Friday, 31 August 2012 00:00
My advice to teenagers these days is straight forward: Your college diploma must be accompanied with an up-to-date passport because if you are not prepared to leave the U.S. behind and emigrate to where the jobs are located, higher education may prove to be a waste of time and money. I know too many people in their 40s and 50s who have bachelors and masters degrees, years of experience in such fields as engineering and teaching and business management, who are now unemployed and collecting food stamps and other governmental largesse that they paid taxes to support back when they were productive citizens. What’s holding them back is not lack of education, experience, or work ethic, but economic discrimination.
Economic discrimination is the elephant in the living room, nay, a dead and decomposing elephant in the living room. Its previously middle class victims won’t speak of it as there’s a social stigma affixed to being poor because hitherto the chronically unemployed type was a slacker and a troublemaker and the homeless person was the mentally ill fellow on the park bench talking to himself.
Well, not any more. And don’t expect the Romneys and Obamas of the world to deal with economic discrimination either. They are far more interested in providing jobs for people in call centers in India and people entering America illegally from Mexico than about American citizens getting jobs. It’s all about the cheap votes, cheap labor, and corporate profits that buy elections.
What is economic discrimination, you ask? It’s businesses that would rather hire a 20-year-old with a checkered past who can barely read, write, or speak English and exploit him for peanuts than hire a college-educated family man and pay him an honest day’s wage for an honest day’s labor. It’s businesses that won’t hire people who can’t speak Spanish—“bilingual preferred” is how they word it in the classifieds—not because they are an import/export company doing business overseas with Spanish-speaking countries, but because they hire so many Spanish-speaking employees who speak little English. It’s landlords that won’t lease houses and apartments to those potential tenants who can pay the monthly rent simply because unemployment and underemployment has damaged their credit rating.
The last point, as a Levittowner, I find especially disquieting because back in 1947, the Federal Housing Authority strong-armed developers like Levitt & Sons into adding racially discriminatory clauses into their housing contracts until the Supreme Court stepped in and found them unconstitutional.
Today, an engineer or computer technician with a few university degrees, whose credit score is low because his job was outsourced to India and McBurger Friend Taco isn’t hiring the “overqualified” is in the same boat as the African-American family seeking a suburban home back in 1947.
Unfortunately, there are businesses and landlords right here in Levittown that engage in these practices. I boycott them and entreat others to do the same as they do little more than contribute to our community’s deteriorating socioeconomic condition. (Conversely, I frequently promote local businesses supportive of the community.)
Somebody back in the 1980s described the Soviet Union as a “third world country with a first world military capacity.” Indeed, without a thriving and growing middle class, no country can become, or remain, a world power. This economic discrimination has been going on for more than a decade now. The fact that neither Republican or Democratic parties have chosen to address it illustrates the degree to which both are as clueless about the realities of life as the Soviet Communist Party was back in 1990. I suspect that they will join the Soviets in that proverbial rubbish heap of history and our children and grandchildren will struggle to create a new national order.
Thursday, 23 May 2013 00:00
As the budget season drew to a close this week, the Levittown Board of Education did everything in its power to make sure that all residents were fully armed with the correct budget information as they headed to the polls.
Dr. James Grossane, superintendent of schools, went through the most recent budget numbers with attendees at the most recent public meeting on May 14, telling the group that the board decided to go with a 2.98 increase for the 2013-14 school year, within the 2 percent tax cap levy. The district is looking for about $131.9 million from taxpayers for the upcoming school year.
Wednesday, 22 May 2013 00:00
Known throughout the ages for its strong emotional impact upon listeners, the bagpipe has had a prominent place throughout history; innumerable parades throughout America are replete with its unique and stirring sound, and it remains a popular instrument to this very day.
Among the oldest and most-respected players of the bagpipe on Long Island are members of the Amityville American Legion Post #1015 Highland Pipe Band. According to player Joe Heimbauer, the 30-member, all-volunteer bagpipe and drum band is steeped in rich history and time-honored tradition.
Thursday, 23 May 2013 00:00
On a beautiful Tuesday afternoon, Frank DeNunzio sat in the bleachers and watched as his son Anthony prepared to bat for the MacArthur Generals. He closed his eyes for a second and was transported back in time to 1981, and for a brief moment he remembered that once-in-a-lifetime feeling of being a member of the Generals Nassau County Championship baseball team. Suddenly, the crack of the bat jolted his eyes open and he watched his son successfully rip his third hit of the game.
Thursday, 23 May 2013 00:00
Seaford High School’s Varsity Football Team has a long tradition of success on the playing field, but its service off the gridiron also won praise from the Nassau County High School Football Coaches Association (NCHSFCA) this year. The Conference IV regular season undefeated champions and New York State Scholar Athlete team was awarded the first-ever Community Service Award from the organization during the NCHSFCA Grid Iron Dinner.