Why I support OccupyWallStreet, OccupyAmerica, OccupyTogether. My story

Someone on Facebook today was pontificating to me that there are jobs for people in America, if they are really willing to work. This was my answer; this is my story (well, part of it):

XX says there’s plenty of work for everyone if you want to work. A little over a year ago I had to resort to a way I’ve made money over the years, off-and-on, 10 years total, and drive a hack. I have driven taxi in about six cities in all parts of the country, from Denver and Detroit to Santa Barbara, Eugene, Oregon, Ann Arbor and even San Bernardino. It was never great money, but I could do my writing between fares (or, earlier, do my schoolwork for college and graduate school), esp if i worked the airport, which I did when I could. So, I thought I would do it again.

I worked for six weeks. I never worked so hard in my life (at the age of 60, no less). I put in 100 hours a week, was exhausted all the time, and never saw my wife. I never made better than FIFTY CENTS AN HOUR, on a weekly basis, after paying lease and gas. Yes, you heard correctly, I worked 100 hours a week to make $50 bucks, get no health care or benefits, and in Southern California no less. I WORKED for six weeks, hoping it would get better. i ENDED UP IN THE HOSPITAL with a heart CONDITION AND ALMOST LOST MY LIFE. Welcome to the Republican era! THIS WAS IN AMERICA.

And, btw, the other cab drivers were not doing much better, were sleeping in their cabs, had no other life. So, xx, you are deluded. And an ass, I must say, for pontificating about that which you know not.

And, btw, in 45 years of being on the road, i never saw so many people on the streets with cardboard signs who were hungry. I used to hand a buck out to them as I passed (like giving at church, I figured) until I realized that I was going to be worse off than them!

It broke my heart and brought me to tears seeing some of these folks–a typical one that I’ll never forget was this middle-aged woman standing, woebegone, on a freeway exit with a cardboard sign that said simply, “hungry.”

And, btw, xx, I left the job having lost money (after licenses, permits, money for required drug testing, and such). So, xx, you arm chair sociologists, pontificating about what life is like for the folks “out there” from the comfort of your la-z-boys pisses me off.

#occupywallstreet #occupyamerica #occupytogether #occupycollege #occupyearth #occupy

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A footnote: Consider also that the story above came from someone (me) who has a Bachelor’s and a Master’s degree, was in a Ph.d. program at the prestigious University of California at San Diego, taught at the university level at Sonoma State University in California and was the first person in the U.S. to teach pre- perinatal psychology at the university level, was editor of a professional journal of psychology, has been published in numerous professional journals from diverse fields including psychology, history, and anthropology, has dozens of articles published in print and thousands on-line, including 5 complete on-line books and even more than that in the queue…just for starters. Welcome to post-millennial America, folks.

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