Example 2076 of why Americans are considered to be greedy and uncaring around the world…
By Brenda Ann Eckels, aMGC
Person on internet, protesting the idea that Home Care workers be paid $15/hr minimum:
“And how will it be paid? It comes out of the pockets of the less fortunate who need help or from taxpayers working their butts off to put food on their own tables. You want a better paying job, do something else.”
And what is a wheelchair-bound multiple sclerosis patients like me supposed to do – just die to make life easier for you?
I worked while disabled for as many years as I could. While I lived in Massachusetts and was married and owned a business I paid very high taxes.
Unfortunately before I turned 40, I got struck with the disease that has left me destitute, and dependent on my Social Security check and public assistance and home care.
Excuse me for wanting to have an LNA or a Personal Care Aide who isn’t on the same welfare programs I am!
If God blessed you with enough money, a good job, and health…. shut up and pay your damn share of taxes!
Stop electing people that go ahead and give corporations and people in the 1% huge tax cuts!
I’ve got a right to a decent quality of life too, not just those little balls of cells you people are always screaming deserve protection.
By the way, the retired social worker who posted earlier about going home after seeing people with better cars, cameras, houses? She was taking care of elderly or private pay – not today’s people getting home care.
We have to be low income (under $931 a month for a single person for many programs) to even qualify, AND we had to spend down every penny of our assets until it was less than $2,000.
We aren’t even allowed to have a small bank account for our children! If the kid gets a $15 gift card for his birthday from some uncle he has to turn it in and report it!
Three of my past home care workers have ended up back on welfare because they could not afford to pay for a car and pay for rent!
Home Care Workers don’t get mileage, most don’t get any kind of benefits unless they happen to be with NH’s Consumer-Directed Granite State Independent Living, and even then they have to wait a full year and the only benefit they offer is a Flexible Spending Account for medical bills.
Agencies don’t pay anything, not even the medical equipment that the nurses are expected to have.
That home care worker you see has to buy her own scrubs, her own stethoscope, her own blood pressure machine, and her own gloves every single month.
She has to pay a car payment, full insurance, gasoline, and wear and tear and may have to travel up to 4 hours a day going from Stop to stop.
Hardly any of the agencies will hire you full time, so most home care workers have to sign with more than one agency if they want to get 40 hours a week of paid work which counting their transportation is a 60 hour week most of the time.
Forgive me for happening to not die from my diseases as quickly as you might have liked, and for wanting to have decently paid professional home care workers so that I can keep using my Social Security Ticket To Work to earn a little money part time so I can buy my 90 cans of ensure that aren’t covered by Medicare or Medicaid to help me stay alive AND pay my share of taxes!
It has been a few hours since I posted it.
Of course, the likes, snarly comments, and counter posts are, for all I know, still going on at this moment. And sadly it was, of course, a conversation on social media, because God forbid Americans actually have serious conversations about things like a living wage during presidential debates.
The sad fact is this kind of conversation just does not occur and would not occur in most developed countries, and doesn’t exist in Cuba, or Venezuela – who have less than desirable governments. It happens here, but not there because there the disabled and the home care worker are both respected and valued.
Yes, there are many disabled, poor and elderly who suffer worse than us Americans in the world, but they are mostly concentrated in countries that do not have the wealth, infrastructure, or abilities America has.
America has more than enough:
(1) to ensure something as simple as home care workers being competent, trained, plentiful, and paid enough money to support their families.
(2) to ensure that every person needing home care is able to get home care at either no cost, or at a cost that is proportional to their income.
What Americans (especially those who vote) lack is the will to consider sharing the bounty they have and this country has with either home care workers or disabled persons. In short, they don’t care, and they are too greedy.
In addition to the fact that this conversation would not exist in most developed countries, there are also countries with lesser wealth that actually have a culture that respects their elderly, and treats the elderly, poor, and their disabled as fully human with decent rights and care.
America’s culture has degenerated into a greedy “me first” superficial caricature of what made it a great nation in the past.
There is a reason why the comic series Scandinavia And The World portrays America as young, tan, blonde, loud, obnoxious, rude, and completely oblivious to what is going on around them. We Americans look like that when the rest of the world looks at how we treat those who are widowed, orphaned, disabled, old, poor, hungry, and homeless in our own nation.
This simply is the reason why America is no longer the great leader of the world that it once was. It has nothing to do with who is president right now, the depression, or what wars we fought or why.
It is simply that once we began to treat the immigrant, the huddled masses born on our own soil, and everyone different from our individual selves as “disposable“, as “burdens on society“, and as “less human” than a ball of 48 cells floating in a random fallopian tube….
America lost the right to be considered “civilized”, “developed”, and ” respected”.
If we want to be viewed as respectable world citizens again, Americans need to change.
Americans need to shut down the corporate bribery – because corporations do not have souls, except for whatever legislative regulations are given to them to restrict them from running amok.
Americans need to start thinking of all post birth humans as having a right to life, and that right to life means more then handing out $16 a month food stamps to someone who is barely getting by. It means providing enough food stamps to buy food that equals at least 1000 calories a day per person with a mix of meat, vegetables, starches, liquids, and yes, the occasional sweet a day for 30 days. If the person is poor enough to qualify for food stamps, trust me they have plenty of other bills like rent, utilities, work expenses, and more to spend what cash they either earn or are given through welfare. Food stamps must be tied to the actual cost of food and be adjusted annually based on the rising or falling cost of food, and must be adjusted for those with unique nutritional issues due to disability. It is a sin that this country often will not pay for Ensure with insurance OR food stamps for those people who are no longer able to eat table food in a sufficient quantity to maintain weight and health, but will spend thousands of dollars more to force that person to give up table food completely and have a g-tube inserted in their intestine.
It means getting serious about reopening the WPA , turning Unemployment Offices into Employment Centers, and building Millions of safe, affordable housing units with renewable energy and with volunteer work requirements to help occupants build up a quality of life and sense of community. The WPA would also be the ideal starting point for when companies need a staff person. With today’s technology, it would be much easier to sort out if there is a nurse or a pharmacy technician already in the country instead of just handing out foreign worker visas willy-nilly. It could also be the source to identify those citizens who with proper education could most quickly fill the extreme shortages in fields like information technology and psychiatry.
To regain any sense of being a great nation, Americans need to stop being greedy and selfish. America needs to learn again that the ultimate source of pride in being a citizen is a coin that has I voted on one side and I paid taxes on the other, held in a hand that reaches out to others first.
Rich Americans and Profitable Corporations need to relearn that to those who much has been given, much is required – and that setting up your own foundation, with your own rules, serving only those people you feel like serving is not good citizenship or good corporate responsibility unless said Billionaire or said Corporation has paid a proportionate amount of taxes into the government treasury FIRST.
The social media conversation about home care workers and whether they do or don’t deserve to have a minimum $15 an hour wage in New Hampshire is just one tiny example of the disease that has taken hold of our beloved nation.
It does not require us to become a Christian theocracy as the tea party Republicans believe.
It does not require us to become a socialist state as some Democrats believe.
It does require a strong federal government, but that strength can not be measured solely in aircraft carriers and drones.
It requires that Americans individually change from being greedy, consuming, selfish, and uncaring. That change would result in voters who – be they Red, Blue, or Green – would chose candidates who brought forth solutions for the least of these ,secure in the knowledge that once you have cared for the widow , the orphan, the poor, the disabled, the homeless – a country is automatically going to produce more and to be respected more.