A Taker’s tale

By John Kubinski

John Doe was up and ready for his big day. His family was lucky enough to be given a spot in the shelter. It was the first time they were chosen all month. John saw to it that his wife and two children were safe before he left the shelter. He removed the clothes he had stashed in a garbage bag and put them on. He hoped they would be sufficient for the job interview he had this afternoon. They were used but in pretty good shape.John had a good job working at a factory but his company outsourced production to China and John and most of his friends were out of a job.

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Unable to find any other work , John was unable to keep up with his mortgage payments. Even though his bank knew he had a less than stellar credit score, they gave him a loan anyway. John’s bank received a bail-out from the government allowing them to remain in business but John wasn’t so lucky. The bank foreclosed on his home and left his family with no place to turn. John tried and tried to find work. His unemployment benefits ran out and the welfare checks weren’t sufficient to make ends meet. John and his family were on a long list to find housing. They were forced to make it on their own, living in back alleys and abandoned buildings whenever the shelters were too full. Pan-handling and odd jobs, whenever he could find someone who needed things moved or needed an extra hand , kept his family alive. Sometimes John had no choice but to shoplift from local grocers just so the kids could eat. Today was going to be the day that John’s situation changed. He found about a job uptown that was very similar to the one he had and learned that they were eager to find experienced workers. He used whatever money the family had to buy the used clothes and a metro card.

John sat in a waiting room with at least 25 others. He waited for over 3 hours before being called into the interview room. When he was called in to speak with the human resources specialist he was sure he was more than qualified for the position. The interview went very well. The H.R, person seemed ready to hire John on the spot. They had actually even begun to fill out the preliminary paper work when things took a turn for the worse. John was unable to provide a place of residence. John explained his situation but to no avail. He was turned down for the job. John returned to the shelter, he had tried his best to hide his pain from his children but they knew their father was hurting. To try and forget the horrible events of the day John took his son for a walk in the park.
They sat under a tree and spent the rest of the day watching clouds pass by. John heard his boy’s stomach rumble and realized they hadn’t yet eaten . Swallowing his pride John walked over to a gentlemen dressed in an expensive suit and asked the man if he could spare any money to buy the boy some food. The man looked at John with disdain. Disgustedly, he told John he should go get a job and turned his back on him. Later that night, the wealthy man told of his encounter with John and at a dinner party in the penthouse of his broker. The guests all shared their dismay for the lazy bums that live off the government and are too comfortable living on food stamps.
The story of John Doe is fictitious…..or is it? There is an income inequality problem in this country. The wealthy are getting richer and families are finding it harder and harder just to survive.Who is to blame? Is it the government? Both sides keep pointing fingers at each other but do nothing . The right wing media blames the left wing government and the left wing media blames the right wing government. Radio talk show hosts blame the poor for being leeches on society and convince the working people that the poor are nothing but “takers”. Did you ever notice that no one blames large corporations that rake in billion dollars of profits without returning anything back into society?……If John Doe gets caught stealing from the local grocer to feed his children, he gets put in jail but not one single banker was arrested for destroying the American economy with their unethical practices. The corporately owned media hardly ever touches on the fact that thousands of our citizens are living in the streets of the richest country in the world. The story of John Doe is all too real to so many ……WAKE UP MIDDLE CLASS!!!!!

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