Whatever Happened To American Dream?
If you ask Nancy Pelosi, or, John Boehner—the American dream is very much alive and kicking as it has always been. Last year, Pelosi reported a minimum net worth 50 percent higher than the year before. John Boehner also had a healthy appreciation in his net worth, although, not as much as Pelosi. For a woman in Salem, fighting a terminal bone cancer, it is an entirely different story.
For years, Jan Cline had operated small businesses and had a fairly decent income to support her modest lifestyle. This summer she was diagnosed with bone cancer, and her world changed overnight. The cancer eats through the bones, making holes, leaving them brittle. Jan lost her ability to work and earn an income, and she had increasing difficulty paying medical bills..
In a desperate effort she began selling her personal belongings in garage sells. Selling her stuff in the backyard for a few weekends, she was barely able to meet the bills, then one of her neighbor complained to the city, and a city officer came to check on her. Jan was informed that the city of Salem stipulates, no resident can have more than three yard sales a year. The officer said, “I’m sorry. Rules are rules,’ and Jan was threatened with hefty fines unless she stops immediately.
In India there is an expression, kanun andha hota hai, which translates as: law is blind. It appears, the law is blind in this country as well. Cline said, “We make such an effort of making it back here (backyard) so that it’s not sobering up the neighborhood, so it’s not like a garage sale all laid out day after day after day,” – but who cares?
Jan said, “I just hope that nobody else has to go through this kind of thing. I hope no one else has to give their lives away for nickels and dimes and then be told they can’t even do that. I hope nobody else has to do this ever.”
To be fair on the city, a supervisor said that he was going to take another look at the city rules and see if an exception could me made, until that happens Cline faces a misdemeanor and about a $300 fine, if she reopens her sale.