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Posts tagged: unemployment

Disposable society…


Good morning, Netizens…


Perhaps I am feeling my age, or perhaps it is the impact of David Horsey's latest cartoon this morning, when it is cold enough outside for even our resident starlings to stick close to their nests. I am feeling more like a disposable something, although I am uncertain if my wife and family know for certain just what that is. One thing is certain: disposable employees have become a sad but true statistic of the current American economy. Super employers use them for a little while, and unceremoniously dump them in the employment trash can, hopefully before they have accrued enough time-on-the-job to be worth unemployment benefits.


Of course, I sagely advise, nodding my head wisely, I saw this all coming. Yup.


There are, unfortunately, several big disadvantages to the “disposable society”, because our landfills are are not only filling up with all those disposable plastic pieces we've been throwing away, as they simply do not recycle worth a damn, but the long-term repercussions extend further. Our society is filling up with disposable people for whom society-at-large have no further use. You often see them, standing in small circles downtown, huddling together waiting for the homeless shelters to open their doors for a bit of warmth, a spot of breakfast perhaps and then waiting outside until the next time. The best they can hope for is a minimum-wage job at a fast food joint, if that.


During one of my sojourns into Downtown Spokane which are increasingly less and less frequent, I once interviewed a former software support employee who hailed originally from down in Silicone Valley who was staying at a homeless shelter, looking for work every day. The unfortunate part, however, was that he once worked for a major San Jose, California software developer who laid him off with less aplomb than a visit to your favorite public restroom for a quick bit of recycling. With a good college education, he was hopeful for a management position slightly above minimum wage, which was the best he could hope for.


His job was exported to China who, it seems, is always willing to help us with our human recycling efforts. They help us by manufacturing and selling us trash cans for our human being disposal, those that couldn't cut it as temporary employees, that is.


Maybe that is why we have Obamacare. Your results may differ.




Black Hole of Depression


Layoffs upon Layoffs. 

I’ve never seen anything like it.  First, yesterday’s paper’s headline shouted “One day, 40,000 job cuts” for household names like Caterpillar, Home Depot and Sprint Nextel.  Then the news bulletin alert on my email stated that Mayor Vernor was planning nine layoffs in the building department, because of lack of new homes being built.

Today, Boeing announced 10,000 layoffs for this year and Starbucks added to that number, 6,000.  We are in dire straits, folks.  There is not one family that has escaped this cutting jobs theme.  My son was laid off two weeks ago, in a small branch office where they laid off 30% of their employees.  This morning’s news relayed the tragic effects that layoffs can have – a father/husband killed his wife, their five children, and himself because both he and his wife were laid off this week. 

It’s increasingly worrisome.  Add this to the fact that all of us who are working have watched our savings and 401(k)’s take a big hit and our dreams of retiring are looking grim.  And what must it be like for those who have retired and are living on a fixed income with a dwindling retirement backup plan?

What is the solution?  How can we keep our heads above the panic line?

I am grateful I do have a job, and a job that I enjoy – but what happens when people can’t find a job, when Avista keeps raising its rates, when the economy tanks, and bail outs seem to be only for the big multi-millionaire companies and not for the small families, the homeless, the poor, even the middle class.  What happens to … . me?


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