Call Me Cranky But

I sort of have a problem with this story opening. The folks in it survived a God awful, harrowing Katrina night and have lost everything. My heart goes out to them; truly it does. But the set-up paragraph is just so jaw dropping a snap-shot of everything wrong with an ingrained welfare system, that it took reading it three or four times to get past it. See if you read it the way I (we) did. Tell me if I’m wrong.

Lisa Moore, 37, says that she was in church with her husband, Larry Morgan, and never heard the mayor’s warning. “We didn’t think it was going to be that bad,” she says. Besides, they had no place to go. “New Orleans is our home, our culture,” says Lisa. “It’s everything.” Larry and Lisa, who have been together since she was 18, have 10 children, ages 2 to 18. Before Katrina, they “had a good life with beaucoup stuff,” says Lisa. There was the widescreen TV, their favorite spicy foods (red beans and rice) and federally subsidized rent (only $280 a month) for their large, yellow four-bedroom house. On most Sundays, Larry donned a white suit and top hat and waved feathered fans as a member of a “second-line club” that marches in jazz funerals (the “main line” is the grieving family; in the “second line” come the friends and revelers). Larry, who could make $2,500 a month as a roofer, could make hundreds more marching behind coffins. Even though Lisa and her family lived in the city’s most impoverished neighborhood, they never felt poor in New Orleans. “That’s why they called it the Big Easy,” says Lisa.

They never felt ‘poor’ in New Orleans? Maybe because they weren’t.

8 Responses to “Call Me Cranky But…”

  1. The_Real_JeffS says:

    Yeah, I know lots of “poor” people. It usually means that they don’t have a gazillion dollars in the bank, so that they can spend without having to balace a checkbook.
    It’s almost as stupid as Hillary Clinton standing in the flooded section of New Orleans, and pretending that she isn’t rich herself.

  2. Lisa says:

    Wait. He makes “hundreds more” than $2500 a month (which he COULD be making) and they’re still in subsidized housing?
    How fucked up is that?

  3. Mr. Bingley says:

    As “fucked up” Lisa as all the rich liberal pasty whiteys living in their rent controlled apartments in New York City.
    Which is to say “a lot”.

  4. Yeah, the $280 rent makes it easy to sit home and have ten kids that TAXPAYERS get to pay for. I think ‘the Big Easy’ refers to the ride they had on the backs of working folks, some of which probably included families with six kids, two WORKING parents, $20 grand a year and no health insurance or subsidies because they make too much for Medicaid. Damn, but that burns my butt.

  5. Nightfly says:

    I know – $280 a month? You can’t even rent a storage unit for that in Jersey. In college I lived in a boarding house for about that amount a month, but that was 15 years ago.

  6. John says:

    Yeah, but over $2500 per month means that they should be too rich to receive much in the way of subsidies – oh wait a minute, I was thinking about a reasonably sized family. 10 kids?!?!!!
    Wanna bet most of his income was in cash, off the books, with no tax paid? “Double dipping” on the dole queue, as it were.

  7. mineyour busuness says:

    bet all the coment are from dumb a– white people who beat the system just like black folk so what if they live in housing and make 2500 a month they got 10 kids and they pay taxes just like the rest of us go family do your think ,for people they dont got no heaven or hell to put u in think God for your blessing

  8. You’d be shocked. They’re all just working folks. Taxpayers, you know? Which, judging by the articulate bent of your prose, you’d have trouble realizing that the folks with ten kids AREN’T. One can’t make THAT much money, PAY taxes on it and still live in subsidized housing. And they’re ‘beating the system’ on the backs of poor working stiffs who DO pay taxes.

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