Tuesday, June 17, 2008

Thoughts for a Tuesday

I've been suffering from a lot of self doubt lately. I'm sure the majority stems from my less than steady work history over the last 2 years.

When I got laid off from my job on 6/19/06, I figured I would be back at it in fairly short order. The mortgage industry was still robust. But I was in Operations, and quickly found that someone with my skills wasn't really in demand that much. Obviously, we all know where the industry went, and in fairly short order.

Trying to break out of that field has been a major struggle. Finding something that paid a fair wage was even harder. No one wanted to hire someone who had been a manager for a secretarial or administrative position. Also, there seemed to be a stigma attached to those who had been in the mortgage or real estate industry.

Now I'm going into a pure sales position, something I had tried to stay away from. With this last go around of sending resumes and registering with temp agencies, it was worse than ever. With the temp agencies, I was told I could get top dollar for admin work since I scored so high on the tests. The hourly rate was the less than what I made as a temp back in 1995-1996. If I want to make a decent living, I have to go into sales. It's a little scary.

The state of our economy is a lot worse than most people think. We're all being impacted by gas prices. Food prices have increased as well, but just wait. The floods in the Mid-West and the drought in the West will cause prices to go up even more. Those of us who are struggling already will find it even harder to make ends meet. Then when winter is upon us, we'll have the increased cost of heating oil or natural gas to contend with.

Regardless of your political affiliation, or lack of one, our government has failed us. Decades of ignorance have brought us to this place. It doesn't matter which party we're speaking of, both have failed to protect the nation. We can spend billions on an ill-advised war in Iraq, we can give billions to Pakistan with no accountability, we can throw billions away on ear-marks and pet projects. We can't provide decent, accessible health care to the men and women returning from service. We can't provide them the promise of a paid education for their sacrifices. We can't maintain national infrastructure to insure our security. One word - levies. We have thousands of qualified, educated unemployed people across the US, and big business still wants more work visas. America is on sale to the highest bidder, more often now they are international interests.

Politicians pander to polls, similar to leaves in a shifting wind. I will bring up one item that has received some airtime, and it easily solvable. It's called the Enron loophole. The Congress could close this loophole with a vote. It could be solved in half an hour. It takes speculation out of the power market. This is a matter of national security. Many key economists and financial experts have spoken to various Congressional committees regarding the loophole and that if removed, could reduce oil barrel prices by $30 per barrel. One joker actually said that the barrel price would still be above $100. So? Isn't it worth reducing the cost by 22%? It's something. Congress has been debating this for months. McCain was for closing the loophole, now it's off the table, perhaps because two of his advisers were instrumental in getting this passed in the first place. I haven't heard Obama coming out for this to be voted on before the summer break.

And speaking of the summer break - do you think it's right that Congress will be off for a couple of months? We complained when the Iraqi Parliament was taking a summer vacation because they had work to do. Our Senators and Representatives are paid enough so that they don't have to have a second job to support themselves. The summer break was initially set so that our elected representatives could go home and attend to their businesses or farms. That is no longer the case. Coming home to campaign for reelection is not a good use of my tax dollars. We have a national crisis, and they are completely paralyzed when is comes to any solution.

I'm not worried about a recession anymore. I'm worried about a depression.

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