Florence Vincent

Where are women in America?  There are only 75 women in US House of Representatives (out of 435 voting members) and only 17 women in the in US Senate (out of 100). The US rates 79% in the world for women participating in government.

I’m not sure why American women are letting men dictate their lives.  Women still only receive 77 cents on the dollar that men receive for their work.  Not having equal pay for equal work, affects women their whole lives. It even affects men, as women aren’t contributing as much to the household income. Women were 32% more likely to receive sub-prime mortgages and more than 1 million women have filed for bankruptcy.  Something like a job loss, an illness or a divorce can send a woman into a tail spin financially.

I was in Tenino the other weekend walking in their Oregon Trail Days Parade. I was told by a local that the area is financially challenged. If that is the case, I wonder if many residents use food stamps and rely on public schools and the Head Start program. I wonder if they participate in Social Security and Medicare or if they are younger, are on Medicaid. They might have even been on unemployment as they might have lost their job.

On Sunday I was at a picnic where I heard Bill Grace, an inspirational speaker who founded the Center for Ethical Leadership in Seattle. He currently directs Common Good Works and speaks and leads seminars around the world.  He’s a wonderfully deep thinker and had us all mesmerized as we followed his stories. Many of us bought his book “Sharing the Rock; Shaping Our Future through Leadership for the Common Good”. One story resonated with me deeply. Bill talked about the economy; that when we think of the economy we think of money.  He suggests there is more than one economy and told us to visualize a set of Russian nesting dolls.  You know; the little doll inside a bigger doll and that one inside an even bigger doll.

The wealthy of the world and their families have as much as $32 trillion hidden in offshore tax havens. So countries loose some $280 billion in revenues.  Research comes from the World Bank, the IMF, UN and central banks.

Meanwhile America’s poor will climb higher than in 50 years, loosing us all the gains made on the war on poverty in the 1960’s. The AP surveyed nonpartisan, liberal and conservatives and found they all agree the poverty rate will rise. It is spreading across the under-employed, suburban families and the poor.  Thank heavens people 65 and over have been saved thanks to Social Security, and with unemployment benefits ending, food stamps are people’s last resort, even though congress is discussing cutting that.

The Supreme Court in a 5 to 4 decision passed Romneycare with the deciding vote by George W. Bush’s GOP appointee John Roberts.

So now you know; if you lost your job and your healthcare coverage; if you are in a job that you hate but stay because of the coverage; if you are one of 122 million who lost your coverage due to a pre-existing condition (like acne), if you are paying higher premiums because you are a woman; if you had to give up your healthcare because it’s too expensive;  if you’ve had nothing but prayer to sustain you from going into bankruptcy, you can now heave a sigh of relief, as you can plan to have healthcare.