$4.19

A gallon of gas is $4.19

That means twenty dollars doesn’t even buy five.
My car takes 14 to fill.
I don’t fill it. I only put $20 a time in. The gas tank has a leak so filling results in dangerous and messy outcomes.
My commute to work is about 16+ miles each way. That’s 32 miles, 5 times a week, 160 miles per work week, weekends not included. My car gets about 10 miles per gallon because it’s old and needs work.
Can’t afford it. Let’s keep going and you’ll see why.
At 10 miles per gallon I’m spending about 67 dollars a week on gas.
My rent includes utilities. It is $1200 per month. Internet is not included, neither is phone.
Phone costs $50 per month (it’s a cell phone not a land line).
Internet costs $20 per month.
That means, food and laundry not included My monthly bills add up to
$1538.
Now that’s FOOD NOT INCLUDED.
Forget about entertainment because maybe I want to take my son out to diner or go to movie with
him on the weekends.
$1538- bare minimum. No. Rent can not decrease. I live in Fairfield County, CT. That’s cheap to begin with. I have a 12 year old son. We need two bedrooms and if you saw my bedroom you’d know it was barely that. We’re living in a one bedroom w/ office really.
But I’m grateful. It is better then our car.
Here’s the problem I have: The work I do, substitute teaching, only pays $90 per day- before taxes.
Let’s add that up. 90x 5= 450. Before taxes.
450×4= 1800.
That’s IF I get jobs 5 days per week. If not, and I usually don’t, I’ll get less. I usually bring in about $1600 per month.
Here’s my problem.
My costs, food not included, are $1538 per month.
My income is $1600.
I don’t have much left for food now do I?
Feeding a 12 year old is not cheap.
I’m not making ends meat.
And I’m not paying my monthly expenses.
Including my student loans.
Because I spent $60000 dollars to go back to school for two years to finish my bachelors degree.
I spent $60000 to get a degree that people justify only paying me 12.85 an hour for.
Why would any organization REQUIRE a higher (and expensive) education if they’re only willing to pay $12.85 per hour, no benefits, no jobs security, no paid vacations.
The state would argue that’s well above minimum wage: It’s minimum and a half!
But it’s not a LIVABLE wage.
Minimum Wage is $8.25 an hour.
If a family of two can’t live off of $12.85 per hour, how could one live off of $8.25 per hour?
That would be impossible.
That IS impossible.
There is always government assistance.
In this situation it’s the only solution. Only when I get government assistance, which everybody and their little sister throws stones at, stereotyping me as LAZY, STUPID, UNEDUCATED or ILLEGAL,
the state (CT) will take my child support payments. Yes. That’s right. I’m not allowed to get both. My son’s father (every so often) will pay his ordered child support and the state will keep the money to pay themselves back.
How is that welfare? Isn’t welfare the temporary assistance of needy individuals who fall under state approved criteria? What about people who are not receiving child support? Do they also have to pay back the state? Because that’s what I’d be doing. I’d be paying the state back with child support money that is supposed to going to support my son. So welfare is a friggin joke too. Always has been. It’s a system designed by people who have no idea what it feels like to be poor and executed by individuals who don’t give a fuck about the poor or community improvements. The whole system should be shut down and revamped entirely.
The odds are stacked unjustly. It’s that simple.
That is why I am hurt and frustrated when I read of hear people speak negatively of the Occupy movement.
If you didn’t know what it is about, if you think it’s just a bunch of lazy punks that want to bring down hard-working and respectable business people,
You’re out of you’re fucking mind.
It’s about this imbalance. It’s about this obvious tilt toward the wealthy that is making our ENTIRE society SICK. It’s not the people on welfare. It’s not the illegals. It’s the people making the laws for the rest of us because they believe themselves above them.
It’s about this desparity between what’s happening and what makes sense. This huge gap that’s formed between what people get paid and how much things costs.
It’s getting so being poor is illegal.
Let me put it in terms that are more clear.
Here is a link to a simple and well written article I found on MSN today:

http://finances.msn.com/saving-money-advice/6952105‏
It’s called “What Minimum Wage Buys, Then and Now”
and it’s written by Leah Konen, Th

You see, once upon a time minimum wage could pay for rent. Minimum wage,
earned by an average, uneducated laborer, would feed a family of two. Because what people paid,
for even the most minial, minimum wage “deserving” jobs, was in balance with what they were charging for things.
Why has that changed?
The Occupy movement is an open DEMAND for an answer to that question. And we all deserve that answer.
I would never begrudge the hard working their right to reap the profits of that hard work. But once upon a time (yeah, sounds like a fairy tale right?) a man could start out earning minimum wage and earn his way into something better because that minimum wage took care of his basics. That minimum wage provided what he needed, a shelter, food and transportation to take him to the places he needed to go to get somewhere better.
That is not the case now.
Now, we are living, quite literally in a state of indentured servitude. Where working full time on minimum wage will get you into debt. Will get you thrown out of a decent place to rent. Will get you a bus ticket, every other day.
When our minimum wage doesn’t provide minimum living necessities there is a serious imbalance. Which is a HUGE problem.
BUT When four dollars an hour above minimum wage (my earnings) doesn’t provide for basic living expenses there is a STRONG implication toward INTENT to make and keep it that imbalance for the benefit of the few and
MORE OF US SHOULD BE FIGHTING!

Most especially when we are not the average laborer but WELL EDUCATED individuals who deserve better! It’s far from entitlement to expect a decent wage when you’ve worked, raised a child and
received high honors for taking six classes a semester.
That’s work.
HARD WORK. And SACRIFICE.
It deserves more then $12.85 per hour.
I had a conversation with my girlfriend about a month ago. She off-handedly spilled how she was making $25K per year after she graduated from UConn back in the late 80s.
I found that ironic.
Because that’s only 5K less then most of what I’ve been offered by jobs that required the same level of education-
Only it’s over twenty years later.
And rents have doubled.
And gas has quadrupled.
Why aren’t we all out side on the streets protesting?
Because honestly, even if I were wealthy, I’d think it was FUCKING NUTS that companies are charging $60 for a dumb-ass T-shirt, and $8 for a friggin’ hamburger.
How the hell did that happen?
I’m tired of hearing stories of how hearty our Grandfathers were.
I’m tired of hearing stories from the Baby-boomers about how many opportunities there are if you look for them.
If you graduated college in the late 80s early 90s there WERE opportunities.
If you lived during the 1950s you COULD make something out of yourself by working an extra 10 hours per week and saving.
Because if you put in 50 to 60 hours a week you were making over time. You were making money

you could SAVE to get you something better!
Now, people work those hours just to eat and pay a mortgage.

Those circumstances did exist, I’m sure.
They don’t anymore.
The scales have become UNJUSTLY IMBALANCED. And only through rigorous rocking of the boat will they be tipped back again.
Rigorous.
And Unanimous.
At least 98% Unanimous… if ya know what I mean.

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