Perplexing Poverty

Looking at the spreadsheets I maintain and seeing what we can afford, it strikes me that we are the American dream. We’re high school drop-outs you know; the pair of us, underachievers, kids who adamantly refuckingfused to live up to their potential. We could but we don’t. It’s all relative. I hate working this hard, an exercise in futility. We made it. We have more possessions than our parents did, more money than our grandparents had. We could take a vacation, we choose not to.

You know you’ve arrived when people try to sue you. You know you have something other people would like to have. You probably don’t understand why. You’d stop working as hard except you respect the people you work with and you honor that respect with the gravity of responsibility. The people who work with you make a decision to return each day. You hope they do that because they understand the affinity you have for one another. You wonder if they understand that you walk through the door as equals in the morning and you leave as equals each night. Do they know that you bear the responsibility of their hopes and dreams, the trust they place in a paycheck?

The people I work with earn more than my best friend and I ever have. She has a bacculaureate degree. They don’t. The top earner grossed $95k, that’s unskilled labor-labor, not sales and no commission. I don’t begrudge them one penny. Work is stealing the life out of our lives.

I don’t understand why, if you’re doing better than your neighbor, you don’t want to extend a hand to help them up. A cooperative effort will eliminate poverty


About elroyjones

Equal Elroy, searching for the best answer.
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8 Responses to Perplexing Poverty

  1. hanslr says:

    This is coming from your heart!

  2. O&D says:

    It used to be the workers of whom you speak voted Democrat. The Democratic Party has lost them because it has thrown its weight behind the educated believing that the blue-collar would follow them without courtship. Wrong! They drifted towards the Republican Party, which now claims them. Shame on the Democratic leadership for (1) believing everyone needed at least a four-year college degree (to your point, obviously they don’t), and (2) pushing globalization so hard that most of US industry, except the service industry, went abroad and look where that landed us during Covid. And it alienated all those blue-collar workers that the Democrats always believed would be in its back pocket. Like most relationships, if one doesn’t tend to it, it fades away and, sometimes, it’s too late.

  3. webnerbob says:

    It is good to see EJ blogging again, and keeping that famous eye on things!

    • elroyjones says:

      Bob! I think of you and Kish each time I discover a new Maine town. I’ve been away from blogging for a while, this is an old draft I resurrected from February 2020. Much has changed, you’ll see more later.

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