The Middle Class needs a doctor stat! Obamacare lives!

I am totally disgusted with today’s decision by the U.S. Supreme Court upholding Obamacare and its burdensome fines as an acceptable tax on the American people.  This is from our lawmakers and judicial branch of government who pay minimal amounts for health insurance.  We foot their bills too since our taxes allow them coverage at greatly reduced rates.  Do you smell something funny there?

Obamacare

Image courtesy: FreeDigitalPhotos.net

What part of this health care plan is supposed to be affordable?  Is it the part that has seen my coverage as a sole proprietor leap from $350 a month for excellent coverage to $600 for mediocre coverage?  Or is it the part that now costs $300 for emergency hospitalization only?  Maybe it’s the part that has seen many good doctors give up practicing medicine rather than work for the little money they receive as co-pays from insurance companies.  Oh no, I know, it’s the part that is likely to force these rates even higher in the next 18 months as the insurance companies dance on the graves of American small business owners.

Geeze, when did I start sounding like a Republican?  The Middle Class was barely breathing before today’s decision……….now its life support is barely functioning.

Westchester attorney on Italy’s broadening gender gap

It’s no secret that I am a strong Italian-American woman. Five minutes in a room…….or courtroom…….with me will show you that. That sense of strength, independence and fire is in my DNA.  I had four strong Sicilian great-grandmothers and grandmothers who packed up everything they could into one suitcase and sailed to a better life in steerage.  These were women who were from established families in Sicily; yet, even post-unification, they knew that the ancient mindset would keep them shackled to their stoves forever, no matter how successful the men in their families would become.

My great-grandfather, a respected bridge engineer, was liberal to a point, in that he allowed his daughter to get an education around 1910 but when she married the gardener, he disowned her.  The point is that these traditional Italian women fought against that cultural mindset which reveres women but at the same time subjugates them to most Italian men.

This past weekend, many Italian women took to the streets in protest, yet many others merely went about their day, planning what to wear to lure a man into marriage.  Maybe I should say what little to wear in that they believe sex is all they have to offer a relationship and these are young women in their 20s and 30s.

It is also no secret to those who know me that I have longed to have a temporary residence along the Amalfi Coast and have been researching ways to make that happen, even with a virtual position.  Yesterday, I was further appalled when the ancient mindset of Italian culture slapped me in the face in that every job ad which I examined advertised an age limit for the position.  Wait, what? Yes, you heard me right.  There were openings for writers, journalists, executive consultants, marketing analysts and the ads clearly stated “Età max 35 anni.”  Are you kidding me?  In a country where unemployment is at 8.5%, although I suspect it’s close to double that in the south, and knows no age limit, these companies are openly discriminating against anyone over the age of 35.  Certainly, age discrimination exists all over the world but in Italy they blatantly make no bones about it and in fact, they rank 74 out of 135 countries in a broadening global gender gap.

So, a women without an education over the age of 35 has no hope but to marry someone just to secure a future.  The men, on the other hand, are trapped into marriages by women selling sex as an asset and then forced to support them forever when the marriage ends…and it does because nearly one in every two marriages ends in divorce in Italy.No wonder many Italian women scowl when they see an American “take away” an eligible Italian man from his homeland………..there goes a meal ticket!

Is this the 21st century or the Dark Ages?  Mamma mia!

There’s static on the line!

The economic reality of the 21st century has yet to get through to some people.  Just this week Verizon installers and repairmen went out on strike on the east coast; the stock market dropped nearly a thousand points in one week; they’re rioting in the streets of London just to loot (although they are pointing to a police shooting); and Europeans are bitchin’ because they have to work beyond the age of 60.  Really, get a grip people!

This is a new master plan and entitlement is no longer part of the big picture.  OK, maybe we, the global middle class, did not cause this financial mess, but we sure as hell need to realize that the idiots in charge can’t fix this without our help.

Image: Pixomar Freedigitalphotos.net

That means everyone needs to pitch in and suck up to the fact that we need to work till we’re in our 70s.  This ain’t our grandparents’ golden retirement anymore.  Besides, with plastic replacement parts and good drugs we’ll mostly be around till we’re 100 years old and even Roosevelt’s New Deal didn’t count on that kind of longevity.

I used to be a proud card-carrying member of three labor unions but now it’s just two and I can’t really say I’m a “proud card-carrying member.”  One union clearly sold out east coast newswriters in favor of west coast screen writers and we’re still paying the price.  Over $10,000 in employer pension contributions just for me and I won’t collect a dime because I didn’t do the time.  Where does that money go?  Health benefits? That’s a joke.  Freelance newswriters don’t even qualify if they don’t earn enough income and since management carefully doles out shifts to a host of freelancers, many of them don’t meet the criteria.

So, listen up you folks who barely show up when we report static on the line, get in line with the rest of us who lost benefits a long time ago.  You are not entitled to anything – not in this new world order.  You need to contribute more, just as the rest of us do, especially (and I can’t emphasize this one enough), especially as much as self-employed individuals ante up!  Nothing is guaranteed any longer.  You should’ve smelled the coffee when Ma Bell took a nose dive off the golden corporate plateau!  Thanks, anti-trust suit.  It’s no longer strength in numbers but every man and woman for himself!