I was listening a debate recently between two Indiana lawmakers and the subject came up regarding “working families”. One said the other’s policies would hurt working families in Indiana. I’ve been hearing that a lot lately. One political party says the other political party’s policies are bad for “working families.” And it’s not just the state level, but “working families” seem to get mentioned a lot by politicians these days.
But in all the shouting and posturing, one thing comes to mind; what exactly is a “working family”? I know for some people the “working family” consists of blue-collar parents or the single mom trying to make ends meet. And anyone who is not a small business owner or uses talents other than physical labor to make a living or is college educated doesn’t fit that definition. My definition of a “working family” is a little more broad than some of my more liberal counterparts.
A “working family” is anyone who has to work for a living. Is a couple that makes $50,000 a year more of a “working family” than one that makes $125,000 a year, but has four children to support? Is a single mom with two kids who makes $35,000 a year more of a “working” person than the Dad who makes $50,000 but has to pay child support?
I think the term “working family” has gotten overused in the current political debate to the point where it has become a cliché. If you have to go to work to make a living, as most of us do, you are a working man, woman, and hermaphrodite, whatever! Working means you go to a job and get paid for services rendered. There’s a difference between you working for your money and your money working for you. The Lovely Mrs. Shabazz and I work very hard to get to that latter category. And while we’re at it, aren’t millionaires part of “working families” too if the millionaire has a company to run to support his or her family?
Let’s just settle this debate right now and say we are “fighting for working families”? We all want “working families” to have better schools? We all want “working families” to keep more of their paychecks? And we all want “working families” to enjoy sunshine, lollipops and rainbows. We can debate over how to best achieve those goals, but I think we all want the same outcome for “working families”. Agreed? I thought so.
Now that that’s settled, next time we’ll focus our attention next time on those “non-working families” that live off the productivity of those who actually work for a living.