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Sunday, September 16, 2012

Life in Wonderland: middle class?

My mom recently posted, on Facebook, that Mitt Romney said households making $250,000 are middle class.  As expected a discussion followed and of course Romney's wealthy background was brought up.  There was mention of how these rich businessmen provide jobs and without them there would be no work.  I wouldn't have said anything, but there was also talk about how Romney's education and opportunities were provided by his father and the response was that his dad was being responsible.  That's understandable, but I also think that if you're a parent who is struggling to ensure your child has opportunities, that might make you feel like you're failing as a parent, if you aren't "responsible" enough to provide them with higher education and great connections.

This was on my mom's wall.  My mom is the director of a non profit that helps person's with disabilities.  My parents never had a ton of money.  They've struggled.  My brother and I are struggling.  This is not because we are not hard workers.  My father, mother, and brother are some of the hardest workers I know.  I'm not just talking about actual employment.  They are people who are always willing to help others.  I see how it breaks my parents' hearts to watch others struggle and I know it breaks their hearts a hundred times more to know that my brother and I are struggling.  I never ever want her to feel like they've failed though.  Seeing that discussion on my mom's Facebook wall compelled me to tell her that.

This message is for all those struggling parents who are working so hard to give their children all that every child deserves.

Mom, I’d just like to take this opportunity to make sure that you know, if I don’t make to the middle class, it was not because you were not financially responsible. The path you chose may not have given me the boost needed to join the upper middle class, or even the middle middle class, but you’ve given me much more than that. Some parents employ minimum wage workers to give their children the world. You work to give everyone you meet the world. I’m the daughter of a woman who works so hard to help empower people, to help people go from just surviving to really living. I hope you know that is what keeps me reaching for my stars. You haven’t raised wealthy children, but you’ve raised considerate, compassionate children who’ve become loving adults with strong work ethic. There are so many parents out there who work really hard for their communities. Teachers, social workers, fire fighters, and others who provide neccessary services and are underpaid and underrepresented. I don't hate the rich, but I'd like more support for these people and small business owners who do more than provide minimum wage jobs.

Note:  I might be a little sensitive at the moment.  My awesome boss of five years is having to shut down his small business.  He's doing his very best to make sure we transition in to other employment opportunities, but it's still a bit unnerving not knowing for sure where your rent money will be coming from next month.  My financial stability is slightly affecting my emotional stability.

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