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  • Writer's pictureTina Bryson

Losing the Most

I watched the news about the storm that hit Texas and saw shelves upon shelves in store after store with no food. Those same Texas communities just months before showed car lines for hours at food banks waiting to get help because people lost their jobs during the pandemic and had no way to feed their families. It goes without saying that if middle class families are struggling, then families that were already struggling with poverty are worse off.

In the worst of times, it is the people who have the least to lose that lose the most. Those are who are working to catch up fall further and further behind.

I used to think that the system was broken, that it just needed to be fixed. But now, I understand that the system is working exactly that way it was intended. No matter how the economy performs in America, no matter how much the stock market expands, or how low the unemployment rate decreases, America always seems to have a permanent lower class.

We refuse to pay people a living wage and instead expect people to work themselves into an early grave at two or three jobs just to make ends meet. Never having enough to save or plan, but always just making it to the next paycheck. Then call them essential workers but pay them pauper's wages.

I shutter to think what awaits the folks in Texas, when the media has moved on to the next big news stories. What will happen to people now saddled with thousands if not tens of thousands of dollars in utility bills. Stacked up on top of deferred rent payments that kept them from getting evicted, but will need to be paid back at some point. They will have to fight with insurance companies to try to get their homes repaired which were damaged through no fault of their own. While others will still die from COVID or won't have access to vaccines.

Something has gotta give. This can't be what it is like to live in America: where a child can freeze to death in his own bed, working people spend hours in line to get a box of food, a family four is expected to live on $30,000.

This can't be America. Right?

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