As I am writing this article, news that the Supreme Court upheld the Affordable Care Act is ringing like freedom throughout the United States.  It is a great day to be an American, and an even greater day to be an American if you happen to fall ill.  “Obamacare” is now a law of the land milestone and is no longer a political insult.

Fresh from my Inbox:

The Affordable Care Act has already made a significant difference in the lives of millions of Americans, including those living with disabilities. Today’s ruling is an affirmation that all Americans, and especially those living with disabilities, should have access to the care that they need. This decision means that individuals cannot be discriminated against because of a pre-existing condition— and for the disability community, affirms the definition of equality as set forth in the Americans with Disabilities Act,” said Stephen Bennett, United Cerebral Palsy President & CEO. “Today’s decision is a clear victory for Americans living with disabilities. UCP strongly supports the Affordable Care Act and will keep working to ensure its implementation eliminates disparities and guarantees equality for all Americans.

While we cheer on Obamacare, we are still aware people are hungry and hurting in not-so-unique and significant ways.

An example of this ongoing desperation is in evidence as I walk around the neighborhood side streets of Jersey City.  You can always see people selling stuff on street corners and sometimes in front of their houses in sidewalk sales.  Garages are not common in Jersey City, so people tend put their sprawl for sale on the sidewalk in front of their single family homes and apartment houses.

What I’ve noticed is that the occasional weekend sidewalk sale you might see once in a 10-block walk, has exploded to daily sidewalk sales in front of every other dwelling on a block in some neighborhoods.

Sidewalk Sales take a fascinating temperature of the economic health of a community.  People put out clothes and dishes and their other junk for sale in the desperate hope that some other less-desperate person will shell out a dollar or two to help them get along in life without having to directly beg for a handout.  Sidewalk Sales are a more formal form of panhandling, but instead of holding out a paper cup from a street corner and asking for change, you’re holding out a pair of filthy slippers on your front stoop and hoping for a buck so someone else can throw them away.

Have you noticed a rapid explosion of sidewalk selling by private citizens along the streets of their homes in your community?  If you want to know if people are hurting — look for the ongoing, never-ending, garage and sidewalk sales — and you’ll incisively know precisely where you can let loose a few dollars from your neighborly helping hand to put some hope back into the world.


  1. I have never been at a garage sale where the only things for sale were junk — must be the areas where I troll for garage sales. I don’t see too many in Kew Gardens but when I do, I try to go — I got a moleskin notebook for fifty cents, once!

  2. I am so not democratic, OR left wing ( I think you know that now) and I know where I am, and where I’m going, and REALLY? you’re happy with the Obama decision?

    ObamaCare is the WORST thing that could happen to America, Union’s aside. Do YOU have a lot of money to donate to those people at the Burger King? Have you ever donated to the people at the Burger King? or have you just ‘watched’, and appreciated? Did you buy a hamburger for the people you saw? Or did you just write a blog about it?

    How much MONEY or TIME did YOU donate to the Burger King Parking Lot Cause?
    THIS is what ObamaCare is all about. YOU (proverbially) supporting (ME). Are you good with that?

    You do realize that with the passage of this so-called ‘benefit’ YOU are the one paying for the ‘benefit’. No one else YOU – the TAXPAYER (with me and thousands of others)
    It’s not rocket science to recognize that ‘things ain’t free’, and………..

    I may be stirring up a pile of unrest here, but this is near to my heart, and it goes back to:
    One is responsible for one’s OWN life, NOT the government……….
    You may decide to kick me out of this forum, and it’s your choice, I respect that.
    It’s LAW to have HEALTHCARE?????
    Frankly speaking, I’m Scared.
    I have no idea how to handle that…………
    I thought I DID!

    1. Taxpayers have always paid for the healthcare of people who cannot afford it. Who do you think has been footing the bill all this time for all the uninsured people who are not legally allowed to be denied emergency services in hospitals? The insurance companies certainly aren’t paying for those people out of their profits. Working people pay for the uninsured in higher premiums. How is that fair?

      What Obamacare does is spread the risk by forcing everyone — including healthy people — to have proper healthcare coverage even if they are no yet ill. That lowers costs all around. When you have a system where only gravely ill people need healthcare, then nobody can afford healthcare.

      Universal healthcare if a long time coming and it has been our national shame that the USA is the only industrialized country in the world to NOT include everyone in a system that properly protects the healthy as well as the unwell.

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