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Permanently Unemployed

by : Daveparts
Friday August 14, 2009 - 16:34
JPEG - 6.9 kb

By David Glenn Cox

I have come to the conclusion that I am permanently unemployed; after almost two years of non-stop hunting I don’t admit defeat but only the inevitable. Meanwhile, the mainstream media are doing all that they can do to convince you that the economy is doing much better and that prosperity is just around the corner.

They proudly boast, “First time jobless claims down lowest since April!” Down from 558,000 first-time claims last week to 554,000 first-time claims this week. Or 1,111,000 first-time unemployment claims in two weeks. That’s more than two million new claims a month. Should that make us ready to throw confetti? The retail sales number for July was down .1%. Can you imagine how bad that number would have been without Cash for Clunkers? We do know that Cash for Clunkers ran out of its first billion dollars in a month.

Oh, but that .1% number, that’s versus the month prior. The sales numbers versus July of 2008 are down by 8.6%. Almost ten million Americans are receiving some sort of government assistance, and as the numbers of unemployed climb the number receiving unemployment is pared as their benefits run out. That was down by 141,000 as of last week.

The inability of being able to find a job has me given to manic mood swings and bouts of cynicism and anger. I’m no criminal; hell, I’ve never been arrested for anything. But to be considered for employment in today’s job market you must submit a credit report to be hired. It’s Visa and MasterCard who determine if you’re a good employee, not your twenty-odd year record. My credit is in the tank, as I would wager it is for many of you.

I’m also over fifty years old, which is no crime unless you happen to live in the stupidest country in the world. Single payer healthcare is common sense, not communism. You cover everyone from their first diaper until their last breath. With a huge pool of healthy you can take care of the sick and frail. This is the way the rest of the friggin world does it, but we are so stupid that even the best plan put forward still leaves the insurance industry in charge.

The other day, after a long and drawn out fight, the California state government agreed on a budget. The budget fight was ugly due to the downturn in revenue due to the economy. The answer was to make many painful cuts in social programs affecting the poorest, the frailest and the most vulnerable. After all branches had agreed to this budget, the governor then used his line item veto to cut five billion more. It’s call betrayal, it’s called underhanded and contemptible, but in the mainstream media it’s called a secret.

There have been job offers that I have turned down; one offered me five dollars a post to pitch their products on other websites. To just go out and spam websites for money, well, we have a name for that kind of behavior. Another offered five to twenty dollars to rewrite someone else’s articles so that they could keep the SEO keywords but fool the robots. This is what passes as job offerings today. This morning I got an email for a work at home scam where I would send them fifteen dollars as a one time training fee, and they would to train me to process applications. My training material would teach me to place email ads offering to teach others to process applications after a fifteen-dollar training fee.

In this corporatocracy every card is wild. AT&T, our Internet provider, has called offering to upgrade our service for free, but I’ve been down that road with them before. After ninety days the bill will go up and they will calmly explain that that is what we agreed to. So we told them, “No, don’t change anything. We like it fine just the way it is.” They call us at least three times a week now, and it’s hard not to get ugly with them. I was on You Tube and they advised that they would soon no longer support my browser and I needed to upgrade.

So I did, to Microsoft something or other, and they asked me, “Do you want to use Microsoft’s suggested sites?” I thought to myself, what kind of brain dead moron needs Microsoft to suggest web sites, and so I said, “No.” At the end of the upgrade it asked me again, and again I said “No!” Since the download, every morning I get a Microsoft message telling me of the great features available to me if I’ll just take their tutorial that starts by asking me questions and then more questions and then I cancel. I hit cancel because, number one, I just wanted to watch You Tube videos, and number two, I don’t want to buy anything or subscribe to anything or have any corporation giving me advice on where to visit. Yet at the bottom of my favorites bar Microsoft has added a “Turn on suggested sites button.” just in case I change my mind.

You just reach a point where you want to explode, tired of being hassled, scammed, and constantly buggered by some corporation trying to sell you something and unwilling to take “No!” for an answer. This is why we get banking bills that help the banks at the public’s expense, and despite Obama’s promises to aid homeowners the banks have used the bailout money to increase the number of home foreclosures.

But you reach a point after you’ve lost your home and your 401K and you start selling cherished possessions for groceries. It is part of our fight or flight reflex, and you have to make a choice. And I’ve had the fantasies of robbing banks, but I don’t want to hurt anyone. The most recurrent fantasy I’ve had is not to rob a bank but to just burn a bank down for the sheer joy of it! Just watch that sucker burn to ashes and to think about what my mother used to say: “What if everybody did?”

But they are the fantasies of the permanently unemployed and the new, permanent underclass. Just as healthcare reform will leave the current system in place, the number of employers offering healthcare will continue to dwindle. As the cost continues to rise, fewer and fewer will have any health insurance, which brings me to where I live.

Even with the public option, without a job I can’t afford it. After working for forty years and paying in premiums, the US government figures that they owe me zero in the way of government stipends.

John Kennedy said that any man looking for a job but unable to find one was a priority for the government. FDR said it this way: “True individual freedom cannot exist without economic security and independence. People who are hungry and out of a job are the stuff of which dictatorships are made.”

And what we have here is a corporate dictatorship, coated with a blizzard of bullshit blowing from all sides, while the victims are ignored. Tinkering in the margins isn’t reform. Leaving the Bush tax cuts in place isn’t reform; continuing the wars isn’t reform, and bailing out Wall Street and the banks isn’t reform. Ignoring the millions of unemployed and passing them off with platitudes is criminal.

I’m considering the Soylent Green approach, sell my car and move into a motel for two or three weeks. Sleep on clean linen, enjoy the air conditioning, take long hot showers, and eat and drink all I want. Then, when the money’s gone, C’est La Vie.

I think the person who takes a job in order to live - that is to say, for the money - has turned himself into a slave. (Joseph Campbell)



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