Saturday, March 24, 2012

IT IS WHAT IT IS… BFF 178

BFF 178

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….

11 comments:

  1. We should've heed the warnings of Ross Perot when it came to NAFTA...I remember what he said back in 1993: "Y'hear that? That's the sound of your money being sucked out of your wallet!"

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    1. I missed that comment, but I agree completely.

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  2. My husband and I are fortunate to have remained employed over the years. But like you, I was striped of my hours (and the pay to go along with it) when the economy went south. Then when things still didn't seem like to get any better, I voluntarily gave up more hours because I thought I was being loyal to my employer and he would appreciate it. Then when things got really bad, I was looking at working even less hours, so I quit. Fortunately I was able to find full-time employment and am now making the same hourly rate that I was making.

    Despite all this I really understand and feel the pain of all those that have lost their jobs and subsequently their homes. We've never owned our home(s) wherever we've lived because we could never afford it and frankly right now, even though we can afford it, we don't want to own in fear that we will fall victim to unemployment or downturn in the economy again.

    So we are just paying off our bills and socking money away for retirement because social security will probably not be available for us then anyway.

    Thanks for your thoughts. I completely agree.

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    1. Oh no!!! If you can afford to buy a house, now is the time to do it. You DO NOT want to be a tenant in someone else's property when you retire. Just don't sink all your money into the property. Keep a healthy savings balance for a cushion. Property is a steal at this time. I encourage you to take advantage of the current housing market!!!

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  3. I seldom, no I rarely discuss the economy or politics because I feel like I am too uneducated about either to be really effective. I do know that we have not been horribly affected by this downturn and we do still have a small balance on our mortgage, but I have seen many lose their homes. I have seen many long time employees let go in downsizing moves that have crippled them financially. When the jobs left, the ability to purchase went with them and there in, of course, lies the problem. I agree that the congress got something for those decisions and I hope they are now enjoying their rewards. We will be many years, if ever, recovering. Our future lies in small businesses growing locally. We need to support all of them and stay the hell out of the big box stores as much as possible because they are the great benefactors of NAFTA. Cheap products imported and American jobs exported. Simple enough even for my small mind.

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    1. Amen!!! Well said!!! And your mind is neither simple or small. IMHO, your mind works perfectly well.

      I boycotted Walmart years ago. I rarely go to Walmart unless I need something I just can't find elsewhere. I will pay more for a product before I will go to Walmart. Our economy was founded on small family owned businesses. I'm all for supporting them!

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  4. I like the twist you put on the topic, Darlene. My husband was making a very good living in land development and custom home building until 2008...many sleepless nights for him, but it is what it is and I am very thankful we are faring okay. No more extras for a while! But Thank God, we're all healthy. :)

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  5. When I left the library the employees were still getting raises every year and folks were still able to get a job there. At this point there is not only a pay increase freeze but also a hiring freeze. My husband has been a truck driver through it all and we have seen some mighty lean times over the years. I can't imagine the hoops those who are out of work have to go through now to even hope for a job. There are so many people out of work or working for less than their means that every job no matter what it is has become a hot commodity. People I know on the job hunt have been at it over a year and have to endure 4 or more interviews before a job ever presents itself. Sure hope things get better. Gasoline is ridiculous. Great post!!

    Kathy
    http://gigglingtruckerswife.blogspot.com/

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  6. Things are starting to turn around, it's just a long slow process. I wish there was a quick fix, but unfortunately at the rate we're at, it will take the country an estimated six years to get out of this... that's provided we don't reverse course. Both my husband and I are employed but that doesn't mean we're sitting pretty. I work for less every year as my raises are few and less than the cost of living increases, plus we are currently putting two kids through college. I know what you mean about work being piled on to less people. I'm working myself to death this year with a huge caseload. It's a bummer, I know. Hang in there. You're not alone.

    Joyce
    http://joycelansky.blogspot.com/

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  7. yes, this economy is so wrong. rudy is in another state just to help keep our heads above water, and i am being told that our school district will, once again, cut our pay... which makes it harder to contribute to our retirement savings account.... but, it is what it is, right? blah!

    nice write, darlene.

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  8. NAFTA was supposed to make commerce easier, and get Middle and South American countries out of their economic slumps, so they would stop turning to the World Bank for bailouts. You have the NAFTA, we have the EU.
    The tide is turning in globalization. It's reached it's zenith. As the standard of living rises in other countries (while it lowers in yours) the equilibrium will soon be obtained, and it will no longer be profitable to produce overseas.

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