Thursday, August 4, 2011

Double dipping and it's not ice cream

My last post goes back to November when I expressed some cautious optimism after the last election. I kept waiting for that glimmer of hope that Congress “got it.” That they understood the message that Americans were fed up with the status quo. That middle class Americans were fed up with Congressional cluelessness.
They didn’t get it. In fact, thanks to the tea-partiers, it’s worse than ever. They decided it was their way or no way.

Facebook pages such as Uncut and One Million Pissed Off Women are giving a voice to our frustration. The media is saturated with stories of qualified people who have been looking for jobs for months and feel shut out.

Congress could not leave the sandbox long enough to properly fix the looming deficit, preferring to cut necessities rather than pork or raising taxes on those who couldn’t be concerned whether the cost of their designer shoes rose from $800 to $860.

Raise taxes on corporations that make money hand over fist and pay no taxes? But…but…they’re creating jobs! Not. They’re sitting on piles of cash or outsourcing to some country where English is a second language – especially when you dial that help line.

More recently employers are refusing to interview those who have been laid off.

Eighty percent of people surveyed in April were pessimistic about the economy. That pessimism came to fruition today when the stock market plunged 4.3 percent. Noises are being made about a double-dip recession, but the Greek chorus chimes: We’ve never gotten out of the Recession!

IRAs are plummeting. Again.

We are lucky. We are employed. The job I felt luke warm about has blossomed and I have a steady stream of free-lance work. My husband’s job, not so much, but it’s a relatively benign environment and there’s the magic word: benefits. I was actually able to buy a n’used computer, thanks to the connections of my employers. And, OMG, I bought two pairs of shoes this week, costing $99.

On the downside, our income is still down and our spending is bare bones: the house needs work, there’s no gifts or vacations, little dining out.

At least we don’t have an IRA that’s in jeopardy, and we’re banking a small pension and the Social Security my husband will start receiving next month. Lord knows about the value of our house. Theoretically, we should think about downsizing, but housing values are in the toilet and our house needs a lot of work to obtain the optimum value. In my mind, I’ll create a commune for elderly women who will care for each other and hire a young stud to take care of the property.

In the meantime, I’ll work until I drop dead over the keyboard.

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