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.