Share on Google Plus Share on Twitter Share on Facebook Share on LinkedIn Share on PInterest Share on Fark! Share on Reddit Share on StumbleUpon Tell A Friend 14 (14 Shares)  
Printer Friendly Page Save As Favorite View Favorites View Stats   13 comments

OpEdNews Op Eds

Pilots on Food Stamps

By (about the author)     Permalink       (Page 1 of 1 pages)
Related Topic(s): ; , Add Tags Add to My Group(s)

Must Read 4   News 3   Valuable 3  
View Ratings | Rate It

opednews.com Headlined to H2 10/11/09

We're on the descent from 20,000 feet in the air when the flight attendant leans over the elderly woman next to me and taps me on the shoulder.

"I'm listening to Lady Gaga," I say as I remove just one of the ear buds. I know not this Lady Gaga, but her performance last week on SNL was fascinating.

"The pilots would like to see you in the cockpit when we land," she says with a southern drawl.

"Did I do something wrong?"

"No. They have something to show you." (The last time an employee of an airline wanted to show me something it was her written reprimand for eating an in-flight meal without paying for it. "Yes," she said, "we have to pay for our own meals on board now.")

The plane landed and I stepped into the cockpit. "Read this," the first officer said. He handed me a letter from the airline to him. It was headlined "LETTER OF CONCERN." It seems this poor fellow had taken three sick days in the past year. The letter was a warning not to take another one -- or else.

"Great," I said. "Just what I want -- you coming to work sick, flying me up in the air and asking to borrow the barf bag from my seatback pocket."

He then showed me his pay stub. He took home $405 this week. My life was completely and totally in his hands for the past hour and he's paid less than the kid who delivers my pizza.

I told the guys that I have a whole section in my new movie about how pilots are treated (using pilots as only one example of how people's wages have been slashed and the middle class decimated). In the movie I interview a pilot for a major airline who made $17,000 last year. For four months he was eligible -- and received -- food stamps. Another pilot in the film has a second job as a dog walker.

"I have a second job!," the two pilots said in unison. One is a substitute teacher. The other works in a coffee shop. You know, maybe it's just me, but the two occupations whose workers shouldn't be humpin' a second job are brain surgeons and airline pilots. Call me crazy.

I told them about how Capt. "Sully" Sullenberger (the pilot who safely landed the jet in the Hudson River) had testified in Congress that no pilot he knows wants any of their children to become a pilot. Pilots, he said, are completely demoralized. He spoke of how his pay has been cut 40% and his own pension eliminated. Most of the TV news didn't cover his remarks and the congressmen quickly forgot them. They just wanted him to play the role of "HERO," but he was on a more important mission. He's in my movie.

"I hadn't heard anywhere that this stuff about the airlines is in this new movie," the pilot said.

"No, you wouldn't," I replied. "The press likes to talk about me, not the movie."

And it's true. I've been surprised (and slightly annoyed) that, with all that's been written and talked about "Capitalism: A Love Story," very little attention has been paid the mind-blowing stuff in the film: pilots on food stamps, companies secretly taking out life insurance policies on employees and hoping they die young so the company can collect, judges getting kickbacks from the private prison industry for sending innocent people (kids) to be locked up. The profit motive -- it's a killer.

Especially when your pilot started his day at 6am working at the local Starbucks.

 

Michael Francis Moore (born April 23, 1954) is an American film director, author, and social commentator. He is widely known for his outspoken, critical views on globalization, large corporations, gun violence, the Iraq War, and the George W. Bush administration. (more...)
 

Share on Google Plus Submit to Twitter Add this Page to Facebook! Share on LinkedIn Pin It! Add this Page to Fark! Submit to Reddit Submit to Stumble Upon

Go To Commenting
The views expressed in this article are the sole responsibility of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of this website or its editors.

Writers Guidelines

Contact Author Contact Editor View Authors' Articles
Related Topic(s): ; , Add Tags

Most Popular Articles by this Author:     (View All Most Popular Articles by this Author)

30 Years Ago Today: The Day the Middle Class Died ...a letter from Michael Moore

Michael Moore Talks About SCOTUS, Occupy, Weasel Democrats and Obama

Where Does Occupy Wall Street Go From Here? ...a proposal from Michael Moore

Why I'm Posting Bail Money for Julian Assange

"We the People" to "King of the World": "YOU'RE FIRED!"

An Open Letter to President Obama "from Michael Moore

Comments

The time limit for entering new comments on this article has expired.

This limit can be removed. Our paid membership program is designed to give you many benefits, such as removing this time limit. To learn more, please click here.

Comments: Expand   Shrink   Hide  
9 people are discussing this page, with 13 comments
To view all comments:
Expand Comments
(Or you can set your preferences to show all comments, always)

I never would have thought that pilots,who at any ... by shanti on Monday, Oct 12, 2009 at 10:22:50 AM
Pilots and Teachers just to name two important occ... by dougontrack on Monday, Oct 12, 2009 at 10:32:32 AM
...put your seat in its full upright position, tuc... by Jennifer Hathaway on Monday, Oct 12, 2009 at 11:00:01 AM
They talk about YOU and not your movies for the sa... by Jennifer Hathaway on Monday, Oct 12, 2009 at 10:51:01 AM
There was a cartoon with a gorilla dressed as a bu... by Dave Kisor on Monday, Oct 12, 2009 at 5:31:34 PM
These things happen by design, not capitalism. Oli... by Edward Ulysses Cate on Monday, Oct 12, 2009 at 11:34:26 AM
There's capitalism and then there's corporatism. T... by Jennifer Hathaway on Monday, Oct 12, 2009 at 1:11:04 PM
Michael, I hope your movie is the beginning of a g... by August Adams on Monday, Oct 12, 2009 at 1:34:34 PM
These are pilots of the small "commuter" portion o... by Gallaher on Monday, Oct 12, 2009 at 3:39:22 PM
The only way to qualify for welfare is to have kid... by Gallaher on Monday, Oct 12, 2009 at 3:48:52 PM
Physicians in training (interns and residents) typ... by sesquiculus on Monday, Oct 12, 2009 at 11:17:57 PM
I think their concern was about W&B. Your pres... by Burt Fisher on Tuesday, Oct 13, 2009 at 10:06:47 AM
Bet you came here to opednews figuring you would b... by sesquiculus on Tuesday, Oct 13, 2009 at 12:01:14 PM