Welcome to my blog

Please don't remind me that I'm poor; I'm having too much fun pretending I'm simply "living green" like everyone else these days.


Saturday, April 16, 2011

HUH? What?

*** note, I wrote this post a few days ago but failed to post it.  I'm putting it up even though it's a few days late.

Pardon me while I get up on the soap box and vent a little.  Before I go on let me explain that I believe there is a big difference being rich and being wealthy. Rich is like a self centered movie star or spoiled hotel chain owner. Wealthy is someone who works hard, lives thrifty, gives to charity, and saves for the future. The rich flaunt their money. The wealthy are like your next door neighbors.
I think the government people have lost their minds or maybe I'm just seeing things differently than I used to.  I was watching the Fox News Channel (FNC) about 3:30 am this morning.  I watched John Stotzel (sp?) talk about government subsidies given to the rich (himself included) while the poor can't get them.  It's a matter of the richest people cheating to get all the breaks while the poorest can't get a break.  The rich get richer and the poor get poorer. 

John pointed out that the people who really need certain things can't afford them in order to qualify for the subsidies.  Like, for example, solar power for homes.  The poorest people can't afford the thousands of dollars to invest in solar panels and wiring but the wealthy can.  So the wealthy get money from government every year because they install solar panels on their mansions while the poorest people, who desperately want solar, can't afford to get it.    The poor and middle class people are the ones who would benefit most from solar powered homes; yet, these are the ones who can't afford it in the first place.  In my opinion there should be grants for the poor and middle income people to install solar and no subsidy for the rich.  Or at the least a very limited subsidy for the rich.

Another subsidy John talked about was the rich having honey bee stands on their property.  John talked about how rich people have a bee keeper bring and store one honey bee stand on their property.  They have the bee keeper take care of it.  And they now qualify to get a government subsidy every year.  That's clearly cheating.    The intention (I believe) of the bee subsidy was for farmers to keep the bee population going... not to simply give the rich people a way to cheat.

I wish the show would air again because I missed about half of it.  Hmm.... why was this show aired at a time when most people are still sleeping?  It should be shown in prime time so more people see what's happening and then ask themselves who in DC is voting for those subsidy things.  It just irks me to see all the ways the millionaire rich cheaters get richer, the poor get poorer, and the middle class get squeezed in between.  Many people don't even realize what's happening.  While there are talks of cutting spending for a balanced budget..... why are these subsidies going to those who don't need them and social services are being cut?

Later, during another show, I saw where one state is planning to tax people who are over weight and those who are diabetic.  Aw come on.... what's next, a weigh in before filing a tax form every year?  A CPA certified weight?  Are there going to be weigh stations for people placed on sidewalks and country roads where people must get on the scales in the same way the trucks do?  If you are going to penalize or tax people for being overweight.... you should first offer healthier foods at reasonable prices.

Taxed for being diabetic?  What about infant diabetes?  Are they taxed too?  All I can say about this tax is that if the poor are to prevent diabetes, they must first have access to healthy foods and education.  The cheapest foods are fattening and unhealthy foods.  Look at a discounted package of sugary, deep fried, cheap donuts next to a bag of tomatoes or lettuce.  The tomatoes and lettuce cost way more these days.  If someone is simply buying food to keep from starving, on a very limited budget, the donuts will win.  You get the most volume from the donuts.  Volume fills the tummy.  Visit any food bank and you will find foods given out to prevent starvation but not intended to be healthy.  Again, the most volume, which is meant only to prevent starvation.

We finally have a farmer's market on this side of town.  There are usually one or two vendors once a week during the summer.  Their produce prices are as high or higher than a grocery produce department.  I'm really happy to see a small farmer's market day in this neighborhood.  I'm hoping some people will do what ever possible to buy the fresh veggies like I will be doing.  Yes, the cost is prohibitive for many in this area.  So where are the government subsidies for these farmers so they can lower their prices in low income neighborhoods?  Where is the subsidy for food banks to buy and give out healthier foods?  You see what's wrong with this picture?  The rich get richer.... the poor get poorer.... and the middle class is just one paycheck away from being poor.  What's next, a tax on being poor?

Don't get me wrong, I think it's great when a rich person enjoys the money they have.  If I had it, I would enjoy my money too.  It's just that there is a big imbalance between what really qualifies as a good government subsidy and one that's designed to help rich people cheat the system.  Paying a bee keeper to store one bee stand on your property should not be rewarded with money from the government.  Being an actual bee keeper and tending lots of bee stands, wherever placed, should qualify.  Being a mega farmer with thousands of acres of crops being sold to mega processing plants should not qualify.  Being a simple truck farmer making healthy produce available and affordable to the poorest neighborhoods should qualify. 

I guess I should explain again.... that I believe there is a big difference being rich and being wealthy.  Rich is like a self centered movie star or spoiled hotel chain owner.  Wealthy is someone who works hard, lives thrifty, gives to charity, and saves for the future.  The rich flaunt their money.  The wealthy are like your next door neighbors.

I guess what it really comes down to is that I believe the government is broken and no one is agreeing on how to fix it.  The current subsidy programs are designed to create cheaters among the wealthy while the low and middle income people suffer the consequences.  

I believe the problems are only going to get worse as the economy changes.  No matter what the government  reports say.... as long as prices on basic foods keep getting higher the economy is not improving.  As long as a larger and larger chunk of our income goes for basic needs like food, shelter, utilities, gas, and health insurance..... the economy is not getting better.  Is there anyway to stop this train wreck?  I don't know.  I wish I had the magic answer.  Gee, I wish someone, anyone, had the magic answer. 

Ok, I'll get down off the soap box now and put on my flame proof pants.

No comments: