Thursday, October 23, 2008

Just Wondering

Kinda hate to say this - but even the mainstream media hasn't seemed to point this out as yet.

Is it just me, or do other people hear the quiet, slightly echo-ing giggle coming out of a disgusting, dirty cave in Afghanistan or Pakistan someplace - of Osama bin Laden laughing? Seems the American financial system is playing out his happiest thoughts - those he sought to promote on September 11, 2001. Back then, the government was all about "we're not going to let this happen! We are a strong nation - stronger than this. Our economy is strong, and nothing even close to bin Laden's aspirations could possibly happen here!!!"

There it is again - that happy little chuckle. And it seems Americans are playing right into his hands - selling off stocks, letting the market and financial institutions here tank one after the other.

This crisis is of our own making. Greed on the part of Wall Street and corporate boardrooms across the nation have helped. Merrily sending jobs oversees. My heart doesn't break when I read about those poor billionaires and corporate CEOs having to sell off their stocks because they borrowed money to buy them and are now required to pay the loans off. Awwww - poor billionaires!!

I've been out of work just a week short of 5 years. I worked for Wyeth in those days - and they pulled up stakes and left St. Louis. About that same time, our fearless Washington leader(s) decided to change how unemployment numbers were reported. They'd include jobs that were never part of the equation before - fast food workers, etc. That way, the numbers didn't look so bad, and we were all soothed into thinking all was well. (This, by the way, was big news at the time; however, seems most people have forgotten it).

Since then, for me it has been an endless round of temp and contract jobs and long bouts of unemployment. Employers who don't want to employ - don't want the burden of commitment to employees, of paying benefits, of being responsible business owners - a "love 'em and leave 'em" attitude. Off-shore workers are easier - no responsibilities, cheaper labor, and wonderful tax cuts besides. Our fearless leaders' house of cards has fallen in, and still nobody's paying attention!

There's that chuckle again!!

My full retirement age is 66 - still eight years away. If employers won't hire people who are 58, what does the government suggest we do until age 66? All of us Baby Boomers can't be greeters at Wal-Mart - there aren't that many Wal-Marts!! Besides, most of us can't live on low wages anymore. We need real jobs!! What will entice employers to hire older workers at wages that reflect their skills, experience, loyalty, and great work ethics?

This MUST stop!!! People without jobs can't pay for houses, cars, appliances, gasoline, groceries, clothing, electronics - everything the government would love for us to buy. Unemployment's great, but considering what I (and many, many others) have been going through, doesn't last nearly long enough or stretch far enough. $1,000 per month (in Missouri) is barely enough to cover some bills, let alone rent or mortgage payments.

Employers - hire people! Give us back our self-respect! Give us back benefits like health insurance!! I have tons of experience and great skills. Anybody care? Not for the last 5 years. And now that so many others are finding themselves out of work, there are even fewer job postings.

Until this situation changes, more people will be drawing on unemployment, food stamps, welfare, and other public funding until either there's nothing left in the pot, or the government becomes a socialist type where they're paying everybody's expenses, maybe. I don't know . . . I've been out here in the dark quite a while, trying my best to find a permanent job with only contract work available. And those contracts only work one way - to the employer's benefit. They may want me to make a one-year or five-year commitment to their job, but if they let me go prior to then for reasons over which I have no control, too bad. I get nothing but another trip to unemployment. Where's the fairness in that??

Not sure what the answer is - and not going to try and tell anybody to vote one way or the other. Just saying that unless something changes - and FAST - things will continue to get much worse.

There it is again - you hear it? That faint little chuckle coming from the east . . . . .

I feel better now - felt something had to be said.

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