(Written by an American expat living in the European Union)

Maria Fernandes, (32 years old) of Newark, New Jersey died when she fell asleep in her car from carbon monoxide poisoning and gasoline fumes while traveling between her 4 jobs. (RIP Maria Fernandes tribute youtube video at end of diary).

When Four Jobs Aren't Enough: Why We Need a Living Wage
Tuesday, 02 September 2014 10:31 By Robin Marty, Care2 | Op-Ed
"No person should die because they were too exhausted to leave the car, after working multiple shifts just to make ends meet. We need to stop being a country that allows our poor to work themselves to death."
Let's understand please this type of thing happens to low wage working class and working poor Americans all over America every single day. The difference being that they don't grab national and international headlines as did this poor lady because of the fact that she was a beautiful young woman with stunning super model-like good looks whose death the American for-profit media could sensationalize to not draw attention to the problem of America's low wage, no benefit economy but rather to sell copy and make money for themselves. This point becomes axiomatic in the way that the corporatist media is providing short shrift with the most superficial coverage in what is a complex problem and an international badge of American shame of low wage worker exploitation and the American wage slave economy, where people are literally worked to death everyday.

BBC News: US fast-food protests lead to several arrests
Protestors in NYC At least 24 protesters were arrested in New York City for blocking traffic and other offenses

Hundreds of US fast food workers have been arrested at protests after staging sit-ins demanding a so-called "living wage" of $15 (£9) per hour.

Farcical American for-profit corporatist owned press outlets pretend that fact checking this through research and letter writing campaigns is necessary, when in fact not only in Denmark but throughout the European Union, this information is an open secret regarding McDonald wages and all wages for decades. The fact that the American press is just now discovering this for those Americans living in Europe is an observe disturbing joke because every school child knows this open secret over here. Finally they neglect in their fact check to add in the value of the strong European pension systems, unemployment benefit systems and full medical coverage which substantially increases the value of the Danish McDonald wage even further. (Shame on you fact checker)

Reuters: I’m making $21 an hour at McDonald’s. Why aren’t you? By Louise Marie Rantzau
May 15, 2014

To anyone who says that fast-food jobs can’t be good jobs, I would answer that mine isn’t bad. In fact, parts of it are just fine. Under our union’s agreement with McDonald’s, for example, I receive paid sick leave that workers are still fighting for in many parts of the world. We also get overtime pay, guaranteed hours and at least two days off a week, unlike workers in most countries. At least 10 percent of the staff in any given restaurant must work at least 30 hours a week.

Here is the truth, if Maria Fernandes was working in a fast food operation in Denmark (like Louise Marie Rantzau) instead of working in the United States, she likely wouldn't have needed 4 jobs to make ends meet and wouldn't have died needlessly from overwork. This ugly truth is not being reported to the extent that it should be in the plutocrat owned corporate media. Therefore for a greater in-depth understanding of this issue, we must look to alternative media sources published in America such as this diary which may only be circulated widely with the help of readers such as yourself on Facebook, Twitter and other social media to help us get the word out on this issue. Sadly we can't do anything to help Maria Fernandes but what we can do is to prevent the untimely passing of the next victim, provided you help.

Let's for a moment look at international norms in other highly industrialized countries where in the charts below it becomes plain to see that workers aren't being exploited and literally worked to death. In looking at these data sets, please ask yourself how can we as American workers profit from importing the system of worker protections that you see plainly expressed in the charts below, because America is literally dying for better worker protections of the type that we see in every other major industrialized country in the world where, yes even fast food workers get 30 days paid vacation, they get complete medical and dental for themselves and their families which includes prescription coverage and includes paid sick leave and paid maternity leave. Did you know that the United States is the only major industrialized country in the world that doesn't have paid maternity leave by right of law. If you didn't know this, ask yourself why didn't you know this? Why are you learning about this possibly for the first time ever on a Daily Kos blog? Why isn't the corporate media telling you this? Why?

Some days we can truly say that a picture is worth a thousand words. Please keep this thought in mind when reviewing the graphic below and ask yourself, is it true that what you're being asked to give up over many years of your working life time is so great that if you add compound interest to it, even if you did make it some day, you would never be able to recover the loss in a clear understanding of the fact that in the reality of the 2014 America, most people never make it big. Too many American low wage workers die building and maintaining America everyday. In 2012, 4628 workers died on the job according to US government statistics. The best way we can honor the memory of their loss is in a spirit of grateful remembrance that it is the American worker who builds America and not the 1% who build nothing but seem to own almost everything. In a system designed to give more to the those who already have more, at the expense of those who have less or who like in the case of Maria Fernandes have nothing at all except her life and now they have taken that from her as well.

RIP Maria Fernandes. We will never forget you.
Here's a tribute to her on youtube!!

Originally posted to Democrats Ramshield on Fri Sep 05, 2014 at 05:55 AM PDT.

Also republished by ClassWarfare Newsletter: WallStreet VS Working Class Global Occupy movement and Global Expats.

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