Thursday, October 6, 2011

Injustice and Inequality

If you live in the United States you might have heard of the new Occupy Wall Street movement.  Maybe.  It's possible you haven't even though last night over 20,000 protesters marched in New York as well as thousands of others in other cities around the United States.  The media has largely ignored this group of people that have literally moved into an area park by Wall Street.  Most states have their own Occupy [insert city name here] where you can go to protest in your own public space near you.  This page here has the full written text of what this movement is about.  You can also go to youtube and watch the speech as it was given. 

The purpose of my writing this is not to talk a bunch of politics, but to speak about what is happening here in America.  To add my voice to the 99% of those who are crumbling under economic pressure to pay a debt we didn't incur. To speak up against bailouts that we still are holding the bag for while those responsible get away with obnoxious bonuses and no consequences. Those of us who while buying groceries know damn well there won't be enough for rent, or mortgage, and utilities, while the top percent live well off of our hard work. 

My husband, after 9 yrs of back breaking labor, long hours and unwavering loyalty got laid off of his job.  This was after a few other financial emergencies.  We are now in the process of filing bankruptcy.  We are one of the lucky ones that we have incurred debt that can be forgiven.  If everything goes well, we might be able to keep our house and my husband's work vehicle.  We did all the right things.  My husband worked hard and I stayed home to care for our special needs kids.  We live very modestly.  Most of the possessions I own are second hand.  This debt that we fell under wasn't borne out of luxury. My kids have state health care.  My husband and I have none. Everyday, I am terrified one of us will get sick and we won't be able to go to the doctor, or afford proper healthcare.We live sometimes day to day trying to keep food on the table and clothes on our kids backs.My husband works 7 days a week, sometimes up to 13 hours a day.  The cost of living when combined with wages that are not even close to being equal spells out failure for the working class.  Everything goes up, except wages, and that's if you're lucky enough to be able to find a job.  Thousands of people out there are straddled with thousands of dollars of school loan debt that they can't pay, because they can't find a job, and the jobs they can get isn't near enough to pay their debt, nor is it using any of the degrees they worked their ass of to get and now can't use.

All this is bad, but what I fear for most is the future of my children.  Especially, Beans.  I'm well aware of the fact that he will need 24 hours assistance for the rest of his life.  I'm already seeing social security fall apart, with no money to pay for public services like what he is going to need.  I'm terrified that there will be no one to care for him as an adult, or worse, he will be institutionalized in a facility that society can't keep up with, meaning extremely poor conditions.  When there's not enough to go around the most vulnerable will be the ones to suffer the most. That's how it is. Even now, I'm well aware of the ones that are going hungry because they can't afford to pay for a public service like Meals On Wheels, yet they are too disabled to make food for themselves.  The safety net is gone, and basic human needs are going unmet, everyday in this country.  I'm afraid that if things don't change, things will be much worse for my children as adults, and many others like them.