Occupied in Spirit

While this week, as those occupied have been evicted from camping at Zuccotti Park reassembled to march across the Brooklyn Bridge in protest their weeks of protest are now counted in months. They have grown in number of supporters not only in New York City but in other cities across our great nation and around the world.

Although I have not travelled to their protest sites I feel I am a part of their fight against cooperate greed, consumerism, and social inequality that has led to homelessness and hunger in what is the richest country of the world. A country where one can not even afford health care.

I write this as I apply for family health care benefits through my non-profit employer  at a cost of two hours of my eight hours daily wage. One might argue that my two days off are a health care free ride but on the other side of the coin one must consider the co-pays which make the actual use of health services though insured unaffordable.

I am grateful to have work after twenty months of unemployment a period that afforded me the opportunity to complete my final twenty credits towards my bachelor’s degree. I expected to earn more than before although in this work climate I had to accept so much less. They say it is easier to find a job when you have a job, so I continue to search because although satisfied with my employment situation I have become the working poor and I’d much prefer being back amongst the struggling middle class.

I had an interview this week with a large corporation. I had interviewed with them in the past for a position similar to my last. The interview had went well although no employment opportunity presented as the facility was delayed in opening. Now after reapplying and interviewing once again I learn that the position at the location I am applying at is not available and would I consider driving another thirty miles? This was learned after being asked and answered multiple times: What is your salary requirement?

I’ve been on enough interviews over the recent few years to have noticed human resources has become human manipulation, a strategic game where the applicant is the mere pawn. Prior to meeting with Mr. HR I noticed at least a dozen of those about me moving with great speed, women with painted faces, wearing silk blouses freshly dry cleaned, hair carefully sprayed into place and I believe I had found the corporate Stepford Wives.

After some consideration of a position that I can not even be certain would ever transpire  I thought about the individual that I am and the respect I receive and I conclude no wage is worth the exchange of my autonomy for becoming a robot in corporate society.

As we come to a close of 2011, where is our universal health care? And where has the money gone to provide services to the disadvantaged and adequate pay to those non-profit healthcare workers. That’s right… we bailed out the banks.

In support of the protest I no longer purchase on credit and vow this years holiday purchases will be slashed by the same percentage my earnings have been slashed and then reduced by another 50% in protest of corporate greed and consumerism. I am occupied in spirit.

Who will join me?

Have you made your personal commitment in protest?

Have you become occupied in spirit?

About Aligaeta

I am a life time resident of NY State. A graduate of Nassau Community College, AA in Liberal Arts and Queens College, BA in English and Sociology. I am the mother of four children, the survivor of divorce, and I love to write in prose. This blog will be a record of my journey... destination unknown. Read more... https://aligaeta.wordpress.com/
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9 Responses to Occupied in Spirit

  1. thoughtsonoccupying says:

    A great idea. If you can’t be there physically, be there in spirit.

    • Aligaeta says:

      Welcome. I just read your blog post about internships and believe me I feel your pain. Part of the occupy movement is to forgive the student loan debit. We did all of the right things and now there are no jobs. At the very least the loans should be interest free.

  2. SM says:

    Glad the job is going well and that you are continuing your search. That is wise. I chortled when I read your comment about Universal Healthcare since it will never happen due to cost and belief that is it socialism, which it is. However, if you don’t believe it can never happen.

    • Aligaeta says:

      I don’t see why healthcare should not be affordable to all. A percentage from income should be allocated for universal healthcare taxing everyone at the same rate. Then healthcare wouldn’t be say 25% of my wage as apposed to say perhaps 5% of yours or .125% of another who happens to be more wealthy. After all, no one denies the wealthiest of receiving social security when they don’t need it because they are entitled to it. All should be entitled to affordable healthcare. Just saying…

      • SM says:

        Interesting point although I believe you are comparing apples and oranges when comparing healthcare and social security. Social Security is not an entitlement. It is a retirement system setup for those who contribute to it. The government invests that money in order to payout in the future. Unfortunately they’ve borrowed against it and it will now be insolvent within 20 years if not addressed.

        It seems you are advocating another government run entity where funding is provided for healthcare by the middle and upper class? I say this because if someone is paying the same percentage as the next person, who pays for medical debt when coverage is exceeded? Universal Healthcare would be like Social Security and Medicare. They are systems created, managed and bankrupted by government. I haven’t even addressed unnecessary tests and procedures by doctors to cover their malpractice insurance and their lifestyle.

        With the government forcing everybody to have healthcare, so they can afford to provide for others, its not fair to those that do not want insurance. You are adding costs to small businesses forcing them to make it available to their employees and it adds costs as they try to stay solvent. If you are advocating an independent system, you have that today where you can have a group plan through work or you can purchase it as an individual plan where you can pick and choose the options you want. Granted, age, previous health issues and affordability are obstacles.

        Friend, I don’t mean to lecture. I see alot of want in your thought process. As a businessman, I see alot of regulation and cost. I think we agree to disagree which is always the case. How funny since we grew up a few blocks away from each other.

      • Aligaeta says:

        I beg to differ… Social Security is in fact an “entitlement” in its definition.

        en·ti·tle·ment   [en-tahy-tl-muhnt] Show IPA
        the act of entitling.
        the state of being entitled.
        the right to guaranteed benefits under a government program, as Social Security or unemployment compensation.

        And my argument is that health care should also be an entitlement, not only for the wealthy. Therefore as we pay into Social Security and Unemployment we should pay into health care through our taxes into a government universal health care system. It should have been a part of the New Deal.

  3. jannatwrites says:

    It’s good to keep looking if you want something more from your employment. It’s also personally fulfilling to take a stand (even if you are occupying only in spirit) for what you believe in.

    Glad to see a post from you again. I’ve wondered how you’ve been.

    • Aligaeta says:

      Hello Janna, I struggle with the idea of leaving a job where I help the most unfortunate of society for my own personal comfort and security. But on the upside, the mentally ill whom I serve treat me with more respect than those working in corporate human resource. Just saying…

  4. SM says:

    Semantics… If it is an entitlement, how come people who haven’t paid into it for the maximum # of quarters cannot receive any benefits?

    Here are a few things to consider… Per the General Accounting Office in 2003

    In 1945 the ratio of workers/SS contributers to beneficiaries was 42:1
    In 2000 the ratio was 3:1
    In 2030 it is projected by the US Government to be 2.1:1

    What this means is that less money is being contributed into the Social Security system hence the bankruptcy fear.

    Furthermore, in 2003 the cost of Medicare, Medicaid, SS of the total federal revenue and net interest is 44%. In 2030 it is projected to be 75%. Simply put, it cannot happen. Wishing and wanting are nice but it has to be paid for. The government cannot fix because it cannot fund what is coming due to the aging of our population so what did Congress do? They offered tax credits to individuals and business for things like Long Term Care and HSA users as a way to incent the private sector and enable individuals to take personal responsibility for their healthcare. If we don’t take responsibility for ourselves, our option is Medicaid but we will have to spend down our assests to qualify to limit government investment.

    You said you “do not see why healthcare should not be affordable to all”. I hope after you read this objectively and do your own research, you might see the exponential costs which the public isn’t funding because they would rather have ipads, iPhones and flat screen TV’s and bitch about the high cost of healthcare. (That is not a slap at you)

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