One day these Handout boots are gonna walk all over you
**actually I did get laid off in July of 2011 and I am collecting unemployment-BUT I am looking for work in my field!***
In the wake of the HR bill being passed and signed into law today I have some thoughts I absolutely must put out into the world. No one has to read this at all (and perhaps no one will) and I will still feel better just having said my piece. Much of the rhetoric I have heard about this on the against side of the fence sounds something like: “No Handouts!” “Why Should we pay for Illegal Immigrants?” “The Government is shoving this bill down our throats!” “We don’t want the government deciding about our healthcare, I want to make my own choices!” “People need to pull themselves up by their bootstraps and take responsibility for their own choices in life!”, “We are becoming socialists and broke!”
I have read the bill. Now, perhaps not all approx 2000 pages line by line, but I feel I have a comfortable understanding of the bill and I support it. Do I think it’s a work of perfection? Absolutely not, but a work in progress? Absolutely. A catalyst for desperately needed change in this country? Certainly. This is a complex issue and it’s hard to zero in on concrete items to debate so I am addressing the ideals and/or comments being spewed out there by ultra conservatives that personally piss me off. Comments from people like Glen Beck and basically the entire cast of yahoos over at Fox news who imply that everyone who supports this bill is looking for some sort of hand out. NOT TRUE. I, personally, am not looking for hand outs, I am looking for the same opportunities as everyone else and a “level” playing field in life. The good ole’ “Bootstrap” speech. Well in some cases it’s fitting, but in this instance it isn’t. The poor don’t have boots, let alone straps. They are barefoot and standing in a pile of “too bad, so sad -capitalist- boomer-ultra conservative- I have a comfortable life and so does my family- not my problem- too bad you are stuck in the cycle of poverty- my family was lucky enough to have opportunities in the post WWII Boom- Even though my ancestors are immigrants who were able to succeed and most likely got a start in this country illegally-bullshit”. Oh, I’m going there. Why is it so hard for some people to wrap their head around the fact that the good of this nation depends on the wellness of all its citizens? So you don’t want the government to pay for a disadvantaged person’s healthcare, education, housing? But let me guess, when said disadvantaged person breaks into your gated community and burglarizes your home because they were not educated from a young age about the importance of breaking the cycle of poverty you will call the police no? Because there needs to be order implemented by a governing body surely to protect everything you “worked” for right? And you alone were able to supply yourself with all the provisions and education required to obtain success in life correct? Your parents didn’t help you get started in life? No one ever provided you with financial assistance, a down payment on a home? You didn’t borrow money from the government to earn that degree that landed you that great paying job that allows you live in a comfortable home behind the gate? Why call the police, grab your gun, defend yourself, it’s all for one, never mind the one for all part- we don’t need that. What amazes me most about issues like this is the complete lack of understanding of what it truly means to be disadvantaged here in America. I know what it means. I lived it first hand for 18+ years and I am still struggling to keep up with everyone else and close the gap. Without our Federal Government saying I should have been helped as a child I would not have had any healthcare so I most likely would have died of some preventable disease such as measles or chickenpox, which I had, thankfully there was the health dept. I would not have had food on many nights, thankfully there are subsidized charities that fed me. I would not be able to read and write and be eligible for higher education, thankfully I went to public schools. Once I graduated from High school I would not have been able to afford to attend college, thankfully there were grants. In fact even on Christmas when most kids were in their homes celebrating, enjoying gifts and feasting,I was at home (if we were lucky enough to have one at the time) waiting on deliveries from federally subsidized charities and donations from people who cared for a holiday ham and a gift or two. The point is, without the government stepping in where my parents failed miserably I would be dead or uneducated and continuing the cycle that so many do. These programs do work. I am living proof. Sure there are those who will abuse it, there always has been and there always will be. But there are those who if given even one boot, will find a way to stand on it and make it useful and eventually buy their own boots, and maybe yours too. I am so grateful to our government for not abandoning me, for giving me a shot at a better life. That’s all many are hoping for, not handouts, not to be lazy and expect someone else to pay. The problem that faces many of us “bootless” now is that even with the tools and the determination it isn’t enough to get yourself out on the field. This is not the same land of opportunity it was in 1950. Just because I show up and want to work hard doesn’t mean I will achieve anymore. The gap is getting too wide. This is not the same America where one could start at the bottom of a company and through pure determination climb to the top anymore. Now it’s more like, we won’t talk to you about this position or any other unless you have this forty thousand dollar piece of paper saying you are worthy. Oh you can’t afford that piece of paper or maybe it will take you longer than it should to get it? Hmm…NEXT! And the door slams. Never mind the fact that the same position only required a will to learn 40 years ago, you just needed to show up. We are showing up, the problem is the address has been changed. Oh you did manage to get that valuable piece of paper, wonderful the job is yours! Great now I can buy a home in a nice neighborhood and settle into the American dream, not so fast. You want to own a home? HAHAHA on what you make? Sorry, home ownership is a luxury item now, as well as healthcare, education and any hopes at saving money since the cost of living is so out of whack. This is what my generation of “bootless” are facing. I still include myself because I have had to work three times as hard in my life to get to the same level as any one of my friends who simply lucked out with stable somewhat normal parents. But I have never been on welfare as an adult, I have never collected unemployment, I made a conscience choice to not procreate and add to the problem of unwed welfare mothers and I make too much for medicaid but I can’t currently pay off my medical bills and pay the rent. I am about to start working on completing my Bachelors degree this fall and I will have some 30K in debt to look forward to when I graduate just so I can hope to get a job I don’t hate. I have cleaned toilets, worked 3 jobs, spent 10 years plugging away at college while working all just to get where I am now, which is still pretty far behind the average person my age. Again these programs do work, and when I graduate someday I will contribute back to society and to our government happily as would most who are just looking for a “footstool” in our relentless have and have not society. Good for you if you were spared from a life of relentless poverty and all of its accompanying evils, but don’t chastise our government for extending a helping hand to those of us who were not so fortunate, don’t demand that be taken away otherwise your manicured lawns will be trampled, your gates will be broken down- brick by pretty painted brick, and that security guard you pay to stop it? He will be on OUR side because he also can’t afford his employer’s healthcare option so he doesn’t have meds for his manic episodes, and he’s kinda ticked because he wants to start a college fund for his son but no can do with the cost of living at his wage, and he dreams of home ownership everyday that he shows up to work watching you come and go in your nice new car but all he can do is stare at your house and wonder what it must be like. Yes he will help, and at that point I suggest you put on your standard issue “NON HANDOUT” Boots and grab your guns and the rest of your hypocritical ideals because you will need them.