I have been kind of bummed out the last few days because I found out my best friend was laid off last week.  She went to work on Wednesday, and that morning they just took her aside and said, “You’re out of here.”  No warning, none of that “You have two weeks” or anything. Just full time employment one day and none the next.  Like many of us she wasn’t making enough to put money aside and save for the rainy day.

Like me, she has a 4 year degree and like me, she can’t find a job in her field.  She’s a teacher.  I’m a mechanical engineer.  She was working in a manufacturing facility doing production work.  We could probably join the ranks of the job refugees and move from city to city and state to state pursuing the next job possibility.  But I have an elderly mother I care for and all her relatives are in this state.

We are both over 50, which is probably part of the problem as far as getting hired goes.  Employers want people they figure they can pay less, even though when I spent my 12 months job hunting I kept stating that I was willing to work for less and that I was ok with that, I just wanted to work.  It didn’t help.  I never got a job offer in this state (Washington); got a few from Chicago and from Dallas.

So, as I said above are we now expected in this job climate to move every 6 months or so to a completely new city and state in order to be employed?  I guess the corporations that are actually running this country would love that.  A person moving every year or so would have no friends or relatives living close by to help them out; they would be entirely at the mercy of the employer.  Anyone ever hear of unpaid overtime?  No wonder most of the country is on antidepressants and hopped up on caffeine.

There is much discussion about how many in the United States are really unemployed.  It is my understanding that when we are given a report on the number of unemployed it is really counting those who are collecting unemployment insurance.  Anyone who is thinking will know that unemployment benefits run out after a period of usually less than one year.  With extensions it may last a year or possibly a bit longer, but it does not go on much more.  So really, how many unemployed are there?  A rule of thumb I have heard is to double whatever the reported rate is, which would make the current rate near 20% unemployment.  If you gasp at that, read the report from the Washington Post at this link:

Washington Post says around 17%:

http://voices.washingtonpost.com/economy-watch/2009/09/actual_unemployment_rate_hits.html

New York Post says more like 22%:

http://www.nypost.com/p/news/business/how_nation_true_jobless_rate_is_N4E6MjtfhnMcCi537pucaJ

Economy in Crises reports 21% unemployment:

http://www.economyincrisis.org/content/real-unemployment-rate-over-21

Whats my point?  I don’t have a point, I’m pissed.  That is my point.  A nation of angry, educated, unemployed people; hmm, what could possibly go wrong with that picture?  George Orwell had it right; only its not the government that is Big Brother, it is the Corporations.  Think about it.

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