Thursday, December 9, 2010

Pain and suffering

I didn't get to hear all the stories of the people at the meeting but of the ones I did, I heard enough to give you just a glimpse of what's going on out here in the real world. A trucker in his late forties unable to get work. He was promised six months work driving a rig only to be told after a couple of weeks that the job was done. For him it was just one of the temporary economic green shoots that sprang up and died. In the mean time he faces trying to get medical treatment so he can pass the physical to be able to continue to drive. A veteran he can get it all done through the VA if he can jump through the hoops to get an appointment. He doesn't have the funds to pay for a doctor or the expensive tests required. To top it off or add insult to injury as they say, our state is about to cut medical funding for those least able to afford it.

Another a woman appearing to be in her early fifties wondering how she'll pay her rent when her unemployment runs out shortly. Having worked all her life with no family in the area. She appeared to be shattered, beaten down by the current economic situation. She didn't look like someone who had frittered away a lot of money on toys for herself. Just one of the many who thought that with some retraining and right timing she could make it back to the workforce and a steady pay check. If she doesn't find something soon she'll be just another statistic looking for a shelter. But shelters have a waiting list and there's no time or place to wait.

More on these bits and pieces of hardship later.


S.W. Anderson said...

I want very much to be able to say something hopeful and encouraging. The best I can manage right now is, this too shall pass.

We're not getting the leadership we need or the justice the situation calls for. The bastards at AIG, at Goldman Sachs, Bank of America and all the rest who brought our economy down ought to do something to give you, that 50-year-old woman and a few million others a leg up.

Of course, in today's America we don't look back. We take things off the table and move on — to the next bubble and the next bust.

Randal Graves said...

So you're all ready to give up on those rich man tax cuts? Trickle down takes time (and another reality but who's counting)

Tom Harper said...

Unemployment checks make people lazy and take away all incentive to work. When these handouts expire, those lazy people will get up off the couch and get out there and get a job, and all will be hunky dory.

I learned that from reading Cal Thomas' column, as well as listening to the fair and balanced reporting of Fox News.

harry said...

As a fellow once said,

"It's a hard rain gonna fall"

Oso said...

I was just thinking how lucky I am yesterday,Demeur.

I've got a good job which seems safe for the time being, house payment ain't too steep at all.

Sounds trite I guess, but I feel blessed.

My thoughts and prayers go out to those less fortunate, especially the desperate folks you describe.

It can be so easy for the desperation to slip into despondency.

BBC said...

I'll keep getting by, I've always done okay that way. Of course I've never expected a hell of a lot, a dry place to rest and some food. Everything above that was a bonus.

squatlo said...

"What we have here is a failure to communicate..." Strother Martin said it best in "Cool Hand Luke", unfortunately.
The people who can make life bearable for those in need have no incentive to do so because they're comfortable, and being rewarded generously for being comfortable instead of listening to those in pain.
For every Gandhi or MLK or Mother Teresa there are ten thousand assholes with an "I/Me/Mine" attitude running the show, and nothing and no one makes them see the light.
I've come to the conclusion that taking a positive step whenever possible is better than refusing to move unless it's for all the marbles. Economic changes happen incrementally, like evolution or climate change, and we have to whittle away at the edges whenever possible, because the big boys won't let things move faster than a glacial pace, regardless.
But to shrug it all off "as the progress of man" (quoting John Prine) is fatalistic and kills the soul.