The Internet tells me things

And today it has been telling me things with pictures.  And so, I am telling them to you.  A lot has been changing in the world and in our lives in the past few days, so you get pictures.

First, my favorite.

h/t to Teri for this one

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As Long As an Unlivable Wage Exists, Someone Will Be Forced to Earn It

And as long as there are people willing to believe that we should just be thankful for work of any kind, this will continue. As long as there are people in positions of power who fight to keep the disenfranchised that way, this will continue. As long as those who claim the power, the money, and the moral high ground continue to do this, this will continue. I can refuse to apply for all the high skill/low wage jobs I want, but it doesn’t get my family any farther away from the edge when I stand on principle, it just means that somebody else more desperate is going to end up taking that job.

Wake up, America.

~Kelly

Mike the Mad Biologist

Minimum wage PD*7860901 Image by Bettmann/CORBIS

In a society that lacks solidarity, misfortune, except that of the most random kind, is viewed as the fault of those who suffer from it. If we believe that poorly compensated workers somehow deserve lousy wages, then we absolve ourselves of the impoverishment we have inflicted upon them. Edward McClelland notes (boldface mine):

If you try hard enough, you can usually come up with a reason a low-wage worker doesn’t deserve to earn a living. If Kim Brown had been willing to move to Cleveland, she would still have her Web support job; if she had chosen a more marketable major than creative writing, she might have found full-time work in Chicago. But no matter Brown’s life choices, her $8.50 an hour job would still exist, not providing a living for someone else.

This is why the belief that education is the primary way to reduce…

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Poverty and the polar vortex

Today I read two very different but still related stories about things that happened in Hammond, Indiana due to the polar vortex.  Both stories emphasize the plight of the working poor in the United States, and how extreme cold affects them in ways that many people may not have even considered.

The first was about a house fire that claimed the lives of three small children and put two others and their father in the hospital.  The second was about a warehouse where workers were forced to continue working – without heat – even after the state had declared an emergency.

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The sound of poverty

Most of us think of the sound of poverty, or of being poor, as the voice of the homeless guy who sings out his need for spare change near the subway station or the bark of the homeless dog seeking scraps for supper.  For many of us this noise fades into the background of every day life.

For American the fear of poverty inches closer every day with some of the impending financial decisions our government has to make in the next few days to stave off some serious cuts that will destroy the lives of many of the poorest and many of the middle class in the country.  But that’s an American problem.

Then there’s the rest of the world.

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