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Jamie Passaro lives with her husband and their two daughters in Eugene, Oregon. They recently dug up their front lawn to plant a vegetable garden, and she has grown to love a good kale smoothie with breakfast.
I was extremely disheartened, because I felt I was destined to be a doctor, but I couldn’t sustain my enthusiasm on the assembly line; it was such a dehumanizing experience. I was tired of interrupting crying people to say, “Sorry, we’re out of time.” I wanted to be kind to patients, even if it meant a huge cut in my salary. Many doctors feel this way. I’ve met several female physicians who are ready to quit medicine and find other work.
We try not to spin. We take a reasonable, common-sense approach to the issues and let the facts speak for themselves. That’s one of the most important things I’ve learned in my time here. You can write an alert that’s heavy on rhetoric, but it’s much more powerful to say, “Here’s the situation. The president said this on January 28, and now he’s saying this. And if you think those statements are irreconcilable, ask Congress to investigate.”
The way they calculate poverty was devised in the early sixties and based on the notion that most people spend a third of their earnings on food — which was not true even then. Nevertheless, the reasoning went that if you calculated how much money people spent on food and multiplied that number by three, you would have the poverty-level wage. And that’s what they’ve been doing ever since. The problem is that food prices have been pretty resistant to inflation, whereas housing and healthcare have shot through the roof. So the poverty level is completely misleading. Yet this nation keeps patting itself on the back, saying, “Look, our poverty level is only 12 percent.”