As an American with dual citizenship, after the time I've spent living in a largely socialist country - Switzerland - with high taxes (funding, in part, a National Health System) and heavy government regulation, can I just say how nice it is to know if I get injured, sick or *gasp* old, I will not have to forgo treatment or retirement because my taxes have paid for it in advance?
And - icing on the cake - Switzerland recently became the first country where the CEOs of major corporations have their salaries voted on by stockholders? ALL stockholders, not just the powerful trading houses.
I love America with all my heart and choose to live here because of it's wonderful culture and tradition of acceptance, but it would be nice to feel, as a single woman in my 30s living just above the poverty line, a real sense of security, and not just a paycheck away from disaster.
Regulation takes care of the little guy, and all people who consider themselves 'Christians' should actively support legislation to protect the poor and weak.
Ah, the great pre-summer move out: downtown neighborhood streets suddenly have a dearth of parking spaces, late-nite weekend noise violations in residential districts drop 75%, and my car can more-or-less be safely parked without it's bimonthly hit-and-run incident.
And lets not forget the broken furniture and trash that line the curb for as far as the eye can see...
What about Bluestein's? According to the date on the building, it's been there since the turn of the last century.
Having lived/worked here in SC for most of my adult life, I figured I should see what's going on.
So I went on the website, filled in all the info, and it gave me an error message that suggested I call the number above. I did. After waiting 15 minutes on hold, I then spoke to a very nice person (probably in India, from the sound of things) who, after an intense bout of repeatedly explaining the error message, gave me the number for Experian, their parent company.
That number had no options to speak with an actual human being to explain my predicament, so I had to try and find a number on their website that worked. I got lucky with attempt number 3, and after explaining (3 times) to the very nice person (also in India) what his predecessors had told me, he got a supervisor, who told me they'd had quite a few calls of this nature, and to go to www.idtheft.gov, so I could look up my SSN and see if it had been compromised.
On a secure, government website.
So I did.
And - OF COURSE - there isn't a single option to check the sanctity of your SSN, nor is there a way to email or contact anyone associated with said site that isn't a.) a random pdf or b.) a broken link.
So 3 websites, 5 phonecalls and an hour later, I still don't know if I'm a casualty of de-regulation.
All because I've dutifully paid my taxes for the past 14 years...
Reminds me of a City Council meeting I recently attended - among other things on the docket was an amendment to the relocation of the historic Dereef Park Praise House (a clapboard Reconstruction-Era meeting place for former slaves) in the historically black section of Elliottsborough.
Addressed at the same meeting, oddly enough, was the propsed sale of St. Andrew's Lutheran Church (a lovely - if grandiose - neo-classical building on Wentworth) for purpose as a private home.
The handful of Dereef supporters stood up and tried to persuade Council Members of the value of the doomed Dereef Park and it's church, who tolerated the waste of their time with obvious boredom.
When the St. Andrews issue hit the Council, however, no less than 3 Council Members stood up to comment and try to work out a deal, and Mayor Riley gave a 10-minute impassioned speech on the history of the church, giving particular emphasis to the fact that his grandmother had been amongst its constituents.
My take-away from this?
Try mess with a more-or-less white person's church (on the right side of town, no less), and City Council and every news organization within 5 counties gets involved.
Mess with a black church (oddly enough, also approved for sale as a single-family home) and you can't even buy any interest.
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