Aid to Needy Often Excludes the Poorest in America


(Inspired by an article by Patricia Cohen)

The working poor outnumber ev’ry other demographic;

You find them in the stores and plants and stuck in sluggish traffic.

They’re striving to regain a foothold in the clash of soul

That comes to ev’ry person who would get off of the dole.


And then you have the homeless and the jobless émigré

Who might be an American, but has no place to stay.

Like Humpty Dumpty, he or she has fallen off the wall

And no one cares to pick them up from such a dismal sprawl.


A Swiftian solution is to let the homeless carve

Each other up or else be left to sit around and starve.

Were I to give you odds on their survival rate today

‘twould be about the same as at a damn auto de fe.

Tipping the Wait Staff.



(Inspired by an article by Patrick Condon.)


Customers are tipping like their hearts are soaked in brine;

You won’t see a nickel if they haven’t drunk much wine.

Tipping is a custom that will soon become passe,

With the passing of each bleak recessionary day.


Wait staff and bartenders who depend on alms received

Are living in a world where they will quickly be deceived.

Counter service and buffets will soon be all the rage,

And servers must make do with nothing but a minim wage.


Unions cannot help them, nor the legislature chaps,

From having to get by on expectations and thin scraps.

If you must serve others and want more than verbal thanks,

Serve financial claptrap on the TV or in banks.

Reflections on the Minimum Wage.

This could be you in a few weeks!

guess I never could maintain a franchise with success,

Since underpaying workers would give me a lot of stress.

It’s not that I’m an angel, heaven-sent to make folks rich;

It’s just that I’m a lazy good-for-nothing son of a bitch.


Underpaying workers on a constant basis means

A slew of lawyers and accountants picking my blue jeans.

For poor folks are so hard to manage if you cannot prove

That you are also slogging in that awful selfsame groove.


I’d have to go to meetings and make charities a must;

I’d have to slave like anything to earn my paupers’ trust.

I’d rather not create a bunch of jobs that keep men poor,

And give the world excuses to build another dollar store.