paft (paft) wrote in talk_politics,

Trickle Down: "My Heart is Filled with Water"

From CNN, 1/8/12
A few miles north of the Georgia Avenue Food Cooperative, Andono's husband, Alan, 47, serves steaks to some of the targets of the Occupy movement: the 1% of Americans who have enjoyed nearly 60% of all gains in income over the last three decades.

Alan Bryant mans the grill at Ruth's Chris Steak House, where a well-marbled cowboy ribeye fetches $44 and a fully loaded 1-pound potato goes for $7….

Alan Bryant is aware of the Occupy protests. He doesn't participate. To be frank, he doesn't have time. Nor does he quite know how to feel about it all.

‘If the rich or the middle class don't spend the money (at the restaurant), that would put me very much in danger.’

He says he makes $11 an hour as a line cook. At that rate, it would take four hours of work to afford one of the cowboy ribeyes he cooks…

It's a tough pill to swallow when a steak gets returned after a single bite. He watches as waiters or waitresses toss the meat into the trash…

"Right now," he says, "my heart is filled with water.”

This is what “trickle down” means. It doesn’t mean, “you’ll have a comfortable life if you work hard for the 1%.”

No, it means, maybe – just maybe – you won’t actually end up homeless.

Maybe you’ll be able to scrounge meals from the local food co-op.

Maybe you’ll be able to afford to take half the medication the doctor says you need.

And maybe the consequences of this won’t actually be fatal or permanently disabling.

This is the reality of many of the jobs provided by the “job creators.”

These jobs don’t provide even a comfortable, if frugal living. They certainly don’t offer security. A man who fears losing his job because unemployment would put him “very much in danger,” is not secure.

He’s a man living day to day with a knife at his throat.
Tags: economy, health care, poverty
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