Thursday, March 13, 2008

The Rich Are Richer and I Can Barely Afford To Eat

Do you think rich Republicans know that lemons are seventy nine cents apiece? Do you think it matters? And why does writing this make me cry? I live on roughly $1,000.00 a month. I could only pay half my property tax on time this year. Now the interest and penalties are mounting and there’s nothing I can do to stop it. My twenty two year old Jetta has finally given up the ghost, each past repair has cost at least $500.00. I can no longer afford to keep it running. I’m disabled and have high medical costs. My teeth are crumbling and I have no dental insurance. I need to see my primary care physician, but keep putting it off because I can’t afford the twenty percent medicare doesn’t pay. And I’m lucky. At least I qualify for medicare. I was dropped by my insurance carrier years ago because I actually needed insurance. Get a diagnosis that might cost them something and they’ll drop you in a New York minute. My premiums went from $500.00 a month for a single self-employed person, to $1,000.00 in the space of two months.

An old friend came to visit me one day last fall to tell me that I couldn’t afford to live in my house anymore. It made me so angry that I told him to go take a flying f***k, and haven’t spoken to him since. How is it that an old woman living in a home that is completely free and clear of debt cannot afford to live in her house? And because my income is so low, I don’t qualify for a loan on the property even though the property is worth nearly half a million. I grew up in this house and know everyone in my neighborhood. They are my only contact with people. I love them and don’t want to sell the house and move into a condo. Winters are harsh in Utah and this year, especially long. I keep my house at 60 degrees trying to save money on utilities, and still the price goes up and up on gas every month.

Writing about the political race has been a way for me to think about something other than the grim realities of my life, but this election is about the huge disparity between the haves and the have nots. And I am just one of the millions of have nots. At least I have a roof over my head. I should be very grateful for that. But to think I have to budget for a lemon? This makes me sob. It is such a small symbol for the gulf that divides us.


K McKiernan said...

Touching. Excellent. Bravo. This is precisely why a democrat must win. Both our candidates seem to get it and will do something. Its time SOMETHING happens in favor of the "have nots."

I have more to say, privately.


Vigilante said...

Oh, come on, Kay! There should be no secrets here! No whispering, please?

Stella said...

I truly don't know what to say (unusual for me) except that even in California, where we grow lemons, the cost skyrocketed due to the drought we suffered last year. Add that to transport, and there's the rationale 79 cent lemon.

This post resonated me. Even with dental insurance, I can't afford the deductible (50%). I've been dealing with crumbly teeth for some time.

The fact that you are not in credit card debt and can't afford to live in the home you paid for is disgraceful. Of course you don't want to move to another neighborhood. And people think I'm nuts because I am more and more convinced that socialism is an attractive alternative so that our citizens can receive better care and not lose their homes.

Yes, you are part of the growing have nots. But just because you have a roof over your head doesn't mean you don't have a lot to mourn. It's a testament to why many of us blog: we need to know we're not alone.

I'm sorry for all your financial and physical problems, U.S. This post resonates with me so deeply, I don't know if I'm adequately expressing my empathy. Believe me, I do feel it.

K McKiernan said...

Oh, vigil, no one wants to hear my sob story of monetary ill gains... just my wise words of wisdom... HA.

LB said...

And of all the industrialized countries, are there any besides the US which does not have universal healthcare. If we are the weathiest country in the world, it is only the wealthy who profit from it. The poor (and all those in the middle) suffer from our supposed wealth (in high prices, wants that the media inculcates in us, etc.). This is not a good country for any but the rich (and a few on the fringe of the so-called upper middle-class).

Utah Savage said...

LB, you are really here, now. Thanks for joining the talk.