Poverty, What Poverty?
Finally, the weather is starting to get warmer, the snow is all gone and the birds have started to chirp again. Yes, it has been one hard winter this year, bitter cold temperatures, snow, ice you name it we had it. For many of us, there was so much more to worry about than just the weather. Many Americans had to worry about where their next meal was coming from or when mom and dad will find a job, or paying this month’s rent and healthcare, yes healthcare, that’s a whole story in itself.
But don’t worry everything is much better now, more jobs are out there, unemployment is going down, housing is picking up, spending has improved. The indicators show that we are on our way, that all is good, heck, let’s all throw a party?
If most us of were not living in it, we too would believe that all is well. This would not come as a shock to those who have been unemployed for a long time, yes for this group all is not rosy, why because the rate of unemployment for them is much higher now than it was a few years ago.
The irony is that those people who need to find a job the most are least likely to get one. I guess companies feel that they are worthless and unproductive and oh one of my favorite line is that “they may be out of touch with the business world”. It must be a new disease, yes that is what it is, after all, who would want to hire someone that has “outofworkitis”, yuck who wants any part of that, right?
We should be happy, they say, all these new jobs are being created isn’t that great? Oh! one thing the indicators don’t point out is, most of those jobs are low-paying jobs. So let’s take Tom as an example he worked for a pharmaceutical company for 9 years making about $35.00 an hour, till he lost his job.
He was able to pay his bills, take care of his wife and 2 kids, all was good. Well the jobs that are out there only pay around $12 to $17.00 an hour, which is something that most of us should be grateful for, but weren’t we taught if you work hard, do the right thing, you will succeed and do well? How is getting paid less than half the amount you were making an improvement?
Shouldn’t dedication, commitment, being on time and going to work every day count for something? Oh, I forgot what really counts is that the shareholders are happy, getting their nice big year-end bonuses and those CEO’s, presidents, managers, get their share, for laying off people and having 1 person do the job of 3 or 4. This is America, no! Wait, its “Corporate America in control and in charge”.
Evidence points to a very wide gap growing between the rich and the poor. The middle is slowly disappearing, just take a look at all the stores and companies that have closed in recent years. Many restaurants have also closed their doors, due to a lack of business.
This is not hard to figure out why, yes there are those companies that have hurt themselves by poor management, but the rest, went under because of the dwindling middle class that cannot afford to stay afloat, how can they go out and spend? I know from personal experience we do not spend or go out as much as before.
It’s sort of ironic that the same policies that many companies practice has come to bite them back. By continuing to bleed and reduce the workforce to save money and fill their pockets, the result has been the same people who would have gone out to eat, buy a TV, or redecorate are the same people that were laid off.
The best example of this is how well the high-end stores are doing, you know which ones, such as sales of luxury cars, or how homes and properties are being sold at incredibly high prices in certain parts of the country. It is a disgrace to see what is going on. To have people living off their savings if they have any, their 401’s, IRA’s etc. just to make ends meet, how fair is that?
Working hard all your life to save for tomorrow, not knowing that tomorrow has come much sooner than expected for many of us, is a shame and disgrace. I truly hope at some point we can turn things around. I am afraid if we can’t there will be much more of us out on the streets without food and shelter.
Should we still consider ourselves the “United” States of America, when we are really not UNITED, because if we were this would not be happening to us? Isn’t time we stopped catering to the few and concentrate on the many?
More to come later…