The Poor and the Restless

Occupy AmericaA few years ago I stated to friends and family that if the economic wasteland did not improve there would be protests then riots.

That prediction is starting to shape up despite the vigorous attempts of mainstream power mongers to keep us placid and distracted with scandals and TV.  There is only so much distraction from a rumbling stomach that can be ignored.  Further, with many being homeless and unemployed, there is nothing to stop them from hitchhiking to the power and money capitals to camp out in front of our decision makers so that they have to look the poor in the eye as they make their ruinous policies.

No one begrudges a hard worker their just rewards.  But when the privileged use unfair and immoral practices and pressure on lawmakers to fatten their wallets at the expense of others, there is justified indignation. Level the playing ground, allow families to buy homes, cars and food.  These are not extravagant requests.

But those in power in Corporate America have hit us with a two edged sword; first take away the high paying jobs for just-over-minimum wage jobs, then raise prices for all basic necessities like food, gas, clothing and housing.  This has created an unprecedented amount of working poor and homeless.  Many have jobs but must sleep at relatives, friends or in their cars.  How can this possibly go on?  You made the decisions to ship our jobs overseas.  You made the decisions to “downsize” your workforce.  Now you cry “low profits” as an excuse for not re-hiring people at full-time jobs that pay decently.  I’m sorry that you now only make 100% profits instead of 300%.  You can’t afford your super-yacht anymore, boo-hoo.  Please tell your tale to the families in line at the food bank because you cut off their unemployment check and food stamps while telling them to go find a non-existent job.

I for one, am glad to see the people of America remembering that they are in charge of the politicians.  I am glad to see us standing up once more in peaceful dignity and saying in one voice, “Fix this mess!!”

Keep Occupying.

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Can’t Find a Job? Make One.

By Charles Kemp

Creating your own job may seem daunting, but with today’s technology it is actually easier than ever.  Many young people fresh from college are doing this to keep out of the low-wage, long hour treadmill of bottom level jobs with no future the current economy is churning out.

One thing to keep in mind is that working for yourself requires discipline and long hours so choose something you are passionate about for a business.  If you can eat, sleep, dream and breath it, that’s probably your best choice.

Technology makes it possible to launch most businesses from home, keeping costs down.  Creativity can control other costs.  Use parts of your student funds to start collecting things you will need for your business.  Books can be used for research for your business and for papers in college.  Buy top of the line tech as you may not be able to replace it with business start up funds.

Partner with others or at least network to barter services and goods.  And above all, learn the best manners and business behavior and practice them. Treating customers and vendors in a professional manner can make or break a start up business.  Use all social networking available and develop profiles that are strictly professional.  Ditch the cute or cool e-mail addresses and profile names of college and polish up a business presence.

And above all, have fun.  If you don’t enjoy having you as a boss, no one else will.

A New Fairy Tale

Once upon a time in a magical place called America, I worked the corporate treadmill and had a good middle-class life and lifestyle.  I had good neighbors who also lived the good middle-class life.  Then came revelations that all was not as wonderful as believed in the kingdom.  The kings had sold much of the land and resources to outsiders and made backroom deals with them to keep the populace ignorant.

When leaks began to happen and the people were restless, they were distracted with games, movies, scandals and other treats.  This kept the people focused on nonsense and prevented them from seeing the trouble coming.

Difficult times began and jobs were few and far between even for the highly skilled and educated.  People began to shout for “change” and were rewarded with the coming of the prince.  The prince promised change but cautioned it would be difficult and that all would need to sacrifice together to make the kingdom great again.

The people cheered the prince and promised their support until the first cuts began.  There was no magic wand to make everything as it was so they started to grumble.  The people put in advisors who would force the prince’s hand.  But the advisors turned on the people and made it worse, they wanted only to protect the high lords of the land and wanted the workers and peasants to drop dead.

I wish I could say this story had a happy ending, but it is filled with heartache, homelessness, poverty, helplessness and despair.  Many families struggle even now in the face of rampant consumerism, and entertainers with exorbitant salaries.  Many of the high lords shifted their wealth into other countries to evade taxes and avoid the people.  This only increased the poverty and lack of jobs.

Only the unity of a nation’s people, rich and poor can make us great again.  Small business owners need capital to hire workers.  Workers need re-training for new industries and families need intermediate support to survive.  Children raised in poverty have their futures stunted and do not contribute to the fullest of their potential.

Join me in changing the end of this tale, commit to making America the great land it once was.  It will take hard work, entrepreneurship and cooperation across ages, cultures, races and economic status but it can happen.  If you agree, comment or like this post and I will send it to our high lord politicians of both sides, because if we don’t drop sides and work together, the end of this story will be bleak.