Sunday, April 13, 2014

Two Americas--where one man makes more in 20 minutes than a widow survives on for a year

Two stories in today's Times caught my eye. According to a report in the Business section, Larry Ellison, CEO of Oracle, makes $37,692 an hour--that's right, 37 grand an hour. Meanwhile, another Times article told the story of Carol Cascio, a widow, who lives on $900 per month.  She had hoped for an additional $400 per month from her deceased husband's pension--which would just be a few seconds of Mr. Ellison's salary--but the pension fund went belly up and she will get nothing.

Obama in Silicon Valley
Photo credit: Pete Souza/White House

And the disparity is even worse than that. According to the Times story, Ms. Cascio borrowed money to finance her daughter's education.  In fact, she was hoping to pay back the loan with the pension money she will not be getting.

There's something wrong with a nation in which one American makes three times as much in an hour as another person lives for in a year.  And this is taking place in Barack Obama's America--the man who was supposed to bring us hope and change. And yet President Obama spends much more time with people like Mr. Ellison--wealthy people who can make campaign contributions--than people like Carol Cascio, who can do nothing to help Mr. Obama fill the Democratic Party's campaign coffers.

At least Ms. Cascio can take bankruptcy, you may be thinking, and discharge the education loan, assuming it has not been paid back.  Probably not.  Even someone in Ms. Cascio's situation will find it difficult to discharge an educational loan in bankruptcy.  In fact, the Department of Education recently opposed bankruptcy discharge for a student-loan debtor who is a paraplegic and only owed $14,000!  That's right, President Obama's Department of Education wanted the young man who is paralyzed from the neck down to sign up for a 25-year repayment plan.  Fortunately, a federal bankruptcy judge was a bit more compassionate than the Department of Education and discharged this poor man's education loan.

As Catholics, we should think long and hard about the nation we have become--a nation in which wealthy pet owners call themselves "pet parents" and buy toys for their dogs to stimulate their pets' brains; a nation in which our leading and most respected newspaper printed a story about the new fashion trend in which wealthy women groom their public hair; a nation in which millions of  people living on the boundary of poverty have college loans they can't pay back.

The people who run our country--President Obama's arrogant, power obsessed Ivy League bureaucrats; the media elite; and corporate oligarchs like Oracle's Larry Ellison--actually believe they are smarter and more sensitive than the average American holding down a job and raising a family.

But the people who run our country are nothing more than self-absorbed children who grab for all the power, money and recognition they can get while millions of decent Americans suffer economic hardship--hardship that grows worse with each passing day.

The people who run our country believe they are liberal; they believe they are sensitive; they believe they are progressive.  But all it means to be a liberal in today's America is to vote the Democratic ticket, watch Jon Stewart on television, and show a proper degree of scorn toward the smucks who still adhere to traditional Christian values--Catholics in particular.

References

Peter Eavis. Invasion of the Supersalaries. New York Times, April 13, 2014, Business Section, p. 1.

David Hochman. You'll Go Far My Pet. New York Times, April 13 2014, Sunday Styles Section, p. 1.

Marisa Meltzer. Below the Bikini Line, A Growing Trend. New York Times, January 29, 2014. Available at: http://www.nytimes.com/2014/01/30/fashion/Brazilian-bikini-wax-women-hair-removal.html?_r=0


Myhre v. United States Department of Education, 503 B.R.  698 (Bkrtcy Rep. Wis. 2013).

Mary Williams Walsh, Thought Secure, Pooled Pensions Teeter and Fall. New York Times, April 13, 2014, p. 1.

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