I have witnessed the greed of corporate CEOs who eliminate talented and skilled individuals from companies in order to better the bottom line so that they, the CEOs, can get a larger, more lucrative bonus.
I have seen the corruption of politicians (both on the right and on the left) who use their political office for gain and prestige rather than to serve the constituency that voted them in. They offer unachieveable promises to get into office and then make excuses and play the blame game when they can’t come through…even though they really did not intend to in the first place.
I have witnessed firsthand how the middle class is being pushed lower and lower. I have seen how companies are eliminating their talented and skilled American employees in order to hire much cheaper overseas staff to do the business at a much lesser cost, all in the effort to make sure that the upper crust of the company keeps their lucrative bonuses. I am seeing these same, now unemployed or under-employed middle-class individuals search for employment in their own country, only to be turned down over and over again because they are “overqualified,” “too old,” or “overweight.” I further see these talented and skilled Americans not finding work for more than six months and then companies again not hiring them because “they have not been employed over a lengthy period of time.”
I have seen the skilled labor force of the middle-class become disillusioned. I have seen them struggling to pay their bills. I have seen them them lose dignity, and, in their desire to keep some sense of dignity, they end up taking low-paying non-benefit jobs such as burger flipping, pizza delivery, slave labor in a call center, or cashier jobs and a big box store.
In the 1960s and 1970s perhaps flipping burgers and working cashier jobs provided opportunity. Not today… Most of these jobs do not provide any benefits, most provide no insurance, and typically most do not even provide full-time employment so they can avoid all of the costs and make the bottom line better and keep their bonuses. Sorry Bill…in today’s world, a burger flipper doesn’t typically reach the poverty level…
I see these people having to go to their 401(k) retirement plans and remove the money early so that they can take care of their house payments and their other obligations because they no longer make enough now on these low minimum wage paying jobs. I then see our government giving heavy tax burdens to these people who have withdrawn 401(k) funds early in order to take care of their obligations rather than to go on welfare. I am seeing the middle class being punished.
At the same time, I am seeing this same government using those heavy taxes taken from the middle class underemployed who are trying to be responsible and dignified citizens, and using that money to take care of the continuously increasing number of people who stay home all day to watch Oprah or Jerry Springer or soap operas, while getting social welfare, food stamps, and other forms of government welfare while they provide nothing to society. Of course, come voting time, we know who they will vote for…the guy that gives them money for nothing…
I am seeing our government force the middle class to lose hope such that the middle class ends up filing bankruptcy and not having a way out any longer. They are just being forced into accepting social welfare or trying to go out on their own. Indeed, the government tells us that Unemployment numbers are going down. What they fail to point out is that the job sectors filling the jobs are the low wage non-benefit types. Middle class jobs are just not there, and, when they are, the companies don’t want to hire the very skilled “has beens.” So hope continues to be lost. People are fighting for jobs….
So you have a whole crew of very experienced, very educated, and very talented individuals who are having to become entrepreneurs as well as they can. They create the opportunities and invest their fast dwindling savings into businesses, only to be heavily taxed again by doing so. And the welfare recipients still sit at home and get paid monthly to watch Dr. Phil and Judge Judy.
Our country is in a shambles. It seems as though everyone is out for themselves and not caring about their neighbors any longer. The rich continue to barrier themselves away from the rest of the classes so that they can continue to enjoy the indulgences at everyone else’s expense. I even see many of the “wealthy” entrepreneurs working to tell people to go into business on their own and enjoy the luxuries of life and the benefits of more time to do what they want. However, quietly, these same network marketers purchase real estate and rent at high rental rates to the growing middle-class who can’t afford to live in a home any longer. Indeed, even these entrepreneurs continue to get wealthier at the expense of the middle class.
I continue to work on my own now in the hope that we will survive these scary times. I do count my blessings.