On September 2, 2009 Barack Obama had been in office just over 7 months, the U.S. unemployment rate was 9.8%, unemployment compensation was stretching 99 weeks in many places, I posted this and the position I had held for 20 years was unceremoniously eliminated. In a year and a half 7.6 million American workers had joined the ranks of the unemployed. (ref. lest anyone think I'm pulling this info out of a hat)
It is April 5, 2016. Barack Obama has been in office a little over 7 long years now. The unemployment rate is 5.0 % unemployment compensation has now returned to the normal 26 weeks and I have yet to find a meaningful position. (ref.)
When my position was first eliminated my youngest daughter was just starting 6th grade. In August she will be a Freshman in college, paid for largely based on her smarts through scholarships and grants because her mother and I cannot get student loans for her.
Along the way our 2 older daughters have both married and moved away, giving us 4 wonderful grandkids. And some great places to vacation on the very cheap.
Right now we are able to keep the mortgage paid and the lights on, food on the table but most months it is a close thing indeed.
The only position I have been able to land, and that thanks to a friend, is in the backroom of a big box retailer (because 1. You're kinda high on the food chain for this aren't you? and 2. due to family concerns relocating is not an option).
In 2011 Charles Krauthammer stated
"In 2007 the average time to get a new job was five weeks. It's now near six months. And that implies a whole segment of the population, the more elderly or the middle-aged who may never get employed again,"
It was depressing to hear but I still had hope. Now not so much.
At 54 years of age I spend my working days carrying boxes and cartons, 30 or 40 or 50 or 60 pounds up and down ladders back and forth across a warehouse. Just as I have the last 4 years. I tend to doze off a lot more frequently than I used to after work.
My 401K and any savings is long gone. Job prospects diminish all the time (technology being the fast moving industry it is it is hard to keep up when you're out of the game. NO ONE wants to let you in to practice on their PBX just so you can keep your skills up).
There is not likely to be any retirement for me. At least not as it has ever been traditionally known.
Now, take my situation and multiply it millions of times across America to get an idea of where this country really is at.
Sure unemployment has been falling rapidly. But you're foolish to believe it is because of an improved economy. It is more due to workers falling off the official unemployment rolls at a faster rate. In 2009 they were counted for 99 weeks. Now they are only counted for 26 weeks. After that they aren't counted (and don't count I suppose) as unemployed.
And those that are able to find employment most likely have done so in positions such as mine or far worse. Part time keep the hours under 30 so they don't have to offer health care benefits.
In 2009 The Tea Party emerged and we all had hope. In 2010 we took back the House.
And they did nothing.
In 2014 we took back the Senate.
And they did nothing.
They sat on their asses where their thumbs were inserted and let Obama have his way. They have done nothing to promote job growth or help rescue what's left of the middle class from it's death spiral.
The only job they care about is their own. And holding onto it and their Georgetown Social Gatherings.
And if you think either Ted Cruz or John Kasich give a damn about it just look at their support for the TPP and you'll see all you need to know about where they really stand regardless of how fast their lips are running.
It is time to put an end to this nonsense. Middle America will not be able to wait until 2020 ("if Trump is the nominee we'll just let Hillary win and take it back the next cycle") to try again. It will be gone by then. We have to save it now.
What these boneheads don't realize is IF they actually convince people to stay home and NOT vote for Trump then they aren't going to be there to vote for House or Senate either (be it R or I or other).
And I suppose unless the people start showing up with pitchforks and torches on the White House and Capitol lawns I don't think they will realize just how reviled they all are.
In an email the other day Tammy Swofford wrote:
Trump has said we are headed for a recession. Huh? My husband and I
have been living in a recession since 2008. Anything worse, would be
a Depression for us.
I understand this more completely than she could have known.
In 2020, four years into the next administration, my youngest daughter should be graduating college.
I really hope I have better news to report then.
But I ain't holding my breath.