Toxic Tea Film Festival – Exposing the Agenda “Wage Crisis – The USA’s New Underclass”
Welcome to the ninth installment in our 10-week series titled “Toxic Tea Film Festival – Exposing the Agenda.” This is a joint project of Liberal Planet, Red State Dems and The Everlasting GOP Stoppers, in collaboration with Miss R*EVOLutionaries and The Beer Party.
As the very foundation of our democracy continues to be threatened by a narrow and exclusionary Tea Party faction of the extreme right-wing, we find ourselves at a point in our nations history where we can no longer be politically passive. Government gridlock has become the status quo, our national wealth is being extracted, and the middle class is shrinking. We find ourselves being represented by politicians that – supported by dark money – drive the climate change denial movement, the assault on women’s rights and LBGT rights, “right-to-work” legislation, “stand your ground” laws, de-funding public education, privatizing prisons, and a whole host of other issues that threaten the American Dream. As such, it’s imperative that we are proactive in educating the masses of what exactly is at stake.
This series is intended to be a fun, educational, and interactive way of doing just that. Consider it a large, online book club – except with movies instead.
Each weekend, we will ask that you spend an hour or two over the weekend watching a specific documentary that we have identified as critical to helping you to understand how we got to where we are. If possible, we will provide the film for you, and if not, we will point you to where you can find it. Grab your family and your friends, and make it fun. That Sunday, we will collectively use our online forums to discuss what we have learned, more closely examine some of the topics that were covered in the movie, and engage each other on how we can best fix it. Our hope is, this series will inspire you all to become more engaged in the political process, and hopefully provide you the materials and the knowledge to open some eyes around you. We are very excited about this project, and hope you will participate!
This week’s film is called “The USA’s New Underclass.”
As large corporations – with the help of the ALEC supported politicians that do their bidding – continue to resist raising the minimum wage to a living wage, more and more Americans are slipping into poverty – and thus becoming more of a drain on already-taxed public assistance. Make no mistake – a $15.00 minimum wage would not suddenly create a new class of nouveau riche – it’s simply common sense that paying a $15.00 wage would provide families that are hurting some extra money to make ends meets that would flow right back in to the economy, thus creating more jobs. So why the resistance?
A film synopsis:
The squeezed American middle class has been at breaking point for some time. Now with politicians reluctant to raise the minimum wage and food stamps being cut, the social consequences could be devastating.
Mike Doyle’s plummet into the ranks of America’s working poor is dramatic. He was a Wall Street trader – then the GFC clobbered his hedge fund and now he’s mixing drinks at night for $2.13 an hour. Every day he takes the dawn ferry to Manhattan to try – so far in vain – to resuscitate his financial career. “I think it’s a real big issue now. Every family I know, all of these people have two jobs”, he tells us. As renowned economist Joseph Stiglitz points out, he’s far from being alone. “Most Americans have seen their incomes stagnate or fall since 2008. Median income of a full-time male worker today is lower than it was 40 years ago.” Yet despite the grind, some refuse to give up, like young mother of one Tayzia Treadwell. She works as a security guard in one of the toughest neighbourhoods in America, while raising her child and studying at business college. “I want the good life that everyone dreams when you’re in school and you draw the little house and the picket fence and a dog. I just want a happy ending.” But without help it is difficult to see even those like Tayzia achieving their dreams. The land of opportunity? Not anymore.
Watch this film here for free, via Journeyman TV – and please make sure to leave your comments below!
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