Tag Archives: Poverty

Job creation: Mitt Romney’s other 30%

(Originally published 10/17/2012 at Trojan Horse Productions.  Reblogged 10/24/13.)

During the 2012 Presidential race, a Democratic party operative secretly recorded Mitt Romney’s remarks to potential donors at a private fund-raiser.  Those remarks included that 47% of voters pay no taxes and thus have no interest in the Republican message.  The release of that recording caused quite a stir.  See “* We are the 47%.”  There are other features of who Romney is and what he does with his money, that got far less media attention.  Like, this one.

Democrats: Political slant marks Romney tax return

Continue reading Job creation: Mitt Romney’s other 30%

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The Parable of the Talents

(Originally posted 10/08/13.)

Matthew 25:

14 “For it is as if a man, going on a journey, summoned his slaves and entrusted his property to them; 15to one he gave five talents, to another two, to another one, to each according to his ability. Then he went away. 16The one who had received the five talents went off at once and traded with them, and made five more talents. 17In the same way, the one who had the two talents made two more talents. 18But the one who had received the one talent went off and dug a hole in the ground and hid his master’s money.

19 “After a long time the master of those slaves came and settled accounts with them. 20Then the one who had received the five talents came forward, bringing five more talents, saying, ‘Master, you handed over to me five talents; see, I have made five more talents.’ 21His master said to him, ‘Well done, good and trustworthy slave; you have been trustworthy in a few things, I will put you in charge of many things; enter into the joy of your master.’ 22And the one with the two talents also came forward, saying, ‘Master, you handed over to me two talents; see, I have made two more talents.’ 23His master said to him, ‘Well done, good and trustworthy slave; you have been trustworthy in a few things, I will put you in charge of many things; enter into the joy of your master.’

24 “Then the one who had received the one talent also came forward, saying, ‘Master, I knew that you were a harsh man, reaping where you did not sow, and gathering where you did not scatter seed; 25so I was afraid, and I went and hid your talent in the ground. Here you have what is yours.’

26 “But his master replied, ‘You wicked and lazy slave! You knew, did you, that I reap where I did not sow, and gather where I did not scatter? 27Then you ought to have invested my money with the bankers, and on my return I would have received what was my own with interest. 28So take the talent from him, and give it to the one with the ten talents. 29For to all those who have, more will be given, and they will have an abundance; but from those who have nothing, even what they have will be taken away. 30As for this worthless slave, throw him into the outer darkness, where there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth.’[”]

On the one hand, I don’t believe Jesus ever said these words. (Link) On the other hand, I firmly believe in the principles expressed, and will have occasion to refer to this text many times.
talk show host, on air talent, radio talk show, the homeless blogger >

Who are the homeless?

(Originally posted 10/08/13.)

A lot of them are just like me: college graduates who have had professional careers, and then given issues in the job market and/or health issues, wind up in this state.

If at all possible, never let yourself become completely jobless.

My last job was at a dollar store where practically all of our white customers came from nearby homeless shelters. My impression at the time was that about half the homeless have jobs; what they don’t have is a job that enables one to have a place of one’s own.

40 hours per week at $7.25 per hour spells a weekly paycheck of $290 before taxes. Good luck finding any housing for $290/month. And that worker will probably qualify for food stamps. As to whether this is or should be what America wants for the minimum wage and food stamps, I have no opinion. It is what is. Even under socialism, there will be people who will not show up at any appointed place or time, and who will not follow anyone’s directions, even if food and shelter are at stake.

On the other hand, I have heard guys, who from their appearance I never would have expected to talk this way, talk about how good it is to be working, to stay busy with positive things, how it makes you feel better about yourself. And the guys on the crews the temp agency sends out normally show a good work ethic, taking initiatives, getting the job done.

About a third of the homeless have severe mental illness, and may or may not be taking their medications.

Continue reading Who are the homeless?

My record cannot be expunged. (UPDATED)

(Originally posted 10/04/13.  See update, below.)

Yesterday I researched expungement in Maryland. My conviction was in mid-October 2010, and I’d understood one could get a misdemeanor expunged after three years, so I was hoping to take care of that now. Turns out there is no expungement of any guilty verdict, except in the case of any of a long list of truly trivial nuisance crimes, e.g. urinating in public or not paying one’s fare on the subway. To clear my record, I must apply for a pardon, for which I become eligible only after five years of being arrest-free after the end of probation (Oct. 2011). The paperwork is extensive. One’s application must include copies of one’s high school and college diplomas, any discharge from bankruptcy, and certified copies of one’s driving record from any state in which one has ever had a license (as in my case, Ohio until 1978).

So for the time being, until October 2016, my one (1) misdemeanor conviction will continue to bar me from employment with many of Maryland’s largest employers.

Previous post: Hiring discrimination and “backgrounds”

Update

At this writing, I have no intention of seeking a pardon.  My current job search history shows that, since the “ban the box” legislation took effect, my record poses no obstacle to interviews with, and even job offers from, the employers of interest to me.  As noted in the post linked to, however, before that change in the law, certain major employers were rejecting my applications out of hand.

A MUST-READ CONCERNING JUSTICE AND POVERTY

(Originally posted 10/05/13.)

The Marshmallow Study Revisited

For the past four decades, the “marshmallow test” has served as a classic experimental measure of children’s self-control: will a preschooler eat one of the fluffy white confections now or hold out for two later?

Now a new study demonstrates that being able to delay gratification is influenced as much by the environment as by innate ability. Children who experienced reliable interactions immediately before the marshmallow task waited on average four times longer—12 versus three minutes—than youngsters in similar but unreliable situations.

The article explores the issues in some depth.

* Job creation: Mitt Romney’s other 30%

(Originally published 10/17/2012 at Trojan Horse Productions.)

Democrats: Political slant marks Romney tax return

Without in any way defending the candidate, I have scratched my head all along at the controversy surrounding his tax returns. What about yours? What about mine? Is there no end to the invasion of privacy?

So he may have taken fewer deductions than he was entitled to. Tsk tsk.

A feature of his 2011 tax return that the media reported, but that the media and his opponents have otherwise ignored: he gave 30% of his income to charity.

30%.

How much did you give?

More than that, since job creation is a central issue in this Presidential race: a sizeable portion of that 30% went directly into jobs creation.

Continue reading * Job creation: Mitt Romney’s other 30%

* The Parable of the Talents

Matthew 25:

14 “For it is as if a man, going on a journey, summoned his slaves and entrusted his property to them; 15to one he gave five talents, to another two, to another one, to each according to his ability. Then he went away. 16The one who had received the five talents went off at once and traded with them, and made five more talents. 17In the same way, the one who had the two talents made two more talents. 18But the one who had received the one talent went off and dug a hole in the ground and hid his master’s money.

19 “After a long time the master of those slaves came and settled accounts with them. 20Then the one who had received the five talents came forward, bringing five more talents, saying, ‘Master, you handed over to me five talents; see, I have made five more talents.’ 21His master said to him, ‘Well done, good and trustworthy slave; you have been trustworthy in a few things, I will put you in charge of many things; enter into the joy of your master.’ 22And the one with the two talents also came forward, saying, ‘Master, you handed over to me two talents; see, I have made two more talents.’ 23His master said to him, ‘Well done, good and trustworthy slave; you have been trustworthy in a few things, I will put you in charge of many things; enter into the joy of your master.’

24 “Then the one who had received the one talent also came forward, saying, ‘Master, I knew that you were a harsh man, reaping where you did not sow, and gathering where you did not scatter seed; 25so I was afraid, and I went and hid your talent in the ground. Here you have what is yours.’

26 “But his master replied, ‘You wicked and lazy slave! You knew, did you, that I reap where I did not sow, and gather where I did not scatter? 27Then you ought to have invested my money with the bankers, and on my return I would have received what was my own with interest. 28So take the talent from him, and give it to the one with the ten talents. 29For to all those who have, more will be given, and they will have an abundance; but from those who have nothing, even what they have will be taken away. 30As for this worthless slave, throw him into the outer darkness, where there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth.’[”]

On the one hand, I don’t believe Jesus ever said these words. (Link) On the other hand, I firmly believe in the principles expressed, and will have occasion to refer to this text many times.

(Reblogged 12/01/16.)
talk show host, on air talent, radio talk show, the homeless blogger >

* Who are the homeless?

A lot of them are just like me: college graduates who have had professional careers, and then given issues in the job market and/or health issues, wind up in this state.

If at all possible, never let yourself become completely jobless.

My last job was at a dollar store where practically all of our white customers came from nearby homeless shelters. My impression at the time was that about half the homeless have jobs; what they don’t have is a job that enables one to have a place of one’s own.

40 hours per week at $7.25 per hour spells a weekly paycheck of $290 before taxes. Good luck finding any housing for $290/month. And that worker will probably qualify for food stamps. As to whether this is or should be what America wants for the minimum wage and food stamps, I have no opinion. It is what is. Even under socialism, there will be people who will not show up at any appointed place or time, and who will not follow anyone’s directions, even if food and shelter are at stake.

On the other hand, I have heard guys, who from their appearance I never would have expected to talk this way, talk about how good it is to be working, to stay busy with positive things, how it makes you feel better about yourself. And the guys on the crews the temp agency sends out normally show a good work ethic, taking initiatives, getting the job done.

About a third of the homeless have severe mental illness, and may or may not be taking their medications.

Continue reading * Who are the homeless?

* A MUST-READ CONCERNING JUSTICE AND POVERTY

The Marshmallow Study Revisited

For the past four decades, the “marshmallow test” has served as a classic experimental measure of children’s self-control: will a preschooler eat one of the fluffy white confections now or hold out for two later?

Now a new study demonstrates that being able to delay gratification is influenced as much by the environment as by innate ability. Children who experienced reliable interactions immediately before the marshmallow task waited on average four times longer—12 versus three minutes—than youngsters in similar but unreliable situations.

The article explores the issues in some depth.

(Reblogged 09/22/16.)

o I’m getting interviews!

Yesterday at noon I had an interview for a Program Assistant position at a medical professional society downtown. This is straightforward secretarial work, and if I get hired will be $15.00/hour 40 hours/week. Thus my gross pay would be $600/week.

I have another interview on Tuesday, October 15, for a Secretary II position at a City agency. I am well familiar with this agency from my previous work with the City, and the job is located just a few blocks from the shelter. The pay would be the same.

(I observe that secretaries’ pay hasn’t changed since 2006.)

An income of $600/week has been my long-range financial goal for a long time. I figured out several years ago, long before Obamacare was ever conceived, that this income level was the threshold for my being able to buy my own comprehensive health insurance. Also, now I will be able to give $60/week to church! But will I be able to get my own place?

Or instead merely take my place among the working homeless?

I want to get a little studio or efficiency apartment in Washington Hill, a nice neighborhood located midway between my church and downtown. Then I’d be able to walk to and from work, and to and from church also. But will I be able to get that for $600/month? (The rule of thumb is that one month’s rent should not exceed one week’s pay.)

Affordable housing is a big issue in Baltimore, one I’ve heard a lot about, but have not personally had to face till now.

I’d rather not get a “room”; I just spent five years in a rooming house prior to becoming homeless, and am not eager to go back to the “drama” such places offer.

The other question I’m asking is spiritual: Do I deserve these opportunities now? Have I earned them? Have I done the work that my homelessness was meant to do? I recall having had the sense in January that my fortunes were about to turn around; that homelessness for me had accomplished its purpose. Maybe I’ve been homeless long enough. It’s been 2½ years.