Monday, December 24, 2007

The Danger Of Living In Your Own Corner Of The World

Well as many of you already know I share a home with two roommates. One of my roommates (let’s call her Suze) is originally from Jackson Hole, WY and the other one ( lets call her Diane) was born and raised in Ventura, CA. I have accomplished many wonderful things my job and education has afforded me the ability to live in wonderful neighborhoods and mingle with people from different cultures and high economic standing. But please don’t get it twisted…. I from the hood.. born and raised in the ghetto, many of my family still live in the ghetto and when I go back to St. Louis I spend a majority of my time in areas known as urban ghettos.

Both of my roommates are white and occasionally we clash on social issue and political forums. Saturday was one of those days. I love to watch The Wire and I was watching back to back episodes in the living room when the roomies came in. Both Suze and Diane sat down and began to watch the show; during this part of the show a mother had sold all the food in the home to feed her crack habit. Her son asked her what happened to the food? She told him that since he confiscated the food stamp card she had to do what she had to do. Suze asks Diane, “What are food stamps? “…. Diane says, “I think they are a governmental supplement used to purchase food….. right Black Doll?” Oh how the hell am I supposed to know….. do it look like I received food stamps or sumpthing? I look over at Suze and say you’re 40 years old and have never heard of food stamps…. yeah right. So we keep on watching the show, and the show discusses the broken Baltimore School District, dope boys, crack heads, killing ya know your basic things you encounter in the hood. So Suze starts chuckling to her partna Diane and says “ Does anything happy ever happen to these people?” Okay, now I’m hot and pissed off too! I say to both of them, “this show is the reality of many people in America, this show represents the plight of millions of people and you should thank God that you can not relate. You should shout for joy that you never heard of the word food stamps and that you never had to use them, you should do cart wheels in the street if you never had to attend a school that is dilapidated and teachers don’t give a damn, if you never encountered a crack head you should be grateful. But this is the reality of America not many of us can say we lived a life full of blessing and joy and that happiness followed us around like an annoying gnat!!!!!” I got up and left both of them broads setting there looking like…. what happened.

Excuse my French.. but how in the hell could you live 40 years on this earth and not know about food stamps and be so blind to the sufferings of people living in the “urban” areas. Surely people like Donald Trump with all of his billions of dollars do not think poverty does not exist. How can people live in the box of their own reality and not know what is going on in the rest of the world. This kinda reminds me of what went down in New Orleans after hurricane Katrina. All of the sudden people were saying they did not realize people were that poor in New Orleans and they did not know that the living conditions were so dire. And I say to that….. yeah right. We lead people to believe that America is so rich and her streets are paved with gold, opportunities are waiting for her occupants at each turn….. and that is not the SOLID truth. We turn our backs on our poor while we help other countries build up their nations. We offer substandard education and health care to the underprivileged, we use capitalism as a way to pay meager wages, we ignore or indigent and destitute people. Many of the upper middle class and wealthy folks have distanced themselves from the reality of those that are not in their economic circle. I understand we live in a… you scratch my back and I’ll scratch your back society and if you don’t have anything to give get away because this nation is built on give and take. I just wish people would be more conscience of the plight of others, sometimes it is better to give than to receive, sometimes it’s better to make a sacrifice for the sake of someone else. I urge you to look outside your little circle and see the reality of others and see what small difference you can make, just don’t pretend that it doesn’t exist, cause in that way you are making yourself part of the problem and not part of the solution.

Friday, December 21, 2007

Swinging in Texas

I know I’ve been coming at y’all with a lot of articles that I come across. But you have to admit there are some interesting things going on out there. Lately I can’t believe some of the things I read … and today is no exception.

What if you and your significant other decided to spice things up and add another couple to the mix? You know…….swinging ****blushing******. I personally am not ready for something like that but some people find it very…….. Ahem…. therapeutic for their relationships. Whichever way you feel about the situation do you feel it’s fair for the court to decide? While reading NEWSWEEK I found that a court in Texas is trying to stop a couple from having swinger’s parties at their home.

Jim Trulock and Julie Norris look like an average suburban Dallas couple. He's a graying middle-aged divorcé pushing 60. She's 30 years younger but partial to frumpy floral dresses. But on weekends their late-'70s split-level house in the southwestern Dallas suburb of Duncanville is transformed into "The Cherry Pit." Tubs of whipped cream are laid out with the chips and dip on the yellow Formica countertop. A garland of thong panties adorns a kitchen wall. After a game of Naked Twister or a turn under the disco ball, Jim and Julie and their most intimate friends might pile into their steamy oversize hot tub. And for the, ahem, climax of the night? A semiprivate romp in a side bedroom or a more gregarious encounter on white sheets in "the pit": a half-dozen beds pushed together in front of the fireplace.

But city officials said they had received dozens of complaints over the years that the "parties" on Cedar Ridge Drive were attracting streams of traffic to their normally quiet neighborhood. After examining the
couple’s Web site, officials found a request for a suggested donation of $50 per couple (since removed) and accused Trulock of running a sex business from his home. In early November the Duncanville city council passed a law against sex clubs, calling them a public nuisance to the self-proclaimed family-friendly city.

Cherry Pit parties continued, and Trulock was cited twice for the misdemeanor crime of operating a sex club. On Wednesday Trulock filed suit against the city, saying the new law is unconstitutional on the grounds that it invades the couple's privacy, denies them due process and is overly vague. "What they do behind closed doors, unless it's some kind of activity involving violence or children or animals or drugs, it's none of the government's business!"

I must say that I agree with the couple. I am sure that man is not making a great deal money off the parties. I bet they have to buy… wine, chips, dips, condoms, anal beads, dildos, k-y jelly, costumes, soap, sheets, and other miscellaneous things needed to have good sex parties. Why should they pay for everything? Y’all know that $ 50.00 was used to get the parted started. (lol) And around Christmas time you can find quite a few mama’s getting their “swang” on to get those babies some Christmas gifts. The court system (especially in Texas) need to get a life and concentrate on things that matter. By the way what’s your opinion?

Thursday, December 20, 2007

Some Peope Just Don't Get It

Why does Christmas bring out the worse in some people? Many of us recognize that Jesus is the reason for the season and kindness, mercury, generosity, and forgiveness should be the theme of Christmas. Well unfortunately I can not tell you how many criminals look to take advantage of people around this time. Shopping malls, ATMs and dark parking lots are a few places where evil people lurk to take advantage of people like you and me looking to get our shop til you drop on. Hell some things are not safe in your own home. Here is a story that ran in the St. Louis Post Dispatch.

Police say someone broke into a home on the 1800 block of James Harvey.
Investigators say once inside the intruder took all of the presents in the house, and stole this Christmas from Denitra Green and her three little boys.
The single mother of three was at work during the break in, and the intruder used that time to take every gift she bought for her three little boys.
The thief even peeled away the wrappings before taking the packages.
With little time before Christmas and little cash, Green has no options left.
The Wellston Police Department is still searching for answers in this case.

This low life, no good, scum of the earth, loser had the nerve to open the gifts before he stole them. How hard does your heart hafta be to still from kids..huh. I hope someone in the neighborhood reports the offender… cuz lets face it in the hood at least one person knows who committed each crime. People this is a time to give and love, a time to offer a simple smile, maybe open the door for some one struggling with packages and reflect on the blessings of life.

I like many of you is already strapped for cash and gifts will be skeet this year. But I love this time of year and I am overly nice and kind during this time. And if you live in St Louis and happen to know who stole from these babies do the right thing and turn the bastard into the police.

Wednesday, December 19, 2007

The Professional Con Artist

Anyone that has ever dealt with insurance companies knows they are dealing with scammers. Insurance companies are legal con artist. Whether it’s health insurance or property insurance, most only care about the mighty dollar and customers come last. It is the only industry where customers pay for the “just in case” moments of life, but if you use the product you are subjected to higher prices or possibly being dropped all together. While reading the Wall Street Journal I was floored by the story of Deborah Shank and her run in with her health insurance company owned by Wal-Mart.

A collision with a tractor-trailer seven years ago left 52-year-old Deborah Shank permanently brain-damaged and in a wheelchair. Her husband, Jim, and three sons found a small source of solace: a $700,000 accident settlement from the trucking company involved. After legal fees and other expenses, the remaining $417,000 was put in a special trust. It was to be used for Deborah Shank's care.

Instead, all of it is now slated to go to Deborah's former employer, Wal-Mart Stores.
Two years ago, the retail giant's health plan sued the Shanks for the $470,000 it had spent on her medical care. A federal judge ruled last year in Wal-Mart's favor, backed by an appeals-court decision in August. Now, Deborah's family has to rely on Medicaid and her Social Security payments to keep up her round-the-clock care.

The reason is a clause in Wal-Mart's health plan that Deborah Shank didn't notice when she started stocking shelves at a nearby store eight years ago. Like most company health plans, Wal-Mart's reserves the right to recoup the medical expenses it paid for someone's treatment if the person also collects damages in an injury suit.

Until recently, many employers didn't vigilantly enforce the provision, and some states and federal courts didn't think the claim held water. But as the cost of covering workers continues to escalate, employers and health plans are getting more aggressive about going after the money. A U.S. Supreme Court ruling last year also has given them a clearer legal map to suing employees and winning. Employers and insurers generally didn't go after small claims. But a more-sophisticated claim tracking has made it easier. Recovery companies systematically search claims for certain medical codes -- say, a sprained ankle or head trauma -- that flag a potential accident. Claims examiners then mail a questionnaire and often follow up with calls. If the injured person confirms it was an accident, the firm tracks whether the patient files an injury suit.

In case y’all don’t know I hate Wal-Mart and will never give them a thin dime of my hard earned cash. But Wal-Mart is not alone in this type of behavior, it can be experienced at any company. While I understand that health care coverage is expensive, especially when there is a terminally illness or extensive injury involved. However, most employees are out of work and have no incoming funds to support their families during the time they are sick and to take money won in a settlement is ridiculous. The whole point of having insurance is to prevent the insured from coming out the pocket…… right?

Not to mention Wal-Mart does not pay much money to start with, this lady needs round the clock medical attention and this billion dollar company tripping off $470,000. Insurance company’s got the legislators by the balls because the contribute big money to campaigns to ensure they can continue fucking the American consumers. If you ask me insurance companies are the very ones that created the disparity in medical treatment. Between the doctors, the prescription industry and the insurance company they don’t give a shit if a muthafucker lives or dies only thing they care about is greenbacks…….period. I apologize for the profanity but this mess right here is very near and dear to my heart. I have lost a few relatives due to HMOs and their mission to save a dime or people not having insurance at all and receiving inferior treatment. I hope God deals harshly with those that exploit weak people for the sake of a buck. In the end we all will be accountable for our actions and I believe these companies will be accountable for theirs as well.

Tuesday, December 18, 2007

You Told Harpo To Beat Me?

Sunday I saw the Color Purple live and in living color in Los Angeles. When those tickets went on sale I was on them suckers like hotcakes. I have been waiting to see this play for a long time, but going to New York was not in the budget, I just thank my lucky stars that it finally made it to the west coast. It goes without saying, but the place was packed, it was so many people in the theater we looked like sardines in a can. I was pleased to see so many parents brought their kids to the play. It brought back memories of when my auntie use to take me to the fabulous Fox Theater in St. Louis to see plays like Dream Girls, The Wiz, and Raisin in the Sun. I love the theater and can not wait to drag my own kids to plays.

The play was fantastic and all the actors were great. Jeanette Bayardelle is the actress that played Celie did the damn thing. Her diction and pitch were perfect, she brought emotion and strength to the character. I must admit I shed a tear or two and was totally pulled into the life of Celie. Latoya London from American Idol played the role of Nettie, not only can this girl sing but she can act too! When it came to the part were Mister made Nettie leave the house, Latoya put so much feeling into that act, I started crying again. Did I mention that Michelle Williams of Destiny’s Child played the infamous role of Shug Avery? I was hesitant to accept Michelle in this role, but she was very good and gave a great performance. Lesbianism played a huge part in this play. In the film it is slightly hinted that Shug and Celie had a “relationship”. Well in the play they become a couple……. can you believe that. After Celie leaves Mister and goes to Memphis with Shug and her husband, Shug’s husband leaves her for Squeaky (the girl that was dating Harpo, after Sophia left). Once Shug’s husband ran off… she and Celie became an official item.

The play also tackled domestic violence and reiterated over and over that women should not subject themselves to the abuse of a man. The mantra for domestic violence was “HELL NO”. There were many other highlights but I do not want to give the entire play away so I highly suggest you see it… when and if you can. Plus I hear that Chaka Khan is getting ready to play the role of Sophia… I would love to see her in that role. The play will be going nation wide tour soon so when you hear about it get your tickets and get ready for a great show. I give two thumbs up.

Thursday, December 13, 2007

Crack vs Cocaine

I’ve discussed the disparity in the sentence structure involving crack cocaine and powered cocaine. It’s no secret that black people tend to get caught the crack and white people tend to deal with the powder. I hate, detest, dislike, loathe and abhor all drug dealers. If it was my decision they would all be sentenced to work in sweat shops in China, used years of indentured servitude. Although I am repulsed by drug dealers they deserve to be treated fairly, regardless of what type of drug they are selling. With that in mind, The Sentencing Commission recently changed the guidelines to reduce the disparity in prison time for distributing crack verses distributing powdered cocaine. New guidelines took effect Nov. 1 after Congress took no action to overturn the change.

Monday's Supreme Court ruling grew out of a decision three years ago in which the justices ruled that judges need not strictly follow the sentencing guidelines. Instead, appellate courts would review sentences for reasonableness, although the court has since struggled to define what it meant by that term. See this is where shit is going to get shaky, because the racist judges have a problem to defining the term “reasonableness”. Now these lower court judges have been lawyers at some point in their careers, went to law school and attended college yet a simple word like reasonableness confuses them. I need a promotion, let me be a damn judge. I am sure that all that is needed is some damn common sense. Why would I send Tyrone to Rickers Island for 15 years when he only got caught with 5 rocks? I would give’em 3 years, that’s reasonable right?
Justice Clarence Thomas, said that after Monday's decisions, "Sentencing disparities will gradually increase." The court's decision and the Sentencing Commission's change in the guidelines leave untouched the minimum sentences, which only Congress can alter.
Sorry Uncle Tom I just don’t buy that this move will cause a decrease in sentencing disparities. However, I do believe that this change in the guidelines will offer hope to many dope peddlers in terms of sentencing structures. Instead of Tyrone getting 15 years for 5 rocks he will get 10 years. Listen… as long as the judges in these cases are mainly white, and view black men as vicious animals that need to be caged there will always be a disparity. I will not go into my rant about the way the world view black men, but it does play apart in everything from employment, credit, judicial sentence structure, being pulled over and education just to name a few
This change in the guidelines could cut prison time for as many as 19,500 federal inmates convicted of crack crimes. So your local dealer may be coming home sooner than expected.

Tuesday, December 11, 2007

Tell A Sistah Sumpting She Don't Know!!!!

As I stated in the title I am not about to tell you anything new. However I thought this was interesting and wanted to bring it to the people and mix in my opinion of course.

The American Civil Liberties Union today released a scathing preliminary analysis of a recent government report to a United Nations committee about the state of racial discrimination in the United States. The report was submitted to the U.N. Committee on the Elimination of Racial Discrimination (CERD) in Geneva.

Dennis Parker, Director of the ACLU's Racial Justice Program. “The report attempts to describe the state of race relations and intolerance in the United States, but it ignores the continuing persistence of structural racism and inequality in this country.

Now I gotta chuckle outta Dennis Parker. Mr. Parker did you actually think White America ( the gub’ment) would tell the truth and accept that racial equality in America is just a theory and not concept that is actually practiced. Hell the gub’ment is more concerned about healing the riff between the Sunni’s and Shiite’s than dealing with racial inequality here in America.

The International Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Racial Discrimination, a treaty signed and ratified by the U.S. in 1994. All levels of U.S. government are required to comply with the treaty’s provisions, which require countries to review national, state-wide and local policies and to amend or repeal laws and regulations that create or perpetuate racial discrimination. Since ratification, the U.S. has submitted only one report in 2000 on its compliance with the treaty, which combined three overdue reports. The United States was due to submit additional reports in November 2003, but failed to meet the deadline. The recent U.S. submission combines two overdue reports covering 2000 - 2006.

The United States don’t give a damn. How they gon submit the reports late, and if they are documenting racial disparities for the last 6 years they betta have several reams of paper ready cause all kind of mess has went down in the past 6 years. I will not hold my breath to see if they document all the issues of racial inequities we face in the good ole USA.

According to the ACLU’s initial analysis, when the USA did submit a report it was full of misrepresentations and omissions. For example, the report states that reasons for disparities in incarceration rates between whites and minorities is related to criminal activity, but solid research by academic and government sources demonstrates the disparities are due to government policies and disparate treatment of minorities in the criminal justice system. Striking omissions in the report include no mention of the Hurricane Katrina aftermath; the “school to prison pipeline,” whereby the criminal justice system overzealously funnels students of color onto a path toward prison; or the dramatic increase in hate crimes and xenophobia in America. Moreover, despite the clear requirement to provide state-related information, the government only comprehensively reported on four states – Oregon, South Carolina, New Mexico, and Illinois – inexplicably neglecting to provide adequate information on racially diverse states such as California, Texas, New York, Florida, or the Gulf Coast states devastated by Hurricane Katrina. In addition, the U.S. submission fails to report on gender-related dimensions of racial discrimination and on the treatment of migrants and non-citizens.

Uh huh…. Tell a sistah sumpting she don’t know. I get money slips from people I know in jail on a regular basis. Not to mention the gap in the sentence structure, they quick to send a nucca up the river, and send “Conner” to rehab.

“We will continue to call on the U.S. government to live up to its promises to end racial discrimination and to meet its legal obligations to submit more comprehensive and accurate information to the CERD committee so that a productive dialogue can ensue,” said Bhatnagar.
All I can say to that is Good Luck!!!!!

Monday, December 10, 2007

Adults Believe in Santa Clause Too

I was surfing the net and discovered an article about a family on the Upper West Side of New York. The family placed an ad in New York magazine pleading for $1 million to buy an apartment so they can stay in their wealthy neighborhood. The ad reads as follows….

"WE NEED HELP BUYING AN APARTMENT on the UWS (upper west side), 3bd 2 bath. YOU are a philanthropic, wealthy person who would not miss a million bucks and would be interested in donating (or even investing) in a highly targeted manner: to my family. WE are a wonderful, hard working middle class family who contributes to our UWS community, is entrenched, happy and desperately wants to remain on the UWS (lest the city lose yet another wonderful family to the burbs). We can afford 600-700K, so you see the predicament. Can you help us??"

Okay, since when is it fashionable to put an ad in the paper asking someone to buy you house and a million dollar house at that! They say they can afford 600-700k, WTF…. what do you mean you need help! This spits in the face of homelessness, poverty, the working poor, and any other situation that involve the needy. The sad part is it would not surprise me if these people find someone who will donate a million dollars to them, while stepping over people in need everyday. If I met the family member that placed this ad I would slap the taste of their mouth (as mama would say), because if you have at least $600,000 to work with you are already doing better that 85% of Americans, and you got the nerve to be begging. Nothing surprises me anymore. Since they can ask for someone to buy them a million dollar apartment…...... can I get someone to pay off my Hyundai Excel, and my Macy’s credit card… Holla at yo girl if you can help.

Friday, December 7, 2007


As many of you know I am on a sexual hiatus (celibate) and I’ve also decided to give up dating for awhile. This was really not a hard decision because after my last “relationship”, and I use the term relationship very loosely, I realized that I was making some poor choices in terms of who I chose to date. Not to mention, the “relationship” ended on very bad terms and I just need a break. So I am going on with my life, minding my very own business and POW……. I bumped into my friend’s brother, whom I haven’t seen or spoken to in about 16 years. This brotha tells me that he has had a secret crush on me since I was 15 but never had the guts to approach me and wanted to know if we could talk on the phone from time to time. I agreed, what’s wrong with talking…’s not a relationship right? So last night we were talking and the word relationship came up and I advised him that I was not in any condition to be in another relationship. We finish our conversation and I felt confidant that this will be a friendship and nothing more. So later that evening I speak to him again and he tells me that he is really feeling me and want to be more that just friends. So I decided to just keep it real with brotha man. I said, “I’ma be honest with you, I ain’t relationship material right now, I am nursing a broken heart, I’m still mad at that other nigga, I feel like damaged goods and I really don’t want to be in a relationship right now because I am having some trust issues, I feel all men are liars, and they thrive on hurting women. Now with that said I feel I would not be a good girlfriend for you. You would think he would go running towards the hill… would be wrong. He paused for a minute, then says “ I think you should try to move on and leave the past in the past. Why you gone let another man keep you from being happy. You should just dust yourself off and know that there is someone out there that will love you, care, for you, adore you, and accept you. So what he was not the one, that does not mean all men are dogs, and that you are damaged goods, it just means that you and him were not meant to be together.”

I roll my eyes up in my head, thinking this fool just does not get it. I try to explain to him that I do not want another dysfunctional relationship, I don’t wanna hurt nobody and I don’t want nobody to hurt me. Basically right now I am a crazy woman and I feel so sorry for the next man that hurts my feelings, I hope is mama has life insurance, cause the next man will be leaving the relationship with stitches if he breaks my heart!!!!! (lol) . I understand that not all men are dogs and that there are some good men out there but right now I just do not want to be bothered with a man… PERIOD.

My question is why do people want to deal with crazy people? I think I heard this on Oprah, “when people tell you or show you who they are….. believe them.” Here I am telling this man I am crazy, deranged and not good relationship material and he still wants a relationship! Don’t get it twisted, this guy seems to be really nice, he reads, he speaks well, and the conversation flows nicely but he is my friend’s brother and I don’t want to mess up our friendship over some relational issues with her brother. Plus I don’t want my friend to know all my personal business, he is very close with his sister and I can see him discussing our business with her, which will be a big no-no. Why the hell would the universe send me someone when I clearly stated that I am out the dating game….. I GIVE UP, DONE , FINISHED, SURRENDER, VAMONOS, CONCLUDING, COMPLETING, BOWING OUT, EXITING, REMOVING MYSELF, CEASE, END, TERMINATE, RELEASE, CONCLUDE, STOP in other words I am not dating again... FOR A LONG TIME!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

I just want to heal, get my self together and learn to love me and accept me in all my beautiful glory. Ole boy did a number on my heart and I really don’t feel it’s fair to have another pay for crimes he did not commit. Maybe 6 months down the road things will change but right now this is how I feel. I really do want a good man, a committed man, and man that knows how to be strong and knows there are times when I need him to be sensitive. As I said in a previous post finding a man that is ready to commit can be very hard… hell finding a man that is willing to pay for a date without expecting a woman to put out at the end can be hard. However, if Mr. Right showed up today I am sure I would scare him away, so I wish this man would either be patient and just be my friend or accept the fact that I am just in a good place to be his woman.

Wednesday, December 5, 2007

Happy Berf-Day 2 Me

Well today is my berf-day, and things seem pretty normal so far. My berf-day always brings a time of reflection. If I could re-start my life I probably wouldn’t change a thing. Have I made wrong choices?..... Plenty of them, as a matter of fact I am sure to make a wrong choice before the end of this week, but as I grow my failures are becoming just as important as my successes. As I enter my third decade on this earth I realize some things are not as important as they seemed in my twenties. For example when I was in undergrad I would sit in my dorm room and plan my life. By age 25 I wanted to be halfway up the career ladder, by 28 I wanted to be married, by 30 start a family, retire by age 45, and live happily ever after. Thank God wisdom comes with age, because thus far I can only check the career off the list, because the other areas in my life can not be mandated by a check list. If you would have asked me 10 years ago if I saw myself chasing my career in Phoenix then moving to Los Angeles, single, living with roommates, no kids, and no husband ( or boyfriend for that matter) in site and loving it I would have yelled HELL NAW.. I ain’t leaving St. Louis ever, but life has a way of throwing curve balls at cha and things happen unexpectedly, it’s what makes life worth living. The failed relationships, the broken hearts, financial woes, job loss, horrible interviews, pay day loans, car repossession and deaths of loved ones have all shaped me into the person I am today, and I LOVE IT. To me every berf-day is a representation of being an over- comer, as Grandma would say sh!t happens……to good and bad people. At this time in my life I am finally letting go and letting flow, contentment can be your friend, chasing the next big thing can be exhausting. Believe me I am tired of the chase, so I am letting go and enjoying the scenery of life. Life is a beautiful thing …. I’ll be living my life like it’s golden again next year.

Monday, December 3, 2007

Entry Level Wages + Poverty = Share Cropping

Yesterday at church I was surprised by the Pastor’s choice of lecture, he chose to speak on the working poor and the extremely poor. My church is located in West Lake, CA, which is a very influential and economically sound area in Los Angeles County. The Pastor specifically spoke to the CEO’s and Executive Mangers about the coming holiday season and how many of the them look forward to giving or receiving expensive gifts, while many of their entry level workers would be struggling to provide Christmas gifts for their families. I was very surprised to hear this, but was glad that the church recognized the disparity between the million dollar salaries, bonus packages, employment perks, stock options, and great retirement packages offered to the CEO’s and Executive Managers, while front line and entry level employees teeter on the line of poverty.

In case you don’t know (where the hell you been?) The working poor is defined as individuals and families who maintain regular employment but remain in relative poverty due to low levels of pay and dependent expenses. Officially, in the United States, the working poor are defined as individuals who spent at least 27 weeks in the labor force (working or looking for work), but whose incomes fell below the official poverty level. Often, those defined as "working poor" have negative net worth and lack the ability to escape personal and economic contingencies.

I remember a few years ago I was laid off of work and was looking for a job for 6 months. After 6 months of looking for a decent paying job I gave up and starting to apply for any and all jobs. My unemployment checks had run out and I had a mortgage to pay. After putting in what seemed like hundreds of applications finally one place called…… yes! This job was a subsidiary of Daimler Chrysler and I would provide customers with recall information over the phone. The interview went great and I was ecstatic when they offered my job……. but my excitement soon faded when they told me that the starting salary was $8.75 per hour. I said, “Excuse me, did you say $8.75 per hour?” The HR representative stated the hourly wage again and had no shame in her game, a matter of fact she said it in a take it or leave it tone of voice. I was in school at the time and really needed some income like ASAP so I took it. I was miserable the entire time I was there; it was so hard to go to work and even harder to make $ 1250.00 stretch enough to pay all my bills, plus have money left over to do little things like, uh….. eat and buy gas to get to work. Luckily I could depend on friends and family to help me through this rough patch. ( I was so desperate I tried to go to the welfare office and get food stamps, and they told me since I owned a home and did not have kids I did not qualify, ain’t that some sh!t) I can not tell you how many payment arrangements I had on all the utility bills, and how many times I paid the minimum on everything and prayed nothing got turned off. I even went to some of those organizations that help people pay their utility bills, they told me that since I made over $10,000 a year I made too much money, and I was not on any government assistance.. ie foodstamps, wic, or getting a welfare check, they could not help me. Here I was a single woman trying to basically feed myself, but there were others that had kids as well as the normal expenses. I often wondered what they did to make ends meet, because I was short every month. It would make me so mad to see Chrysler making millions of dollars of profits and paying their workers chump change.

NY Post recently wrote an article about this issue and found:

In a weak labor market, younger workers do the worst,” said Lawrence Mishel, the institute’s president. “Young workers are on the cutting edge of experiencing all the changes in the economy. The percentage of young adults who are working has dropped since 2000 largely because many have grown discouraged and stopped looking for work. This has happened even though the unemployment rate, which counts only people looking for work, has fallen to 4.4 percent for those ages 25 to 34. It is 8.2 percent for workers ages 20 to 24.

It makes my blood boil every time President Busch says that the economy is strong and getting stronger. I wish I could ask him where he was getting that information from, and does he have SOLID proof. The people I know are coming out of college loaded with debt and fighting for the few good paying jobs that are available.

I wish people of influence and prestige would begin to see that wealth should be shared not horded exclusively for upper management and CEO’s. In some companies entry level wages reminds me of share cropping because the low level employees only see a small portion of money, while the company profits millions. People have been saying for years that the middle class will eventually disappear and there will only be rich and poor. It’s getting painfully clear that we are heading in that direction.