One thing I've never understood is how there can be rich people who are so absorbed with spending their money and poor people who can't even afford food or housing or even fixing their car. This is the situation the four of us are in: I have a job - two jobs, actually - plus I get some assistance as "disabled" because of legal blindness. Even so, we're on Medicaid - and have been on food stamps most of our children's lives - because of low income.
And yet, here we are, struggling to get by. We can't afford to get the car fixed, even though the timing belt could go at any time and render our one mode of transportation useless. We can barely afford the rent, although it's more affordable than many places in the US and we didn't pay rent for about two years. We can barely even afford the car payment (for another 12 months yet). Then there's groceries. Oh, and we should be paying on our debts and getting the collectors off our backs, but there is no way in God's green Earth that's going to happen.
Then there's people like this.
Talk about frustrating and annoying. It's not like we're not trying. We're just not getting anywhere and, at this point and at this rate, have absolutely no chance at "getting ahead". Some have asked why my wife doesn't work. Believe me, we've discussed it and are seriously considering it. But why should both of us be working and the kid's be in child care, which will take pretty much all of one income? Where's the sense in that? Add in her nagging health problems and the fact we have one car, and it's just not worth it.
Yet there's people who would rather throw their money at having hair dryers while "camping". There's enough money in this country that there shouldn't be millions of people struggling to find shelter, to dress for work, even to play music or sports in high school! There shouldn't be Africans - let alone US citizens - without adequate health care. But instead the rich get richer, the poor get poorer, and the greedy horde all they can without consideration - or they spend it on a butler for their camping trip.
Now, I'm not saying that all rich people are bad. Nor am I saying that all poor people are deserving of a better chance. I know that Bill Gates gives a lot of money to charity (although he could still afford to give a lot more). It just seems that for every Bill Gates, there are two or three Leona Helmleys or Paris Hiltons.
Why are schools cutting sports and arts while Pacman Jones throws money at strippers? Why do we worship Bill Gates and Britney Spears while we starve to death? Why are we letting billionaires use public money to get more public money by building new sports stadiums while half of New Orleans is still in ruins two years after Katrina? Why do we allow millionaire political mediocrities to get millions in tax dollars to sling mud at each other, splitting hairs over empty vaporous promises "if elected President" while tens of millions of us are unemployed and without health care? What is wrong with us?
I have an experiment I'd like to try: Anyone who read this blog can hit the button on the side and send me one dollar. That's it - just $1. If 2,000 people read this post and do that (unlikely, but we can dream), then I can afford all the repairs on our car and can breathe a little more easily as I continue to drive 3,000 miles a month trying to make ends meet.
Of course, we need more than that - a lot more in order to be debt-free. I'm not looking for Easy Street. I don't want to go "glamping". I'm not looking for a million dollars. I just want to be able to work, send my kids to a good school, let my wife go back to college and get her degree, and not worry about collectors and medical bills. There are (tens of) millions of people browsing the internet. If I somehow got 1/100th of that number to give $1 to help us out, we'd be better off. I will also say that we believe in helping others. In "better" times we were contributing 10-15 percent of our meager income to numerous people who work with youth. If you help us out, rest assured that we'd do the same with your money.
We have also discussed, "What if this is successful? Could this become a workable plan for a non-profit?" Well, one step at a time, but I'd definitely consider it. I'm already mulling over parameters for qualifications for such a charity (must be working, etc.)
Thank you for your time and consideration.