Jobs. Everyone has one and nobody wants one, or wants a better one. Usually. I have already said on this blog that I am content with where I am- working part time and going to school fill time. I make enough money for me to be comfortable, and journey outside of my house every now and then. There are millions who don’t live in such relative luxury. Families live on less than what I make in a year, how I will ever know, and that number is climbing faster than ever before. Most recently we have seen unemployment spike beyond levels it has been for decades. While that 9+% is tragic, I think the most upsetting new is how many people would consider themselves underemployed.
These are people who after a decade in a field find themselves without a job. I see it all the time and while I lack the age to directly associate with such people- as my social circle doesn’t include 35+ year olds, I am well aware of this epidemic. They attempt to take this in stride, and then head out to find another job. It is a difficult process to be sure. A process that usually ends in complete failure, or a small job prospect that has no benefits, and half the salary. It is a death sentence to a life so previously lived. You would hope that after a hard life and experience to match you could find a job rightly befitting.
It is even harder for the 35 year old without a degree, but countless years of experience. Had I the inclination to find a job more related to my personal interestes (for sake of argument lets say a Web Design job with need of HTML, CSS, PHP, Java skills etc.) I would be SOL finding even some of the most basic entry level jobs without years of extremely relatable experience or a degree. It doesn’t matter that I have a lifetime of nerdly skills that are reflected poorly on a resume- it’s 5+ years experience or degree required. So it is that the mid life veteran has few options.
I see this all the time in retail. While my current place of employment is more…kid focused Target was inundated by people like this. It was a sad day indeed when you worked next to a broken man doing the same thing you were while you were 17 and he double that. I am defined primarily as a student, but I have worked for most of my educational existence. I can make a post like I did Tuesday how putting down this laptop and just listening is uniquely intimate, but then my mood today makes me take the rest of the population to heart. The majority of people who live in America do not have a degree, and had no inclination to get one. So they get stuck in this situation. Underemployment is a sad alternative to unemployment- but at least it is something.
I bought and read The Tipping Point by one of my favorite authors Malcolm Gladwell yesterday and I can relate the current poverty stricken climate to what he says. I described the job market as an epidemic in an earlier paragraph and that is what Gladwell’s book is about. He says that most epidemics happen because of small, near insignificant factors. What factors lead to our current climate? Politicians would like to debate this fact in simple, clearly defined reasoned ways. Regulation or lack or regulation. One president versus the previous. Godliness versus Atheist. It is all bullshit, on any side you stand. Talking points that incite feelings. Their reasoned debate is illogical pandering.
I have my own thoughts and ideas what has lead to the degradation of the American workers’ job stability and usefulness, but you have been listening to me for quite some time. While some of you may enjoy reading my thoughts, I would hope that you could express some of your own. This doesn’t just have to be my tirade- it can be a discussion. discussion with anyone, not me specifically. If you were to take anything from my blog I only hope that my dumb mind brings you to some self-understand through either internal or external discussion. However if you would want to talk about this, or anything send me a message, call me, facebook me.