I am a member of the American Middle Class. I work hard, I am devoted to my wife and family.
I listen to the news and try to stay informed.
From time to time I disagree with the news and opinion shows but that is what makes America great. The ability to disagree.
I have been pretty quiet as I have listened for a few years about how this economy is getting better (something I hear espoused from Washington DC regularly)…things are on the mend…unemployment is down…blah blah blah.
Let me introduce those news and commentators (aka uninformed talking heads) to a few facts.
I have gone to college, I earned several degrees, in Physics. My wife has multiple degrees in Chemical Engineering. The economy for people with our educational background is supposed to be ours for the taking. Jobs should be there. They aren’t.
I do have current employment. It is with a large company that has been becoming smaller over the last few years. In fact it has gotten smaller by around 15%. My wife, after taking a few years off to raise kids, is attempting to reenter the work force and found zero opportunity (even with a background in nano materials).
At my employer, in the last two years, I have received a 3% raise and a 0% raise the following year. I have worked uncompensated overtime, I have worked weekends, nights, whatever it took…I am told that I am no the only one in this position.
Ok, great I’m not alone…nice to know but doesn’t make life better as my family has to do less with more thanks to rising costs of everything from food to health insurance.
Perhaps I am not working hard enough you say?
In the last 5 years I have had 9 US Patents issued (my employer enjoys the rights to and they should as I was given a salary while working on those inventions), helped write 5 different successful proposals for my employer, authored 2 referred journal papers in my field, and written 7 books (including 2 that have entered the top 100 in their eBook category on Amazon), and pickup consulting work whenever I can.
Our family’s lifestyle has not changed for the better. Thanks to rising costs (especially healthcare, auto insurance, and fuel) our lifestyle is basically the same (if not slightly less) than what it was three years ago.
So, when I see the news and they say the economy is getting better because unemployment is down or the DOW is up, what do I think? I think yes unemployment is down, because people have stopped looking and other people have 2 jobs just to keep up with rising costs. The DOW is up? Sure people heavily invested are making money, those of us trying to save some money so we can invest are screwed. If you had money back when the market was down and put it in you have done well. If you wanted to make money to invest and have some of that same rise in your savings, you, again, are just out of luck.
When I talk to politicians (and I have) what I get told is, well the numbers show it is better. When I talk to my friends we are all in the same boat I am in.
So who is it getting better for? For whom does the NYSE bell ring?
My guess, in the eyes of these politicians, as long as the donors are doing well the rest of us can just ‘wait our turn.’
Well, you won’t hold me back, I am the American worker. I will work harder and longer if I have to in order to make a go of it in this country, and when I do succeed, and I will, I assure you incumbents beware….I’m coming for you…We know who messed it up and it is no longer a Republican or Democrat thing. It is the inside the beltway mafia staying in power thing.
We have had enough, and this economy needs to be the focus of every decision in that town. Sucking more money out of it, writing regulations that hurt me, or whatever else Washington is going to do to us must end. We will succeed, despite those people in Washington or I don’t deserve to be called an American.