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An MLK Day Reflection: The Racial Wealth Gap Is Killing the Middle Class


Thanks for the kind words mealouts. I’ll get by until I don’t.


Actually…not to be rude…


Hey, PB, rebellious one, we can see your patriotic message all up and down your sleeve. Written where all can see. I see your message loud and clear. And we have a ways to go before we tale action. Way more people have to be made aware of our condition, or there won’t be enough support, Except for those that go it alone, martyr’s, we have to wait for the sufferers to gather.


My grandparents were in their twenties, approx., in the era of the late thirties and early forties. Farmers that were paying nothing in to Social Security and so received a minimum check monthly.They, both sets, grew large gardens and canned their surplus and sold what they could. chicken eggs, wheat or barley, and some livestock. The grandma’s worked the household and it’s many chores, and the grandpa’s sought part time work to supplement the dwindling farm checks.
You give up some of the minor things, and make changes to keep some of the larger things.
I can empathize with Ditton and the “no paycheck” government workers because I lived paycheck to paycheck most of my working life. Anxiety becomes a part of life, that’s the way it is.


One side of my family were farmers, maybe one of them left still doing it. And they had to work other jobs.
Certainly not everyone fits into what I stated. But farming is a difficult life style and I do mean life style. Because you choose to farm and the schedule of the day and seasons. There are people who make it and others that just get by and then there are those on the borderline year after year.
I have respect for the small farmers, I couldn’t live like that. A tremendous amount of work for little gain in return.
I was lucky that with my wife and I working, we could live decently. But if I got hurt (which happened too often) and couldn’t work, money got tight. We needed for me to be able to work. Some years I had to use all of my sick and vacation time, I had two foot surgeries and back problems. Not anywhere near as bad as Ditton though.


One would like to think that they would pay it forward, but since we keep giving them tax cuts, I don’t see a rise in them helping those who need it.
I keep getting reminded of the late 19th century during the age of the robber barons. It is similar with how workers are being treated and how the rich are rewarded for hurting the workers.
Someday there will be another backlash, but we will have to unite together. And so far we are badly divided. The same was true back then until they had enough. Then they banded together and though it took more decades, they won in the end. But it was bloody. The rich made sure of that.


I hear your story. Mine was similar in that when I had heart troubles I ended up running out of vacation and sick days as well. That pushed me into retirement 2 and a half years early. That hurts the potential for the 401k, and lessens the company pension and the old age pension, SSI.
And add it all up and it makes a big difference. Add to that the fact that we were a single earner supporting two people due to my wife being disabled because of a fall at work 20 years before I eventually retired.
You can imagine what morphine and other pain relievers cost.
I’m doing fair after a heart ablation, and then a pace maker early in 2018. Thankfully the VA takes care of my medical costs as I am 100% rated. We all have a different story in the “Naked City.” Just threw that in for the hell of it.


The naked city? That brings me back, my mom watched that when I was a kid.
I retired early because of physical problems and being burnt out. But I had the years in, 22 total for a full pension and tier 2 (NY state retirement). tier 1 is the best, but tier two is ok.
My wife tried to work for a few years after, but I kept telling her to quit, though like me, she loved her jobs. But she has CF and it caught up to her and she went on disability.
Fortunately except for pain and diabetes type 2, I am in good health. I had a bad year last summer because I was having problems and no one knew it was the diabetes even though they all knew I had it. But I finally got some good advice and got back on track controlling the diabetes.
Except for the stock market playing havoc with my wife’s IRA, we do ok, enough to be able to send money to various charities.
So except for my wife’s illness we do ok. If we didn’t have good insurance from where I worked, it would be another story. I feel for those who don’t have any.
So I count my lucky stars, things could be far worse. I hear their stories all the time. So much tragedy in the world. I was always glad that I could help people even if it was only in my little corner of the world.