Friday, August 30, 2013

Missives From Fuckneckville (Back to School Edition)

Fuck the kids. I mean, don't fuck them, but fuck 'em.

At least that's what this contributor to The Buffalo News' Letter to the Editor page thinks.

The following love letter to poor children was submitted by Anthony Pasceri of Buffalo, NY:


The basic idea of this letter is ridiculous enough that I can afford some magnanimity with regard to the underlying racist tones. Mainly because I'm not willing to waste the requisite minutes of my life debunking the imaginary welfare queen archetypes that certainly dance like sugarplums in this fuckneck's head.

Parents are shirking their responsibilities

According to a recent letter, 86 percent of Buffalo students quality for a free or reduced lunch. Would I be wrong in assuming that they are also eligible for food stamps and other public assistance? With so many entitlement and food programs in this country, whose fault would it be if any school-aged child came to school hungry – their parents or their teacher?

How about Supper at School to go along with Breakfast in the Classroom? That way, parents can be absolved of another parental duty. This Breakfast in the Classroom debate is actually much more than another attempt to blame the Buffalo Teachers Federation for a societal ill. It brings to light the biggest problem in our country today: People having children whom they are either unable or unwilling to care for.

Anthony Pasceri


I just made my 'derp face' so hard I think my cheeks might be broken. Maybe that happened because I'm burdened by facts and I know things about stuff. Either way, my fucking cheeks hurt and I feel like I need to make the pain worthwhile.

Let's start by educating ourselves about the cost of running a household, then we'll have a look at which households qualify for this hippie program.

Since this particular missive from fuckneckville was submitted from a major metropolitan area in New York State, we'll do our best to use available numbers for that area. 

Average rent/mortgage expense per year in Buffalo, NY (2 bedrooms) $10,752

Average elecricity usage multiplied by NYS average cost.tHm per year: $2040/year

Average gas bill: $1200/year

So, $13,992 gets you a roof over your head in Western New York, but how do you get to work? 

Right, a car, have to have one of those. Unless you have a pile of cash lying around, the best way to get a car is to finance it. Let's see what the average, smart spending, Buffalonian can afford. Using the accepted 20/4/10 rule, we can find out what folks in the Queen City should be driving, but we're not going to bother since the median Buffalo household income of $30,230/yearly tells us that we can't afford a new car anyway. We'll just assume we drive a shitty rust bucket with no airbags, financed over 6 years at 12% interest. Let's say $240/month plus $100/month in insurance: $4080.

Now, lets say we live in Cheektowaga and work in Hamburg. Not that we'd want to do either, but I digress. That would be roughly 26 miles round trip every day. Let's say your used shitbox car gets 26 mpg in city traffic (it doesn't, but fuck it, right?) So that's a gallon of gas every day at $3.85/gallon working 260 days per year: $1001

So far, we've figured out that it costs the average Buffalonian $19,703.00 per year to be sheltered, employed and single.

Congratulations, single Buffalonian! You're 19k deep before you've even scarfed a cheeseburger. You don't have a girlfriend and your terrible football team has to play the Patriots in Week 1. 

Whatever, Tom Brady and the boys spanked you good and proper, but you left the bar at halftime and went to the library instead where you met the girl of your dreams. You're married now and her dad got you a job renovating dilapidated grain elevators. You're making 15 bucks an hour and hauling in 30k a year like a good average Buffalonian when your wife gets pregnant. The kid shows up nine months later and it's the best day of your life.

Over the next four years, you raise your child right and settle into a simple life. Your wife chooses to stay home with that awesome kid (or maybe you do and she takes over your job...gender roles don't really matter here) it's tough to keep food on the table and make the rent payment, but you and your spouse are responsible and you make it work. One morning, she tells you she's pregnant again. It's a great feeling.

It's about a year later and you've just had your second child. This is also the greatest day of your life. You, your wife and your two kids are a family of four living in Western New York. Money is tight so you demand a raise, your boss bumps you up ten grand a year because you've been a loyal employee.. You do the research and find out it's cheaper for your wife to stay home with the second baby than to put the kid in daycare.

So, you're making $40,000 per year. It's more than the average Buffalo household and a hell of a lot more than what you were raking in five years ago, but now you have to buy health insurance at 12k/ year and feed yourself and three other people. You have to buy diapers for the newborn and clothes for your new kindergartener. You're above average for your area and you still can't make ends meet. 

Wouldn't it be wonderful if your school aged kid could get a midday meal that wouldn't cause you budget worries? What if there was some way to ensure your child was getting proper nutrition during the school-day without causing you budget worries?.

The NYS school lunch program is as follows:

Meal Categories Eligibility
Free meals Income up to 130% of poverty ($28,665 for a family of 4 annually)
Reduced Price ($.25) paid by family Income up to 185% of poverty ($40,793 for a family of 4 annually)
Full price* paid by family Income over 185% of poverty ($40,793 for a family of 4 annually)

So Mr. Pasceri, fuck you and the dinosaur you rode in on. The average Buffalo family of four is hovering just above the poverty line. Wages remain stagnant while that same poverty line creeps ever higher and your execrable letter to the editor does absolutely nothing to solve either of those problems.

So fuck you, and fuck The Buffalo News doubly and sideways for allowing this trash to make the print version of a major metro American Newspaper.

 ...and welcome back to school, kids. Make sure to learn things, and eat a healthy lunch.


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