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Thu Nov 14, 2013, 03:31 PM

She eats. Iím her mother. I let my daughter eat. Last night she was hungry and we had some peppers.

FROM: What itís like to have your food stamps cut.


Slate: Do you and your daughter ever go hungry so the other one can eat?

Debra: She eats. Iím her mother. I let my daughter eat. Last night she was hungry and we had some peppers. I made her an omelet with eggs, lunch meat and peppers and I went to bed without eating. I could have made myself an omelet too, but that would have meant no eggs for the weekend. And I had been in Baltimore that dayóIíd bought a corn beef sandwich for $4. I didnít know what she had eaten all day, but I had food in my belly from lunch. So it came down to me feeding her and I went without. This morning, though, she didnít have breakfast, and I had cereal.



way, way, more:
http://www.slate.com/articles/double_x/doublex/2013/11/snap_reductions_food_stamp_cuts_impact_47_million_americans_here_s_one_of.html

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Reply She eats. Iím her mother. I let my daughter eat. Last night she was hungry and we had some peppers. (Original post)
kpete Nov 2013 OP
JaneyVee Nov 2013 #1
roguevalley Nov 2013 #32
Diego_Native 2012 Nov 2013 #81
hollysmom Nov 2013 #2
HockeyMom Nov 2013 #3
kpete Nov 2013 #5
No Vested Interest Nov 2013 #7
ReRe Nov 2013 #10
Niceguy1 Nov 2013 #53
AAO Nov 2013 #63
Half-Century Man Nov 2013 #14
Fla Dem Nov 2013 #21
No Vested Interest Nov 2013 #52
ReRe Nov 2013 #88
Beacool Nov 2013 #37
PADemD Nov 2013 #4
HockeyMom Nov 2013 #6
Liberal_in_LA Nov 2013 #8
mountain grammy Nov 2013 #9
LiberalEsto Nov 2013 #13
mountain grammy Nov 2013 #26
LiberalEsto Nov 2013 #28
mountain grammy Nov 2013 #30
Tree-Hugger Nov 2013 #11
Half-Century Man Nov 2013 #16
Tree-Hugger Nov 2013 #19
wercal Nov 2013 #27
Daemonaquila Nov 2013 #34
wercal Nov 2013 #35
Tree-Hugger Nov 2013 #42
Rozlee Nov 2013 #12
NickB79 Nov 2013 #24
Rozlee Nov 2013 #36
AnneD Nov 2013 #64
KittyWampus Nov 2013 #72
No Vested Interest Nov 2013 #78
Rozlee Nov 2013 #80
No Vested Interest Nov 2013 #82
Solly Mack Nov 2013 #15
Arcanetrance Nov 2013 #17
Uncle Joe Nov 2013 #18
dchill Nov 2013 #20
stage left Nov 2013 #22
Hekate Nov 2013 #23
CFLDem Nov 2013 #25
WillyT Nov 2013 #29
BlueToTheBone Nov 2013 #31
Shemp Howard Nov 2013 #44
BlueToTheBone Nov 2013 #70
Shemp Howard Nov 2013 #75
BlueToTheBone Nov 2013 #76
Shemp Howard Nov 2013 #77
BlueToTheBone Nov 2013 #83
demosincebirth Nov 2013 #33
Tree-Hugger Nov 2013 #45
FirstLight Nov 2013 #38
DocMac Nov 2013 #58
allinthegame Nov 2013 #39
LisaL Nov 2013 #40
CoffeeCat Nov 2013 #54
FirstLight Nov 2013 #87
Shemp Howard Nov 2013 #41
sakabatou Nov 2013 #43
Shemp Howard Nov 2013 #47
DocMac Nov 2013 #59
Shemp Howard Nov 2013 #68
Tree-Hugger Nov 2013 #46
Shemp Howard Nov 2013 #48
Tree-Hugger Nov 2013 #49
rhett o rick Nov 2013 #50
Tree-Hugger Nov 2013 #51
grasswire Nov 2013 #56
Tree-Hugger Nov 2013 #57
rhett o rick Nov 2013 #67
L0oniX Nov 2013 #74
Tree-Hugger Nov 2013 #89
grasswire Nov 2013 #55
Blue_Roses Nov 2013 #60
L0oniX Nov 2013 #73
idwiyo Nov 2013 #61
Cronus Protagonist Nov 2013 #62
burnsei sensei Nov 2013 #65
toby jo Nov 2013 #69
Rex Nov 2013 #66
L0oniX Nov 2013 #71
VA_Jill Nov 2013 #79
bvar22 Nov 2013 #84
merrily Nov 2013 #85
adigal Nov 2013 #86
gopiscrap Nov 2013 #90

Response to kpete (Original post)

Thu Nov 14, 2013, 03:32 PM

1. Sounds like my early childhood. Poverty is soul-crushing.

 

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Response to JaneyVee (Reply #1)

Thu Nov 14, 2013, 09:53 PM

32. I hear you. That trauma never leaves you. I am old and things are easier but it was

like yesterday. Watching everyone go down the drain primes that too. I feel sorrow every day.

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Response to roguevalley (Reply #32)

Fri Nov 15, 2013, 12:49 PM

81. Completely agree.

To this day I still get excited/comforted/secure when I open up my kitchen cabinets and see them full. I remember my childhood where that was a rare, rare occasion.

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Response to kpete (Original post)

Thu Nov 14, 2013, 03:35 PM

2. When I was young, my Mother would tell me stories.

My grandmother died of a weak heart at 60, she was the only person in my family to die younger than 80. According to my mother my grandmother risked her own life by not eating - first the husband got fed because he had to bring the money, then the kids got fed because they were her children and she loved them and they needed to grow, then she got what ever was left over, frequently there was none. Seems like history is repeating itself because people are too dumb to learn.

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Response to kpete (Original post)

Thu Nov 14, 2013, 03:47 PM

3. Do you have a local church pantry?

When my husband was out of work for a year and a half and we had depleted all our savings and unemployment ran out, I went to a local church food pantry. I am an athiest and didn't belong to any church, but we had two kids (11 and 6) and they needed to eat. I told them my plight and they gave us food, and no preaching. While my kids got free breakfasts and lunches at school, they still needed to eat dinners.

Apart from Social Services,and yes, I know food stamps have been cut (horrible), don't be too proud to ask local charities for help for your children. I was very hesitant to go to that church because of my non-beliefs, but your kids are far more important. When my husband did get a job, I made a nice contribution to their food pantry. No, it did not change my religious beliefs but I was willing to help them because they helped me, and didn't preach their religion.

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Response to HockeyMom (Reply #3)

Thu Nov 14, 2013, 04:16 PM

5. From Debra:

Debra: Food banks. I use Marthaís Table once a month and Bread for the City once a month. Marthaís Table is extremely helpful. They give you juice and fruits and vegetables in cans. Itís two whole bags of groceries. Though the lines are awful: Iím not sure when they start but by the time I get there at 9:30 they are just terrible, which is because it is such a good and popular food bank. Marthaís Table works out better for me than Bread of the City. Theyíll give you six cans of stuff, maybe once a fresh vegetable, and they usually have some old bread getting ready to go bad that someone donated. But all of it is better than nothing.

http://www.slate.com/articles/double_x/doublex/2013/11/snap_reductions_food_stamp_cuts_impact_47_million_americans_here_s_one_of.2.html

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Response to HockeyMom (Reply #3)

Thu Nov 14, 2013, 05:12 PM

7. It's my experience that many/most of the church-related kitchens and food banks do not proselytize.

Likely some do, but you would quickly find that out and not repeat visit, if that is more than you wish to be around.

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Response to No Vested Interest (Reply #7)

Thu Nov 14, 2013, 05:19 PM

10. Sadly...

... the Salvation Army does.

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Response to ReRe (Reply #10)

Fri Nov 15, 2013, 01:38 AM

53. I would bear faux news for a bag

Of groceries

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Response to Niceguy1 (Reply #53)

Fri Nov 15, 2013, 09:39 AM

63. I'd even say "God bless you" even though I'm not religious.

 

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Response to No Vested Interest (Reply #7)

Thu Nov 14, 2013, 06:07 PM

14. I am forced to attend food pantries in the south central wisconsin area

Two of the four of them are church based and receive food from second harvest. They always proselytize. The other two resources are secular.

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Response to No Vested Interest (Reply #7)

Thu Nov 14, 2013, 07:30 PM

21. I volunteer at a food bank in St Johns county Fl. It is run by several different churches.

We never proselytize, and it would never occur to me to do so. We treat each client with respect and dignity, offer them information on other services available in the area and wish them well.

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Response to Fla Dem (Reply #21)

Fri Nov 15, 2013, 01:30 AM

52. Fla Dem, It sounds as though the food bank where you volunteer

has the best manner of serving those in need. Thanks for all you do.

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Response to Fla Dem (Reply #21)

Fri Nov 15, 2013, 07:19 PM

88. You're in a good church...

... stick with it. Thank you all for what you do.

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Response to HockeyMom (Reply #3)

Thu Nov 14, 2013, 11:15 PM

37. Most mainstream churches (Catholic, Lutheran, Methodist, etc.) do not proselytize.

My church (Lutheran) serves meals to the homeless from Monday - Thursday in the church hall. There's no preaching, the pastor will hold a morning service on holidays and anyone who wishes to attend can go to the service. That's about it. The pastor is also available if anyone wishes to talk to her and many do. Pastors are great listeners.

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Response to kpete (Original post)

Thu Nov 14, 2013, 04:12 PM

4. A couple of our local churches serve free dinners every week.

There might be some in your area.

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Response to PADemD (Reply #4)

Thu Nov 14, 2013, 05:11 PM

6. My experience was at Thanksgiving

That church pantry gave us a 20 lb. Turkey and all the boxed and canned goods to make a Thanksgiving meal, which with the leflovers, was enough for a few days meals.

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Response to kpete (Original post)

Thu Nov 14, 2013, 05:16 PM

8. sad

 

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Response to kpete (Original post)

Thu Nov 14, 2013, 05:16 PM

9. We need another "War on Poverty," another Dr. King or LBJ or RFK to mobilze people

against the scourge of poverty in America. Just because a family has a refrigerator or a car does not mean they're not impoverished. You don't have to live in a shack with no electricity or running water to be poor.
People who've never experienced being poor have no idea how exhausting or humiliating it is. The idea of drug testing people on public assistance is an example of spending tax money to debase and humiliate people, because, God knows, they're not down enough.

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Response to mountain grammy (Reply #9)

Thu Nov 14, 2013, 05:45 PM

13. There IS a war on poverty

 

It's a war on the poor.

Fuck the 1% bastard who buy themselves new $80,000 toys while children starve.

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Response to LiberalEsto (Reply #13)

Thu Nov 14, 2013, 08:05 PM

26. In 1964, LBJ declared war on the persistent poverty in America

part of this effort saw the passage of Medicare, Medicaid, Head Start and Food Stamps. Despite the efforts of the 1%, these programs have remained in place, but are not all they can or should be.
Seniors have benefitted the most, but back then we were hopeful that poverty in America would be eliminated. Along came Milton Friedman and the "free market" slugs and we have the great divide we see today.

The problem is the numbers of people in the 99% who somehow think the policies put in front of them by the 1% will work for them. I know people who live below the poverty level who vote Republican.. Reagan won by a landslide. I'll never understand.

Now, there's no war on poverty, just war on the poor.

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Response to mountain grammy (Reply #26)

Thu Nov 14, 2013, 09:13 PM

28. Thank you.

 

I do know about that - I was in junior high at the time and we discussed it in social studies.

My comment was intended as cynicism.

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Response to LiberalEsto (Reply #28)

Thu Nov 14, 2013, 09:36 PM

30. I figured as much, just my chance to spout off.

I was in high school too. Graduated in 1965.

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Response to kpete (Original post)

Thu Nov 14, 2013, 05:32 PM

11. This is close to my life

I've definitely gone most of the day without eating so my kids get more. When I shop, I try to buy more for them than for me. So far today, I had a little pita and hummus as well as a small M&M bag that I stole from my daughter's Halloween candy stash. I make sure my kids get three meals plus snacks and do my best to make them feel like they don't have to worry about going without food. My son is 7 years old and he has become well aware that we are poor, which I really hate. He has a lot of anxiety issues and OCD (which is fed by anxiety) and I hate to think our situation contributes to that.

We actually utilized the local food pantry for the first time a little over a week ago because our SNAP benefits were running very thin before their scheduled roll over. At this place, you can come twice a month. I'm not sure of the alloted amount. My husband came out with two large grocery bags, plus one small one. We got apples, celery, peppers, canned veggies, soups, sausages, hot dogs, bacon, cereal, and so on. They also gave a little bag of leftover Halloween candy as a treat and they allow one dessert item if available (oh no! Poor people eating dessert! Crucify them! Crucify them!). In addition to the food pantry, they run a daily soup kitchen - breakfast and lunch/dinner. I saw that portion of the building and it was filled with regular folks from my community - people you'd pass on the street and not notice they are poor (because we're supposed to wear some sort of identifying arm band or something, according to RW asswads). They also have a bread shelf and anyone can come in on a daily basis and take two bread items. This can be loaves of sandwich bread, bags full of rolls, pita type breads, baguettes, bagels. In addition to the bread shelf, they have baskets full of bottled water that anyone can take. Sometimes, the bread shelf has extra produce items such as apples. It's usually the day old bread from grocery stores and places like Panera. I also observed people coming in to get a bathroom key - I assume it's utilized by the homeless folk our area loves to deny exist.

It can be super embarrassing. This food pantry is on the main street of town, right in the center of action. People line up outside on the front sidewalk and are very visible as they wait for the pantry and soup kitchen to open. I totally admit to feeling that sense of embarrassment...thinking, "I hope no one sees me." My car is ultra identifiable thanks to it's uncommon color and my obnoxious bumper stickers and I wondered if anyone I knew would pass by and wonder if I was there to help or be helped.

Don't mind me - I'm rambling.

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Response to Tree-Hugger (Reply #11)

Thu Nov 14, 2013, 06:15 PM

16. I too am forced by circumstance to attend food pantries.

I was at one yesterday and saw someone I knew well. The year I earned my Associate in Arts & Science degree at my local college, he was the student council president.
He was part of the Sheriff's work crew doing community service.

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Response to Half-Century Man (Reply #16)

Thu Nov 14, 2013, 07:04 PM

19. Hugs to you

I hope you're position improves soon!

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Response to Tree-Hugger (Reply #11)

Thu Nov 14, 2013, 08:20 PM

27. Curious...if you don't mind answering my questions

I volunteer at a place, which is essentially a food pantry distribution center. We sort food...usually pulling food from giant containers and putting them into smaller bags to be handed out.

Some of the foods, I'm just not sure if they get eaten or utilized. As an example, last time, we sorted several thousand pounds of onions. If you went to the pantry, and they offered 5 lb bags of onions, would you take one?...be able to use them all before they went bad? Just curious.

Other oddities include carrots several inches in diameter, apples the size of a cherry, apples the size of a cantaloupe, cucumbers that were almost bad already, and 10 lb bags of sweet potatoes.

I never witness the actual distribution of the food...just wondering if it all actually gets consumed, or if some of it eventually goes bad waiting to be used.

Could you consume these types of items before they went bad....or would some of it be wasted?

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Response to wercal (Reply #27)

Thu Nov 14, 2013, 10:28 PM

34. It's been a long time, but...

 

Years ago I was on that edge, trying to make sometimes $10/week cover all my food needs. I didn't go to pantries, but in my college town I knew a couple restaurants that made sure to feed all their nightly leftovers to hungry locals after the close, and which co-ops and small groceries made old bread and produce, damaged canned goods, etc. available for free or nearly.

I definitely ran into the kinds of situations you're talking about. I felt bad taking a big bag of fruit or veg that was nearly bad, because I knew I would not be able to eat or process it all in time to avoid wasting it. Some things you can freeze easily, but cucumbers, cantaloupe, etc. don't work so well. I didn't have a lot of other food to cook whole soups or meals with en masse and freeze them, and I certainly didn't have a way to can things. Even affording baggies to freeze things in was a nice wish, a lot of the time.

One night I had only 2 heads of cabbage in my refrigerator, and was at wits' end to eat them before they went bad, and about crying at the thought of any of that going to waste. On one hand, you can boil a head of cabbage with salt and it tastes pretty good. However, 2 whole heads' worth with no other food... that's a whole ton of cabbage and a whole ton of stomach upset.

Some of what you're listing would definitely have been usable in short order, if you had some other food to work with. The onions? Chop and stew them down, freeze containers of them for later for soup, potato topping, etc. Awesome find! Huge carrots? As long as they're still edible at that size (some really aren't!), chop, cook, freeze... and if you have some of those onions, or even onions and honey or maple-flavored syrup if you're really lucky, you've got treats for a long time. 10 lbs of sweet potatoes? If that's all you've got to eat, you're set for 10 days even if you do get sick of them for a while. But I also was lucky because I had a stove and freezer. A lot of people don't, and that's where even those "easy to handle" large bounties would go to waste unless you had someone to barter with for less perishable items.

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Response to Daemonaquila (Reply #34)

Thu Nov 14, 2013, 10:53 PM

35. Thanks for the reply

Well if onions are a really good find, they had 32 tons of them!

I guess you have to really be organized (and have a freezer).

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Response to wercal (Reply #27)

Fri Nov 15, 2013, 12:28 AM

42. I'm sure some definitely goes bad

I do have to admit...a 5 lb bag of onions is food porn to me. You can use onions for sooooo much as the other poster who answer noted. Onions actually keep pretty well as long as it's not too hot and humid. A 5 lb bag would certainly be useful to me. You can also chop them and freeze them. Carrots can be frozen as well. You can also use them in soups and stews, or roasted with some sweet potatoes and onions.

I do okay with cooking. I'm always searching the internet for different ways to cook things. I have the time to do that and I am slightly organized with chopping and freezing stuff that I can't use right away. I think there are some people, such as my husband, who are working non stop in that attempt to make ends meet and they don't have the time to cook big meals or chop up a bunch of produce to freeze. They may not have a freezer or they may not have electricity. In those incidences, produce may go to waste. Again, things like onions, apples, and potatoes have a chance to keep well without refrigeration if conditions are good.

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Response to kpete (Original post)

Thu Nov 14, 2013, 05:43 PM

12. If it wasn't for the garden my mom always grew, I don't think we'd have made it.

We lived in rural Texas and she would plant everything under the sun. Tomatoes, beans of every variety, corn, squash, peppers. We raised chickens and always had eggs. We had one goat named Alfalfa for milk. We got meat cheap from local farmers and ranchers that my dad did odd jobs for. We didn't have a big place ourselves, just an acre of land with a two-room little house that I have no idea how it accommodated seven people. That was after we settled down from being migrant workers. We actually ate better when we were migrant workers. But, living in the city is a whole 'nother animal. Urban living is cruel in comparison. I never met a landlord that allowed me to keep goats and chickens and I could rarely afford a place with a big yard for a vegetable garden. It was a time in my life that I never want to go through again, especially since I had children along for the ride.

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Response to Rozlee (Reply #12)

Thu Nov 14, 2013, 07:43 PM

24. Same situation here

I grew up in rural Minnesota, on a small family farm. We grew massive amounts of vegetables, harvested wild grapes, plums, cherries, etc from the woods and fencelines, hunted for meat in the woods, and occassionally butchered an old pig or cow for personal use (my dad wouldn't kill a young one because it was more valuable for sale). Every spring we'd order 100 chicks, raise them up and butcher them in the fall and freeze them. We canned and froze whatever vegetables we could.

I remember times where we went WEEKS eating the same few meals every day (usually oatmeal in the morning, and vegetable stew and pork for lunch and dinner). A few times, we did reach the point of almost running out of food entirely. Local WIC stations, food stamps and government surplus cheese and peanut butter got us by.

It sucked, but it got us by. To this day I have anxiety about running out of food, and maintain a huge garden of my own, an orchard, a small flock of chickens, and a fully stocked pantry even though I'm solidly middle-class and have the money to buy as much groceries as I need.

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Response to NickB79 (Reply #24)

Thu Nov 14, 2013, 11:15 PM

36. Yeah, I can never understand how rich Republicans like Boehner who went through such

grinding poverty in their youth can be so callous about poor people and think nothing of cutting aid to them. When I was a single mother in my early 20's, I depended on food stamps and subsidized day care to help watch my kids while I worked minimum wage jobs. I can never understand how people like Boehner and other conservatives can forget what it was like once they have wealth and make it so hard for people who need those safety nets to keep from sinking. I became upper middle class when my second husband slipped a wedding ring on my finger, but like you, I panic when I'm running low on groceries, even though I know I can afford to buy them.

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Response to Rozlee (Reply #36)

Fri Nov 15, 2013, 09:56 AM

64. I can't understand that either....

re (Boehner), which makes me think they are less than truthful. It sure as heck affected my life. I have a year's worth of pantry supplies socked away at all times.

Folks might think it is a bit crazy but I learned from my Mom and Aunties to always have a years worth of food in the pantry. I was unemployed for over a year once and that pantry saved my life. I was down to my last beans and rice before I found a job.

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Response to Rozlee (Reply #36)

Fri Nov 15, 2013, 11:14 AM

72. perhaps that is why Boehner drinks so much.

 

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Response to Rozlee (Reply #36)

Fri Nov 15, 2013, 12:13 PM

78. Boehner's family owned a bar. Being in a German part of the locale,

food was likely available. So I doubt he and his family suffered that lack.
He was also either the oldest or near the top of his large family of siblings.
You know how the eldest gets all the new clothes, and the later wear hand-me-downs?

Anyway, the man just has no empathy, despite his tears.
Ever notice how his tears are always at his own actions, not the actions of others?

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Response to No Vested Interest (Reply #78)

Fri Nov 15, 2013, 12:44 PM

80. He always cries about the silliest things.

Like at a luncheon for a colleague that was retiring. For gawd's sake, you'd think they were deploying him to Iraq's Triangle of Death.

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Response to Rozlee (Reply #80)

Fri Nov 15, 2013, 12:50 PM

82. You've got that right! nt

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Response to kpete (Original post)

Thu Nov 14, 2013, 06:10 PM

15. K&R

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Response to kpete (Original post)

Thu Nov 14, 2013, 06:16 PM

17. This hits close to home I remember my parents going hungry so my sister and I can eat

After my parents divorced when I was older and realized what was going on I'd lie some nights and say I ate already at a friends or something so my mom and sister could eat

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Response to kpete (Original post)

Thu Nov 14, 2013, 06:29 PM

18. Kicked and recommended.

Thanks for the thread, kpete.

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Response to kpete (Original post)

Thu Nov 14, 2013, 07:12 PM

20. K & R.

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Response to kpete (Original post)

Thu Nov 14, 2013, 07:30 PM

22. My husband lost his job just before our daughter was born.

We got food stamps for awhile and got food at a church pantry. It helped us through until my husband found another job. K and R for putting a face on Snap recipients. I imagine there are a good many like we were.

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Response to kpete (Original post)

Thu Nov 14, 2013, 07:37 PM

23. KnRnThanks

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Response to kpete (Original post)

Thu Nov 14, 2013, 07:43 PM

25. Really unfortunate ad placement

 

about "Tips for a tiny belly" below the thread right now...

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Response to kpete (Original post)

Thu Nov 14, 2013, 09:15 PM

29. HUGE K & R !!! - Thank You !!!

 


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Response to kpete (Original post)

Thu Nov 14, 2013, 09:53 PM

31. This has to stop! Bearing the pain of other

who have no food after I had a lovely dinner with friends. There must be something we can do. For such a long time, I thought we could solve this on a political level, food stamps, anti poverty programs. But none of that is true. This has to stop and I don't know what to do.

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Response to BlueToTheBone (Reply #31)

Fri Nov 15, 2013, 12:32 AM

44. The answer is good jobs!

Blue, like you I'm angry and very frustrated.

The well-paying industrial jobs of the 1950's are pretty much gone now. They have all been exported to China.

Those were the jobs that allowed one wage-earner to provide for an entire family. Those were the jobs that allowed people like the original poster to gain a comfortable foothold in society.

Those jobs are gone.

And no one cares! I can understand why the Republicans don't care. Lower foreign wages mean higher corporate profits.

But why doesn't the Democratic leadership care? Why isn't Obama actually doing something about this ? Why isn't anyone doing anything?

I am baffled and frustrated.

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Response to Shemp Howard (Reply #44)

Fri Nov 15, 2013, 11:04 AM

70. I agree. We need GOOD jobs

but to blame the President is misplaced anger. In our form of government, Congress enacts the laws and provides the funding. The President merely administers the law.

So, if you want to blame, blame us. We gave our President a republican congress and have done so since 2010. This election cycle, all congress critters are up for re election. Now is the time to get active in your district's party and start registering people to vote. Give the President a democratic congress and we can make changes.

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Response to BlueToTheBone (Reply #70)

Fri Nov 15, 2013, 11:32 AM

75. It is a mistake to give the President a pass here

True, President Obama cannot enact laws. But he is the single most powerful person in government. He cannot enact laws to bring those jobs back, but he can lead the effort.

But he won't lead. He'll give vague, empty speeches about the importance of good jobs. But he won't propose anything concrete. And he did have a supermajority in Congress for two full years.

And as I said before, I'm baffled by this. After the 2008 election, I really thought a new era was starting.

But there is one thing I'm sure of. We can't give the President a pass on this one. He is part of the problem. To give him a pass is to guarantee more inaction on his part.

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Response to Shemp Howard (Reply #75)

Fri Nov 15, 2013, 11:37 AM

76. Obviously, you are either young

or new to politics. Or, maybe you're old and didn't pay attention to history during class or during your work years.

Do you remember Harold Washington?

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Response to BlueToTheBone (Reply #76)

Fri Nov 15, 2013, 11:57 AM

77. I'm old enough to remember Harold Washington

As I'm sure you know, Harold Washington tried to improve things in Chicago. He just didn't talk, he took chances. He tried.

Much of the state legislature was against him, as was the racist Daley machine. And he became the target of a ridiculous tax evasion witch hunt.

Yet Washington continued to try to make Chicago a better place. But Obama is not even trying to bring the good jobs back.

So I am unsure of how Washington's experience somehow excuses Obama's inaction. Unless you're saying that Obama should not even try because there might be negative political consequences for him.

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Response to Shemp Howard (Reply #77)

Fri Nov 15, 2013, 01:33 PM

83. You sound like your mind is made up

that Obama can do no right. I wish you well.

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Response to kpete (Original post)

Thu Nov 14, 2013, 10:28 PM

33. St Vincent de Paul (SVDP) in Baltimore will surely help you or anyone in need -- and no

proselytizing. They are in all major cities.

http://www.vincentbaltimore.org/

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Response to demosincebirth (Reply #33)

Fri Nov 15, 2013, 12:34 AM

45. YES!

We received help from them once. I'm Catholic, so I am very familiar with the organization and have also donated to them a lot in the past. Even though they are a Catholic organization, they do not require that you be Catholic or even Christian. You don't have to accept a Bible, or attend Mass, or pray. There's a lot of dirty in the Catholic Church, by SVdP is a bright spot and should be the way ALL Christian religions act!

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Response to kpete (Original post)

Thu Nov 14, 2013, 11:37 PM

38. I think I have become a food hoarder of sorts...

My pantry is filled with "emergency" supplies , Even have a bin of dry goods, flour, rice, beef jerky and dried vegies for stew, etc in the garage. I tell myself it is just in case we have a snowstorm pr power outage and need to get by for a few days, but the reality is that I worry constantly about whether we will have enough to make ends meet.

Luckily, our food stamps usually cover us pretty well...I think by using coupons, going to Grocery Outlet often and freezing a lot, we usually make it through the tight week before the rollover.
It's cash that kills me... our TANF for the month for me and two kids is $490, my rent with HUD Section 8 is $420...
so ya, we stagger utility bills, often just barely keeping ourselves from shutoff. If I wasn't going to school and getting that extra income the feds can't can't touch - I'd be even more screwed. If I make anything on the side, it is usually docked from me the next month.
What also kills me is how FAST we can burn thru REAL money when we have it. It's like after going without for so long, we finally get to have a little 'fun' and then we're broke again for months. I often think it is my fault for not being able to manage my $$ but it's just a psychological thing...you know why shouldn't we go out to dinner at a normal restaurant for Mother's day or do something fun for a Bday for the kids?

I hate being poor, and yet it's been my lot for much of my adult life...even though my folks were pretty well off (middle class) when we were growing up. But we never took big spendy family vacations, never went out except for special occasions, my dad pinched pennies till they screamed, still does....

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Response to FirstLight (Reply #38)

Fri Nov 15, 2013, 03:28 AM

58. Let me give you a hug

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Response to kpete (Original post)

Thu Nov 14, 2013, 11:57 PM

39. The Real Tragedy

of this article in Slate is that the mother and daughter cannot "afford" to take jobs because it will cut into their Medicaid/Food Stamps/Rent Subsidies. The mother, a nurse, does not think she can find a job that pays $15-20 an hour which is what it will take to do the offset. The daughter is 21 and potentially turning down a job a Target so they can keep their subsidies.
Food Stamps cuts are only a tiny fraction of what is wrong here.

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Response to allinthegame (Reply #39)

Fri Nov 15, 2013, 12:09 AM

40. Yep. Daughter is an adult. But neither of them has a job.

Apparently because they are afraid of losing the benefits.
Even though they can barely afford food.

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Response to allinthegame (Reply #39)

Fri Nov 15, 2013, 01:40 AM

54. This just infuriates me...

I think this is all orchestrated. There are so many people who do not have the experience, skills or the education to land one of those $20 per hour jobs. So, they either stay on assistance--or they do backbreaking work at Target/Walmart or other jobs where they are on their feet all day. And the Target job will mean fewer dollars than assistance.

So the only choice really, is to stay on assistance and try to make it.

Our country has backed people into a corner. And the same politicians who have orchestrated this mess and enriched the wealthy--will be the first to step up to the microphone and bastardize anyone who is on public assistance.

It's just evil...what this country has become.

And we know what is coming next...severe cuts in these programs. The poor, who have been out of work for extended periods--will be harmed by these cuts.

I think we should all just turn toward each other. Move in together. Share the burdens. Create real communities. We're going to need each other, badly, in the coming years. Unless you're in the top 5 percent, you're going to feel the pain.

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Response to CoffeeCat (Reply #54)

Fri Nov 15, 2013, 03:34 PM

87. I hear ya!

I am older now and have an autoimmune illness that causes arthritis and severe inflammation...so I can't do the standing jobs... not that they wouild pay enough to support us anyway, but it would be enough to screw us, that's for sure.

I agree with the need for more community and cooperation...like tribe. If only it was that easy.

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Response to kpete (Original post)

Fri Nov 15, 2013, 12:17 AM

41. Obama has played us all for fools.

From 2000 to 2008, Bush played the conservatives for fools. He promised them "compassionate conservatism" (whatever that's supposed to mean), then gave this country endless war.

Then came Obama with his "hope and change". Has Obama done anything to bring the well-paying industrial jobs back to America? Has he done ANYTHING to help people like the original poster find decent work?

The answer is no! Obama talks the talk, but he does not walk the walk. He is playing us for fools.

And I'm sick of it. I'm sick of the empty promises. I'm sick of the lame excuses. I'm sick of people hurting. I'm sick of this President, and every President, cozying up to Wall Street and the rich.

You want to know the difference between Obama and Bush? Obama pretends to worry about the poor. Bush didn't even bother to pretend.

So what is the answer? It sure isn't the current Democratic leadership. And Kucinich has been sidelined. Bernie Sanders has no power base.

You can go ahead and flame me. I don't care.

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Response to Shemp Howard (Reply #41)

Fri Nov 15, 2013, 12:32 AM

43. I believe it was Congress that let it be cut, not Obama himself.

To blame it all on him is rather... I don't know.

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Response to sakabatou (Reply #43)

Fri Nov 15, 2013, 12:43 AM

47. I don't blame Obama for all of this, but...

Obama is most certainly part of the problem. He is not just some bystander. He is the President. He has the ear of the nation and the veto pen.

A number of years ago I saw a clip of Obama at a town hall meeting. A questioner asked him what he was going to do to bring manufacturing back to America. Obama said that those jobs are gone for good, and we must all get used to that.

I almost fell out of my chair! That is exactly like saying the middle class is gone for good, and we must all get used to that.

Please don't think I'm picking on Obama specifically. The Republicans are, of course, of no help. But no one in the current Democratic leadership (Reid, Pelosi, etc.) seems to care either.

The solution is not a higher minimum wage, or more EBT benefits. The solution is well-paying manufacturing jobs!


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Response to Shemp Howard (Reply #47)

Fri Nov 15, 2013, 03:34 AM

59. Why don't you mention the Republican House? nt

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Response to DocMac (Reply #59)

Fri Nov 15, 2013, 10:29 AM

68. I did in my post #48

I also should of mentioned earlier that Obama didn't cause any of this misery, he just inherited it.

So I do apologize for not making a more complete argument all at once. It's just that the original post really affected me. So many people are hurting. And no politician is actually trying to do anything about it.

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Response to Shemp Howard (Reply #41)

Fri Nov 15, 2013, 12:36 AM

46. So....

Obama is not a dictator and can't just wave his magic wand and make everything go his way. He has this thing called Congress and they have the power to obstruct him, which seems to be their MO in the past few years...

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Response to Tree-Hugger (Reply #46)

Fri Nov 15, 2013, 12:55 AM

48. Right you are.

The GOP House is a huge obstacle. Good manufacturing jobs translate to a solid Democratic and unionized middle class. The GOP will fight that tooth and nail.

But I want Obama to really try to bring good jobs back to America. Make the case! Attack the problem! Try!

But Obama won't try. As I said in my post #47, he said as much at a town meeting a number of years ago.

I don't want to think he's in the pocket of Wall Street like most Republicans are. So maybe I'm just missing some sort of big picture. But what I'm not missing is the suffering I see around me.

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Response to Shemp Howard (Reply #48)

Fri Nov 15, 2013, 01:06 AM

49. Obama isn't

as progressive as I would like him to be, true.

How much power does he have, as president, to bring the manufacturing jobs back to America. I think that needs to be worked solidly through Congress. It is definitely something that needs to be a priority and needs to be done NOW.

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Response to Tree-Hugger (Reply #46)

Fri Nov 15, 2013, 01:25 AM

50. Congress didnt force him to support the Patriot Act or domestic spying.

 

Congress didnt force him to appoint Bernanke, Clapper, Alexander or Penny Pritzker.

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Response to rhett o rick (Reply #50)

Fri Nov 15, 2013, 01:26 AM

51. I don't claim he is perfect

He's not. But when he wants to do something good, he can't just stamp his feet and make them pass a bill.

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Response to Tree-Hugger (Reply #51)

Fri Nov 15, 2013, 02:29 AM

56. He can make a case to the American people.

But he has given up on jobs, apparently. He says they are gone for good. I heard him say it last week.

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Response to grasswire (Reply #56)

Fri Nov 15, 2013, 03:00 AM

57. Is there a link to that quote?

I searched, but haven't found anything. I did find a speech from last week in which he was pushing for jobs, pushing for more exports out of the US, pushing for repair of infrastructure which would, in turn, create jobs. I didn't find anything where he said jobs are gone for good.

"And, by the way, when I travel around the world, Iím out there selling. Iíll go anywhere in the world to make sure that those products stamped with those words, ďMade in America,Ē that we can open up those markets and sell them anywhere. "

"Rebuilding our transportation and communications networks is one of the fastest ways to create good jobs."

" A couple months ago, I put forward an idea to try to break through some of the old arguments -- a grand bargain for middle-class jobs. And what I said was, weíll simplify our corporate tax code, close some wasteful tax loopholes, end incentives to ship jobs overseas, lower tax rates for businesses that create jobs here in the United States, and use some of the money we save by switching to a smarter tax system to create good construction jobs building the things that our businesses need right here in America. Itís a pretty sensible deal. "

http://www.whitehouse.gov/the-press-office/2013/11/08/remarks-president-economy-port-new-orleans

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Response to Tree-Hugger (Reply #57)

Fri Nov 15, 2013, 10:24 AM

67. Until we see results that's just rhetoric. He is working hard on something that

 

will make us all serfs to the big corporations that he is working closely with. The Trans Pacific Partnership. Just look at who the "partners" are. They dont include the working man/woman.

Penny Pritzker is a good friend of the President and she is a global capitalist.

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Response to rhett o rick (Reply #67)

Fri Nov 15, 2013, 11:23 AM

74. "include the working man/woman" It should be all about us ...not the 1%.

 

The Democratic party should be all about us ...living wage jobs ...the common working and not able to work US citizen ...the poor and hungry ...human rights ...civil rights ...truth ...openness ...have some spine ...ect.

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Response to rhett o rick (Reply #67)

Fri Nov 15, 2013, 09:11 PM

89. Totally agree

I get all that. However, I'm looking for a link to what the other poster quoted above. I found the speech from that time frame, but those were the quotes regarding jobs. Nothing like what the poster said. I wanted to be sure I didn't miss something.

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Response to Shemp Howard (Reply #41)

Fri Nov 15, 2013, 02:26 AM

55. Obama was blunt last week.

He said the jobs are gone, and they are NOT COMING BACK.

He's been sold the global economy line.

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Response to grasswire (Reply #55)

Fri Nov 15, 2013, 03:40 AM

60. got a link?

nt

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Response to Shemp Howard (Reply #41)

Fri Nov 15, 2013, 11:17 AM

73. Carefull buddy ...I know what yer saying is true but truth will not keep you from getting pizza.

 

I really wish the Dem party would do some house cleaning and get rid of the corporatists and centrists and move progressive left.

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Response to kpete (Original post)

Fri Nov 15, 2013, 04:29 AM

61. k&r

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Response to kpete (Original post)


Response to kpete (Original post)

Fri Nov 15, 2013, 10:09 AM

65. Many of the comments at Slate

are quite ugly.
Clearly, there is the perception in this country that a person on public assistance of any kind is living in luxury.
Nothing could be further from the truth.
We've often heard "those who will not work shall not eat."
The problem with this piece of "wisdom" is that Americans confound work with employment. There are many people who are not employed who often work quite hard. Should they be malnourished? Should they starve?
Why does American society define work so inaccurately?
Then there has been no mention, in the article or in the comments I've seen, of the economic impact of public assistance, how it puts money into an economy otherwise overproducing and starved for spending.
If food is not bought, it will rot. Enable people to buy it and the economy functions. Refuse to do so and look stagnation in the face.
I'd sooner have some dynamic going than none.
There is also the perception that the more money a person makes, the more he or she is contributing to the society as a whole.
I don't agree.
I think the janitor that cleans a building on Wall Street is doing much more to serve the society as a whole than all the investors who work there.
In fact, the person who sweeps Wall Street is serving society far more than most of those walking on Wall Street.
I believe that the food server, teacher and the janitor all serve society more than the district manager of the fast food restaurant.
The church sexton serves society more than the lawyer.
The bailiff and clerk both, in fact, serve the society more than the judge and lawyer combined.
The majority of people in this country do not have college degrees, and yet they have the least power and the least money.
The impact a person has on society should not be determined by his wealth. It should be determined by exactly what he does or does not do.
Even the SNAP recipient is serving the society in the use of his/her benefits.
The person on public assistance serves society in the use of every benefit he/she receives.
I'm sick of the self-deceptions of the most self-deceived society in the world.

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Response to burnsei sensei (Reply #65)

Fri Nov 15, 2013, 10:48 AM

69. Moving money around is not an empty art form.

 

Usury is.

You're right in saying that just because folks make alot of money it doesn't equate to their contributing alot. Some don't, but some really do.

Say you are in charge of a new society, you've moved your tribe into a new valley, the whole lot of them. Yes, there are the practical jobs of sweeping, cleaning, clerking, cooking, etc. But, if somebody can pick up their heads, look around, devise a method of working wealth in a larger context, say the good ole assembly line, I'm ok with that. Yeah , they work in an office with a suit and tie. But they did create the manufacturing base that uplifted so many.

It's that excess creation of wealth that has become so unmanageable as to become a disease for our economy. The judge and the lawyer craft an effective base for solid business relationships in any society. But when they begin to charge $250/hr and up and the only people who can afford them are the rich, the rest of us get the shaft.

I also agree with your thoughts on the money given to people being a part of a working economy. It's money better spent than the tax breaks going offshore.

One million dollars buys one yacht. But it produces a flourishing trade zone at the baseline of any economy if spread about.

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Response to kpete (Original post)

Fri Nov 15, 2013, 10:13 AM

66. Greatest country in the world

 

with some of the meanest bunch of assholes dictating policy in Congress. Could be worse, she could be like millions of others out there that are homeless.

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Response to kpete (Original post)

Fri Nov 15, 2013, 11:11 AM

71. The land of milk and honey ...g0d bless ameddicca.

 

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Response to kpete (Original post)

Fri Nov 15, 2013, 12:36 PM

79. I remember

---when my dad was a TA at the University of Nebraska in 1948-49, long before food stamps. Three kids and too much month at the end of the money meant bread and milk for supper. Chunks of bread in a dish with milk and sugar on it. If we were lucky there might be bananas for dessert. That's how it was. Sometimes several nights in a row.

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Response to kpete (Original post)

Fri Nov 15, 2013, 01:46 PM

84. Darker days are coming.

Little is being done to solve the problem.

Raising the Minimum Wage while sending the good jobs overseas will not cure the Cancer, but only ease the pain a tiny bit.

Raising the Minimum Wage is more of an ointment for guilty consciences than a cure for what is killing the American Working Class.

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Response to bvar22 (Reply #84)

Fri Nov 15, 2013, 01:56 PM

85. Minimum wage increases ease the pain only a bit, and only for a while.

Employers raise prices to cover the increase. Before long, buying power is back to where it was, maybe lower (because when employers raise prices, they tend to raise them by more than the exact amount of the increase).

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Response to kpete (Original post)

Fri Nov 15, 2013, 02:02 PM

86. I would like to do something like this, start a food pantry

 

I live in a very rural area. If anyone has an idea of how to start this, could you message me? Thanks,

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Response to kpete (Original post)

Fri Nov 15, 2013, 10:57 PM

90. This so tragic and should never have to happen in our nation

all you rich mother fuckers who don't want to pay your fair share of taxes, this is on your soul.
Also if we had our priorities straight as a nation we wouldn't be spending all this god damn money on weaponry etc.

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