Up Against the Wall, Mutha!
I swear, in my 51+ years, I've never seen things get this bad. To get a glimpse of a worse state, you'd have to ask people in their 70's or 80's what it was like in the Great Depression. The two epochs, our and theirs, compare favorably if "favorably" can be used in that context.
Our own government, the non-partisan Census Bureau, told us this month that about 44,000,000 of us are living at or below the poverty line. The Dept. of Labor said early this month that unemployment climbed to 9.6% with no end in sight. We're hearing from other organizations that the top executives of the 50 companies that shed the most jobs took home bigger salaries and bonus packages than ever. And continuing the Bush tax cuts for these same people is half the GOP's campaign platform.
It could be plausibly said that the only thing that keeps us from rioting on Wall Street and Pennsylvania Ave. is hunger and distracted desperation to find any work.
Mrs. JP and I are just two people who fell through the cracks. We're both skilled, hard-working people who'd much rather make our own way the way we're expected to. Yet the system's not cooperating. The MA DET's official website has been either down or slowed considerably since yesterday and I'm not getting the final check from my 12 week federal extension. Even with both of us drawing unemployment, we were pulling in less than $300 a week, which is insufficient for rent, food, car insurance, internet, gas, electricity, gasoline and whatever comes up.
Anything you guys could do would literally make all the difference this month. We're still about $300 short just for the rent that's due on Friday, which is the $300- we should have gotten by tomorrow. We're doing everything we can. Last Friday, we drove as far out as Concord, about 20 miles east of us, looking for work to no avail. Temp agencies call me for my resume, I give it to them then they don't call me back. Either people aren't hiring or the 9.6% unemployment rate gives them an excuse to shrink their strike zone down to the size of a molecule.
We really do want to be self-sufficient and to start paying it forward. We could cut down on our living expenses by going to the local food banks. But we've avoided them out of both pride and the realization there are other others who are hurting worse than us. But this is the closest we've come to facing actual eviction and there aren't even any homeless shelters in the area.