[Hpn] Would you take a pay cut to end homelessness in your country?

Anitra Freeman anitra@speakeasy.org
Wed, 07 Feb 2001 19:12:00 -0800 (PST)


> On Tue, 6 Feb 2001 Tom Boland wrote:
> > 
> > Would you take a pay cut to end homelessnesss in your country?

Tom, I think you're addressing the wrong group! If I took any "pay cut"
I'd be homeless again myself.  That wouldn't help the problem any, would
it? :)

State disability: $279/mo
Food stamps: $17/mo
Pay as "Director of StreetWrites": $60/week
Occasional speaking gig: $25

The prosperity that burdens the poor is not the incomes of folks like
you and me, or even social workers, ministers and the heads of nonprofit
organizations.  In My Admittedly NEVER Humble Opinion, bitterness about
"poverty pimps" and folks who are supposedly getting rich working for
NCH or wherever plays right into the gloating hands of the Bush League
and the plutocrats.

If we are going to provide a higher income for people in the bottom half
of the economic scale, without cycling into inflation that will wipe out
the gain, we simply have to decrease the income of the upper 1%.  And
that isn't any head of a social service agency.

The folks on that end of the scale aren't getting rich off of wages.  
They are getting rich off of stocks and bonds and corporate profits,
laying off workers & cutting environmental & safety expenses and voting
themselves pay hikes until the CEO of a Fortune 500 company makes over
500 times what a line worker does.  Nobody, no matter how intelligent or
productive, *earns* an income over 500 times that of another working
person.

If there's anybody on here, or anybody working for a nonprofit agency,
who earns $5000 an hour, 500 times what it takes to rent a market rate
apartment and cover other necessities; or even $3360 an hour, 500 times
the minimum wage here in Washington; or even $2575 an hour, 500 times
the Federal minimum wage -- that's the income scale we're talking
about.  Those are the people who are creating the income gap that
creates homelessness.

And those people just love it when people who make less than $10,000 a
year blame people who make $30,000 or $40,000 a year for living high off
the hog instead of sacrificing to end homelessness.


Write On! / Anitra L. Freeman / http://www.speakeasy.org/~anitra/
"We can't help everyone.  We can't fix everything.  It hurts. 
 But it is better to live with pain than to live without caring."