It is time for me to vent, and considering this is a new blog and has zero followers, I am just making myself feel better. So as I look at 50 and take stock of where I am at I could not be more bummed. Even though I own a home, (well the bank and I), and have a wonderful loving wife and great kids, I am bummed our life as we know it may be in jeopardy. My employer closed it’s doors because we could not compete in this economy. Not that work is not out there, it is just going so cheap you might as well shut down rather than take the loss. So I am laid off again and the prospects are not good. I am not a college grad but I have marketable skills that would be valuable to many companies, but like I said, the jobs that could pay my salary are few and far between. So here I am, and I don’t see light at the end of tunnel, and I sure as hell don’t see our government making my world any better. I don’t want a handout, I want a decent paying job. How can our leaders know how I feel?
How can the current administration, and congressional leadership know how I feel? How can the silverspooned members of congress have a clue? Most of the congressional leaders are millionaires, the average federal employee pay is 3 to 1 that of the private sector. These are the people and their ilk that are making decisions that determine our fate. 535 people that we have sent to Washington whose average incomes are one million per year, or more, decide what is best for the nation. How can they relate? How can they even vaguely understand a family making under $50,000 per year and the difficulties they endure every day. I can’t understand how a family at the poverty level survives. I can’t understand how a family living on food stamps and housing assistance lives. I just can’t relate to that. So how can millionaires understand me or my plight? I have worked in the construction and technology industries for thirty years, during that time I was too busy raising my family and trying to get by that I did not focus on politics, I assumed they were doing their job. I started noticing when a friend married and purchased his new home which cost him 50% more than the one I bought a few years before him, and it was the same home. That got my attention.
In 1974 may parents purchased their final home, it was a small rambler that cost them $36,000 dollars. In 1990 I bought a brand new house at a cost of $56,000, that is a 35% increase over 16 years. In 2010 I bought a used townhouse for $180,000 which I assumed was a great buy because in 2008 we looked at the same model and it was selling for $260,000. So, my last home cost me $124,000 more than my 1990 home, and that was at a reduced price. So in 20 years the price increased 75%, that is unsustainable, as was proven when the housing bubble burst. My pay increased during that same period about 35%, before I was laid off. So how am I supposed to deal with the disparity? Theoretically the equity in my first home should make up the difference, unfortunately a nasty divorce took my first home, so I had to start from scratch.
I now own a home whose price has outpaced my increase in pay by 40%, this was not a problem because I made enough money to make the payments. But unemployment certainly does not cover my responsibilities and the jobs that are available in the REAL world pay about the same as my 1990 income. WTF! If people were working employers would be paying more, but now employers can pay whatever they want and somebody will take the job.
Our 535 leaders in congress and 5 different administrations since 1980 have screwed this country so bad that, here I am, the working stiff who only wanted to raise a family, live comfortably, and retire at 65. That is 45 years of working, paying taxes and doing my part as an American. What have they done? What have they accomplished? They did not create Microsoft or Apple, but they managed to take the out manufacturing industry, we are still beholding to foreign oil. In 30 years they have not taken advantage of one of the most prosperous eras in our countries history and balanced the budget, or got our deficit under control, or keep us safe from terrorist attacks. From what I can see they have destroyed the very fabric of America and they want more, and they are all to blame, both parties and every administration.
I don’t think we can afford anymore government. Something needs to change and I mean drastically. I just want to make a decent salary and hold on until retirement. I don’t need much nor do I ask much, I am an average American, something our leaders will never be able to understand. The founding fathers of this great country would be ashamed of them, I know I am.