News and Tribune


February 10, 2014

CUMMINS: No outgo without income

— It’s not my fault I’m unequal. It’s the fault of multi-millionaires to the 10th power compounding their interests. What do I compound, hunger for the scraps from their Dumpsters? Thank God or Gov for Social Poverty Security. I rake in $1,182 per month or $7.38 per hour for a 40-hour workweek, but how can I work with malnutrition? Thank God or Gov for providing me the opportunity to continue living and breathing carbon. If I was rich, I’d board my personal jet, and fly to one of my Camelot estates at the Riviera, Palm Beach or Hell-for-Certain, Ky., depending on the pollution there. My flights are: to a drugstore, a wellness clinic, or a government opportunity center when I’m not in prayer.

You either have it or you don’t. President Obama once said, “Spread the wealth.” The rich went nuts. He hasn’t said it since, because the rich have the funding to shut people up, and the fun of making lifelong friends with legislators, who attach themselves to Wall Street.

Nothing wrong with making and filling a Fort Knox vault with money unless it becomes an addiction, which it has in America. Happiness is a secondary value to the accumulation of the almighty dollar. The goal of the haves is to make more money for what, a rainy-day flood during Noah’s time? The goal of the have-nots is to tread water around his ark.

The opportunity to attain the American dream is what built our nation into the richest one ever. Many of the wealthy do contribute generously to worthy causes. But now it’s fashionable to protect, preserve and increase their fortunes. They buy the best schools, lawyers, doctors, accountants and politicians. Some of their children, however, take drugs to escape the drudgery of touring the world’s best museums. How come the rich kids get scholarships to Harvard when a McDonald’s assistant manager’s son owes $38,000 on his college loan? And the only job available to him is working for his dad.

 “Inequality in the U.S. has been increasing sharply for more than four decades and it shows no sign of retreat,” according to an economic report in the New York Times. The land of opportunity is widening between the haves and have-nots. Numerous studies reveal this alarming economic fact. According to Pew Research, 40 percent of Americans consider themselves belonging to the lower and lower-middle class up from 25 percent in 2008. The median household income has decreased 7 percent since 1999, as living expenses rose substantially. Unbelievable, but the top 1 percent took in 95 percent of all wealth created in the U.S. from 2009 to 2012. And the median income of the middle class has fallen since 1999, which was the last time the working man got a raise.

The simplest way to equalize is to tax the rich and spread it down. Mark “Facebook” Zuckerberg and several others made $12 billion last year. Tax them 50 percent and distribute it to the Social-Poverty Security fund so I can have an opportunity to eat.    

Haven’t you heard that it’s the poor folks fault? They won’t work, knowing compassionate Gov provides handouts. There has always been the “deadbeats,” but there are millions out there who only want a decent job. An extensive study examined what causes success, and “luck” plays a big part. Unquestionably, determination and hard work are a major factor. If I pulled myself up by the bootstraps, you can, too, if you had boots to begin with. But you’re lucky if you have a loving and functional mom and dad.

 Our values, particularly the family ones, determine a more equitable society. To a great extent, two parents determine one’s future success. The Census Bureau reported in 2012 that 7.5 percent of children with two married parents lived in poverty. By contrast, when families are headed by a single mother the poverty rate jumps to 33.9 percent. The percentage rates for white unwed mothers is; 28.6 percent, Hispanics, 52.5 percent and African-Americans, 72.3 percent. The percentage of children living in one-parent homes has tripled since 1960 with the unwed rate nearing 40 percent.

What chance does a child born in poverty have? She/he is born at the low end, deficient in all things leading to success, particularly an opportunity to try. Only about half of our families are “whole” ones.

Wake up powers that be, or continue fighting the Benghazi, oil corporation subsidies and Affordable Healthcare Act wars. There are no affordable acts, but children and their future should be.

— Contact Terry Cummins at



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