Spring Forward for the Time and Economy
Spring forward has a positive and hopeful connotation. However, if you are still reading and listening to the economic stories and information, it remains a much-desired illusion.
Take this article on how the very few wealthy are “surviving” the present state of the economy. With one exception, you can easily describe their lifestyles beyond the imagination of the common man.
Yet, the other article that has my attention and gives me angst is the one about the senate passing another bill extending the unemployment benefits, which among other issues, has added to our country’s deficit.
Reading these two articles, one cannot help but see the juxtaposition between the haves and the haves not. I am not “hating” on the wealthy. My concern stems from the fact that as a wealthy country, why is it that the masses remain so financially afflicted? There are successful businessmen, who obviously know how to run financially, long-lasting businesses, so why can’t our government figure out how to address the present financial crisis?
The government is cognizant of the need to assist the unemployed. However, this funding barely allows us to survive. When you have rent/mortgage fees in the thousands, in addition to monthly electrical, heating, and food expenses, how does one truly manage with approximately $300+ per week? Add insult to injury, there was this article indicating that the government, to make up its deficit would be deducting/retaining retirees’ social security funds on their defaulted loans. How ironic is it that the government is going after those who can barely survive on their social security income to recoup on the federal deficit yet banks who received millions in TARP assistance are holding out on repayments while distributing astronomical bonuses to executives whom they cannot afford to lose. Does this make sense? Did anyone catch this week’s 60 Minutes? Do I need to say anything more?
I am no economist, and certainly not a legislator, but I do consider myself a smart individual. So why can I not comprehend, that after one of the most depressed years since the Great Depression, we now face another one just as bad? What is it about the political and business processes that makes it impossible to create jobs we once had, an economy that although may never be like the lifestyles of Buffets, Gates, Speilbergs, etc., but sufficient so we do not have to avert our eyes and ears to the stories of those who have lost their homes, or wait hours to collect a few days’ worth of food?
Ironically, there was another article about one of our nation’s bank changing their policies regarding over-drafts. Moreover, it was as if they were doing us a very generous favor. Call me jaded, but is it not about time that our banks realized that they have been trying to live off those people who could not afford to continue to pay such exorbitant and somewhat underhanded fees? Yet, the article seems to glorify the bank for doing so.
I say again, I do not get it. Thus, I sarcastically ask, help me understand!
The legislature approved unemployment benefits and COBRA subsidy extensions, as well as tax breaks for small businesses. That is a temporary balm, not a solution. What we need is the re-instatement of permanent jobs that brings with it a stable and realistic (livable) income, medical benefits to the employee and his/her family, and a pension plan that will allow such employee to retire with dignity and security.
To the CEOs out there, I say, keep your million dollar salaries, bonuses, and perks, your wealthy homes, expensive toys and vacations, but give us jobs. We will help you maintain the lifestyle you are accustomed to, just give us back the lives we have worked years to achieve – so that we can have a home we can own and maintain with love and grit, a car so we can drive our elderly to their doctor’s appointment and kids to school and ever so often take that ever fun “road trip” to the park, provide for our children and their education, and simply, so we can once again hold our heads up with pride that the simple dish we put on the table was earned and can now be savored. We appreciate the temporary handouts but what we want is to be gainfully employed. Is that so hard to understand?