IT ALL STARTS WITH THE MINIMUM WAGE!

Surely you are aware of the Minimum Wage Bill, which is generally supported by Democrats, opposed by Republicans and, according to the polls, favored by the overwhelming majority of Americans–across the political spectrum.  Personally, I believe that the Opposition Party in Congress knows exactly what it is doing.  The GOP is continuing to perpetuate the economic divide in America–especially with regard to those at the very bottom.  The economics, however, is just the beginning.  Family Income carries over into many other facets of life.

Think of who, for the most part, holds the minimum wage jobs: Women; Minorities; Illegals; Less-Educated people; Seniors who cannot survive on their Social Security Benefits, and even some Disabled who can only hold part-time jobs. These groups just happen to predominantly vote Democratic.  HMM-MM!

Since minimum wage workers might vote Democratic, the states that have Republican-controlled State Houses and/or Legislatures have been passing Laws to reduce early voting dates and times.  Photo-ID Requirements for hourly workers to vote would mean losing pay to apply for them.  (Oftentimes, they do not drive and cannot even afford a car.)  So, getting the newly-required document and, then, taking time off to actually go to their polling places, means a considerable loss of necessary income.

Back to the minimum wage again. Besides, low-income workers are often being excluded from their State’s Medicaid Program, since such states have a lower range than the Federal Poverty Level to qualify, and has refused the Federal Extended Medicaid.  (See: https://thetruthoncommonsense.com/2014/01/01/staunchly-for-or-against-what-who-knows/).  They also might not qualify for a subsidy for Health Insurance under ACA, if they are within the FPL range for the Extended Medicaid.  Without Health Insurance, illnesses can be neglected and become more serious.  So, next time you go to a fast-food restaurant, consider whether you really want a sick person flipping those burgers or serving your fried chicken?

Children of Low-Income Families don’t grow-up with books at home, go on trips to the local Library, have access to pre-school or, perhaps, even have Parents who can read.  What chance does such a Child have to break-out of the vicious cycle of Poverty?  Isn’t an Education the second step in the Pathway out of Poverty?

So, when the low-income Children actually do get to school, they are already behind their Classmates, who grew up with access to all of those advantages.  In school districts that are county-wide, many of the dilapidated schools or those lacking books, computers and other necessities, are often in the poorer neighborhoods.  In some states, however, it can even be worse: some school districts can be much smaller Independent School Districts.  ISD’s in higher-income neighborhoods are generally being better-funded due to the higher property taxes those residents pay, while ISD’s in lower-income areas are often inadequately funded since the local property taxes are much lower.

The Republican Party has consistently worked to scrap or cut the vital Social Safety Net Programs that have literally kept the Families of minimum wage employees alive.  The GOP has detested Food Stamps (S.N.A.P.), Welfare, Medicaid, School Nutrition Programs (free meals); etc, since they became Law.   So, how is a Child from Poverty going to pull themselves “up by their bootstraps”–to learn–if they lack adequate nutrition?

There has been a considerable amount of complaining on the part of the very, very wealthy about the “One Percent” (or even 0.1%), stating that the poor can work their way up–like they did.  HA!  Donald Trump inherited his Father’s real estate business and ditto for Charles and David Koch (number 3 and 4 wealthiest Americans) who inherited their Father’s energy business. And, then, there is the poster-child for Greed, Sam Zell.

Mr. Zell, with a Net Worth of approximately $3.8 Billion, owns and runs a private equity company.  He is the bald-headed guy, who has often been shown on TV recently, stating that the low-income workers should: “…not envy the one-percent: they should try to emulate them”.  This is the same fellow who bought the Tribune Companies (which owns numerous newspapers, TV and radio stations, the Chicago Cubs and Wrigley Field) in a leveraged buy-out (LBO), in 2007.  Well, after incurring a considerable amount of debt in that acquisition, the Tribune Companies filed for Chapter 11 Bankruptcy in 2008.  Emulate him?

I believe that there is a real connection between: Family Income; Education; Nutrition; Health Care; Voting Rights; etc. Let’s throw-in Encouragement and Positive Role Models, as well.  They are all inter-connected!  Of course there are exceptions, starting with Barack and Michelle Obama; but, for every success story, there are hundreds (perhaps thousands) of examples of Economically-Disadvantaged Children in the Ghetto, who simply did not have any Way Out of Poverty.

NOTE: In the following linked Blog Post (from September of 2012), I discussed the fact that I had to take three days off from work, in 2010, to re-new my Florida Driver’s License, just one day before it expired, https://thetruthoncommonsense.com/2012/09/04/my-trip-to-dmv-in-2010/#comments.  Luckily, I wasn’t shy and spoke-up.

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