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2003-05-16 - 4:46 p.m.

Are You Angry Yet?

Most families I know lost money last year. This was partly due to reduced overtime and budget cuts within the companies they worked for. A few who worked for the Airlines even took pay cuts to keep their jobs. Several of my friends where on the unemployment line most of last year after their companies closed due to the aftershock of September 11th. One young man who has a Masters in Computer Science went from a $40,000+ a year job to one just under $20,000 because the new company that he worked for starting in 1999 went bellied-up late last year. Two of my close friends have been working temp jobs for the past 18 months. Whenever they get close to hire-on time with a company, the company ends their contracts. With temp jobs, the companies do not have to hire someone full time, even if their job performance is excellent. This saves most companies from putting out extra benefit expenses, something a lot of companies are slimming down in this failing economy. Three-fourths of these families that I know do not have health insurance. A few of them have some state-sponsored healthcare for their children, but they live in states where those sponsorships could be cut because their state is going bankrupt and needs to cut corners somewhere.

I watched one of my friends searching the classifieds the other day. There was only one job listed in her field that she was qualified for and it was a slim chance that she would even get the job. Several of my friends want to quit their current jobs and seek employment elsewhere, anywhere they say. I went around with one of them yesterday while she filled out countless employment forms. She was frustrated by the end of the day because she had a feeling none of them would be calling her. And as of this evening, none had. I told her not to give up hope, but she has no college degree and even though she has been an assistant manager for over a year, she realizes that college students will more than likely get the jobs over her.

I thought at first that this was just a local problem. We do live in a small area where jobs are a bit hard to come by even when the economy is on the upswing. However, after reading countless diaries online of people looking for work, I see now that it isn't just a local problem, it is a nation-wide one. Even safe job markets like accounting, computers, law firms, and hospital personnel are no longer safe bets for job seekers.

It is sometimes hard to sit back and watch friends and families that you've known a long time struggle to make ends-meet. It's even harder to explain to them why the tax cut Bush proposes will do more good for the rich and less for the hard working people in America. They need immediate breaks, not trickled-down ones from the already wealthy who have no real reason to spend their millions now.

Joseph, my computer friend who just lost $20,000+ in salary, just sent me an email from a CBS report: Bush & Cheney: Multimillion-Dollar Men. Yeah, Joseph is angry. He lost over half his income in less than 6 months, and then had to see that Bush and Cheney increased theirs nearly $10 million. I'd say he has a right to be angry. I think we all have a right to be angry. Are you angry yet?

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~Did You Miss These?~

Just a Reminder - Tuesday, Nov. 04, 2003
Ravyne Is Moving - Friday, Oct. 17, 2003
The Mission - Sunday, Oct. 12, 2003
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