Sorry, but this will not be one of my happier posts. I am troubled over the economy (and politics, but I won’t go there), so I need to vent just a little.
There were no raises the last 2 years I worked. I was told recently that there have been none since then either. I don’t know for sure that is true, but was told by a former coworker, so I must believe it is true. I retired over 3 years ago! At current gas prices, I would be spending $80 per week because my job was across town and as you can imagine, Orlando is a BIG city! I was spending $55-60 a week for gas and tolls when I retired. Now it would be $80 for gas alone. I assume the tolls are still $10 per week. I don't remember hearing any toll hikes on that expressway, but who knows. It is not an area of town I have any desire to visit now that I don't have to go there for my job.
When NAFTA was passed, I knew jobs would leave our country and that it would throw us into an economic crisis. I didn't understand why other people could not see what was coming. Part of the reason why I went ahead and retired early is because I was at a point where I was saving my whole pay check and I felt guilty for holding a position I really didn’t need when so many others were in need. By retiring early, I believed I was giving my slot to someone in need of a good job with benefits. I heard later that they simply took my duties and spread them among the remaining, already overworked, staff. Sheesh... I hope eventually someone was hired into that slot because in FL gov't, if a position is left open for any length of time, the watchdogs in the state capitol can take the position and put it to use elsewhere. Novice management personal often learned that little lesson the hard way!
I was delighted to hear that some employers are returning to US. I doubt it will repair the damage already done, but it’s a start. I wish we could tax the hell out of imports from American companies overseas... I'm sure the greedy money bag sorts would disagree with me. I think it is so very important to our economy to keep American workers in jobs. Why did that escape the attention when NAFTA was being drafted? I know I'm not smarter than those who know how to make big money. So, I must assume that they knew and it was something to gain... like Congress and their "insider" trading, which is what it is... regardless of what they want to call it.
My heart hurts for all the people who have lost jobs and homes. Yes…it is what it is. I don’t feel like much is going to change until the politicians quit fighting, roll up their sleeves and get busy on the REAL problems in our nation. But…I don’t see that happening any time soon and that IS WHAT IT IS…sadly…
I’ll let the “Fun Darlene” out of the box after I post this. I already feel better. Even if it is what it is….