If you think the economy is turning the corner, guess again. Unless by “turning the corner” you mean “stepping off the abyss.”
Now that GM and Chrysler have announced massive dealership closures, on top of the plant closures, guess what that means? Yep, more joblessness. It means more people competing for lower-wage jobs, more people going on food stamps, Medicaid and other assistance, more houses foreclosing and more bankruptcies.
It means people who used to make $75,000 a year are fighting for jobs that pay $35,000 and bumping out people who used to make $60,000 a year out to scrap for the $20,000 a year jobs. It means no health insurance because you’re not quite broke enough to qualify for Medicaid or food stamps but the debt just keeps piling up. It means if you cash in your 401(k) (Bad idea anyway), it’s worth maybe HALF what it was two years ago. It means an entire new underclass, the Nouveau Broke – the ones with 15- to 30-year careers that are now in ruins without many promising prospects.
Take journalists, for instance. How do you reinvent yourself? There are only so many PR/marketing jobs out there, and they’re often the first once to get cut when the economy goes south — making matters even worse.
It means middle-age family guys moving in with their retired parents and the crushing humiliation that comes along with it. It means millions of lives interrupted, plans put on hold, homes lost, careers dashed, college aspirations crushed.
A lot of good a tax break does if you’re making so little money that you can’t pay your mortgage/rent and credit card bills, and God help you if you have car payments too.
Disillusioned? Bitter? Maybe, but really, I’m more interested in just clinging to what I have long enough to survive this long, long, long downturn.
How about you?