally think that anyone who would want to do something to help the working poor must not be “normal“. And it’s hard to imagine that tv anchors would talk this way if they made less money and identified less with the wealthy.
This is yet another demonstration of the essentially conservative bent of our national media.
She’s a maker now, John. What, you want her to retire and become a taker? Why does an 84 year old woman just get to lounge around while I have to bust my balls every day? And why don’t I get the senior discount at Luby’s? What the hell is wrong with this country?
Slavery is, after all, freedom.
Ali Velshi is pissed because he spends half his income on polish for his glowing orb-like head and spray on tan.
why doesn’t she just get a reverse mortgage on her house?
then those anchor-people would respect her.
Obviously this woman waits on tables at age 84 so she can maintain her membership at the local country club. On Saturday afternoons you can find her on the links, and she never misses cocktails at the club that evening.
She also has to pay for her Sunday massage, and her annual month in the French Riviera. She’s having the time of her life becasue she is debt-free!
"Poverty is richness" is more like the quote you are looking for. Or maybe "poverty means stability".
Ali is Hot- I would luv to wax that bald head.
This woman is obviously blessed, unlike those poor, unfortunate AIG executives who had to give back their hard-earned bonuses.
Truly heartbreaking, DougJ.
Immediately reminded me of how I felt when I saw Obama’s infomercial last October on the Working Poor.
I was angered and appalled. I still remember the story about the 72-year-old retired railroad worker who is now a Walmart greeter due to his wife’s huge medical and prescription drug costs. Think he had to take out a loan on his house too?
G-Dubya thought it was marvelous that some woman at one of his hack town hall meetings was working 3 jobs.
A great American story.
Poverty means debt free!
Quaker in a Basement
I read about this exchange yesterday over at Somerby’s joint.
I try to make myself give people the benefit of the doubt, so here’s how I interpret the seemingly insensitive anchor chatter: They’re trying (in a very tone-deaf way) to honor Ms. Copeland’s common sense lifestyle. She lives frugally and simply and has little to fear from the financial disasters in the news.
That these two completely missed the story of an 84-year-old woman waiting tables to get by? That’s inexcusable.
As long as the pancakes get to my table warm enough to melt butter, it’s all good.
I couldn’t even imagine being served by an 84 year old, it’d make me want to cry. I’d ask her to sit down while I got my own coffee (and help her with all the other customers’ orders too).
@Persia: Yeah, not since they changed the bankruptcy laws.
I shudder to think how small of a financial "cushion" that woman must have.
One slip in the parking lot, a bad cut or burn in the kitched, a semi-major car accident, or anything else that would be a huge monitary blow and she’s got no path to recovery.
What a Lucky Ducky she is.
The Moar You Know
Fucking lucky poor people.
I’d kill myself on the spot from shame.
Our society sucks.
CNN is right. The woman has pulled herself up by her brastraps … er, bootstraps. If we would all do that and stop being whiners, things would be a lot better.
Apparently, the folks at CNN think that rent is free, ‘cuz if you’ve got no mortgage, you’ve got no "monkey on your back."
Why can’t you do it?
Why can’t you set your monkey free?
Always giving in to it
Do you love your monkey or do you love me?
Liebe meine affe-mienke!
There’s a surprising amount of this complete tone-deafness going around. A friend of mine at work (decent guy, mildly conservative, voted for BO) likes to complain to me about Obama’s tax rates on couples making more than $250K a year, earnestly explaining that it’s not going to be easy to come up with the extra 3-5 grand that might be involved.
And I get that: it’s not an insignificant amount of money, after all. But in the grand scheme of hardships, with people worrying about losing their jobs, or being sick without healthcare, it doesn’t quite make it to the top of the list, you know?
Of course, at the same time, he’s freaked about the deficit. So I guess we’re going to have to raise Mildred’s taxes; maybe she should work overtime . . . .
That situation would put me right in the middle of the unusual tip calculation quandary: Is it appropriate to tip 100% or 110%?
Good God – If anyone wonders why the [email protected] survey came out the way it did, this is why. I’d like myself a little socialism if it means I can retire before 90.
Can anyone find an email address to either Velshi, Guttierez or just CNN in general so I can send these smug fucks a piece of my mind?
Polish the Guillotines
Canuckistani has it right, these people are just following the philosophy of the Wall Street Journal editorial page’s discussions of "lucky duckies" (which inspired a continuing series of "Tom the Dancing Bug" strips).
I wonder how much of her income is derived from tips?
The Other Steve
There is another hidden point in there…
Those who benefit from Government the most are the wealthy, for they have the most to lose if society goes belly up.
Not to mention it’s the Government that is the only thing standing between the CEOs and pitchforks.
Words fail me.
There are people who love what they do and still do it right to the end, and bless them for it. But somehow I don’t think this lady is there for the company.
"Freedom is slavery" is the quote. And you need to bone up on your Orwell.
We should all be proud to live in a country where people have the privilege to work till they drop dead. Soon even mortality won’t be an impediment now that Larry Kudlow got his sweaty little hands on this baby
We need to ship all our talking heads off to some hellhole to dig latrines for the Peace Corps or something. Fucking spoiled brats.
Digby’s coda was brilliant:
"Ali Velshi, by the way, was wearing what appeared to be at least a five thousand dollar suit as he piously lectured America about learning the value of a dollar."
Just Some Fuckhead
Anyone else thinking what I’m thinking? Nursing home factories!? Yeah? We can get those jobs back!
You crack me up. What a condescending bunch. She works because she can. She has that option. Not a lot of 84 year olds do. Did you ever think of that? I wish I could still wait tables when I’m 84.
Gee, and I thought she did it cuz she HAD to…
If I have to wait tables at 84, just put a bullet in me. Please.
Of course she doesn’t have a monkey on her back.
The monkey would want to split her tips!
Shallow, ignorant talking head is shallow. Cable news is an ignorant desert. The fact that a thunderstorm comes once in a while and the cacti bloom briefly doesn’t magically mean it’s not a frickin desert anymore.
That guy’s the luckiest ducky of all!
Blogreeder is a dunce.
GUTTIEREZ: "She’s still waiting tables, but she’s doing it to supplement her social security income."
Probably not a whole lot.
The good thing about getting a really, really old waitress like Mildred is that she still thinks a quarter is a good tip. Or if you leave nothing, she might think she already picked up the tip. Little things like that help stretch your bonus money out further and bank more of it. Look for the Mildreds.
"Arby’s Makes Fries".
Just Some Fuckhead
I heard they let him go out front on his break and yell at the kids for skateboarding on the sidewalk.
Welcome to the World of the Wal Mart Greeter.
Mo’ money… mo’ problems. We don’t want none of that mess.
That way she only eats cat food twice a week.
Blo Greeder you obviously didn’t watch the clip because the woman said thought she could rest after she retired. The word isn’t choice, she has to work to stay afloat . Here’s a shocker some people forgo food to pay for medicine, doesn’t that make you feel all warm and fuzzy inside, I know it makes the Pharmaceutical companys happy.
Just Some Fuckhead
… Or does she work because she has to because she doesn’t have the support she needs?
And really, you wish you could still wait tables when your body is not as strong as it once was, to run back and forth all day, to fake cheerfulness, to bear the myriad of extraneous requests from diners who may or may not tip you for your time?
Lower retail work sucks. And best borne by those who are not in retirement age.
"And so many of the people in the arena here, you know, were underprivileged anyway, so this–this is working very well for them."
-Barbara Bush, 9/2005
It’s not just "conservative" (whatever that means these days). It’s the purest expression of elitism there is. Let them eat cake.
@blogreeder: I hope to god you are being snarky.
Just Some Fuckhead
Let’s not forget that Bush and McCain’s largest voting bloc, percentage-wise is old people like Mr. Walmart Greeter and Mrs. Table-Waitress.
She also CAN. There are people who CAN’T. This is HER decision. Live with it. You can’t even treat an 84 year old like an adult who can make her own decisions.
Math is an easy way to end your sympathy for your co-worker.
Suppose it’s the low-end of his estimate: $3000 additional tax. The tax increase is $0.04 on every dollar earned after your first $250,000.
$250,000 + $3,000/$0.04=$325,000.
Now, it may be different if you’re not me, but to me earning enough to buy a condo here in the Bay Area (say, for $200,000) and still having $125,000 to live on takes you right out of the list of people that I feel sorry for.
blogreeder has a point.
Anyone has a choice. It’s like in the early ninteys when all those lower income folks refused to take advantage of the dot-com boom by spending thier money on food, shelter and utilities when they could have invested it.
(And yes, that was sarcasim)
Also known as the dead and dying.
Oh, so we shouldn’t worry about the working senior because there are homeless PTSD affected veterans sleeping under bridges that we need to concentrate on first, is that what you mean?
Putting somebody’s suffering aside because they aren’t suffering enough to merit your concern is cruel.
Blogreeder ignores quote from the story, claims something that obviously is not true, and proves own duncehood.
Sure. She can decide not to, and starve. If only we all had such wonderful freedom of choice.
You’re right. I can’t watch it right now. Streaming is verbotten. I was really commenting on your comments. It was a meta-comment if you will. Everybody started in on how it was horrible to have an 84 year old work. Sheez.
Ali Velshi’s contact form.
I can’t seem to find Thelma Guttierez’s.
I know that, I am not a wingnut. Just thought we could create a new slogan along the lines of "Freedom is Slavery" that would be more appropriate to this situation.
Btw, no one could have predicted that if you pay media personalities more in a year than the average person makes in a decade that they would lose their connection with people’s every day struggles.
Actually, I think people did predict it and that media owners started paying media personalities more specifically for that reason.
So this is working out really well for her then.
/Barbara Bush after Katrina
If all the little people lived within their means, Wall Street would not have to construct ponzi schemes to satisfy them.
It’s very empowering for an 84-year-old to HAVE to work minimum wage. Thanks for helping be out, BR. I hope it happens to you.
I’m still proud to live in a country where it’s just as illegal for a rich man to sleep under a bridge as it is for a poor one to do so.
As usual, The Onion was on top of it. Four years ago…
Somewhere in their archives is a story about the great workplace accomodations that employers are making so that employees can work until they drop dead, but I couldn’t find it. It sucks that The Onion can’t come up with a scenerio so awful that it doesn’t eventually mirror real life. The Onion text reads just as if it had been a CNN transcript.
@blogreeder: Have you ever waited tables as an 84 year old woman? Sort of a meta comment based on your comments.
Watch the video and learn something. The point of the post was the lack of empathy for people in tough situations. Get it?
John Cole or DougJ: Did we already miss out on the Historic Mission?
This is a good point. My guess is she probably doesn’t report it all. I’m going to turn this oldie into the IRS and collect myself a gotcha bonus!
Also, there are a lot of "we" who don’t own homes. Who is "we"?
Just because Mildred has chosen not to retire to Galt’s Gulch and abandon the looters is no reason to feel sorry for her.
Sort like when Bush went meta on that woman that had to work two jobs and was barely scraping by. Ok you win I’m sorry about what I said, but Larry Kudlow is building a zombie army out of his viewers.
Somebody earlier mentioned minimum wage. Federal minimum wage for tipped employees is $2.13/hr.
How many young mothers with no social secuity net to fall around in would love to have the waitress job this old bag keeps hogging? Sympathy for the devil if you ask me.
OT, but wow Lawrence O’Donnel is handing Pat Buchanan his ass on Hardball.
The Peace Corps tends to spend its time working with indigenous people teaching or building things.
It doesn’t have any openings in hellholes digging latrines. You are thinking of Gehenna.
You know, wingnuts like Blogreeder have a really tough job. They have to convince people to vote for policies that will increase their chances of finding themselves at 84 with huge medical costs and having to work a minimum wage job. I don’t envy having to persuade people to want that.
For best trollitude, you have to WATCH the material. When you show you have no idea of what the material is about, it’s just shows shoddy craftsmanship.
Go back, view the clip and come back here with a better trolling comment.
The mentality of these two is very similar to Barbara Bush’s televised comment about the Katrina refugees in the Astrodome: "…they have it quite good here."
Edited to add: When you think of all the other things these talking heads are willing to fan outrage about, this exchange comes across as callous indeed.
Mildred has only herself to blame. If she had only taken advantage of all of the re-training that we’ve been told about for years she could have gotten herself a cool high-tech job.
** Atanarjuat **
What a shock.
Elitist members of the liberal media demonstrate, once again, that they are out of touch with the common man — in this case, the common woman.
Color me surprised.
Ha! See me at #49.
Just Some Fuckhead
How long til Mildred is filing a lawsuit because a strip club won’t hire her as a topless waitress? It’s comin’ folks, it’s comin.
Anyone else see Buchanan and Lawrence O’Donnell go at it over Catholic moral teachings? Jaysus.
Context is everything.
If an 84-year-old genuinely WANTS to work, and is capable of doing so, then good for them. My husband’s uncle is 80 and still running his own business. He’ll work until the day he drops, because that’s just his nature, not because he needs the money.
But the point is not that Ms. Copeland wants to work, it’s that she HAS to work. That is what is sad.
By reading (or even skimming) the story, it’s pretty damn obvious that this woman is waiting tables because Social Security isn’t enough to make ends meet. And those idiots on CNN were sitting there in their expensive suits, talking about how lucky she is because she doesn’t have a mortgage! It would be like looking at a homeless guy and saying how lucky he is to not have a phone bill.
Dig it, empathy is now ‘elitist’.
‘Elitist’ now means anything, just like ‘ACORN’.
You seem to have missed the last 30 years or so of the body politic.
@Seebach: Yes, that was amazing. Buchanan needs a serious ass kicking.
@** Atanarjuat **:
Actually I’d rather color you black and possessing only high school diploma. The fun would come in seeing how long it would take you to starve to death.
Well, they get off to a good start, but that then leads Guttierez to conclude "Yeah, at least people who are already poor don’t have to worry about suddenly becoming poor, like the rest of us do."
Only an idiot would think this.
I’m not saying they haven’t succeeded to a remarkable degree. I’m just saying I couldn’t keep a straight face while telling someone with crushing medical bills that they’re better off without national healthcare because that’s ‘socialist’.
Some have cell phones, you know. And that’s even worse in the eyes of wingnuts.
Empathy went out with talk radio. It’s no longer politically correct to the Limbaugh crowd.
Because going downhill from having to live in a shit apartment to having to live in your car is no big deal.
@Froley: Me, too, Froley. I would be embarrassed to have her serve me, and I would give her a tip that most would consider obscene. I don’t watch news for the most part because it makes me want to punch the monitor. They are actors reading a script–not actual ‘journalists’. I rather read my news any day.
Oops, you beat me to it Dennis. I got as far as Froley’s comment and jumped in.
It’s mind boggling to me that people are this out of touch. And to comment more broadly on what has become a sad reality, in American culture, the attitudes toward the elderly have deteriorated. They are not cherished or cared for as they once were. Alas.
WHAT? They own CARS? Well obviously, they’re not really poor if they have a car to live in.
@demkat620: I’ll catch it at 7EST, esp if Larry O’D goes to town. (I still carry feelings for him, yes, it’s true.)
I just need to say here that I really don’t care for The Ed Show. Damn I miss Shuster. I just don’t care for Ed’s style, voice, manner.
n/p That was the first quote that came to mind when I watched the clip. For them it seems that once you’re poor you’re fucked anyway so it doesn’t matter how much harder you get fucked.
"Let them eat Pennzoil."
@LD50: "That way she only eats cat food twice a week."
You know, cat food ain’t cheap. Unless you are talking about 25lb bags of the dry stuff. Having just picked up some of the wet canned glop in an attempt to bribe an ailing cat to eat . . . I could have fed myself well on half that much $, easily.
The Tim Channel
Republicans like to see suffering. They get tingly all over just imagining it. From torturing people to torturing logic, it just doesn’t seem to matter. I swear it’s the truth.
Might have something to do with the over-reaching influence the waning fundamentalists have. Suffering is good for the soul don’t you know.
True. I was just making another point like the one about your uncle. Just because someone’s old, doesn’t mean they can’t work if they want. Yes, it IS sad that there are people like Mildred out there. But look at it this way. If she wasn’t working, then what? She’d have even less. What is the answer?
And SHOES! Some of them actually have shoes, instead of rags wrapped around their feet and tied with twine! How dare they call themselves poor?
What? They have to decide between groceries and rent? They have a ROOF over their heads? What kind of fools do they take us for, crying "poor" when they have a roof over their head and shoes on their feet?
@Laura W: They need to sit Ed down and let him do his radio show. If they do that he’ll be fine. This is boring.
Seebach, what show? MSNBC?? I’m interested in any exchange involving Buchanan and O’Donnel.
Absolutely. How does one improve themselves without obstacles to overcome? That’s the American Dream. It’s called tough love, too.
I don’t think the GOPheads wanted to admit that Social Security is a necessity, but they did. If the 84-year-old didn’t have it, waiting tables wouldn’t be enough to keep her off the street.
@blogreeder: What is the answer?
Social Security benes with a real cost of living adjustment?
OT I tried to sign in on Swampland so I could correct one of Amy Sullivan’s posts and I had trouble registering. She has a snotty post about the White House going green with their eggs and she wonders why they are not using hard boiled eggs. She then links to a site that talks about the wooden en eggs. Unfortunately she did not bother reading the whole article. However, the highlight remains the rolling of hard-boiled Easter Eggs across the lawn and the special souvenir each child receives for attending–a colorful wooden egg signed by President Barack Obama and First Lady Michelle Obama.
If anyone is signed on to comment on Swampland, would you be so kind to correct her.
What is the answer?
Higher minimum wage, regulation so that greedy chunderwagons don’t decimate pension funds, universal health care, and better coverage than what is given by Social Security by those who are retired.
Only someone who has never waited tables could wish that. As much as my back and feet hurt at the end of a 12-hour shift at age 21 working my way through college, I can’t imagine how it would feel at age 84 with no other choice.
Plus, one slip on a greasy floor and she’s history. Eightysomethings have a tendency to break hips when they fall. And if she’s already having to work, what happens when she has medical bills mounting and no extra source of revenue to support herself?
@lou, that actually explains something. We stopped along the highway the other day at a diner well off the road and it was a family run place with grandma and sisters and a sister-in-law all working the place. It was real friendly like. Grandma knew everyone who came in, kept all the guests (mostly truckers) in line, even if they didn’t seem to need it. The floor of the whole place, and I mean the whole place, was covered in two-inch thick rubber waffle-like industrial anti-slip mats. I had never seen that before, but given the age of the staff and the fact that they ran the place and had control of things, it makes a lot of sense now.
At that point, I assume she either finds a son or daughter to live with, or, failing that, dies.
@passerby: Hardball. Watch the repeat at 7:pm. I always love the "How dare you!" look Pat Buchanan gets whenever someone challenges one of his proclamations.
LauraW, I haven’t seen the show yet (don’t have cable and haven’t bothered to view internet clips) but I agree with you about his voice and manner etc. When Keith O introduced him last week I thought "him? a talk show of his own? that’s MSNBC big program idea??"
Guess their aiming for the "christian values" crowd vs the "we’re looking for naked reality" crowd.
Never content to just choke their parents with the biggest economic egg ever, they are facilitating something for the children to choke on also.
Perhaps this will leave a bad taste for shiney, colorful but hollow socialism in their future.
Or saying he can’t really be homeless and poor, but one of the "wealthy poor", because he has a cell phone.
Ed is not a Christian values guy, more of a more-authentic-American-than-thou guy, albeit from a pro-union, pro-hunting, red meat eating point of view. I agree with his politics for the most part, but the cultural shtick is something I just can’t abide. I think they are looking for some fireworks by getting second-tier wingnuts like Michael Graham on his show so Ed can out-macho them.
The radio show on Air America is much better. Ed’s wife produces it and while it drags at times it doesn’t have so much of the phony earnestness of the MSNBC show.
@blogreeder: The point here is not what sort of system would work better for the elderly so they wouldn’t have to work if they didn’t want to, its that nobody with two brain cells to rub together should muse appreciatively about how "when you ain’t got nothin’, you got nothin’ to lose" is supposed to be a GOOD THING.
Now if you’ll excuse me, I have to go track down my old high school English teacher and seek absolution for that abomination of a run-on sentence.
Maybe I’ll check my local Denny’s…
@DougJ: Er…guess I should’ve read past Krista before I made my point. Your point.
But at least I linked back to John’s post. That counts for a point.
Ah, but it’s hard to beat the original, Scrooge from A Christmas Carol:
At this festive season of the year, Mr Scrooge,” said the gentleman, taking up a pen,
it is more than usually desirable that we should make some slight provision for the Poor and destitute, who suffer greatly at the present time. Many thousands are in want of common necessaries; hundreds of thousands are in want of common comforts, sir.”
Are there no prisons?” asked Scrooge.
Plenty of prisons,” said the gentleman, laying down the pen again.
And the Union workhouses?” demanded Scrooge.
Are they still in operation?”
They are. Still,” returned the gentleman,
I wish I could say they were not.”
The Treadmill and the Poor Law are in full vigour, then?” said Scrooge.
Both very busy, sir.”
Oh! I was afraid, from what you said at first, that something had occurred to stop them in their useful course,” said Scrooge.
I’m very glad to hear it.”
Your first point about the higher minimum wage. You know the conservative answer. Mildred wouldn’t even be able to get that job. Higher wages demand more productivity. Too bad for Mildred. Your second point about pension funds. In her case, she would have retired 20 years ago. What were the pension funds then? Universal health care might work. Although, it might not cover the medicine she needs. Got to cut somewhere when you’re paying for everyone. Higher Social Security for those who are retired? How about those that retire at 55?
Just Some Fuckhead
How do we know Mildred is really 84? She looks a lot younger than that, maybe mid-70s. And what kind of extravagant lifestyle is she living that requires a social security check AND a big waitressing paycheck? I bet she has expensive countertops. The takers always have expensive countertops. And premium cable channels too.
Oh, good god, suffering does not build character. That’s another fiction tossed out there so that the wealthy (in general) can keep the minimum wage so low and keep the masses in check. If they really believe that, then they should give up all their money, work as a server for eight hours a day, six hours a week, and then see how they feel about it.
In fact, I proposed that for Madoff, and I’ve actually thought that most wealthy people or even upper-middle class folks would benefit from having to live a year as working poor. In fact, it would make a great reality program (that was snark). I doubt many of those advocating tough love and suffering would last a week without their luxuries, such as health insurance.
As for Ed, well, I was hoping for a woman of color, so color me uninterested.
Leelee for Obama
Too full of f’ing win!
I fully expect that my parents will have to work well past retirement or move somewhere significantly cheaper. I suppose they would be considered fortunate as long as they don’t have to eat cat food, right?
Sweet friggin’ Buddha. What insensitive clods.
What the fuck?
Here’s hoping that life never kicks you in the ass as hard as you would let it kick others.
Are you sure? Turn it around. If someone never has to suffer for anything, would that be a person you’d like to hang with? Think of the filthy rich.
The wingnuts’ answer
Amen to that.
Thanks. I generally enjoy Pat because he’s smart, he’s been on the inside and he’s knows how the game is played. Every now and then, someone (like Maddow) calls him on his bullshit and he starts laughing cuz he knows whatever Republican talking point he’s touting is indefensible.
He hasn’t been on Rachel’s show in a while. She used to have a segment called "It’s Pat!".
What the hell is so bad about moving somewhere cheaper? Oh, so now we have to pay for everyone to live on Boardwalk.
Just Some Fuckhead
It hurts my heart to see Pat Buchanan up there on the teevee screen at age 71 having to perform for his supper.
I’m betting you probably saw this but back in 2005, Season One, Episode One, Morgan Spurlock and his fiancee did just that in his powerful series, "30 Days". This is one of many reasons to still own and watch teevee, IMO.
Slightly OT (but then not) My local grocery store (Food Lion here in NC) has this really neato thing going right now. When you get to the cash register they have stacks of things at the end of the register. Last week it was canned vegetables, as your stuff gets scanned the cashier says "would you like to buy a can of vegetables for 79cents and donate it to the local charities" (it is split evenly between the soup kitchen, the homeless shelter and the food bank), I of course said yes. I wouldn’t even notice 79cents on my bill so I went ahead and did it. While I was there almost everyone in the line said yes, and looking at the grocery cart full of cans of vegetables with "paid" stickers on them most of the customers that day felt the same way. One guy behind me said to the cashier "how many cans do you have left?" she counted them up and told him and he said "okay all of them". They did the same with loaves of Italian bread and french sticks, this week each register has a different item, cans of veg, tuna, etc., mine had generic Food Lion "ricearoni" for 95 cents today, I donated two. It is a VERY easy way to donate, it doesn’t hurt your budget too much (like I said, not many people would even notice 95 cents) and I should imagine most people feel the same way. There is no way I would think of giving any of the organizations listed above a check for 95cents, but this is a little way everyone can help out. I think Food Lion should be applauded for coming up with this rather brilliant idea and I thought that perhaps you could approach the Manager of your local grocery store to implement the same thing. Times are tough, and any little thing that we who have can do to help those who don’t is worth it. Perhaps we can all pass this around and get this thing happening nationally. While I understand that there may be some detractors out there saying "HA they are just doing this to make money!" yes, true, but in these trying times if a grocery store is making money by helping out local charities then as far as I am concerned it is a win win situation. My local grocery store stays in business, and the soup kitchen et. al. gets a boat load of food. I really cannot see a downside to this enterprise. Spread it around.
What an elitist you are. We should all be thrilled by the fact that at his age he still CAN get up there!
Live with it. You can’t even treat a 71 year old like an adult who can make his own decisions.
The Moar You Know
@LD50: Thank God we live in a nation that still allows people the FREEDOM to die alone and destitute.
@Laura W: Laura W, I don’t have cable, so I never saw that, but I will now check it out. Thank god for Netflix.
@Just Some Fuckhead:
Bwahaha! You win! Best comment of the thread thus far.
@blogreeder: I hesitate to even point this out to you as you don’t seem capable of feeling a shred of empathy, but many people worked hard all their lives, did what they were told, bought well within their means, only to find this recession and economic crash wiped out all their retirement money. So now, through no fault of their own, they can’t keep the house they bought and paid the mortgage on every month for, say, twenty years. I, for one, find it incredibly sad that someone in their sixties or seventies is left with nothing because of things that happened beyond their control. Oh, and because of the greedy bastards who decided to fleece our economy and are now receiving bailout money for it.
Litlebritdifrnt, I just read your post. I agree with you wholeheartedly. Thanks for sharing your story.
The Moar You Know
@Just Some Fuckhead: Pat Buchanan’s been hurting my heart for a long, long time.
She can think of her job as a nine to five "stress test."
@blogreeder: Are you volunteering for a downgrade? It’s obviously no big deal, right? Think of the money you’d save if you moved into a homeless shelter!
Of course, being a career as a paid troll probably doesn’t leave you much further to fall…
To a degree, there’s an argument to keep minimum wages slow and steady. That reason mostly revolves around inflation. Raising wages means increasing demand which, in turn, raises prices.
There are limits to this, of course. We’ve got all sorts of price fixing on foodstuffs to keep it affordable without making it unprofitable. If you doubled the demand for corn and potatoes, we’d probably just meet it without raising the price at all. But if you double the demand for used cars, I imagine the price would go up until production scaled up to match.
Inflation in the 70s is – in part – attributed to unions repeatedly demanding raises to meet rising inflation brought on by higher per capita incomes brought on by unions demanding raises.
That said, we’ve been stagnated for so long, its hardly the time to start bitching now.
Is blogreeder for real, or a satirical faux-wingnutty troll? I honestly can’t tell.
I mean, if it’s soooo wonderful that poor people who have worked hard all our lives should have to give up the little we have the older we get, why is it so wrong to suggest that the rich should have to give up a little themselves, eh?
DH and I are not wealthy by any manner of means (he is a teacher I am a paralegal) but we always tip very well. It is not unheard of for us to put a $10.00 tip on top of a $45.00 tab. Strangely enough (LOL) in the restaurants that we frequent we are treated like royalty. I have worked as a waitress, I know how hard it is, unless the waitress throws the food on the table and spills coke on my husband you can pretty much be assured that you are going to get a good tip.
@blogreeder: I’d be more than happy to pay for GOPers to move to Afghanistan, where there is almost no bidness regulation and "family values" are enforced to their liking.
Funny you should mention that, Lilbit! I raced into Food Lion today intending to just grab a crappy pizza for dinner but ended up with 10 bags of frozen brussels sprounts ($1 each on one brand and BOGO for the brand I love!)
Back to your point: Last year my Food Lion had this awesome thing at check out where you could buy a pre-packaged box of basic foods for like $25 and it would go to a local family. They also had the canned food thing you mentioned that went to our local food kitchen and the huge bin was always full. I loved shopping for "them" while I shopped for me, and I really appreciate knowing exactly who is getting the items and that they are kept right here in our town. At Thanksgiving they were doing the "shop so many times and spend so much and accrue so many points to get a free turkey" thing, and since I prefer free range, no antibiotics/hormones poultry, I asked the manager directly if I could donate my turkey to local families in need, or the food kitchen. They did not have that program, but I got cash instead. (Yeah, I kept that cash but I think I gave it away in some fashion anyway, since it was "free" to me.) When I worked for Kroger (briefly!) we had that turkey thing in place. You could either take it or give it to the local group that would take the boxes of food to families in need for the holiday meals.
OH! And like Kroger as well, Food Lion is the only local market that has their Value Card tied to charities! I registered mine with Catman2, so for every dollar I spend at Food Lion, he gets a cut. Kroger did this with our local Humane Society (and the Public Library) in CO and every quarter those two orgs would get a very nice check from the store manager.
Along with the CREDO round-up programs I mentioned in this mornings Open Thread, these are the kind of fun, low cost ways that everyone can truly make a huge difference when done in large enough numbers.
–I mean, either blogreeder’s doing a damn fine imitation of the Marquis St. Evremonde and needs to take the act on tour, or s/he’s someone who needs to be introduced to a streetlight, stat. (And yes, I *do* knit…)
It’s quite simple, really: hard-working poor people must think of things like a roof over their heads and retirement as a luxury, because they were foolish enough to put their retirement funds into something risky like a 401(k) while working for their wage.
The super rich who destroyed that 401(k), however, cannot be expected to adjust down to a lifestyle that only includes one yacht and possibly only a handful of multi-million dollar homes because, well, those people are just better. They deserve better for their hard work at destroying the economy that the poor are foolish enough to depend upon.
Therefore, I recommend we immediately stop SS and welfare, and use the funds to give a big ol’ tax break to the top 1%.
Oh yeah, can we talk about how things would be if the GOP had succeeding in piratizing Social Security?
I do have empathy. What I don’t like is grouping people. Oh you’re 70? Your have to retire because you’re like ALL the other 70 year olds and are too feeble to work. Treat people like individuals and adults. All too often, you people treat the poor and elderly like children.
Just Some Fuckhead
Bullshit, if liberals were treating old people like children we’d be aborting them.
@Tonal Crow: My guess is that the markets would have had enough capital pumped into them to keep the crash from occurring for a little while, likely at some point during Obama’s administration.
I’d say that would allow the Repukes to solely blame Obama for the crash, but seeing as they’re doing that anyway, the main difference is that the whole idea of retirement as a reward for a lifetime’s work would go away, and it’d become a reward for a lifetime’s looting. Just as White Jesus intended.
Don’t you understand that Buchanan is selfishly depriving another, younger pederast from having a teevee talking head job? Sheesh, it seems so obvious.
I, for one, would prefer that we ship our elderly to an orbiting space station, where they will be immersed in a Matrix-like VR reproduction of a Retirement Home in Florida.
And I guess if Republicans treated old people like children, their congressmen would be passing bills legalizing beating them.
I thought inflation is caused by printing money. More money chasing fewer goods raises prices. Like an auction.
LOL Mine is tied to Boxer Rescue :)
@blogreeder: It’s silly to think that an 84 year old woman wouldn’t want to do one of the most grueling and low-paying jobs ever devised. Sure, the woman herself said she’s doing it solely to pay her bills because SS alone doesn’t cut it, but maybe blogreeder is right and she’s doing so because she’s likes the idea of being worked to death!
You damn liberals, treating this woman like a child by believing her when she says she’s not doing that job for shits and giggles. If you had any respect, you’d ignore her own words and assume she’s living out the fantasy inside blogreeder’s head!
Wow. No wonder you guys do so well in elections these days.
@blogreeder: You certainly haven’t shown any here today. The very topic of this thread was that this woman HAD to work at 84 because she couldn’t survive otherwise, and then you come blasting everyone for being condescending and treating the elderly and poor like children. No one is saying a seventy year old should be forced to retire, but that seems to be what you inferred from the comments. You apparently didn’t even bother reading the whole story before jumping in.
It’s not treating the elderly and the poor like children to demand that they have health care, are able to afford to live without killing themselves, and don’t have to support the extravagant lifestyle of the very wealthy. You talk about tough love and why should we have to help out these people as if you are above it all. You may say you have empathy, but you are not demonstrating any. You are arguing something that isn’t even the point of this thread, which makes me think you just have an axe to grind.
Oh goody. That must mean you favor repealing drug prohibition and gay-marriage bans.
@Zifnab: Zifnab, thank you for this post. I needed a talking down.
Actually, I think the GOP way of treating children IS analogous to how they treat old people: they’re very concerned with making sure you become an child (getting born), but one you’ve achieved that, they lose all interest in what happens to you.
Then I assume you oppose the practices of geriatric and pediatric medicine, since those fields are guilty of ‘grouping people’.
PS) If I ever make it to 65 I will be making out in spades, my WRNS retirement is quite nice, and added to SS (if it still exists) I will be making more at 65 than I am making now.
If that had delayed the crash, we’d probably be suffering under Palin/McCain now.
As I said, I was commenting on comments like "I couldn’t even imagine being served by an 84 year old, it’d make me want to cry." or "I’d kill myself on the spot from shame." Some people CAN work at that age.
According to Thelma Guttierez, the important point of this story was that Mildred didn’t have a mortgage. Heh.
They DO treat them as adults.
Yes, pediatric medicine treats its patients as adults.
You’d make more sense if you just banged your head on the keyboard for awhile. Why not try it?
And that’s your deep, penetrating insight. Bravo.
Pediatric medicine treats patients as adults?
Heck, you could make the prize something truly desirable to the Talking Hairdos, like their own prime-time show, and within 3 shifts (at best) they’d be dialing 911 and demanding transport to their favorite resort spa for a recuperative month or so!
One of John Kenneth Galbraith’s ongoing themes was the fact that the "highly privileged" like economics professors, political staffers, and anchorpodpersons tended to denigrate the importance of a secure retirement system because *they* didn’t want to give up their own physically-undemanding and highly-desirable positions. Consciously or not, people who’ve spent 20 years getting the ‘corner office’ spot are afraid of losing the cushy gig they fought so hard for to a mandatory retirement clause, and they can’t understand the point to not-working because to them THE JOB is the most fun they can have. But even farmers, factory workers, or waitresses who honestly love their careers are in a much different position than a guy whose idea of "hard labor" is having to get up at 5am so the driver will get him to makeup in time for a 9am slot as a "pundit".
P.S. to the well-meaning: Responding to the trolls is like beating an abused child. Being insanely annoying is the only way they know to get attention, but giving them what they’re ‘asking for’ will only make you feel dirty afterwards.
Blogreader, you’re full of shit. You got called out on it, so accept it and move on.
@AnneLaurie: I know, but hell, this thread was dying when I found it and I was bored.
Yo blogreeder, still waiting to hear about what sacrifices in your own life you’d find reasonable. I mean, if you’re gonna begrudge someone for clinging to their apartment when cardboard boxes are cheap, surely you have some things you could sacrifice. Maybe you could only plow through five bags of Cheetos a week, rather than your customary seven?
Isn’t it a little late for so much coffee?
Gave you that one to liven up the thread.
This is a snarky blog. So technically, everyone’s a troll. Really, there is no deep discussion that goes on here. If you want to know, there is already a book about living as the working poor. It’s called
Scratch Beginnings: Me, $25, and the Search for the American Dream . I’m sure the conclusion will shock you.
Mike in NC
The wingnuts would be perfectly happy to see destitute widows in their 80s turning tricks in alleyways to survive. It always boils down to Social Darwinism for these fucking cretins.
And here I thought it was because you aren’t real bright.
The conclusion to that book is that Adam Shepherd, the author, quit his experiment two months early because of a family emergency. Why don’t the working poor just do that when times get tough? You know, just draw on the large bank accounts that they aren’t using so they can prove a point whenever an expensive emergency comes up.
Well heck, Shepherd proved his point, which is that anyone can go from nothing (besides a lifetime of good health thanks to having sufficient money for nutrition and health care) to having a car and $2500, just so long as no unforeseen hardships like an illness in the family come along. Maybe these so-called "poor" people should stop getting sick or injured!
It’s probably because they’re lazy and stupid, not like Adam Shepherd, by golly!
@Comrade Darkness: Coffee? Whatchyoutalkin’ about, Darkness?
I don’t drink coffee past my morning pot of French Roast.
That was pure New Zealand Pinot Grigio (with a glass of Cotes du Rhone white blend mixed in, perhaps). My theme for the day seems to be Charitable Giving: How You, Too, Can Make a Difference!
And Ice Cream.
Hey! I used paragraph breaks and inhaled between the ‘graphs!
@Dennis-SGMM: You saved me posting the Dickens. I had the same thought. Surprisingly A Christmas Carol was written before most of the Poor Law reforms which made conditions worse than even Dickens portrayed them.
Actually just got done reading several books on the Union Workhouses. Incredible institutions. You would have thought, other than the language difference, that many of the good-hearted souls who dreamed up the idea were conservatives of today.
The workhouses were purposely designed to make the life of the poor so horrible as to keep them from seeking aid. The working conditions were so horrible so as to make any work seem attractive. The bonus was that there was a surplus of labor (kids got to start "earning" at 5 years of age) so Manufacturers could lower pay and standards and you had to accept it or be turned over to the workhouse.
If you had a family and had no work you could go to the Union Workhouse too. They would separate the men, boys, women and infants from each other. So if you were a five year old boy you would never see your mom again and would be put right to work.
So people like Mildred could keep working or go to the poor house. But if she went to the poorhouse she would have to work even harder and get less food.
The best results were in Union Workhouses where the government turned over operations to private companies. As all profits went in the pockets of the managers they made sure that there workhouses were the best run of all the institutions. All around a conservative WIN!!!
Adam Shepherd didn’t hack it as long as Barbara Ehrenreich did for "Nickel and Dimed: On Not Getting By in America".
Conclusion: privileged young white man with a credit card in his back pocket and knows he can step out of his hardship when it gets too hard for him is still a whiny-ass-titty-baby.
I knew it. You guys didn’t really want to know what would happen if someone spent a year as the working poor. Jrod, in your world is everyone sick? Poor bastards. Can no one pull themselves out of the mire?
Uh, uh…you’ll never make "Compassionate Conservative" status that way. Try, "Hey look, Granny, could you crank up the engine on those orthopedic shoes and step it up a bit? I ain’t got all day, ya’ know"
But Barbara didn’t try to better her condition. She lived in a hotel. Ate out. Didn’t save nothing.
I don’t want to know what would happen if someone spent a year as the working poor? I am the working poor you stupid piece of shit. What I’ve discovered is that illnesses and family emergencies wipe out all your meager savings. But heck, maybe I should have just pulled up my bootstraps and ate some broccoli and not let a little cancer stop me from saving that $2500!
As was said before, you have utterly no empathy.
Oh, and I’d love to see Shepherd try his little experiment here in Oregon, the land of 10% unemployment. He can even use the cot in our basement. Rent and bills due on the 1st or you get the fuck out.
Funny how you gloss over the fact that Ehrenreich couldn’t find any place to rent within her meager salary and thus had to stay at "budget" hotels with no refrigerators or kitchens and the bite those hotels took from her income made it so that she couldn’t save any money.
Well.. How did Shepard do it with only $25? He didn’t start out at either. HIS point was that he worked his way out. HER point was to show how horrible it is to be poor. Which is the more uplifting message?
May you find yourself having to, out of necessity, from age 65 to age 100.
He lived at a homeless shelter and collected food stamps for several months. Talk about your uplifting tale!
Still waiting to hear what you’re willing to sacrifice to ensure that our mega-rich overlords don’t have to.
So just the fact that he lived in a homeless shelter negates the fact that he worked his way out of it? No wonder there are so many poor in your world.
Once poor, always poor in your book. I don’t think I will be sacrificing anything to the mega-rich overlords. Sorry.
So many poor in my world? In the real world, the vast majority of human beings on the planet are desperately poor. Once poor always poor isn’t something I just made up, it’s a fact of life for 99.99% percent of poor people.
Going to live at a homeless shelter isn’t a choice people generally make in order to save rent money. It’s the end of the line. It’s where you go when you have no other options but the street.
You’re not gonna sacrifice anything? You think it’s totally awesome that an 84-year-old had to sacrifice her retirement. You think going to live in a homeless shelter is sound financial planning.
Never mind the absurdity of taking a healthy young white man with no family to support, having him use a bed that would normally go to someone who was actually, you know, poor, lie to the HHS department about his banked money so he could get gov’t assistance that would normally go to someone who was, you know, poor, get a job that’s only available to the young, strong, and healthy, and say that the fact that he could manage to scrape up some paltry savings before calling the whole thing off because he encountered a situation that his poor self couldn’t handle shows that anyone can make it!
I’d call you a retard, but that’s not fair to all the good-hearted retards out there.
What, Jrod, you’re not impressed by the compassion of the Compassionate Conservative™?
They’re not even *trying*, any more, are they? "–Oh, it’ll be fine…"
The law, in its majestic equality, forbids the rich as well as the poor to sleep under bridges, to beg in the streets, and to steal bread.
P.S. Fuck you.
P.P.S. With a rusty ebola-coated chainsaw.
P.P.P.S. I really mean it.
MS. MORNIN: That’s good, because I work three jobs and I feel like I contribute.
THE PRESIDENT: You work three jobs?
MS. MORNIN: Three jobs, yes.
THE PRESIDENT: Uniquely American, isn’t it? I mean, that is fantastic that you’re doing that. (Applause.) Get any sleep? (Laughter.)
What a knee-slapper. I bet blogreeder thinks that little episode was a hoot.
Now… where did I leave that guillotine? I know it’s around here somewhere…
I cheerfully volunteer to personally put blogreeder up against the wall when the revolution comes.
However I suspect I’ll have to take a number.
He isn’t worth the bullets. A kinder fate would be to drop him in a random homeless shelter anywhere in the country with $25. The way I hear it, he’ll own half the city before too long.
Some bad ideas never really go away, they just come back as GOP "principles."
And speaking again of Dickens, most PBS stations are featuring his "Little Dorrit." The protagonist Amy Dorrit was born in a debtor’s prison and her father has lived there for so long he fears stepping outside the gate to even watch regular folks walking down the street.
Although the novel is not major Dickens, the TV adaptation is excellent, and it still positively seethes with Dickens’ anger at the manner in which the more privileged classes condescended to – and exploited — the less fortunate.
Up here in Canada, my boyfriend’s mother and her boyfriend have nothing for retirement, at least that we know of. They live in a mobile home on company property, and I would guess they can live there as long as they work for the company. If there was an accident and one or both of them couldn’t work, or when they one day have to retire, to our knowledge there’s nothing to fall back on. His mom is older and will be retiring sooner, but we both feel bad about it.
Whereas I came from a family where both parents came from stable, working income homes, and thus both of my parents went to school and got an education, and salary-jobs. Both will have money for retirement. It’s quite the contrast to look at his family and mine side by side, and all I can say is I’m glad I came from mine.
Another fine feature of the workhouses was that they took away all of your posessions. If you needed assistance you must not have "any" means so you were expected to sell everything off till you were destitute. If you failed to sell it off they took it. Remember the guy with the cell phone at the soup kitchen and the righteous outrage that he could afford a cell phone.
Most Boards that ran these places required you to where a yellow symbol or patch to identify you as a pauper. Later this evolved to a prison style uniform. Usually this was only a problem for the inmates when they were marched to church services. Most other times you were not allowed to enter or exit the workhouse.
Thanks for the Little Dorrit info. I also just read "Michael Armstrong" by Frances Trollope, published in 1840. It is about a factory boy. At the time the book was published the author was ridiculed for writing about the ‘vulgar’ and ‘low-bred.’ And she was attacked for being anti-business as her characters advocated that the work hours of children be reduced to 10 hours a day (from 15) so they would be able to walk home eat and sleep before returning to work. Fortunately the novel, the first by a woman to be distributed in serial form, shocked enough people that by 1844 the Factory Act limited children to six-and-a-half-hour shifts.
I think it’s long past time that liberals start beating conservatives at their own media game. I propose we start working the phrase "corporate media" into every political discussion – just as much as conservatives have been ranting about the "liberal media" all these years.
It has the benefit of being true.
That’s what we called ’em 40+ years ago.
Luntzified after Watergate.
We thought of 1984 as a cautionary tale.
They thought it was an instructional manual.