A few dozen posts back I said this is not a political blog. It's about health care and workers' rights, poverty and homelessness, and ultimately, it's about people. But people's lives are directly affected by politics, so as distasteful as politics are (is?) to me, maybe this blog and the issues I wrote/write about are political after all. And, looking at my backward Bush counter hanging on my wall, (547 days left of the Bush presidency) I'm reminded that we are closing in on a presidential election year.
This may be one of the most important ones in America's history.
8:00 A.M. Overheard on a bus in upstate New York: African American teen girl to another: "Well, have fun at work."
"I never have fun at work."
9:00 A.M. Overheard in women's locker room at gym: Thirty something white woman to another woman:
"They're paying $20,000 a year and expect me to live on that? I have a mortgage, bills to pay. I'm self supporting..."
10:00 A.M. Middle aged white woman to representative for managed care health plan:
"Why won't they pay for chiropractic and acupuncture? It's cheaper than MD's and it works.
HMO representative: "New York state doesn't recognize chiropractors."
Woman: "I have back problems and pain. I know a chiropractor can help, and I know acupuncture works. The state won't pay for what works, but it will pay for drugs that I can get addicted to?"
The status quo doesn't work anymore. It doesn't work for me, and it doesn't work for a lot of folks. The economic wounds in this country are great, gaping canyons. Bandaids won't stop the bleeding. Neither will a minimum wage increase to $6.15 an hour pay anyone's bills. Pain killers won't fix a bad back, any more than a couple of beers will give the woman in the gym enough income to pay her mortgage. My message to the politicians-- all of you competing for a job that comes with free housing, free health care and job security for at least four years--show us the money!