Working Poor - The Age of Modern Slavery

December 4, 2017



"the working poor haven't abdicated responsibility for their lives. their drowning in it." - Ezra Klein - washington post


if your day begins the night before with lunch & next day breakfast prep, your wake up call is at 6am, you are out of the house by 7:10am, you kissed your spouse goodbye who leaves at the same time or earlier, you have just enough time to wake up your kids who will be making their way to the bus stop an hour after you've left, or you take them with you at that ungodly hour to daycare where they can spend a useless hour waiting for school to begin.

if you are wondering why you have just dropped off your child at daycare to pay for care or why your kids are eating breakfast on their own getting ready to walk to the bus/school while you should be there with them you're not alone. but you can't be there for something as natural and instinctive as raising your kids because you have a full time job which is at least steady, has benefits and a decent Mon to Fri schedule and you are very aware that even with just that you are already ahead of others who are struggling to find employment in the first place or as some of my friends are working 2 to 3 jobs in a 24 hour period. now this is living! Kevin O'Leary has nothing on this exciting high stress lifestyle of the poor.


if you work 40+ hours per week in the poor mans private sector and bring in under $35K/per year, if you are at work from first thing in the morning and you don't step foot in your front door until 5:30pm or later, if you are constantly budgeting money and food, if you are wondering how you will pay this months hydro bill while still trying to catch up from last months hydro bill without making payment arrengements, if you are wondering and stressing when you will make that walk to your bosses office and blurt out the lines you have been rehearsing all morning becasue you need time off to take your kid to the dentist and they don't work weekends. if you are holding your breath when you car makes any unrecognizable noise because if you have to fix the car, hydro won't get paid what you arranged, or you will be short on groceries because not matter what mortgage/rent needs to be paid or you'll be sleeping on the street.


if you are anxious that after you have paid as much as you can to bills,loans,mortgage/rent purchased the necessary food for your family which not surprisngly with the price of groceries is almost never enough; figured out how much you'll need for gas to get to and from work, accounted for all those school trips and any money the kids might need that week, if you are anxious that after all that is paid and done and you'll either break the bank or you don't even have $20 bucks left over to take the kids to a movie on the weekend which is actually wishful thinking as going to the movies is now a $50 activity for two people- child pricing included.

If you worry that you work to live, that you sacrifice doing things with your kids such as simply being there when they go to school or when they come home from school something so very fleeting in our lives as children grow and we are forced to miss so much of it. if you feel that when you actually can live during the weeknds by the time everything is paid so that you can stay above water in societys view of what the standard of living should be you can't live because you're now broke as everything went to pay other people.


if you feel like you are working just to pay bills, waking up to the same never ending cycle every day, if you are constantly stressed about budgeting and negotiating if this year you can manage a vacation, if you don't work or even work part time living in this province you will be part of the homeless and starving statistc. if you can relate to any of this you are part of the working poor. you are a member of what use to be a middle class and due to the 45% inflation since 1995 and 107% inflation on food in Canada, with the housing market out of control and wages stagnant since the mid 90's you have thus earned the lifetime membership to the club of modern slavery. there is no way out unless we have a massive economic and social reform. if you want off the hamster wheel, out of the beauroctratic mess which are governments, off the toxic monetary system there simply is no other option for you. live, breath the hamster wheel, be the property of your employer or die of starvation as food banks can not keep up with demand.

if you are ready for change and are more than willing to work and support yourself but without sacrificing your family, if you feel that employers need to offer more flexibilty so that you don't feel like a slave to corporate and have balance in your work/personal life, if you feel that you should have the right and without fear to tell your boss that you need time off or to meet the standard of living need a wage increase and as long as your work ethic is on par you should be entitled to that right without any negative repercussions, if you feel that prices need to stop climbing or wages in the private sector NEED to increase then you are one rebelious little peasant ;-) and keep pushing change forward because Ontario labour laws are hopelessly outdated and completely out of touch with what employees with families require in the year 2017.


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