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Spring Forward for the Time and Economy

15 March 2010 Written by: Orietta Ramirez 7 Comments
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?


Orietta Ramirez is a native New Yorker, born in Brooklyn, raised in The Bronx, and presently calls home in Dutchess County, New York. Pedagogically, her claim to fame, as she puts it, is that she shares Cardinal Spellman H.S. as her alma mater with the distinguished Associate Supreme Court Justice Sonia Sotomayor, Fordham University with Vince Lombardi and Steve Bellán, first Latin American to play Major League Baseball, and with Geraldo Rivera, another Brooklyn Law School alum. A first generation Chilean-American, she is a dynamic bilingual lawyer, employee relations advocate and project manager, with experience in human capital administration, audit and risk management. While leveraging her legal and compliance background as an HR partner, she incorporates her expertise on projects and in business relationships with a focus on diversity and inclusion as well as talent management. She is an avid reader and includes salsa dancing among her extracurricular activities, and is always open to all that is intriguing and challenging, which offers new opportunities for thought.

You can learn so much about this author by clicking here.

7 Comments »

  • Pier-Alexis Couffaux said:

    You do get it, Ms. Ramirez, sarcastically or not, and you don’t need it explained to you. You have come to the same conclusion most of have. So, the question is what do we do about it? A wise man once said, knowledge without action is futile. . .

    You say, “Extending the unemployment benefits, which among other issues, has added to our country’s deficit.” Okay. The other issues are that people, who paid into unemployment insurance by actually working, are able to feed themselves and their families, pay rent and child support, and avoid homelessness, as opposed to Detroit automakers who are enabled to continue creating the same poor products and banks and other institutions who are enabled to continue wasting away–on our dime.

    Here’s what has added to the country’s deficit–unemployment benefits are comparatively a drop in the bucket–please check out the list here: http://bailout.propublica.org/main/list/index

    The government may be cognizant but so are schizophrenics. What matters is how rational those cognitions are. It is not ironic at all that the government is going after those who can barely survive; the government has shown that it cares more for wasteful corporations than it does for the citizen it was mandated to serve. What’s the agenda? I might be a bit paranoid, but history has shown that it is easier to control the poor and the hungry, especially if there’s no middle class around to do anything about it.

  • Janet Hohenstein said:

    Hi Ore,

    Absolutely, Yes we all agree that unemployment insurance and cobra have helped (I could not live without it and I am grateful for it) I think most people who are unemployed including myself want to get back to work. They want America to be the nation it once was.

    The unfortunate part of all this is that we are pawns for the politicians to do what they want with to further their political career.

    Why is it that politicians can miracuiously make things happen during an election year. I think politicians get it very well. Lets see what happens in the year 2012?

    Until the middle class stands up and says we are not going to take it anymore I am afraid that we will continue along the same path letting politicians control our lives in order to further their political careers! I am not a person who believes in violence however our voices need to be heard or the middle class will become obsolete.

  • uberVU - social comments said:

    Social comments and analytics for this post…

    This post was mentioned on Twitter by CareerJockey: Spring Forward for the Time and Economy http://ow.ly/1kCJk

  • Liz said:

    Thank you Orietta for sharing with us and let me tell you, I agree 100% with you.

    I am starting to think that President Barack Obama won’t be able to help transform the big issues we are facing now with unemployment, creation of jobs, etc, simply because there is a force bigger than him that want to stop the good that he promise to all those that voted for his “change”

    This dark, awful force is the same force that is manipulating him to make the kind of decisions that he is currently making. There are just too many bad choices and reckless decisions that the congress is allowing to happen (such what you mentioned about taking money of social security and balling out the banks and reckless corporations) only touches the surface and are pretty superficial.

    I believe people need to awaken and united so that with the help of God those that want to create new businesses would have the opportunity to do so and give jobs to those that do want to work.

  • My Take said:

    I hear you loud and clear and I applaud your demand to have gainful employment again. After watching 60 minutes on Sunday, it further confirms my knowledge that there will be a special place in hell for every person involved in the Great Recession. These people were/are so consumed with greed and power that they don’t even recognize what they did as being wrong! Really?!!!! Needless to say, Goldman Sachs will have a lot of people down there.

    As for us, we have to fight back like Janet said in her comment. At first, I didn’t like the “tea parties”, but now I get it. We have to make a strong case that politicians will be voted out of office if they continue to side with corporate America.

    Christopher Dodd and the Republicans better come through on the bank regulations bill (Volker Bill) that should have been completed and signed last year!!!! I hate politics, but I must admit this recession is enough to get me to move back to DC and fight these SOB lobbyists who have bought Congress.

  • djl said:

    We live in a, every person for themselves, (I’m gonna get mine) society. CEO’s in the past took pride in running a successful company which thrived and would in turn provide jobs. Personal integrity has gone out the window. Everyone looks for the easy way. Make the quick buck and get out. How many CEO’s have walked away from their roles with hefty packages, leaving the company in financial disarray. They put more effort into negotiating compensation and seperation packages than they do at running the company. Society has placed more value in the materialistic and immediate satisfaction, instead of the pleasure and benefit of an honest day’s work and suitable compensation for that effort. The powers that be, play with the numbers and justify their actions to us. In the end we all pay the price and they walk away with a quick mea culpa and a pocket full of cash. In the mean time we forge ahead looking to better our lives and the lives of those around us. Adelante….siempre adelante!

  • Jessica said:

    Hi Orietta,
    Thank you for voicing what so many of us are feeling. And I agree with everyone’s comments – and probably could not have said it better myself.
    With that said, whatever happened to the American Revolutionaries who stood up and demanded change through non-violence? It’s time we take our American pride back and stop being so naive. Things will only get worse before it gets better so what are we waiting for? When are we going to learn that there is no better time than the present to take back what we and our forefathers have worked so hard for? The government has long lost sight of the core values that our beautiful country was founded on. We need opportunity – not hand outs to make us feel less than and hold us down both economically and physicological.

    Keep writing.

    Jess

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