Sometimes something reminds me of what is going on back in the US, and what a tough time some people are having.
I recently got a new blog follower, 62 year old guy who has been unable to find a job. He’s gone through his savings and his house is in danger of foreclosure. He has been looking for many months without success, and is resigning himself to the fact that he may never have a job again. He will need to find a life that he can manage on his social security income, perhaps a life in Panama.
He is only one of many thousands. Yesterday I came across THIS (chart below) on a site I visit occasionally. Their information is from the Economic Policy Institute. The unemployment statistics don’t count people who have given up on finding a job, the “missing workers”. The EPI says there are almost six million of these people! If these people were counted the unemployment rater would be 9.7%.
Almost all of us have been through the process of looking for a job. We understand it can be difficult. When it goes on and on there is increasing uncertainty, financial hardship, discouragement, and frustration. And, this affects the working people too. I expect they have to put up with whatever conditions are in the workplace because they don’t have the option to go elsewhere.
Many retirees are looking at other options because it’s just too expensive for them to live in the US. But, what about others who are forced to retire sooner than planned, and use up all their savings while trying to find a job? They not only have a lower income than expected, but they don’t have the safety net of savings.
It makes me wonder how these people will do if they move to Panama (or anywhere else). If people are forced to move because of economic circumstances, can these people make the necessary changes and adjustments and build a happy life? If they are not happy but can’t afford to leave, then what?
I choose to ignore what goes on in the US. There is nothing I can do about any of it so it’s only depressing and frustrating. Once in a while though something gets through to me and gets me going. How is it OK that so many people suffered through the recession and continue to suffer? How is it OK that politicians spend more energy butting heads than fixing problems? How is it OK that the rich get richer while much of the middle class slides into poverty? How it OK that our health care system is a mess? or educational system is getting worse? It feels like love and generosity have been overcome by greed and fear.
OK, I’m done. This is why I don’t watch the news or keep up with things up there. It only makes me nuts. Life here is calm. Generosity is the norm. Some people are very poor but education, health care, and jobs are available for all. People can change their circumstances. The government, though far from perfect, is working on improving the lives of the people. I don’t sense the hopelessness and frustration of so many in the US who went to school, worked hard, did the right things, yet still got slapped down.
Every day I wake up to this life here, I am thankful.