Politicians say lots of things when elections are at stake. Growing up with my parents' "they're all crooks" mentality has left me with a pretty cynical disposition toward such things. In my real life relationships I try to be open minded and willing to see issues from a variety of points of view. As an educator, I think that's important. So, I don't usually pay much attention to all the little sound-bitable catchphrases that I hear from politicians and political pundits. But this week I heard one that I just couldn't ignore.
People who oppose higher taxes for the rich are calling the idea "class warfare," which I guess means pitting the lower classes against the higher class as a political ploy. You know, I'm not an economist. Some people claim that higher taxes for the rich will eventually hurt everyone, because if this happens rich people who own corporations won't be able to create jobs that the lower classes so desperately need. While I'll admit this line of reasoning doesn't make much sense to me, that's not what this blog is about. I simply want to point out a different kind of class warfare that been going on for a very long time.
Last week I had a conversation with a young adult who is in a serious dilemma. This person works hard at a very important position. Unfortunately, although the position is full time, it doesn't offer medical insurance benefits, and the salary is far too low for my friend to afford to buy private insurance. Sadly, the person is experiencing some severe medical problems and needs to see a specialist. Without medical insurance, that's not going to happen any time soon (the person already tried to make an appointment and was turned down by the doctor's office). So, my friend waits for the needed medical treatment while trying to navigate a cumbersome medical/insurance system, which is, as anyone who has been in a similar position knows, a full time job in and of itself.
What's the person's important job? Child care provider, of course. This individual provides nurturing, quality, full time care for other people's children every day, but like many, many other child care workers, isn't considered important enough to receive basic, timely, medical care. This person is not a socialist, and is not looking for a "government handout," but, as one of the working poor, is just trying to make ends meet and continue to serve the community through this important and necessary job. Unfortunately, doing so is a battle. So here's an example of class warfare that isn't making the airwaves.