Showing posts with label Upworthy. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Upworthy. Show all posts

Thursday, 14 February 2019

Michelle Obama shared how her mom keeps her humble, and people are loving it.

This text exchange between the former First Lady and her mom is the best thing you'll see today.

People adore Michelle Obama because she is smart and dignified, yet incredibly down to earth. She's the kind of person you want to sit and chat with over coffee for hours (before begging her to take you home and adopt you, perhaps).

It's social media posts like this one that make people adore her realness—a quality she clearly gets from her mama. In an Instagram post captioned "When your mom doesn't think you're a 'real' celebrity...," Obama shared a text exchange with her mom after her surprise appearance at the Grammy Awards.

"I guess you were a hit at the Grammys," her mom texted with a smiley emoji.

"I'm sitting here with Valerie, and this text is so typically you," Obama responded. "Did you watch it?!"

"I saw it because Gracie called me," quipped her mom. (Translated from mom language, that's "Why did I have to find out from someone else that my own daughter was on a huge awards show, hmm?")

Then she threw the best Mom Shade ever: "Did you meet any of the real stars or did you run right after you were done."

Ouch, Mom. Ouch.

The woman who changed your diapers and endured your pre-teen nonsense gets to call your stardom into question—even when you're Michelle Obama.

Michelle Obama is one of the most recognized women on the planet. She was named the Most Admired Woman by a Gallup poll last year. She lived in the White House alongside the leader of the free world for eight years straight. There's a reason people went ballistic when she showed up on stage at the Grammys.

But Obama's mama's gonna mama, just like everyone else's. And she made sure her superstar daughter wasn't getting too full of herself by teasing her about not being a "real star."

Obama then tried to tell her mom that she had told her she was going to be on the show, but that got shut down real quick too. "No you did not," her mom texted. "I would have remembered that even though I don't remember much."

Classic mom move. Nothing Obama can say to that but, "I thought I told you."

But the best part was her mom's one word response to Obama saying that she was a "real star."

Gotta hand it to Michelle—she tried.

"And I am a real star...by the way..." she said to her mom. And then her mama responded with one glorious, show-stopping word:

"Yeah."

BWAAHAHHHAHAAAA!

This will never not be amazing. The post has more than 2 million likes and tens of thousands of comments of people who recognize their own mothers in these texts.

Nobody can put you in your place faster than your mama, and we love M.O. for sharing a glimpse into her hilariously real exchange with hers.



from Upworthy https://u.pw/2WYSTdS

KFC demoted an employee for wanting to pump at work. She just won a $1.5 million lawsuit against them.

Women have been re-entering the workforce after giving birth for decades now. You would think that employers would know how to treat new moms back on the job, but apparently some people still have a lot of learning to do.

When Autumn Lampkins was hired to be an assistant manager at a Delaware Kentucky Fried Chicken just months after giving birth, she was told her new job wouldn’t interfere with her need to pump breastmilk. Instead, it did nothing but interfere.

Lampkins claimed the KFC outlet gave her a hard time for wanting (and let’s face it, needing) to pump breast milk during her working hours.

Lampkins filed a lawsuit against her former employer, stating she was demoted over it.

Now, the fast food franchise must fork over $1.5 million to their former employee.

The lawsuit claimed Lampkins’ co-workers and supervisor made it so hard for her to pump milk during her shifts that her milk supply dried up.

As a result, Lampkins experienced pain and had to switch her baby to formula sooner than she had planned. Lampkins was only able to pump once per 10-hour training shift, a far cry from medical recommendations.  Generally, women are advised to pump once every two hours.

The lawsuit also claimed that she didn’t have a private place to pump. Her options were to pump in a single-stall employee bathroom or in the manager’s office, which had a surveillance camera that they were not able to turn off. Sorry, wasn’t there a recent controversy because women were being shamed for wanting to breastfeed in public? Now we’re shaming women for wanting to pump in privacy? Is there no way to feed your baby in peace?

To make matters worse, Lampkins was demoted at the end of it all.

When Lampkins finished her assistant-manager training, she was moved to a different store and demoted to shift supervisor. “This was a demotion and not at Ms. Lampkins’ request,” says the lawsuit. “[Her boss] explicitly told Ms. Lampkins that her demotion to shift supervisor was because she was pumping breast milk while at work.”

What. The. What.

At the new store, Lampkins’ co-workers complained that she got special “breaks” so she could pump, and even threatened to walk out. As if having to pump breast milk is a privilege, not something that is a necessary part of going back to work after giving birth.

A jury deemed the work environment to be hostile, and found evidence of workplace discrimination. Lampkins was awarded $25,000 in compensatory damages and $1.5 million in punitive damages. “It’s a great day for women’s rights. The jury sent a message that employers cannot treat lactating women differently in the workplace,” said Patrick Gallagher, one of Lampkins’ attorneys.

Working 10-hour shifts while tending to a newborn is hard enough.

Lampkins shouldn’t have been given a hard time for having needs that are completely normal and natural on top of it. Pumping breast milk is a vital part of the process when women re-enter the workforce after giving birth. Kudos to Lampkins for standing up for her rights!



from Upworthy https://u.pw/2S1cgiI

A husband caring for his sick wife and 3 other stories on what caregiving is really like.

Being a caregiver is one of the hardest jobs in the world.

Photo by Jaddy Liu on Unsplash

Whether it's your profession, calling, or you're rising to the challenge for a loved one, there's no denying that taking care of another person full-time is an important and often unsung job. The work is mainly done behind-the-scenes, and as many caregivers will take you, most people don't take the time to ask "How are you?" or "Is there something I can do for you?" They see caregivers as unflappable. That means the humanity is sometimes a little lost.

But what's it really like to be a full-time caregiver? That's a question best answered by the people who've been there working tirelessly to make someone else's life more manageable and all around better.

We asked four people about the challenges, the rewards, and what they've learned. Here's what they want the world to know.

Taking care of her grandmother taught MaryEllen to see her family and herself in a new light.

Photo by Damir Bosnjak on Unsplash

When MaryEllen was 25, her grandmother's health began to decline. So MaryEllen moved in so she could take care of her during the day and work outside the home at night. She made sure her grandmother took her medication, drove her to appointments, cooked for her, and made sure that she stuck to her low-sodium diet.

All aspects of her caregiving job were difficult, but for MaryEllen, the hardest thing was taking care of someone who had taken care of her when she was young. "I saw her as more than just my Nana, but as the smart woman who was slowly losing her independence," says MaryEllen.

However, MaryEllen found a great way to deal with these feelings — humor. "Nana was fond of saying inappropriate things. When it's really hard, you just have to laugh."

Though caring for her grandmother was tiring — even with her mother and aunts helping — it gave MaryEllen a new perspective. "Caring for someone is the hardest best thing you can do. I got to know my nana beyond her role as a mother, wife, and grandmother. I got to see my mom in  a different light: as a daughter losing her mother." And MaryEllen's mother, MaryEllen says, started seeing her as an adult.  

Most importantly, caring for her grandma gave MaryEllen strength. "I discovered a new respect for myself," she says.

Mia is the parent of two special-needs girls. Taking care of them taught her to take care of herself, too.

When her twin daughters were born prematurely, Mia's life changed forever. Her daughters, who are now two, live with cardiac and pulmonary problems. Even though all moms are expected to be on 24/7, this was something completely different.

"Caregiving is relentless and the tasks are never-ending," writes Mia in an email. "It's cliche to say that caregivers forget to take care of themselves but it is really true."

While Mia believes that the caregiving she does has endowed her with leadership skills that help her advocate for both herself and her children, she stresses that in order to be effective, she needs to practice self-care.

"Make a special effort to do something just for you and hold onto that for dear life," she writes. "This can be a hobby or a career — it's so important that you have an outlet that has little to do with your caregiving responsibilities."

That means going above and beyond to protect her energy as much as possible. Mia stresses getting enough sleep (a priority that often gets overlooked), eating good, healthy food, and moving around. But perhaps most importantly, she says you shouldn't be afraid to lean on your support network.

"Be fastidious in caregiving for yourself and it will reap rewards in your ability to care for others," she notes.

Taking care of her step-father taught Nora about a strength she didn't know she had.

Photo by Yannis A on Unsplash

Nora became the primary caregiver for her step-father, Antonio, after he suffered a stroke in 2016. It was a role she hadn't planned to take on, so at first she struggled in ways she'd never known before.

"I remember the first holiday when I was left alone at home with him and my mom, I would cry over everything," writes Nora in an email. She'd been given crash courses in how to feed and clean her step-dad when he'd left the hospital, but she was in such a state of shock that she couldn't remember any of it.

"I felt like I was carrying the weight of the world on my shoulders."

Caring for her parent meant Nora had to choose between helping him and taking on other work.  While she and her mother have additional caregivers helping them, Nora bears much of the responsibility. She cooks for her step-dad, keeps him company, and makes sure that he's safe and comfortable. Unsurprisingly, she sometimes experiences a great deal of stress and burnout. However, after two years into it, she's also thriving.

"I've stopped struggling with all the new information I've had to take in: I can change diapers, I can clean a person, I can do many things that never in my life I thought I could do," says Nora. "I appreciate how grateful my stepdad is for my work, however hard and frustrating some days are."

If there's one thing Nora wants others to know about the difficult job that so many do around the world it's that caregivers need support, too. Sometimes just a "thanks" can help.

"If you know a caregiver, ask them how they are, because it can be a really hard, thankless, and lonely job," she says. "Give praise, thank caregivers, and most of all, think about the fact that maybe one day you will need people who care for you as well. It is more common than what you believe."

Ben saw his role as a full-time caregiver as "bad casting" at first. Now he knows that "love conquers all."

Photo by rawpixel on Unsplash

In 2015, Ben took his wife to the ER after she complained of severe abdominal pain. Tests revealed that she had an inoperable abdominal tumor. While aggressive therapy ultimately destroyed the tumor,  that wasn't the end of Elizabeth's health problems. Right when she started feeling good again, she developed a back problem that's left her immobilized ever since. Treatment hasn't helped.

"I often have to help her get out of a chair and walk her to wherever she needs to go, and be ready twenty-four hours a day," writes Ben in an email. "Until a few months ago, Elizabeth couldn’t even lie in bed — she had to sleep in her leather chair."

While both Ben and his wife are confident she'll get better, for now, she depends on him to get through the day. The couple has been together for 50 years, but Ben's found that his new role has taught him some important life lessons.

"The real stuff I’ve learned and continue to learn is about myself. My selfishness and ability to shut out another’s discomfort when I want to are taking some big hits," he writes. "When I say that Elizabeth is the center of my life it is simply a statement of fact."

"I have to do nearly everything. This is exhausting but one does what is necessary, lazy and selfish or not. Caregiving to a beloved who is incapacitated is a real act of selfless love"

Ben has some advice for anyone who finds themselves in the position of becoming a primary caregiver to your partner: "Remember all your spouse means to you, all she/he has done for you and how much you have benefited from the relationship. You will be a better person from the experience."

No two caregivers do the same job. Each of their stories are unique. It's important to realize, though, that no matter the details, the work these people do is always invaluable.

Provide care around the clock is not easy, but as these stories illustrate, realizing the difference you're making in someone else's life is worth the challenge.



from Upworthy https://u.pw/2WUqBkG

Tuesday, 12 February 2019

Hunter S. Thompson’s advice on finding purpose in life is something everyone should read.

This simple 'test' can help identify potentially abusive partners early in a relationship.

Most abusers don’t start their relationships by hitting their partners. That's why early warning signs are vital to recognize.

I know two women who recently left abusive partners. Both men seemed sweet and likable—even gentle—each time I saw them. Both had some lovely qualities as people and even as partners. And both turned out to be controlling, increasingly abusive partners behind closed doors.

The thing about domestic violence is that most people don't enter into relationships with someone who abuses them from the get go. It's often like the analogy of the frog in boiling water. If you place a frog into a pot of boiling water, it'll jump right out. But if you put it in a cool pot and gradually increase the temperature, the frog won't recognize that it's being slowly cooked until it's too late.

Abuse usually comes on gradually, with plenty of opportunity to manipulate and forgive and justify the water getting warmer. That's why many stay in abusive relationships far longer than they should.

A domestic violence counselor suggests a simple test to help identify potential abusers early in a relationship.

Rob Andrews is a domestic violence counselor in Australia. He told ABC News that he advises people to use what he calls the "No Test" to identify potential red flags early on in a relationship.

"The No Test is basically to watch out for the way your partner responds the first time you change your mind or say no," Andrews said.

"While expressing disappointment is OK, it's not the same as annoyed. Annoyed is 'how dare you,' a sign of ownership or entitlement."

Ownership, entitlement, control—these are red flags that often lead to increasingly abusive behavior. And though women can definitely be abusers, the reality is that women are much more likely to be the victims of domestic violence and male abusers tend to be more dangerous to their partners.

"A lot of the women who will present to services will see themselves as part of the problem," Andrews said. "They'll ask themselves why they're always attracted to abusive men, blame themselves for not being assertive enough, blame themselves for pushing their partner's buttons, causing their anger."

"With the No Test, we're not trying to give women knowledge that they didn't already know," he said, "but when they see it in black and white in front of them like that, they realize they of course have the right to say no, that they aren't to blame."

Andrews describes our patriarchal history as "the nut of the problem."

Andrews said that some people erroneously tell women that they should just be more assertive with their partners, letting them know they won't stand for controlling or abusive behavior, but that's not always the best tack to take.

"Being assertive with a man who's threatening to bash you is not a very good idea," he said. "It almost comes from what I'd call 'deficit thinking,' that somehow these women need to be trained up so that the people won't abuse them. The only person who can stop the abuse is the person who is doing the abusing."

Andrews works with men who are struggling with their own behavior and want to change. He has them think about what kind of man they really want to be and work with them to align their behavior with that vision.

"I hear a lot of people saying how it's so hard for men now, it's all so confusing," he said. "It's very easy to be a man. Just be polite and respectful to people, it's not that difficult really."

"But in saying that," he added, "we are to some extent dealing with 2,000 years of history of women being a second-class citizen. That's the nut of the problem and we've got to keep chipping away at it."



from Upworthy https://u.pw/2WXie7Z

Lady Gaga gave an emotional Grammys speech about mental health we all need to hear.

Lady Gaga used her moment in the Grammy spotlight to plead for mental health awareness and help.

Artists at award shows often grab the opportunity with a large, captive audience to shed light on issues that are important to them. Last night, Lady Gaga used hers to address an issue that's near and dear to her heart.

Lady Gaga, who won three awards at last night's Grammys, gave an emotional speech highlighting the fact that so many people struggle with mental health issues without getting the help they desperately need.  

"I'm so proud to be a part of a movie that addresses mental health issues," she said, referring to her role in "A Star is Born."

"They're so important. A lot of artists deal with that, and we've got to take care of each other."

It's not only artists who struggle with mental health. According to the National Alliance on Mental Heath, 1 in 5 adults in the U.S. experiences a mental illness in any given year. Additionally, 1 in 5 youth aged 13–18 experiences a severe mental disorder at some point during their life.

"If you see somebody that's hurting, don't look away," Gaga continued. "And if you're hurting, even though it might be hard, try to find that bravery within yourself to dive deep and go tell somebody and take them up in your head with you."

The "A Star is Born" star speaks from her own personal experiences with mental illness.

Gaga's character in "A Star is Born" was in a relationship with an alcoholic who struggled with depression and ultimately died by suicide. But the singer-turned-actress superstar has also talked about her own mental illness struggles openly in interviews and other speeches.

In a speech at the SAG-AFTRA Foundation Patron of the Artists Awards in November 2018, Lady Gaga spoke candidly about her experiences with "disassociation and PTSD" and how she finally sought professional help and developed a mental health support team. She said her initial symptoms “later morphed into physical chronic pain, fibromyalgia, panic attacks, acute trauma responses, and debilitating mental spirals that have included suicidal ideation and masochistic behavior.”

“We need to bring mental health into the light," she said. "We need to share our stories so that global mental health no longer resides and festers in the darkness.”

Celebrities raising awareness can help remove the stigma that often accompanies mental illness.

Many people who struggle with mental health issues don't seek help because of the stigma surrounding mental illness. They may worry that people will think they're "crazy" or weak. They may worry that they will be discriminated against if they share their health problems openly.

But bringing mental health out of the shadows is really the only way to battle the stigma. When people share what they've been through and how they're managing their mental health issues, it helps people feel more comfortable seeking help. Thanks to Lady Gaga for continually bringing these issues into the light.

Watch her emotional award speech here:



from Upworthy https://u.pw/2RSjrtH

Jeff Bezos exposing the Enquirer's attempt to blackmail him was good and right. But everything else about the story is so, so wrong.

Apparently 2019 is on a mission to outdo the past two years on the "How is this real life?" front.

If you've missed the big news this week, the National Enquirer tried to blackmail and extort Jeff Bezos with embarrassing photos, but Bezos published their threats in a blog post instead. But that's really not the whole story, because that's simply not absurd enough for this day and age.

The biggest headline in America right now is that the richest man in the world, worth an estimated $137 billion, is being blackmailed by the most ludicrous and illegitimate tabloid paper because they got a hold of his dick pics. That's an actual news story.

And that's not all. The publisher of this ludicrous and illegitimate tabloid, whose unbelievable name is David Pecker, has a special relationship with Donald Trump—the philandering billionaire reality TV star who also happens to be the President of the United States.

You can't write this stuff. Seriously, if I had sent this storyline as a book proposal to a publisher five years ago, I'd have been laughed out of the writing business. And yet, here we are. Welcome to 2019.

I don't understand why we're not all running around and screaming, "THIS IS NOT NORMAL!"

I'm not sure where to start with how bonkers literally everything about this is. Since I'm not quite ready to take on Jeff Bezos' pants tent yet, let's take a look at what $137 billion actually is instead.

There's rich, then there's filthy rich—and then there's Jeff Bezos. I mean, good for Bezos for building up a business from scratch in his garage (yay, capitalism!), but wealth hoarding in a world where billions of people struggle to put food on the table is obscene. And make no mistake, anyone worth $137 billion is a big ol' hoarding hoarder.

To illustrate, if you did nothing but count dollars for 16 hours a day, guess how long it would take to count $137 billion. Just guess.

Did you guess somewhere in the vicinity of 33,000 years? If not, you'd be dead wrong. Most of us have no concept of how large even one billion actually is. And while wealth isn't bad, that extreme amount of wealth is obscene, especially when your own employees pee in bottles and live in fear in the workplace.

Now that that's out of the way, back to the story of Jeff Bezos' junk pics.

Bezos exposing the National Enquirer's attempt to blackmail him was good and right. But everything else about the story is so, so wrong.

Bezos is being hailed a "hero of democracy" for taking on the all-powerful tabloid and not giving in to extortion attempts. And yes, good on him. But the fact that Bezos was cheating on his wife seems to be getting lost in the "He's a hero!" narrative.

Of course, rich and powerful men have been unfaithful throughout history. But should we just accept that as normal? Perhaps we have no choice in an era where my 10-year-old son can click a button and listen to the President of the United States say he "tried to f*ck" a married woman and that he can grab women "by the p*ssy." Good times, America!

And how about this absurd little tidbit: The letter threatening to publish Bezos' private photos if he didn't make the statement they wanted him to make came from the National Enquirer's lawyer. And the way it's written makes it sound like a legally binding contract. Seriously? Aren't these shady threats supposed to take place in a seedy bar someplace? If we have to be living in a badly written crime story, at least give us the level of drama we expect—and frankly, deserve—at this point.

I don't know, y'all. Everything has become so bizarre and dumb and surreal. Forgive me if I don't have the will or energy to cheer on a billionaire adulterer's spat with another billionaire adulterer, both of whom are embroiled with a gossip tabloid run by a man who makes his millions selling salacious stories about celebrities.

We don't have to keep living like this, America. We can do better, even if it is 2019. I promise we can.



from Upworthy https://u.pw/2WXhWxV

Turns out almost everyone loved that 'controversial' Gillette ad about toxic masculinity.

(Ad photo via Procter & Gamble Co.)

The social media outrage index isn’t a very accurate way judging how everyday Americans feel about events in the news.

Social media platforms, like Twitter and Facebook, are great places for the most closed-minded, opinionated, thin-skinned, and angriest among us to vent their frustrations.

But, while those people are foaming at the mouth, most people are going about their day, worrying about making ends meet and thinking about how to care for their families and friends.

They’re probably happier, too.

If you were on Twitter in the weeks before the Super Bowl you probably would have thought conservatives everywhere were irate over the “controversial” Gillette “Best Men Can Be” advertisement.

The nearly two-minute digital ad opens with a montage of news reports on bullying, #MeToo, and toxic masculinity and then frames the current moment as a turning point in which men can choose to be better while still being men.

It seems these folks incorrectly conflated the term “toxic masculinity” to mean “masculinity as a whole” and started #gilletteboycott. Here’s a nice explainer on toxic masculinity for those unfamiliar with the term.

However, all that hollering on social media wasn’t indicative of how the average American thought about Gillette after seeing the ad. In fact, studies show that Americans are smart enough to know the difference between toxic masculinity and masculinity in-general and liked the ad.

Morning Consult's research team found the following:

  • Before watching the ad, 42% of consumers said they agreed Gillette “shared their values.” After watching, that figure increased to 71%.
  • 65% said the ad made them more or much more likely to purchase Gillette.
  • 84% of women and 77% of men responded positively or neutral to the campaign.

Ace Metrix, an advertising analytics firm, conducted a study and came up with similar results:

  • 65% of viewers indicated the Gillette ad made them more/much more likely to purchase from the brand.
  • 66% rated the message to be the single best thing about the ad.
  • Only 8% of viewers were turned off, reporting they were less/much less likely to purchase after watching the ad.

“These results suggest that (once again) the naysayers on social media do not necessarily represent the majority opinion,” Ace Metrix wrote, “and that consumers overwhelmingly support and applaud the messaging in Gillette’s new ‘The Best Men Can Be’ creative.”

To look at things from a business perspective, Gillette is a brand worth over $17 billion, it obviously did its research before releasing an ad that may turn off some consumers.

The brand has been facing stiff competition from brands like Harry’s and Dollar Shave Club, so the ad was a great way to appeal to younger shavers — customers the brand hopes to win over for life. To do so, the brand took the risk of offending some older, more conservative consumers, who present less lifetime value to the brand.

In the end, a razor is just a razor, but by attaching values to its product and taking a side in the culture wars, Gillette believes it can sell more razors because they know people want more than just a close shave, but an identity, too.



from Upworthy https://u.pw/2MXvq8r

Meghan Markle and Prince Harry just delivered a very personal and positive message to sex workers.

Photo by Toby Melville/Getty Images

Meghan Markle and Prince Harry stopped by the charity One25 unannounced in Bristol where Markle and Prince Harry got to work helping pack lunches meant to be distributed to sex workers.

As part of its larger set of initiatives, One25 provides 150 sex workers with food bags on a nightly basis.

Markle Spontaneously asked for a magic marker and began to scrawl inspirational messages on the bananas. "Do you have a sharpie?" Markle says in a video of the day. "I have an idea."

“I’m in charge of the banana messaging,” Markle can be heard saying in a videoTweeted out by Kensington Palace, as she wrote supportive words such as "You are strong,""You are brave," "You are special," and "You are loved” over the fruit.

In a brilliant and heart warming move, Markle took inspiration from an American school lunch program.

According to DailyMail’s Rebecca English, Markle said, "I saw this project this woman had started somewhere in the States on a school lunch program. On each of the bananas she wrote an affirmation, to make the kids feel really, like, empowered. It was the most incredible idea—this small gesture.”

One25 helps women “break free from street sex work, addiction, and other life-controlling issues and build new, independent lives."

“Our approach to giving unconditional love and support is what builds trust — and how that works and helps them move on,” Smith told People. “At the bottom of all this is self-esteem and self-worth for the women who may have come from a background of being sexually abused or a life in care and where their families don’t support them in the way they should.”

Smith said of Markle’s gesture:  “To be told by someone in the public eye that they are worth it and that they value what they’ve said and done is a massive part of that process,” said Smith.

Although the messages weren’t directed towards the volunteers at One25, the volunteers were still touched by Markle’s words. "It sounds really cheesy, but little things like that when you are out, especially tonight, just to get that little thing that Meghan took her time out to write that one, it's lush,” one of the volunteers told Hello.

Markle’s supportive words got a ton of support on Twitter as well.



from Upworthy https://u.pw/2WXhSyb

Trump’s plan to ‘lower drug costs’ is a bait-and-switch that leaves seniors paying more.

On Thursday, January 31, the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) led by Secretary Alex Azar, announced a proposal that will have the biggest impact on the American healthcare system since the Affordable Care Act passed in 2010.

The Trump Administration aims to lower drug prices for recipients of Medicare and other government programs by banning drug makers from paying rebates to pharmacy benefits middlemen known as PBMs.

Ironically, Azar is the former president of Lilly USA, a pharmaceutical company that has been criticized for raising its prices. During his decade with Lilly, the company notoriously tripled the price of insulin.

Unfortunately for seniors, the new policy is a huge bait and switch that leaves most paying more — a fact the HHS admits in its own report.

THE BAIT

The HHS claims that its new policy will lower out-of-pocket drug costs from 9 to 14%.

“This proposal has the potential to be the most significant change in how Americans’ drugs are priced at the pharmacy counter, ever, and finally ease the burden of the sticker shock that millions of Americans experience every month for the drugs they need,” Azar said in a statement.

But are PBMs really the price gouging bogeymen the HHS claims them to be?

According to Forbes’ Policy Editor Avik Roy, the attack on PBMs for high drug prices is “balderdash” — a classy term for "bullshit" — and a PR strategy cooked up by drug companies to shift the blame for their high prices.  

THE SWITCH

While the Administration has been touting the over-the-counter cost savings of its new proposal, they’ve been quiet about the increase in premiums for Medicare drug plans the proposal will create.

Health insurance companies work with PBMs because they do an effective job at keeping their prices down by providing patients with medications at the lowest possible price. So without these protections, insurance premiums for Medicare drug plans will rise.

Over 77% of people on Medicare are also enrolled in a prescription drug Part D plan and, according to Bloomberg, premiums for Medicare drug plans under the proposal could increase anywhere from 8% to 22%.

The HHS admits in its own report that 70% of Medicare part D users will pay more after the new policy.

However, the authors of the report spun it as a positive.

“An estimated 30% of Part D beneficiaries have drug costs high enough that their out-of-pocket savings will likely exceed any premium changes,” the report reads.

That means 70% of Part D beneficiaries will pay more for insurance premium increases than they will save from the potential drop in drug prices.

“The majority of Medicare beneficiaries will see their premiums and total out-of-pocket costs increase if this proposal is finalized,” House of Representatives Ways & Means Committee Chairman Richard Neal of Massachusetts and Energy and Commerce Committee Chairman Frank Pallone of New Jersey said in a joint statement. “We are concerned that this is not the right approach.”

The proposal has zero protections against drug manufacturers raising their prices.

“Azar said Friday that the rule would deprive drug makers of an excuse for not lowering list prices. But the rule says manufacturers could reset their pricing strategies,” Bloomberg said.

Peter Bach, director of the Memorial Sloan Kettering Center for Health Policy and Outcomes, told Politico that drug makers don’t increase their prices due to PBM rebates, but “to increase their revenues.”

“From the start, the focus on rebates has been a distraction from the real issue,” Matt Eyles, president and CEO of America’s Health Insurance Plans, told Politico. “The problem is price. Manufacturers have complete control over how drug prices are set. Already this year, more than three dozen drug makers have raised their prices on hundreds of medications.”

IT'S HARD TO TRUST THE TRUMP ADMINISTRATION ON HEALTHCARE

While running for president in 2016, Donald Trump promised voters that his Affordable Care Act repeal-and-replace bill would provide insurance for everyone. “There was a philosophy in some circles that if you can’t pay for it, you don’t get it. That’s not going to happen with us," he said.

Instead, the proposal would have caused 14 million people to lose their healthcare immediately and another 10 million people to lose it over the next decade.

Luckily, it failed to pass the Senate.

In October 2018, the Trump Administration imposed new rules to make it easier for insurance providers to discriminate against sick consumers. While on the same day, he told supporters at a Philadelphia rally, “We will always protect Americans with preexisting conditions.”

WHAT HAPPENS NEXT?

The new rule includes a 60-day period for public comment. The new protections could go into effect as soon as that period passes.

It's unlikely that this proposal will affect working Americans' healthcare in the near future because it has been criticized by two committees overseeing healthcare in the Democrat-controlled House.



from Upworthy https://u.pw/2WUcDPO

Pixar's new short film makes a bold statement about toxic masculinity in the workplace.

Pixar just dropped the first film in its new SparkShorts program, and the film tackles an issue we’ve never seen discussed in a Pixar film – toxic masculinity.

Its message of gender diversity and inclusion is just as inspirational as what we’re used to seeing from the studio.  

Purl, written and directed by Kristen Lester and produced by Gillian Libbert-Duncan, follows a pink ball of yarn on her first day of work at B.R.O. Capital.

The titular character starts out her day optimistic and eager to do her best, but is quickly worn down by her inability to fit in with the all-male office culture.

Purl finds herself with doors literally slammed in her face and forced to conform to the norm (and lose her femininity) in order to succeed at her job. It’s a story that’s all too familiar for many women in the workforce.

Purl is much more adult than Pixar’s normal fare. The film contains a few slightly off-color office jokes and language not appropriate for children, or offices, for that matter. But the film has an important message children should be learning from a young age. Gender diversity in the workplace is, indeed, a happy ending.

The film comes from a personal place for Lester, as Purl’s experiences follow her own. “It’s based on my experience being in animation,” Lester says in Pixar’s meet-the-filmmakers video. “My first job, I was like the only woman in the room, and so in order to do the thing that I loved, I sort of became one of the guys. And then I came to Pixar and I started to work on teams with women for the first time, and that actually made me realize how much of the female aspect of myself I had sort of buried and left behind.”

Lester’s experience isn’t unique. “When Kristen came to me and said, ‘This is a story that I want to tell,’ I looked at her and I said, ‘Oh my gosh, I have lived the exact same thing,’” said Purl producer Libbert-Duncan.

Pixar’s SparkShorts is a more experimental venture for the studio.“The SparkShorts program is designed to discover new storytellers, explore new storytelling techniques, and experiment with new production workflows,” said Jim Morris, president of Pixar Animation Studios. “These films are unlike anything we’ve ever done at Pixar, providing an opportunity to unlock the potential of individual artists and their inventive filmmaking approaches on a smaller scale than our normal fare.”

We can expect films Smash an Grab on February 11thand Kitbull on February 18th. It seems like we can expect more positive messages as well.“Diversity and inclusion are at the heart of SparkShorts,” said Lindsey Collins, vice president of development for Pixar. “The program was created to provide opportunities to a wide array of artists—each with something unique to say.” We’re ready to listen!



from Upworthy https://u.pw/2SqTnLr

Sunday, 10 February 2019

Solving world hunger is complicated. This brilliant solution is one we haven't seen yet.

Would you eat food grown on top of a landfill? Your first reaction may not be the right one.

Right now, you're probably feeling a little grossed out. Who could ever imagine that food grown on top of a dump could be edible?

But here's something even more sobering to consider: one in eight Americans struggle with food insecurity.

Food deserts are a huge contributor to that statistic. These are remote places (often rural) where local produce isn't readily available. Few grocery stores sell fresh food there, they don't have farmer's markets (something many of us are used to in metropolitan areas) or community vegetable gardens.

That's where Joy Youwakim comes in. She discovered an innovative approach to growing produce while she was a senior at The University of Texas at Austin which could help solve the problem of food deserts across America (and maybe the world). And yes, it involves landfills.

There's no denying we need to change the way we grow food, and we have to do it quickly. Produce grown on landfills may be a solution.

Joy Youwakim. Photo courtesy of General Mills.

Youwakim's worked hard to create ideas for sustainable agriculture that will feed as many people as cost-effectively and efficiently as possible.

The idea to grow food on top of a landfill came to her when she spent a summer working with the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality. When a colleague showed her an image of a local landfill, she was surprised by its appearance — it looked more like a dirt hill than the piles and piles of garbage that we often see at the local dump. Her first thought was unorthodox to say the least: "We could grow food on top of it."

The response she got from her professors wasn't encouraging. In fact, Youwakin's idea was soundly rejected from the beginning. She was told that her project was untenable.

But Youwakim's drive to solve hunger helped her push forward, past the rooms full of "no's."  She spent the next 13 months making phone calls and writing proposals to make her landfill garden dream a reality.

In the end Youwakim was given permission to use the landfill as a test site for growing produce. And, eventually, she was able to harvest lettuce, onions, Calendula flowers, radishes, cantaloupe, cucumbers, bell peppers, and eggplants. Not a bad haul. And when you consider that one landfill (390 acres) is projected to feed up to 32,000 people with 1.7 million pounds of food, her results seemed like a significant step in the right direction.

Today, Youwakim's poised to take her work and education even further. General Mills and their Feeding Better Futures program helped make it possible.

Photo courtesy of General Mills.

In 2017, Youwakim was a finalist in General Mill's Feeding Better Futures Scholars Program, a competition that gives youths aged 13-21 a chance to solve today's most pressing food problems. They're partnering with young adults across North America to support in-action solutions for hunger, food waste, and sustainable agriculture.

Becoming a finalist meant that Youwakim could really propel her work forward. The industry leaders that General Mills connected her to helped her center and focus her motivation. And the money she was awarded allowed her to accept a USDA scholarship to work towards a Master's in Agriculture, Environment and Sustainability studies at UT Rio Grande Valley — something she hadn't been able to consider before.

"Even with the scholarship for Graduate School, I don't think I would have been able to [go] without that financial security," she says.

Youwakim says that it's often hard for younger people to believe they can make a difference. "We think, 'Oh, I just can't. Everything is pre-decided for me,'" she explains. Her project is a testament to that being patently untrue. It's taught her to expect more from herself and push in even when the going gets tough.

"We have a ton of possibilities," she says. "If you're willing to fight for something, if you're willing to make enough phone calls and argue enough for it, it can totally happen, and probably be bigger than you."

Do you have a creative idea like this for ending hunger? General Mills wants to hear from you.

Photo by Bishka Nguyen on Unsplash

If you live in North America, are 13-21, and have a solution to fight hunger, reduce food waste and grow food more sustainably, you could win $50,000 to turn your dreams of affecting change into reality. One grand prize winner will receive the cash scholarship, mentorship from industry leaders, and a chance to present their project at the Aspen Ideas Festival. Two finalists will receive $10,000 to kick start their projects.

There's no question. You're needed in this fight:

"Hunger is very complicated. If hunger was easy to fix, it wouldn't be a problem today. It's really complex and political. It has many layers," says Youwakim.

"If you have an idea, and you want something badly enough, you truly can have it.  It was really just me and the landfill for a while until I applied for the scholarship, and then there was all of this response. It's important to believe in yourself and what you're doing. Everything else will follow."

To learn more about Joy Youwakim's project, check out the video below.



from Upworthy https://u.pw/2DqJ3IK

Friday, 8 February 2019

This 11-year-old who loves to crochet has become a viral phenomenon.

Jonah Larson found a crochet hook in a box of craft supplies when he was five. Six years later, he's a viral crocheting phenom.

The 11-year-old didn't set out to become a crocheting prodigy, but after he found a tutorial on YouTube at age five, he was (pardon the pun) hooked. Since then, he has created countless crochet projects, from scarves to blankets to mermaid "legs" to stuffed octopi, and is showing no signs of slowing down.

Jonah's mother, Jennifer Larson, says that Jonah's hobby comes completely from his own initiative, and he practices it between 4 and 5 hours a day.

“He’s much more fascinated to see what beautiful thing he can make from that string of yarn than playing a video game,” she told the Lacrosse Tribune.

Jonah seems to agree with that assessment. "After a very hard, busy, chaotic day in this busy world with school, he told NPR, "it's just nice to know that I can come home and crochet in my little corner of the house while sitting by the one I love most: my mom."

Jonah has his own Instagram and Etsy shop, where he shares and sells his one-of-a-kind creations.

With his mother's help on the business end of things, Jonah shares his creations on his Instagram account and sells them through his Etsy shop. However, due viral news coverage creating an over-demand of his creations, the shop has been temporarily closed.

As of January 15, Jonah's Instagram account, Jonah Hands, had less than 2500 followers. On February 6, it's up to 53,600 followers—and counting. (It has increased by 2000-plus people just in the time it's taken me to write this article.)

Jennifer has been sharing the news coverage on her Facebook page, where Jonah also adds updates about his projects. Check out the blanket he just whipped up on a snow day:

Hi ๐Ÿ‘‹๐Ÿพ This is Jonah. Here’s what I did with my snow day yesterday. Too cold to go outside ๐Ÿฅถ This blanket was made with my fingers using loop yarn.

Posted by Jenn Larson on Tuesday, January 29, 2019

Jonah sends some of his proceeds back to the orphanage in Ethiopia where he lived as an infant.

Jennifer says that Jonah is learning to manage money and make wise choices with his earnings. He sends some of his profits back to the orphanage in Ethiopia where he lived before he was adopted by the Larsons as an infant.

"He saves some money, he's investing some money and he donates as well," Jennifer told NPR. "So those are things I think are important in life for adults to do, and I'm glad that he can learn that at an early age."

Jonah told NPR that he wants to be a surgeon when he grows up. With the skills he already has as a kid, no doubt he'll have the dexterity and fine motor skills for the job as an adult.

To top it all off, Jonah is just an incredibly sweet kid. Watch this video of him crocheting away while telling us to focus on the good things in the world, and you'll see why he's captured the hearts of so many people.

๐Ÿ‘‹๐Ÿพ Hi, it’s me-Jonah

Posted by Jenn Larson on Sunday, December 30, 2018


from Upworthy https://u.pw/2GgGfBV

Sarah Silverman slams doctor for giving her a creepily inappropriate mammogram.

Husband brilliantly sneaks his dog into the hospital to say goodbye to his wife.

Anyone who owns a dog can attest to the amazing comfort they provide during times of stress or discomfort. Research shows that dogs have a biological effect on us that elevates our levels of oxytocin, which is known as the “love hormone.”

Unfortunately, most of the time, dogs aren't allowed in the place where people need comfort the most: hospitals. Even though evidence suggests that that visiting with a pet while hospitalized improves a patient's mood while reducing their anxiety.

A story shared by Reddit user Mellifluous_Username on the online forum is going viral because of the lengths he and his dog went to to visit his sick wife.

For brevity's sake, we'll refer to Mellifluous_Username as "Mel."

“My wife was in the hospital after a very invasive surgery, which after a few days, looked like it did not produce ideal results," Mel wrote. "The prognosis was not good. She was able to speak, but was not eating or drinking, and relied completely on her IV and hard pain pills. In one rare instance of cogent speech, she convinced me to sneak our dog into her private room, so she could see her ‘one more time.’"

Mel decided he could sneak their 50-pound Austrian Shepherd  into her hospital room by hiding it in a suitcase.

“I packed her in, with the lid unzipped, and placed her in the car until we arrived at the hospital,” Mel wrote. “When we arrived, I ‘explained’ to her that I would open the zipper in a few minutes and that she could see her Mommy."

As they slipped their way through the s hospital wings, the dog was quiet as a cat burglar. When asked about the suitcase, Mel told the nurses that he was bringing “items to make my wife more comfortable.”

“When we entered the room, my wife was asleep,” Mel wrote. “I unzipped the suitcase, and the dog immediately jumped on the bed, and gingerly laid across her chest, somehow avoiding the wires and IV. She positioned herself to where she could look directly into my wife’s eyes, and laid completely still, until about twenty minutes later, when my wife woke up, and started moaning in pain."

“The dog immediately started licking her, and quietly moaned, as if knowing that barking would definitely blow our cover,” Mel wrote.

“My wife hugged her for almost an hour, smiling the whole time," he continued. "We were busted by one nurse who was so touched that she promised not to tell. When my wife finally went back to sleep, I loaded the dog back in the suitcase, and she somewhat sheepishly obliged.”

Mel's wife passed away a few days later, but his dog has yet to learn the sad truth. “Now, whenever I grab the suitcase, the dog thinks we are doing to see her again,” he wrote.



from Upworthy https://u.pw/2Gfa5a3

A 67-year-old man solicited a 13-year-old girl for sex. The judge called her 'an aggressor.'

A 67-year-old man solicited a 13 and 14-year-old to sexually abuse them. Then the judge called the girls "an aggressor."

In a normal world, when a 67-year-old man molests underage girls, he's 100% at fault. In a normal world, when a 67-year-old man pays money to underage girls in order to molest them, he's 100% at fault. He's the adult. He's the one who knows better. He's the one breaking the law and all standards of human decency by soliciting sex with girls who cannot legally consent to it.

But apparently we don't live in a normal world. At least not in the Kansas courtroom where a judge decided that 13- and 14-year-old girls are "aggressors" in the above scenario. That's right. Aggressors.

Raymond Soden pleaded no contest to soliciting a 13-year-old for nude photos and sexual acts through Facebook. He admitted to knowing her age at the time. No contest. He did it.

But Leavenworth County District Judge Michael Gibbens decided that Soden couldn't totally be blamed for being a disgusting perv.

“I do find that the victims in this case, in particular, were more an aggressor than a participant in the criminal conduct,” Gibbens said before Soden's sentencing. “They were certainly selling things monetarily that it’s against the law for even an adult to sell.”

“I think that a 13-year-old who offered what she offered for money is certainly an aggressor," the judge said, per the Kansas City Star, "particularly since she’s the one that had to travel to Mr. Soden.”

I see. So Soden didn't go to the girl's house and force her to perform sexual acts; she traveled to him and he paid her money. Surely that means the 13-year-old minor was basically forcing this 67-year-old man into being a pervy sexual criminal. Got it.

The perpetrator's sentence was reduced to less than half of the state's sentencing guidelines.

Judge Gibbens sentenced Soden to five years and 10 months, almost eight years less than the 13-plus years prosecutors were seeking based on Soden's criminal history. The Star reported that Soden had two prior criminal convictions for battery and sexual battery.

According to Kansas law, a judge has to have “substantial and compelling reasons” to depart from sentencing guidelines. In this case, the judge cited evidence that the young teens had voluntarily gone to Soden's house and taken money for what they did.

The mental gymnastics this judge had to go through to try to justify a 67-year-old's criminal child sex abuse must have pulled a muscle in his brain. That's the only explanation.

The judge is facing harsh criticism for his comments, because there's no other reasonable reaction to have in this case.

The fact that a judge seems oblivious to consent laws in his own state is baffling enough. The age of consent for sex in Kansas is 16, which means that any adult sexual contact with someone under age 16 is sexual abuse or rape.

But beyond the law, isn't this just common sense?

How can a 13-year-old child possibly be considered an "aggressor" when a 67-year-old solicits her for sex?. I don't care if she showed up at his door stark raving naked. I don't care if she suggested it. She is a child. He is an adult. He is the aggressor if any sexual acts take place. Full stop. End of story.

But the judge appears to be convinced that these girls deserve some blame. According to the Star, the judge questioned one girl's statement that she was "uncomfortable" with the sexual contact and doubted that the experience was traumatic for her.

“And so she’s uncomfortable for something she voluntarily went to, voluntarily took her top off of, and was paid for?” Judge Gibbens asked the prosecutor.

“Yes, judge," the prosecutor responded. "She was also a 13-year-old who under our laws can’t consent to anything.”

Judge Gibbens said he understood that, but then added, “I wonder what kind of trauma there really was to this victim under those peculiar circumstances.”

Good gracious. She's a child. He's an adult. She cannot consent. You cannot judge her trauma, Judge Gibbens. You should know better, and the fact that you don't puts a damning stain on our justice system.



from Upworthy https://u.pw/2TAQnsl

Wednesday, 6 February 2019

Celine Dion shut down haters criticizing her weight loss in the most casual way.

STEPHANE DE SAKUTIN/AFP/Getty Images

Celine Dion is living her best life and DGAF what other people have to say about it.

The singer, will turn 51 in March, was recently spotted at sporting a slimmer frame at Paris Fashion Week, prompting fans to call her out for it on social media.

“Hello Celine I worry, I too lost weight, but please eat, enjoy it and you will look even more greater than how you are right now..." posted one fan.

"Fantastic my dear as usual. But I’m a little worried bout’ your health, sometimes you look too much skinny and weak. And tired. Are you ok, hunny?"posted another. But Dion thinks that if you don’t have anything nice to say, you shouldn’t say anything at all.

Dion refuses to be skinny shamed. Instead, she insists her appearance is just Celine doing Celine, and if you don’t like it, then tough.

“If I like it, I don’t want to talk about it. Don’t bother. Don’t take a picture. If you like it, I’ll be there. If you don’t, leave me alone,” said Dion when she recently spoke to Dan Wooten in an interview with TheSun regarding the comments about her figure. Dion certainly knows the high road is the best road.

Body shaming is body shaming, no matter what someone’s weight is.

And if fans are legitimately worried that something is wrong with Dion, calling her out on social media isn’t going to solve the problem.

Nobody needs to be told they should eat something, and nobody should be called out for their dress size, regardless of what size they wear.

FRANCOIS GUILLOT/AFP/Getty Images

Dion has also been rocking bolder, sexier fashion choices, which has also brought out the haters. But Dion says she’s just wearing what makes her“feel attractive,” and we’re here for it.

"The way that we used to work before was more conservative. I'm doing this for me. I want to feel strong, beautiful, feminine and sexy,” said Dion. Dion has also recently launched a gender-neutral children’s clothing line, which she says hopes will “encourage a dialogue of equality and possibility.”

At half a century old, Dion says she’s “having a second wind,” proving that getting older doesn’t mean you have to stop living.  “I feel that now I have a voice, which is kinda weird as that’s whatI’ve been doing all my life — using my voice, but in singing and performing,” Dionhas said. “But I use my voice as well for things that I choose I want to do and things that I say to my team I don’t want to do.” Truly an inspiration!



from Upworthy https://u.pw/2Gr1K2j

A guy tried to mansplain why women should not dye their hair. It blew up in his face.

Disney will hold its first official Pride event this year because the Happiest Place on Earth is for everyone.

Photo by Tony Ranze/Getty Images

This summer, the Happiest Place on Earth will get a lot more inclusive… and magical.

Disney will host the theme park’s first-ever official Pride event at Disneyland Paris on June 1st, the first day of Pride Month. The Magical Pride Party, as it is known as, will welcome members of the LGBTQ community and friends, encouraging patrons to, according to their website, “Dress like a dream, feel fabulous and experience Walt Disney Studios Park like never before – loud, proud and alive with all the colours of the rainbow.”

The first unofficial Magic Pride event took place in Paris in 2014, but now Disney has taken over due to its popularity.

The Magic Pride Party will include dance parties, live performances, late night access to the park, and a pride parade called Magical March of Diversity Parade. Popular Disney characters will be “out and about” as well. Special packages are available for members of the LGBTQ community and their friends and family.

Unofficially, Disneyworld and Disneyland have had Gay Days since in the 1990s, but there has never been an officially sanctioned LGBTQ event until now.

Gay Days Anaheim is held in October, while Gay Days Orlando is held in August. The first event took place in 1991, when approximately 3,000 gays and lesbians attended Disneyworld wearing red shirts to make their presence known. It has since grown to a six-day event drawing nearly 180,000 people.

Disney has stated that inclusion is important to the company.

“Diversity and equality are strong values at Disneyland Paris, and each year, we host millions of visitors regardless of their origins, gender or sexual orientation,” a Walt Disney spokesperson told NBC News. “We are committed to fostering a welcoming environment for all of our Guests where magic is for everyone.”

Last year, Disney began selling a rainbow version of their iconic Mickey Mouse ears. In 2007, Disney allowed same-sex couples to marry at Cinderella’s castle.

Their Fairy Tale Wedding program had only been open to couples who had a valid marriage license. At the time, same-sex marriage was not legal, but Disney allowed those couples to marry regardless. "We believe this change is consistent with Disney's long-standing policy of welcoming every guest in an inclusive environment," Disney Parks and Resorts spokesman Donn Walker told CBS News of the decision. "We want everyone who comes to celebrate a special occasion at Disney to feel welcome and respected."

Disney has been known for making magic, but the Magical Pride Party is taking it to a whole new level! Bienvenue ร  Paris!



from Upworthy https://u.pw/2GocNJk

This debate over the minimum-wage is going viral after a blunt commenter set the record straight.

A Facebook discussion is going viral because of the blunt way a commenter set the record straight about minimum-wage workers.

The post, which can be found on the r/MurderedBywords subreddit, is the perfect reaction to someone making the popular, but incorrect, assumption that minimum-wage jobs are intended for teenagers.

It started with a commenter committing the "burger-flipper" fallacy.

“I have no problem with wage increases, but I don’t really believe you should be able to make house payments flipping burgers and bagging groceries. Those jobs are meant to be teens first jobs to make some money and learn responsibilities, not create careers.”

The “Murderer,” as they are known on the subreddit, fired back with the original goal of the Labor Standards Act as stated by President Franklin Roosevelt in 1933:

“No business which depends for existence on paying less than living wages to its workers has any right to continue in the country.” and “By living wages I mean more than a bare subsistence level — I mean the wages of decent living.”

He then went into detail about the backbreaking work minimum-wage workers endure in one of America’s most dangerous industries: fast food.

“It WAS intended that someone flipping burgers and bagging groceries should be able to afford a home. These jobs were NEVER intended to be for teens. Also, if teens are doing real work they deserve real wages, do you have any idea how common burns are in the fast food industry? How many back injuries there are from unloading trucks and stocking shelves at a grocery store? How about the sheer, unbridled psychological abuse heaped on retail workers by shitty customers? Why is someone risking 3rd degree burns from a paycheck (often to help their family because their parents aren’t earning enough) not deserving of an honest days wage?”

The “Murderer” then got personal.

Your view is shitty, and its factually just plain wrong. You should feel bad for putting forth the effort to actually type this self-centered nonsense.

Here's the entire exchange:

via Reddit.

Contrary to popular belief, minimum wage jobs aren’t intended for teenagers. According to The New York Times, the average age of a minimum wage worker is 35, and 88% are at least 20 years old. Half are older than 30, and about a third are at least 40.

Minimum-wage employees aren’t only in the fast food industry, they are childcare workers, home care assistants, cashiers, lifeguards, manicurists, card dealers, and janitors, to name a few.

As long as minimum-wage jobs are seen as “intended for teenagers,” it’s easier for the needs of low-income workers to be dismissed.

The federal minimum wage is just $7.25 an hour and hasn’t risen since 2009. According to Business Insider, if the minimum wage had kept up with the American average wage growth today's would be $11.62.

There are five states that have no minimum wage requirements so workers receive the federal minimum. California, Massachusetts, and Washington are the states with the highest minimum wages in the country at $12 and the District of Columbia’s is $13.25.

Several cities have recently gone to a $15 minimum wage, including Seattle and San Francisco.

Studies show that minimum wage increases are often accompanied by a small increase in unemployment, but the impact is generally positive for the economy. Minimum-wage earners see an increase in buying power, employers enjoy less turnover, and people become less reliant on public assistance.

However, preliminary studies show that raising the minimum wage as high as $15 may not benefit all minimum-wage workers. A study out of Seattle found that increased labor costs forced some employers to redistribute work hours based on experience.

After the minimum wage increase, employees who worked the most in the months leading up to the change saw a $84 a month raise on average, while those who worked less saw only a $4 more a month.

Inexperienced workers fared the worst by being priced out of the job market altogether.

“For folks trying to get a job with no prior experience, it might have been worth hiring and training them when the going rate for them was $10 an hour,” Jacob Vigdor, an economist at the University of Washington, told The New York Times.

As with any public policy, the minimum wage isn't an exact science. Lawmakers and labor advocates have to settle on a number that's right for the region and its economic realities so workers get the greatest benefit.



from Upworthy https://u.pw/2SxLP8H