Thursday, November 3, 2011

The Politics of Fear

I was never going to mention politics in this blog.  It isn't a political blog. But the Fear is very real and it is mine.

It is my fear for Me.  The job that I have been doing for the last two decades is so specialized that were I to lose it, I would be virtually unemployable, especially at my age...

My fear is for my Son.  In college, working hard, and for what?  Will he be working three part-time jobs none of them with benefits in order to make ends meet.  What if there are no jobs out there?  Unemployment is high.  And getting higher.  How will he afford to marry, to have a family?  I can't see any clear answers to those questions.

My fear is for my Husband.  We had plans to retire.  He has been saving for retirement since he was in his 20's.  Yes, his 20's.  He was working a job with a retirement plan that he could opt into and he did.  And put away a little extra every month.  We watched it growing and he patted himself on the back for showing great foresight.  We weren't going to get caught like so many who had not planned well for their future...
But those investments cannot be touched and are tied to the stock markets.  We have watched them nose dive several times over the years - always believing what we were told:  It is a long term investment.   Give it time, and it will recover.  But that was before the current economic meltdown, the financial crisis in Europe, computerized trading, and a global economy...
That was before continuing unemployment that shows no signs of abating.  And a retirement that is receeding farther and farther into our future. 

We are told on the one hand that we can't increase revenue by raising taxes, because that would hurt the "job creators" - well, I have a corollary then:  Let them either create jobs - good jobs.  Jobs that can support a family.  Jobs that provide benefits.  Jobs that will allow workers to begin purchasing durable goods again, so we can increase prodction so that we can hire more people so that they can earn money and spend money.....and buy houses and cars.  Or let them pay taxes.

One or the other.

If they choose to hold back to see how things go...letting people twist in the wind, unable to find work as their unemployment benefits run out...

If they choose to "invest in America" by creating meaningful, decently paying jobs, well then - they have made their contribution.

Only seems fair.

Thanks for listening.  I feel better now.  Not less fearful, mind you, but better.

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