If not having enough to make ends meet makes you feel low, her cathartic poem will really resonate.

It's a word you've come across before. Austerity.

What is it?

Some claim it " generally refer[s] to the measures taken by governments to reduce expenditures in an attempt to shrink their growing budget deficits."


But often, it's really when the governing people overseeing a failing economy decide to place the burden of its failure on the poor and already struggling while allowing those profiting to continue to profit and not act to fix it.

One woman made a video that is a cathartic rallying cry against this approach and those who espouse it. But before that, some quick context on the a-word.

Austerity looks like some things you're already used to.

Like working more than one full-time job to make ends meet.

(Click images for links to related stories.)

Image from Elizabeth Police Department.

Like taking away relief for the poverty-stricken.

Image (altered) by Eden, Janine, and Jim/Flickr.

While not reducing anything else.

Image (altered) by Groupe Canam/Wikimedia Commons.

Image (altered) from National Priorities Project, used with permission.

That's even though polls show that most Americans prefer cutting our defense budget to reduce our deficit INSTEAD of cutting programs like Social Security and Medicare.

Like employees having to beg, plead, and fight just to get a living wage that keeps up with inflation.

Image (altered) by Annette Bernhardt/Flickr.

Changing austerity measures starts with changing how we value our own work.

Like the frog in the pot that didn't know it was boiling until it was too late, some of us have gotten used to these things. But some of us haven't and aren't willing to. Like Agnes Török, who filmed this moving poem that puts into words the frustrations so many of us have felt.

Her words are inspiration for those of us who've internalized economic disparities as our own character failures.

Go forth. Know that we are not worthless. Know that we are the hands and minds that build society and the future. Know austerity measures when you see them. And speak up every time.

Photo by Louis Hansel on Unsplash
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This story was originally shared on Capital One.

Inside the walls of her kitchen at her childhood home in Guatemala, Evelyn Klohr, the founder of a Washington, D.C.-area bakery called Kakeshionista, was taught a lesson that remains central to her business operations today.

"Baking cakes gave me the confidence to believe in my own brand and now I put my heart into giving my customers something they'll enjoy eating," Klohr said.

While driven to launch her own baking business, pursuing a dream in the culinary arts was economically challenging for Klohr. In the United States, culinary schools can open doors to future careers, but the cost of entry can be upwards of $36,000 a year.

Through a friend, Klohr learned about La Cocina VA, a nonprofit dedicated to providing job training and entrepreneurship development services at a training facility in the Washington, D.C-area.

La Cocina VA's, which translates to "the kitchen" in Spanish, offers its Bilingual Culinary Training program to prepare low-and moderate-income individuals from diverse backgrounds to launch careers in the food industry.

That program gave Klohr the ability to fully immerse herself in the baking industry within a professional kitchen facility and receive training in an array of subjects including culinary skills, food safety, career development and English language classes.

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This article originally appeared on 10.23.15


Getting people who don't suffer from anxiety issues to understand them is hard.

People have tried countless metaphors and methods to describe what panic and anxiety is like. But putting it into the context of a living nightmare, haunted house style, is one of the more effective ways I've ever seen it done.

Brenna Twohy delivered the riveting poetic analogy recently in Oakland, starting out by going off about some funny "Goosebumps" plots. It's lovely, funny, sweet, and relatable, and it's totally worth the short time to watch.

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When a pet is admitted to a shelter it can be a traumatizing experience. Many are afraid of their new surroundings and are far from comfortable showing off their unique personalities. The problem is that's when many of them have their photos taken to appear in online searches.

Chewy, the pet retailer who has dedicated themselves to supporting shelters and rescues throughout the country, recognized the important work of a couple in Tampa, FL who have been taking professional photos of shelter pets to help get them adopted.

"If it's a photo of a scared animal, most people, subconsciously or even consciously, are going to skip over it," pet photographer Adam Goldberg says. "They can't visualize that dog in their home."

Adam realized the importance of quality shelter photos while working as a social media specialist for the Humane Society of Broward County in Fort Lauderdale, Florida.

"The photos were taken top-down so you couldn't see the size of the pet, and the flash would create these red eyes," he recalls. "Sometimes [volunteers] would shoot the photos through the chain-link fences."

That's why Adam and his wife, Mary, have spent much of their free time over the past five years photographing over 1,200 shelter animals to show off their unique personalities to potential adoptive families. The Goldbergs' wonderful work was recently profiled by Chewy in the video above entitled, "A Day in the Life of a Shelter Pet Photographer."