The Mountain Times

°F Fri, April 25, 2014

Central Vermont's Most Popular Weekly Newspaper

Working-class people are just one bad break away from loosing everything

Dear Editor,

In 1989, while commercial fishing, a two ton block of ice came crashing down on me. Since then I have been disabled. My wife and I scraped by on her salary until the day our Jeep died. With no reliable public transportation, my wife lost her job. The state provides little help for struggling couples without small children. We were evicted from the home we'd lived in for many years and left homeless.

Working-class people are always one bad break away from losing everything. Wages are so low that a third of those working full-time live below the poverty line. They have little or no savings or insurance. As a homeless veteran, I'm eligible for healthcare and housing assistance. Many are not so lucky. If they become disabled or are unable to find work, they're forced to turn to the state for help. And the state gives them barely what they need to survive… if anything. They lose all dignity.

It's wonderful that Vermont is leading the nation in developing universal healthcare. But it must not be at the expense of other necessities. Let's develop a budget based on the needs of the entire community. Let's think in terms of putting people first! Let's get behind the Peoples Budget Bill.

Jay Spurling, Winooski, Vt

Tagged: Letter to the Editor