I kill time at a McDonald's once a week as I wait for my daughter at practice. Her practice is in an economically depressed end of town, and there is an eclectic mix of people that come in.
As I'm sitting trying to write my masterpiece (a complex fart joke involving Donald Trump and Sean Hannity), I hear two women loudly talking about the woman's custody situation.
"You gots custody?"
"Yeah, but I can't get no child support from him."
"You got food stamps? They help me."
"Yeah, and medicaid, but still."
I could see the woman sitting across from me staring at the two women as though they were lower than dirt. I'd be lying if I said I wasn't making my own judgments.
"I tell you what, it's tough. Even when you're working."
"Tell me about it."
"And I work two jobs."
And then I realized both women were wearing a McDonald's uniforms. One working. One leaving.
"And they raise your wage and it seems like everything goes up at the same exact time."
Two women, working two jobs. Most likely putting more real effort and work time than people getting paid many more times what they are. Certainly working less flexible schedules with no vacation time, minimal benefits, and little room for advancement. And neither job pays them enough to afford health insurance or to eat, or offers them anything in the way of security.
This is the world we're living in. This is the world where "Christian" politicians cozy up to the wealthy and complain about the lazy people who would rather live on the public dollar than work. In the meantime, the reality is far different.
America is supposed to be the land of opportunity, not the land of 60 hours of McJobs. It's time we stopped pretending that unmitigated greed is somehow benefitting America. It's not what this country was built on, and it's not how we rose to be number one.
So next time you're rolling your eyes at someone on public assistance, realize that they're most likely not sitting at home twirling their thumbs and watching reruns of Maury. They're trying to get by just like you.