It wasn’t just a business, it was a way of life– what residents of Bethlehem, Pennsylvania referred to simply as “The Steel”– a mill once America’s second largest steel producer with 31,500 souls working in a single facility.
|By: Peter Van Buren Friday November 28, 2014 12:40 pm|
Jeff’s old man kept a small boat. It had seen better days, floating as much out of stubbornness any more than anything else. Seats two safely. Rides low in the water. We’d take it out on the river from time to time, drinking beer when we could, horsing around.
It was a heavy, humid Ohio night, still then soft around us. Car sounds far off. The current was light and the river half dry in summer, so we figured loading the four of us into a boat made for two wouldn’t be a problem. Then we met Pam.
|By: Peter Van Buren Wednesday October 29, 2014 11:10 am|
In America’s richest city, four blocks from where the Koch Brothers live, in a nation that has allocated $1.57 trillion to fund the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, including $92.3 billion in fiscal year 2014, we don’t have much to offer this guy.
|By: Peter Van Buren Tuesday October 7, 2014 6:00 pm|
You travel a bit, and you wonder what happened.
|By: Peter Van Buren Friday September 19, 2014 7:56 am|
We were once the American Dream, and now we’re just what happened to it.
The people I am talking about in my book Ghosts of Tom Joad: A Story of the #99 Percent seem illusive here on the East Coast; in crazy New York last week, visiting the South Bronx, there are plenty of poor people. The sense in Midtown was that if they didn’t deserve to be poor, then, well, they were sort of naturally thrust into it as immigrants, as drug users, simply because they lived in a poor part of the city and it always would be. Kind of the natural ecology of the place.
|By: Peter Van Buren Thursday September 18, 2014 3:15 pm|
Thanks for reading this. I hope it distracted you briefly from the daily hunger pangs you face. If you don’t complain, we’ll allow you 30 minutes of TV tonight. Now back to work serf.
|By: Peter Van Buren Wednesday August 27, 2014 2:25 pm|
The way you functionally subsidize companies paying low-wages to workers– ponying up the difference between what McDonald’s and others pay and what those workers need to live via taxpayer-paid SNAP (food stamps) and other benefits– is a hidden cost in plain sight. You’re already paying higher prices via higher taxes; you just may not know it.
|By: Peter Van Buren Thursday August 7, 2014 11:45 am|
Raise the minimum wage. The arguments for are strong, and the arguments against don’t hold up to facts.
One important reason to raise the minimum wage to a living one is that people who can afford to feed themselves will not need food stamps paid for by taxpayers. You still think everything on the dollar menu really costs only a dollar? Companies who profit off their workers’ labor will be forced to pay a fair price for it, and not get by on taxpayer-subsidized low wages. Just as important, people who can afford to feed themselves earn not just money, but self-respect.
|By: Peter Van Buren Monday July 28, 2014 4:10 pm|
Not that America has become a divided, classist society or anything. Oh wait…
|By: Peter Van Buren Friday June 20, 2014 4:42 pm|
Don’t we all know it? The more wealth one accumulates, the more complicated life can become.
Luckily, if you’re among the 1 percent, you are not alone. Repeat that: YOU ARE NOT ALONE. There are people ready to help you with the complications of owning more than 99 percent of your fellow citizens.
One such resource in your time of need is Bessemer Trust, a “Private Client Wealth Management” company.