Nobody wants to hear…
–I have some difficult news to share with all of you. As you know, we have been in the process of planning layoffs in our department. Jobs have been eliminated….-
This is the precise moment, where all the alarm bells begin ringing. You are feeling on the verge of an emergency, all of a sudden you’ve become a firefighter with a mission. Putting a fire under control, with the only difference that this fire is your life.
Layoff has been proven to be now a days as normal as ever. It’s no surprise when employees begin listening rumors of massive layoffs (to be considered massive if would have to be 50 workers from a singe employer), which later result in the real deal. In other words, massive families to be impacted on what they consider their day-to-day life.
Nevertheless the same companies who are letting go of the manufacturing line employees are the ones that are retaining high salary employees which in occasions have absolutely no idea of what’s going on in the level ground where the product (which is keeping their own jobs safe) is manufactured. Some of these employees even enjoy a company car that usually comes with a very high price tag.
The thing they don’t fully understand is that it’s just a matter of time, before their own jobs will be cut. Don’t forget the pizza delivery guy in Larry Crown!
We can’t even expect to get some help from our government! Things can seem gloomy with a national unemployment rate of 7.6% (May 2013/Bureau of Labor Statistics).
For Pete’s sake even our federal government as of March 2013 has passed the infamous sequestration (which means literally that across -the- border spending cuts are required by the Balanced Budget Emergency Deficit Control Act). No longer Roosevelt’s vision of a reliable central government will put citizen’s minds at ease when facing harsh economic times.
There is nowhere to go would be an understatement.
Now take for instance, the lives that are portrayed in the movie “Company Men”, all of these men face losing their jobs in different ways and manners. Some gave themselves a hard inner look and reassesed who they were and dealt with the situation. One of them even made the stupid choice of suicide (which is one way out).
The sad part of the movie would definitely be that many of them had dedicated their lives to the company, and what did they get in return? Severance and some other fringe benefits. While the company kept moving forward, merging, selling stocks or doing whatever it took to safe keep it’s CEO and board in their wealthy and over the top life styles.
The same can be said about our governments. Sequestration will affect programs like Meals on Wheels, Headstart, National Parks, Food Stamps, Bureau of Labor Statistics, etc., but overall spending in Congress, the White House and many other governmental branches will remain the same. No Sequestration to be met in these brackets.
Come to think about it, why can’t Michelle Obama cook the first families own meals? She sure had a great example in Martha Washington.
The idealistic in me wants to end this article with some nice words that will reassure anybody that reads it. Nevertheless, I can’t.
As I see things we all need to go back to the basics, and when I say all it means world-class manufacturing companies, local and federal governments, small and large businesses, and last, but certainly not least every family or individual in America.
The basic of all basics, would be not to overspend! Our consumerist society has become a disposable one. We love to buy things we don’t need to dump them later or in the garbage or at a garage sale. This is not new to anyone who is listening to the economists out there. They have become our prophets, we better begin listening and adjusting or we will be feeling the rath of poverty coming to our lives more sooner than later.
History has proven over and over how people who are desperate due to economic hardship are vulnerable to ways of life that can disrupt or damage permanently a democratic government. If any you doubt it go and read about what was going on in the world post World War I.
Many of the countries that later on developed despotic or tyrannic ways of government (Italy or Germany for instance) were facing extreme economic hardship.
We’re not there yet, but have no doubt that if we keep this up we are going to get there. It’s a matter of time. So, the question would be, what are we waiting for?