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Web Letter

I'm one of millions stuck in this demographic. I live it everyday. My husband and I have three children, two from previous relationships and one we had together. I was the only one in the house who worked because we cannot afford child care for three children. Half-decent child care for that many children would cost at least $1,100 a month! We don't make that much. My husband recently started working a minimum-wage job ($6.25 an hour) to help curb the expenses of Christmas this year. We have tried to work completely opposite shifts, but low-paying jobs like that expect you to be extremely flexible because so many of us in the "missing class" are lined up to take this low-paying job with no benefits, just to keep our electricity on.

We've spent probably 75 percent of the extra money we were counting on for childcare, so we have less time together, less time with our children, for less than an extra $200 a month. All of us in the "missing class" who shouldn't be exercising our divine right to procreate would love to take responsibility for ourselves if we had the same opportunities as everyone else: decent childcare that won't cost as much as a minimum-wage job would pay, healthcare, reproductive care and decent-paying employment.

Now I'm sorry that you haven't had sex in over nine years... but just because your pipes are backed up, that doesn't mean all people who can have sex should be punished for your poor situation. Oh, and if our country would leave women's reproductive rights alone, maybe your tax dollars wouldn't be paying for so many children in the "missing class."

Jennifer Craig

Fayetteville, AR

Nov 26 2007 - 1:57pm

Web Letter

Regarding the author's appearance on NPR this morning to discuss this book:I found myself screaming at the radio today while listening the Diane Rehm show (I normally scream at TV's, not radios) because, like the listener Don who wrote in about the "bleeding hearts," I too find that many of the people in this situation got there through their own choices and we are being asked to pay for their mistakes.

For instance, the woman Renee who called in said she had her third child (the 6-month-old) because she lost her welfare and couldn't pay for birth control pills. And then guest Catherine Newman dared to talk about how "responsible" Renee was being but still found herself trapped in the "missing class." Has Renee ever heard of abstinence when you can't afford a third child? I haven't had sex since my 14-year-old son was 3 years old because we can't afford another child and I can't take any kind of birth control because of vascular problems, and can't afford surgery to have my tubes tied. I am sick to death of people blaming their mistakes on a "system" and then asking other taxpayers to pay for them.

Oh yes, and the S-Chip bill on the Hill in Washington that your bleeding-heart guest Ms. Newman was pushing? She didn't tell you how that is to be funded. They want smokers to pay a 61-cents-a-pack sin tax to pay for that. Why should smokers, who were duped into being hooked on nicotine by the government and the tobacco industry who told them it was "safe and sexy," have to pay for health insurance for other peoples' kids? Besides, with fewer and fewer people smoking these days, that doesn't leave a very big funding pool for the add-ons to the S-Chip health insurance (not to mention their shorter life expectancy and own healthcare costs from lung cancer). And why aren't they sin-taxing the alcoholics to help pay for health insurance for strangers' children? Surely the cost to society in both social problems and health issues from alcoholics is far greater than from smokers... and there are more alcoholics than smokers. Think about that--we're asking a class of people (substance-addicted) who have their own financial problems related to health issues from their addictions to pay for healthcare for children (and children that aren't even theirs! middle class children whose parents both work. The add-ons to the S-Chip program was to include middle class children). This is ludicrous! It's time people start taking responsibility for their own lives, their own children, their own mistakes and stop making excuses for their own poor choices in life.

Martha K.

Hollywood, FL

Oct 1 2007 - 1:07pm

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