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Beneath the Bottom of the Barrel --- William Rivers Pitt

Society & Culture  (tags: americans, corruption, culture, dishonesty, education, environment, family, freedoms, government, media, politics, rights, society )

- 2106 days ago -
There are no young people doing this, nor even middle-aged people. The Can People are old men and women, stooped, wearing worn-out clothes and fraying shoes as they rattle through my refuse with gnarled, arthritic hands.

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Nancy M (197)
Friday August 17, 2012, 11:05 am
I've seen enough of them to know just how true it is about the can people. Thanks Kit.

pam w (139)
Friday August 17, 2012, 12:03 pm
May you live a long, long life, Mr. Lane. May you grow very, very old...and when you are grubbing for cans in someone else's garbage, may you remember your own words, and know a moment of shame.

++++++++++++ Unfortunately, he'll probably be fat & sassy and never have to worry for one single day.

Kit B (276)
Friday August 17, 2012, 12:17 pm

This just maybe the ultimate comment on our society. We all know these people are real we have seen them. We make-up a story so we can push them out of our minds. We dismiss them as we quickly and move to daily business. What none of us knows for sure is if that will be any one of us. We have invested in private accounts, given our money to Social Security and Medicare, we are prepared for retirement, or are we? If it's all gone with the sweep of a pen, then what will happen to that cosy life we have planned? Picking up cans, living from food found behind McDonalds is not a choice, it's called survival. It's also callous disregard, cruel and mean thinking to write these many fellow human beings off as not relevant.

Nancy C (806)
Friday August 17, 2012, 2:35 pm
That comment about Gabby Giffords caught me off guard. We need to create the days of the golden rule.

Jelica R (144)
Friday August 17, 2012, 5:15 pm
It is not limited to USA. Average retirement in Croatia is 39% of an average salary. It used to be 65% only 20 years ago.

With shrinking pension benefits, I hope that picking the bins over will be for recyclables and not for the food when I retire; and that our brave Government won't sell licenses for bin picking. To save social order and dignity of older citizens, of course.

Past Member (0)
Saturday August 18, 2012, 5:21 am
Thank you.

Terrie Williams (798)
Saturday August 18, 2012, 9:24 am
Thanks, Kit.I will not comment on this article because I will say things that will either bring the little black sedans to my door or will get me kicked off this site or will cause others to show up on my door. I am tired and weary of this life and that is all I will say right now. Self-censorship....ain't it grand? NOT.

. (0)
Saturday August 18, 2012, 10:17 am
Hear ye, hear ye, our politicians would like us to please eat up our GMO foodstuffs; bathe, brush and gargle with the flouride, benzoate laced bath and beauty products; take your anti psychotics and other drugs but please don't expect any government assistance or hand outs. Oh, and one last thing; Could you all please die a little more quickly and remember to leave us all your money?

Kit B (276)
Saturday August 18, 2012, 12:24 pm

Huh...Michael, What money?

. (0)
Saturday August 18, 2012, 12:29 pm
As soon as I read Ryans's name come up , I stopped reading. The author went from an apparent homeless . and in the next paragraph was going to bash the GOP. This is the fault of the GOP? Review the last 3 years and come to a clearer conclusion.

Nancy M (197)
Saturday August 18, 2012, 12:30 pm
Do you mean that because of tax cuts, we no longer have money for SS and medicare?

Kit B (276)
Saturday August 18, 2012, 12:45 pm

Because of many years of mismanagement of the money paid into Social Security and Medicare the funds are running pitifully low. Ending the tax cuts will bring in much needs funds to the government coffers, but that alone will no repair years of Congress dipping into these funds to finance other spending. Should our Congress ever chose to do so, Social Security and Medicare could be "hands-off" but I don't expect that to happen. We do need to do something about both, I just do not believe that any of the quick band-aid fixes we have heard about will have any significant meaning.

Too bad, Allan - you missed a excellent article.

Nancy M (197)
Saturday August 18, 2012, 1:03 pm
Thanks for clarifying a bit my overly concise comment, Kit.

Jason S (50)
Saturday August 18, 2012, 1:56 pm

Lois Jordan (63)
Saturday August 18, 2012, 3:35 pm
Mr. Pitt's article is so eloquent and so correct! The Fed actually borrowed billions from the Social Security Trust Fund to pay for the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. They haven't paid this money back, and obviously, don't want to. Sen. Bernie Sanders has all the info on this subject. Soc. Sec. is not broken, but it is currently being underfunded since Pres. Obama applied the payroll cut last year. At the time, I stated that although it's fine right now, underfunding it is going to make the liars correct. Just another reason I couldn't ever even consider voting for Willard---that party wants to privatize Soc. Sec.,which means Wall St. will get that money to gamble with....and we all know how that will turn out.
In fact, I've signed various petitions to increase the income cap people pay towards this fund....conservatively, I say to increase it to $1 million...but my progressive heart wants ALL income taxed. If you make $50 million, or $500 million, all of it should fall under this tax. After all, every penny of income for a person making $50,000 is taxed.

Glenville J Owen (0)
Saturday August 18, 2012, 5:58 pm
Thank you for the story Kit. This is the second really sad one I've read tonight on Care2. Sad because I feel that there is enough money and resources sloshing around in the US to help every one live a comfortable and useful life for always, avoiding all this unnecessary suffering. If only some rich folk would lighten up a bit and spread their wealth around they'll not only help the whole community, but find that a heart warming experience comes with giving.

Mike m (9)
Sunday August 19, 2012, 12:18 pm
If anyone remembers the Dannon Yogurt commercials featuring the 100+ year old Russian people living to a ripe old age by eating yogurt (not Dannon yogurt, of course, but I digress). Know what happened to all those oldsters? Well, they pretty much all died off in a hurry when the Soviet government cut off their pensions due to lack of funds. They needed the money, you see, to fight the War in Afghanistan, and the War on Terror in Chechnya and some other satellites. Hmmmm.

Wayne W (12)
Sunday August 19, 2012, 2:28 pm
Allan, are you even looking at the same world as the rest of us and by that I mean the world that exists?

Kit B (276)
Sunday August 19, 2012, 2:30 pm

Well no wonder - a bunch of 100+ year old people doing nothing but sucking the life out the young people by living off welfare. They could have at least gone to war, or worked in a factory till they dropped dead. (heavy sarcasm intended)

Thanks Michael, an interesting comment.

marie C (163)
Sunday August 19, 2012, 2:49 pm
Thanks for posting Kit so so sad

Mary Donnelly (47)
Sunday August 19, 2012, 4:22 pm
Thanks Kit. The tradgedy is that this problem is occurring in the planet's richest nation state, and fits in with your posts on inequality.

Barbara Tomlinson (431)
Sunday August 19, 2012, 5:23 pm
Paul Ryan is a worshipful {I don't use that term lightly} adherent of the "philosophy", such as it is, of Ayn Rand. He gives her books to those who work for him. Rand's "philosophy", which is actually the OPPOSITE of philosophy, is "be motivated by nothing but PURE SELFISHNESS". So -- NO care about family, friends, the sick, the old, anybody weaker than you.... tough.

Even NEANDERTHALS were less selfish than that -- I mean it literally! The archeological record shows, their bones dug up in graves show, that the Neanderthals CARED FOR old people and people with physical handicaps that would have prevented them from being "useful" and "self-sufficient" as hunters, for example. And Neanderthal people survived wounds and accidents, as healed bones show, that would not have been possible if OTHERS HAD NOT TAKEN CARE OF THEM.
Ayn Rand herself was a very unpleasant person to associate with, no surprise there!
Rand's "philosophy" is that of the Nazi death camps -- when they're too weak to take care of themselves, let 'em drop dead...

By the way, completely changing the subject, apropos of nothing here....
while the Democratic Party in Montana, approves Same-sex marriage....
I just had to tell SOMEbody.......!!!

Thank you VERY much for this MOVING editorial.

Barbara Tomlinson (431)
Sunday August 19, 2012, 5:38 pm
When I first went to Mexico, in 1965, I was shocked at all the beggars, often sick and deformed, that I saw on the streets of Mexico City -- I had not seen this sort of thing outside of Medieval pictures! So, I thought, "How Medieval! what a throwback! not 20th-century!"
I had at that time, NEVER SEEN A BEGGAR IN AN AMERICAN CITY -- and never, never would have at that time, IMAGINED seeing such a thing!!!
Several years later, Beggars on the streets of downtown Seattle, became COMMON sights. First just downtown. Then spreading elsewhere. I hear them at night, too, going thru stuff. Sometimes people leave out clothes and food we don't want. In Seattle, not all of them are old.
Those of you old enough to remember the '50's -- did you EVER think you would see something like this, not in a "third-world" country, but HERE?
It started, when they closed cheap downtown housing {to build condos}; cheap housing that sheltered retired seamen and elderly alcoholics... who at least were off the streets and living their limited lives with less problems of desperate survival...

Elaya Raja (39)
Sunday August 19, 2012, 10:46 pm
Noted and thanks for sharing.

Nancy M (197)
Tuesday August 21, 2012, 5:53 am

Robert Hardy (68)
Tuesday August 21, 2012, 6:47 pm

Veronica C (22)
Thursday August 23, 2012, 12:10 pm
This should be everyone's fear. No matter how comfortable you may think you are, you could be one illness away from poverty. Many people out there never thought it could happen to them either.
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