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View Diary: From unemployed, to 1%er, to unemployable - and why I have always voted Democratic (69 comments)

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  •  This part should be required reading (52+ / 0-)

    for your family members who might be Republican:

    I am either over-qualified for the work that I can do, or lack the skill set for a(n) (insert job title) with my seniority.  So here I sit, highly educated, and unemployable.  The best that I can find is occasional free-lance work.  I barely have health insurance for my family and am getting acquainted with the world of “no-credit”, even though my credit score is over 800.  That brings me to my second lesson – no matter how smart and hardworking you are, you are never immune to arbitrary, no-fault-of-your-own, misfortune.  
    This is the kind of thing that FINALLY got through to one of my brothers--the one who was a union guy all his life and managed to actually retire with benefits intact, his house owned free and clear, and his social security assured--the neanderthal Rush Limbaugh Republican-loving brother of mine. The one that hasn't gotten along with the rest of us for awhile now because if we don't agree with him, we must be a bunch of godless Liberals (the cognitive dissonance is amazing--and I lay it squarely at the feet of state-subsidized propaganda, but I digress)

    Recently, I had occasion to remind him that we came from the exact same circumstance--we do share parents, after all--and had the same exact opportunities. He knows I am hard working--in fact, when I told him I was laid off again (through no fault of my own)--he repeated the family expectation of me: "oh, you'll land on your feet, you always do, you're smart, you're hard-working", etc. Yeah, well, I have no choice, I told him, because I can't live on 265 dollars a week unemployment (here's where I inserted a refutation of the FOX talking point that people on unemployment are living like kings on the public dole...).

    And I didn't thank him for his support this time, either--I told him flat out that I was scared for my future. He knows I'm left-leaning and voted for Obama, but that this current "budget crisis" is manufactured so both sides can finish looting the country via the tried-and-true Good Cop/Bad Cop motif (IOW, I had his attention the minute I said "if this current bunch gets their way, they're gonna steal MY SS--I'm not going to get mine just because of the year I was born").

    Lo and behold, the change in his voice was amazing to me. I remember thinking "My God, he finally gets it" and went on to say "I'm 53 years old, and I am sick and fucking tired of having to land on my feet, over and over, just because my country's economics turned in the last 30 years away from common decency and toward career destruction via outsourcing and profiteering."

     How many of us just happened to end up working for companies that kept falling into financial holes to the point where they were ripe for buyout? Specialized niches that no longer exist in this shit economy? Mine was product support for specialized software and I'm sure that's not the only thing that's gone by the wayside in this country. I am one of millions. Well guess what? These employers chose me--these were good jobs. I had nothing to do with their destruction--no matter how hard we all worked, it was never enough to save the company from buyout/downsizing/layoffs. How the fuck is that MY fault?

    That was my brother's question, more than once--how the fuck is that your fault? Well this time, I said "Now you know why I'm a Democrat--even if they don't do anything about this kind of shit anymore, even if they're only paying it lip-service at best these days--at least they really represented what it meant to be middle class and hardworking,".  

    I haven't talked to him since, but the batshit-crazy teathuggery email chains have stopped. That's gotta be good for something.

    Suffice to say, this is the most important diary I've read here in awhile--this is the kind of POV we might gain independent traction with, in order to wake up more people to what's going on. Thank you so much for writing it.

    It is time to #Occupy Media.

    by lunachickie on Fri Mar 15, 2013 at 10:01:31 AM PDT

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