My epic rant from the final episode of This American Election, revised for the blogosphere:
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Source: OECD Employment Outlook 2006. Statistical Annex, p. 248
The party continues for some. The reckless abandon in some quarters is astounding. The country is on a trajectory of debt that can’t be sustained to support priorities that amount to a giant list of bad ideas. We’ve got imperial wars that continue in stealth mode because the media won’t let information through, discretionary budgets that are just black holes that suck up money with no accounting for it, money-printing on demand and loaned at zero rates, an entitlement state that surpluses nearly half the population out of the workforce.
How did we find ourselves here? I never would have thought four and a half years ago as I was working for the election of Hillary Clinton that I would be here. And where is here?
I’m not yet a Republican, but I have come to realize that I am somewhat of a conservative. I have to be. I work for a living. I’m married and I have a family to protect. I am a family-oriented fiscal conservative. But I’m also socially liberal to an extent. I’m for civil rights and women’s rights, and fair pay, and social justice. Gay marriage? I’m for it, but the institution of marriage might be dead before we get it, rendering it a mute point.
I’d like to see the institution of marriage resurrected, because men and women, left to their own devices, tend to devolve into selfish, heartless monsters, and now we have a whole party of them. A good marriage breeds a compromising mindset of necessity, and it goes a long way toward helping understand the nature of personal accountability. That doesn’t mean I’m for forced marriages, but how did we get from where we were 30 years ago to where we are now?
I have to say, I feel left behind. I fought my way to a bachelors degree, which I finally earned in 2007 after chipping away at it for years on a part-time basis while I worked to raise my daughter. As soon as I earned it, the bottom fell out. Now the market is so glutted with people with master degrees that I can’t get an interview if the positions says “bachelor degree required; masters preferred.” Hell, I can’t even get an interview for a secretarial position and I have over a decade of experience there. Now I’m “too qualified.” Is there is even a place in the job market for a bachelor degree anymore? Is it the new high school diploma?
I also got married in 2007. In 2011, for the first time ever, unmarried women outnumbered married women, and these women helped carry Obama over the finish line. Now they’re the constituency everybody wants. Being a single woman was a wasteland experience until I got married. Now it’s the new normal and my group is disempowered. Sometimes I wonder: Is it me? Is it whatever I do that I can count on failing? I don’t want to believe that, but on a day like today, it’s hard to hold my head up.
When I really think about it, I love who I am, who I made myself into through sheer grit and determination, and I love the choices I made to get here. But I gotta tell you, having every rug yanked out from beneath me as I steadfastly make the right and healthy choices, because the culture is on a disease-embracing binge and loving it, is wearing thin. It’s discouraging as hell. And it’s not going to get any better anytime soon.
Somewhere along the way, our ideas of what social issues are have transformed themselves from doing the right thing to getting some of mine, and hurting people in the process is now considered sport. Where is the moral America? Where is the America that informs itself, looks the facts squarely in the face, and say, “Oh yeah? Well I’ve got news for you. We’re better than that!”
Let me tell you a story: I spent an hour this afternoon talking to a neighbor who is a wonderful lady, raising her daughter on her own, and who breezed into my house declaring, “Y’all know I’m poor, right?” She then proceeded to tell me about the misery of trying to get an appointment to get heating assistance this winter. In the very next breath she told me how her boss quit and her employer asked her if she wanted the job and she said no, because then she wouldn’t qualify for heating assistance. Which she is not going to get anyway because the people in charge of helping her with assistance lost the information for her appointment and are no longer taking new ones.
Five minutes later she was telling me that in 18 months she’s going to try to use her 10-year-old degree in early childhood education to get a job with Head Start. When I asked her why she didn’t do it now, she explained that if she did, her 15 year old wouldn’t qualify for HoosierHealth anymore and she’d have to buy insurance. But since that gets cut off the day the child turns 18 and what with Obamacare allowing children to stay on their parents insurance until they are 26, she’d just put it off until right before her daughter turned 18. To save money.
I feel for the woman, I really do, but this is what America has come to: People afraid of making too much money because it will hurt their chances of gaming the system. Continue reading