In my fridge I have an assortment of mustard, a bottle of ketchup, hot sauce, soy sauce and three sticks of butter. There is also a half empty bottle of Sunny-D and a half bag of catnip. The freezer contains ice of course, and a bag of hot peppers. Quite a contrast; ice and hot peppers. But thats it. Thats all you will find in there.
In my cupboard and kitchen cabinets you will find spices and four cans of cheddar cheese soup. There is a box of pasta and two cans of tuna. So there is hope for the week. My mortgage is due in three days and I'm fifty dollars short. I'll borrow that and repay from my next pay check in two weeks. My low fuel/no fuel light has been on for several days so I will need to borrow a few bucks there too!
I'm not whining. I am echoing the experience of many people. Its not coming people! For many of us it's already here. And it has been for quite a while.
While we have felt the pain of losing high paying jobs, we consider ourselves fortunate to find other jobs at all. While we were plant managers, department heads or long term employees, we earned a moderate wage. Nothing too large. Forty, fifty or perhaps sixty thousand a year. Now we work for the local prep school that imports kids from across the world. Because it is a school, they pay no tax to the town for their multi million dollar hockey rink or the many homes that they own around town. The kids that come here are from Korea, Japan, parts of Europe and from some of the elite familes of the U.S. Many of these kids have an allowance that is at least equal to what the employees for the school earn each week. Many people that work the kitchen, clean up the dorms and repair the buildings and clean the grounds earn less than twelve dollars an hour. The teachers, they're imports too. Although I know one couple that moved to town a few years ago and have now become members of the teaching faculty. I'm really happy for them. She's an art teacher and he is a writer/journalist.
I work for the local hardware store. Others have found employment with the town driving truck for local road repair and other such tasks around here. The majority of our streetlights are off at night making for a hard time when you need to walk somewhere. The town cannot afford to light them. But being true to the nature of things though, the town manager, who lives out of town, makes a wage equal to that of the State Governor. And lets not forget the Police Chief who also lives outside of the town limits. He makes a great wage too.
There is money out there. We see it all around us. Its just out of our reach. And it appears that it may stay that way for a while. I stock the hardware shelves every week and see prices going up each week. Week in and week out, the prices climb and my wage looks smaller and smaller.
I was glad that some employees of AIG were able to take a spa vacation after the stress of the bailout. I'm sure that they earned it. I don't begrudge them that. But I'm just looking to have some gas in my tank, some food in my fridge. Nothing extravegant. I'm not sure where I'm going to find it and I am none too confident that things are not going to get worse. I just hope that if things do get worse, I will begin to reap some of the reward of trickle down economics and some of the compassion from our compassionate conservatives. And I have great faith in the faith-based programs that have been established to help us through these hard economic times. My daughter's boyfriend, a two tour of duty veteran, has just resigned for the reserves. It will bring them in a little more money a month. It will require one weekend a month and two weeks a year from him. Unless he gets called up to Iraq again. There's always that chance. So see, there is opportunity and hope out there. You just have to look a little harder to try and find it.
Thats all.