From the electronic mailbag:

Dear Yuppie Belltownian,

You know who you are—with a popped collar, and the mental capacity of a goldfish—sorry, goldfish.

When you saw me at the art walk you obviously took a look at how I was dressed, and the fact I was spending money, and thought you’d found a like-minded individual. You thought, she’ll totally be impressed by my humorous commentary on the “lazy kiddos at Westlake Plaza.” You explained to me that if the kids spent as much time submitting job applications as setting up encampments that they wouldn’t have to be there.

First, you are an idiot.

Second (and I’m sure given the affectionate way with which I started this correspondence, you will be shocked to learn this), I wholeheartedly disagree.

People are not jobless because they are lazy, or want to be living on the margins of society. In fact, try being poor. Really...

It’s like having a full time job: standing for hours in food bank lines hoping that they don’t run out of resources before your turn, making a dozen phone calls to see who might have winter clothing for your kids, figuring out how to turn the fifty cents you have into $2.50 for a bus ride to a job interview.

I’m surprised it doesn’t make you feel patriotic that people are doing something about it. Finally, Americans are occupying the streets of a country they have a right to occupy: their own.

These are not just the First Hill Freegans evolved from their ex-hippy parents dying for something to stand for, either. These are not the self-titled “Ave Rats” that have rebelled from moneyed families. These are teachers, caregivers, your former neighbor that who was bogged down with one medical bill too many after her car accident, your friend who fell behind on mortgage payments after paying for his brother’s funeral. This is your sister that went to that private liberal arts school she’d dreamed of since the age of 8—the one you encouraged her to attend—and is now haunted by [student loans] every month now that she has her degree.

How did we get like this? When did college start being something you spend years paying off? Did we forget that life sentences were meant for prisoners, not education? When did people start have to start choosing between paying their light bill or paying their rent? Choices like that ruin pretty much anyone’s credit, but if you receive Section 8, a missed payment of either could get you evicted. And then you’re homeless, so... fuck! Yet some people (you) still find it abhorrent that we have entire generations “living off the system.”

You know what, Yuppie B? Many people in Washington State who receive cash assistance from the government actually have jobs. They’re underemployed, or they receive minimum wage, which makes them eligible for these programs. It looks to me like the problem is not people being unmotivated, but instead the lack of access to sufficient wages.

Who is going to run whatever bro-dude corporation you work for with a high-school education? Who is going to buy whatever you’re pushing without the disposable income that comes from employment?

I’d like to make one suggestion. Next time before you open your silver-spoon mouth, read a fucking newspaper.

(well, Tough love,)
Amelia I.