FacebookTwitterRedditEmail

On the First Day of Christmas

A few years back I wrote a column about this fellow who works at the local nursing home. Name’s Kenny Hamilton–a 30 something fellow who has a unique situation. It seems that ole Kenny (sounds like another “Kenny Boy”, no?) is a janitor. He mops and sweeps and cleans up all the “accidents” that my parents and the other residents leave on the floors. He waxes and polishs and does what most janitors do during a full time shift. Now that wasn’t quite the “unique” part of this story. No sooner does Kenny punch out of the nursing home gig that he rushes off to the local hospital to punch in ANOTHER full time shift as a janitor.

That was a few years ago. Things sure have changed for my pal Kenny. In those days he mopped and cleaned and waxed for an average of $6.50 an hour–putting in around 80 hours a week. I am now proud to say (this tongue in cheek is killing me) that today, in this the “year of our Bush 2002”, Kenny averages (drum roll please) $7.00 an hour and now works 86 hours a week!! The money is just rolling in! He still lives with his 80 something mother in her modest Daytona Beach abode, and regularly calls his little daughter living in another city. Says he visits her whenever he has some time off. Time off? When you clock in over 14 hours a day for a 6 day week, when is there time off? Plus, with the ever increasing costs of health insurance deductibles & co-pays, dental care, car repair/insurance/gasoline, what choice is there for someone like Kenny but to work two jobs?

As my NYC pal (and progressive radio talk host) Jay Diamond states: “FEUDALISM is alive and well in America!” Jay and I share a unique past– along with Senators Schumer and Coleman, we all attended Brooklyn’s Cunningham JHS in the early 60’s.What makes things really “unique”, is out of the four of us it is but Jay and myself who rant and write about the need for economic reform. Seems that Chuckie and Normie are too busy securing corporate and rich man’s donations for their “war chests” to actually DO anything for the Kenny Hamiltons of our nation.

Isn’t it ironic that the people who we entrust to clean, shower and clean up after our parents and grandparents, aunts and uncles, keeping their humble little bodies and surroundings disease free–these “valuble” assets to our society earn 400 TIMES less than some corporate CEO “jet setter”, sports owner, celebrity or ballplayer? On the “First day of Christmas”, when we are busy opening gifts and hugging our loved ones, Kenny Hamilton will most likely be mopping the fecal matter from the floor in one of our relative’s rooms, happy to just have the job.

To all the Kenny Hamiltons out there, here is my Christmas card to you:

The founder and future CEO of Christianity chose to be born in a manger surrounded by shepherds and farm animals –not a golden palace with pomp, prestige and riches.

In later years he associated with fishermen, the lame, beggars & thieves –carrying few possessions.

This man, a devout Jew, chased the money changers from the Temple and freed the sacrificial doves. He preached equality, fraternity and love for one’s neighbors, stating equivocably: “Easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle than a rich man to go to heaven”, and “They will know you are my disciples by the love you have for one another.”

Wouldn’t this be a better world if our political and business leaders took heed?

May the true spirit of Christmas bless you all –everyone !

Philip A Farruggio is a baby boomer Brooklyn NY born bred and educated (Brooklyn College ’74), Currently, he resides in Florida and is self employed as a mfg. rep for an environmental bacteria company. Philip writes for many publications as a free lance columnist.He can be reached at brooklynphilly@aol.com

 

More articles by:

Philip Farruggio, son of a longshoreman, is “Blue Collar Brooklyn” born, raised and educated (Brooklyn College, Class of ’74). A former progressive talk show host, Philip runs a mfg. rep. business and writes for many publications. He lives in Port Orange, FL. You can contact Mr. Farruggio at e-mail: brooklynphilly@aol.com.

bernie-the-sandernistas-cover-344x550
April 07, 2020
Joel McCleary – Mark Medish
Paradigm Shift by Pandemic
Matt Smith
Amazon Retaliation: Workers Striking Back
Kenneth Surin
What The President Said (About The Plague)
Patrick Cockburn
The Chaotic Government Response to COVID-19 Resembles the Failures of 1914
Marshall Auerback
The Coronavirus Pandemic Has Opened the Curtains on the World’s Next Economic Model
Vijay Prashad, Paola Estrada, Ana Maldonado, and Zoe PC
Trump Sends Gun Boats to Venezuela While the World Partners to Fight a Deadly Pandemic
Jeremy Lent
Coronavirus Spells the End of the Neoliberal Era. What’s Next?
Dean Baker
The Big Hit: Covid-19 and the Economy
Nino Pagliccia
A Simple Democratic Transition Framework for Venezuela: End All “Sanctions”
Colin Todhunter
Locked Down and Locking in the New Global Order
Robert Fisk
Biden Says He ‘Doesn’t Have Enough Information’ on Iran to Have a Vew. How Odd, He Negotiated the Nuclear Deal
Wim Laven
GOP’s Achievement is Now on Display
Binoy Kampmark
Boastful Pay Cuts: the Coronavirus Incentive
Dave Lindorff
It’s Spring and I’ve Turned 71 in a Pandemic-Induced Recession
Steve Brown
FLASH! Trump Just Endorsed Bernie’s Medicare-For-All Health Plan
Marc Haggerty
Class and COVID-19: Those Who Can and Those Who Can’t
Manuel García, Jr.
A Reply to Jeffrey St. Clair’s “Strange Things Happening Every Day”
George Wuerthner
How Fuel Breaks Fuel Fires
Marshall Sahlins
Election 2020
April 06, 2020
Richard D. Wolff
COVID-19 and the Failures of Capitalism
W. T. Whitney
Donald Trump, Capitalism, and Letting Them Die
Cesar Chelala
Cuba’s Promising Approach to Cancer
David A. Schultz
Camus and Kübler-Ross in a Time of COVID-19 and Trump
Nomi Prins 
Wall Street Wins, Again: Bailouts in the Time of Coronavirus
Dean Baker
Getting to Medicare-for-All, Eventually
Dave Lindorff
Neither Pandemic Nor Economic Collapse is Going to Be a Short-Lived Crisis
Sonali Kolhatkar
Capitalism in America Has Dropped the Mask: Its Face is Cruel and Selfish
Ralph Nader
Trump’s 7 Pro-Contagion Reversals Increase the Coronavirus Toll
David Swanson
A Department of Actual Defense in a Time of Coronavirus
Ellen Brown
Was the Fed Just Nationalized?
Jeff Birkenstein
Postcards From Trump
Nick Licata
Authoritarian Leaders Rejected the Danger of a COVID-19 Pandemic Because It Challenged Their Image
Kathy Kelly
“He’s Got Eight Numbers, Just Like Everybody Else”
Graham Peebles
Change Love and the Need for Unity
Kim C. Domenico
Can We Transform Fear to Strength In A Time of Pandemic?
Mike Garrity
Alliance for the Wild Rockies Files Lawsuit to Stop Logging and Burning Project in Rocky Mountain Front Inventoried Roadless Area
Stephen Cooper
“The Soul Syndicate members dem, dem are all icons”: an Interview with Tony Chin
Weekend Edition
April 03, 2020
Friday - Sunday
Omar Shaban
Gaza’s New Conflict: COVID-19
Rob Urie
Work, Crisis and Pandemic
John Whitlow
Slumlord Capitalism v. Global Pandemic
Jeffrey St. Clair
Roaming Charges: Strange Things Happening Every Day
Jonathan Cook
The Bigger Picture is Hiding Behind a Virus
Paul Street
Silver Linings Amidst the Capitalist Coronavirus Crisis
Evaggelos Vallianatos
The Control of Nature
Louis Proyect
COVID-19 and the “Just-in-Time” Supply Chain: Why Hospitals Ran Out of Ventilators and Grocery Stores Ran Out of Toilet Paper
FacebookTwitterRedditEmail