I applaud former Governor Strickland for his participation in the challenge; now if we could see more republican lawmakers take part in the challenge, I think that we would see some more compassion from their side. Which brings me to Paul Ryan, his latest proposal ties sanctions to aid and his justification for putting sanctions in his contract is that these sanctions would act as a deterrent towards possibly gaming the system and long term dependence on government assistance. I would argue that perhaps if Paul Ryan participated in a challenge that would have been in direct opposition to his childhood experience. Instead of being born within a family that was part of a successful business, I am sorry that he lost his father, but what if he had not been able to access those Social Security benefits and if he had been born into a family of minimum wage workers, how would he have pulled himself out of those circumstances? If he and his republican colleagues would walk in those shoes for a while, then I think that we would see a much different legislative agenda coming out of the Republican Party. Frankly, nowadays access to upper class is more or less limited by circumstances beyond anyone’s control and that’s because it depends on who you were born to, not really what you are doing on your own, the data is there in black and white to prove it, economic mobility is something of the past and has been since the Reagan years. However there is still hope, everything that we are experiencing is due to choices, it isn’t because of a natural order, we can choose to change this by choosing to stop electing certain people into office. The organizations that are going out into the streets to fight for living wages is a perfect place to start; by supporting them, by using our wallets to communicate to employers that we will not buy your product until you treat your workers better, by not voting republican until they start legislating for the average worker, these are things that we can do together to effect change. It takes will and we have it within ourselves to engage in our fight.
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