197. Time To Take A Stand

Dear Friends:

As I live and work trying to recoup my life and livelihood I see others sinking into the mire of what happened to me a little while back. Having lost my income and livelihood due to recession and changes in the market I believe gives me a little bit of perspective into other aspects of what is going on in this nation.

When I left the Army, we had a transition point where they tried lining up civilian jobs for us or opportunities that were out there for us to look at.  Though it was half-heartedly administered, operated by people that could not get a job elsewhere themseleves, and who had limited training in what they were doing, at least they did put up an appearance of trying to do some good.

Now looking at these companies that are laying off thousands of workers, workers that served their companies by doing what they were told to do by inept managers and company presidents (like Citi’s and other firms who are trying to pay themselves huge bonuses for their failures) these companies seemingly release people without any responsibility to them. These loyal workers are being foisted now onto an already maxxed out unemployment system where those that are aiding the unemployed are already at critical stress levels.

I have not seen now, to the discredit of the Federal as well as State Governments an increase in Social Service or workers aiding the unemployed (I am sure there are thousands of former Human Resource employees available for hire now). So far the bailout has just been that a bailout. It seems companies are throwing everyone off the ship, and keeping the money in house.  There seems to be not a single shred of interaction between companies and communities, other than just chukking the American worker out the back door with not even a good luck.

This is a real time of needed assistance to the American Worker. The stress levels of losing ones job and with it the income to keep one mentally and physically in tune is a real blow that is now being felt by millions. In February 2009 the foreclosure rate was 35% higher than 2008. Without American jobs, the dream of home ownership becomes perilious. Actually even having money to pay for dinner becomes a stress.

What are companies and our governments doing to aid these people? Absolutely nothing. There are very few support systems in place for all of the displaced workers. When you have displaced a worker, you are also displacing a family as it is a wave or chain of events in the making. Companies should be held responsible as well for layoffs during the bailouts.  So far there is not a company out there in the bailouts that are showing any responisibility to their workers.

There needs to be system wide mental healthcare that will aid people during these times. There also needs to be more Section 8 housing vouchers for displaced families, especially since the freezes on foreclosures are ending. There needs to be more food assistance. The government can no longer rely on just the non-profits, the economic bailout of this country is going to have to go deeper and cover the American public as they are the ones suffering the most.

Organizations that are dealing with homelessness in the United States are calling for an increase in homelessness by over 2.6 million people based upon the fact that up to 6 million people are going to be forced into deep poverty. Adding the 2.6 million to the already homeless census, there will be close to 3.5 million homeless people in this country. Based on percentages, that will also make over 840,000 veterans homeless before 2010.

Some Statistics:

·New York City is moving homeless families out of shelters and back into apartments at a faster rate than ever before. Unfortunately, the number of families losing their housing and becoming homeless has increased even faster, resulting in the highest number of families in history in homeless shelters. In November 2008, the number of families entering homeless shelters was 40 percent higher than in November 2007, and the number of families in shelters was at an all-time high.

· In Massachusetts, there was a 32 percent increase between November 2007 andNovember 2008 in the number of families in state-supported shelters.

And those numbers do not even include 2009 as of yet!

During this time the United States, needs to take a time out and heal itself at home. Maybe countries like Russia should not recieve the 1 billion dollars a year we send them through USAID. Actually it might be a good idea to spend our own USAID right here at home for the moment. Without the taxpayer, there is not any money for USAID in the first place.

We have been a melting pot of cultures, maybe it seems like a good time for tougher immigration laws. Yes we pride ourselves for our tolerance, but tolerance also comes with a price tag. It might be prudent for a while to restrict workers both legal and illegal from coming into the country. It would definitely ease the financial burden of illegal immigrants on our health care and other social services system.

It is ludicrous, Microsoft Chairman Bill Gates and other Computer related industries advocates that the cap be eliminated on H1B Workers (foreign workers imported into the U.S.), even as Microsoft laid off over 5,000 of its 94,000 U.S. workers in January. Why do we need more imported workers when we can not employ enough American workers? Over the last 30 plus years we have sent millions of jobs to foreign countries at the permission of our Congress. These jobs helped build the “World Economy” at the expense of our own. It could be time for tariffs on imports to pay for social services and to aid the American Worker who is now unemployed.

The leaders of our nation hate to offend other countries even though foreign nations have no issue about offending the United States. As a nation we have basically let everyone walk all over us since the end of the Cold War. We have allowed some of our largest industries be bought out by foreign companies at the detriment of our workers. We send billions overseas in loans which we turn around a few years later and forgive repayment. We have spent more abroad as a nation in buying imported products instead of building the same at home. Now we have no industry here basically here with housing, auto, and other large ticket item factories closed. It is time to set a limit on what we will allow and individuals need to quit electing the same poor performing politicians to office.

It is time for the U.S. as a nation to stand up and take care of itself, and do the right thing for its citizens.



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