Monday, June 7, 2010

Time Passes

Tomorrow, June 8, 2010, I will be 58 years old.

I have been un/underemployed for over six years now. I was totally unemployed for the first three years and have had a part-time, barely above minimum wage job these last almost three years that has been a godsend since it has allowed me to keep my brain fully engaged, earn a little money and be able to answer honestly if asked if I'm working (even if it isn't working within my actual career field.) This probably is not enough to satisfy those firms that have proclaimed "Unemployed Need Not Apply" but if asked, I can answer honestly, which is extremely important to me.

I sit here some days and I can feel the tension buzzing inside me. I take the deep breaths, trying to calm myself down but it's a fight every time. I truly do not recall the last, totally restful night of sleep I've had.

I'm one of the lucky ones.

I've always been a renter so don't have to worry about a mortgage and foreclosure. My only "dependent" is my feline companion, Dan'l (that's him peeking at you there to the right). And he provides me far more benefits just in his presence than I could ever give him it seems. He has that sense that I think many of our four legged companions have that knows when we are feeling stressed and will come join me in the chair and lean his head against my chest or drape himself over my arm (like he is right now as I type). Most nights, he joins me in bed and lays with his head and front paws on my chest while the rest of him nestles in the crook of my arm. If I prop myself on the couch, he likes to lay out on my legs, although when he stretches like that, he tends to extend the claws and then digs them into my ankles while he sleeps.

So what do we see happening to obviate the un/underemployment problems? Not a whole hell of a lot. In a Good News/Bad News scenario last week, we had the Jobs Report for May that showed

The headline numbers for May suggested reason for optimism — employers added 431,000 jobs and the jobless rate fell to 9.7 percent, from 9.9 percent in April. But the underlying numbers showed that almost all of the growth came from the 411,000 workers hired by the federal government to help with the Census. Most of those jobs will end in a few months.

By contrast, the private sector created 41,000 positions, far short of expectations for 150,000 to 180,000 jobs. And the number of long-term unemployed, those Americans out of work for 27 or more weeks, remained at its highest level since the Labor Department began collecting such data in the 1940s.

Like I say, good news/bad news.

Then we have the results of the G20 meeting from South Korea. As both Scarecrow and David Dayen note, the deficit hawks and banksters around the world are winning the war. Even with millions of long term unemployed around the US and global unemployment rising (shades of the Great Depression), the folks who are secure with their millions and unwilling to sacrifice for their luxuries, presume to lecture everyone else about how bad deficits are and how the deficit spending should be stopped, no matter how many people are on the street without jobs.

Has anyone seen my pitchfork?

And because I can:

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