Friday, December 17, 2010

Whats Wrong With This Picture?

A friend sent this message the other day and it really resonated with me.  I have edited the letter some to hide identities and for space constraints.
I'm so angry with the government in this country.  Not newly angered just still, and for more reasons.  My good friends and neighbors have both been unemployed for months now.  Both have lots of experience in retail, warehousing, etc, but so do thousands of others in the same boat.  What worries me is that I'm slowly watching them lose everything, and I know my friend is despondent, depressed and frightened.  She told me yesterday that she dreams of suicide. She's so not that person. She's me...the kind who sees the glass half-full and finds humor in everything...but something has stolen that person and left behind an empty shell.
Her biggest fear is becoming homeless. Her husband just received his last 1/2 of unemployment, which in itself creates a struggle, but now he's done.  There is no way they can live on $268 a week when they have a $575 rental, car payment and utilities...not to mention food. They haven't paid their rent this month, which incurs a $50 late fee as additional punishment when they are already down and out.
Two days ago, they stood in a long line at the senior citizen center to get free food.  I've been giving them what I can, have paid their electric bill once, and also we've bought things from them.  But that's sad too... I've watched their recliners be taken back, their washer and dryer disappear, and I know their Internet, which has become a priority because of all the resumes they send out daily, is eventually going to go.
Then I watch the news and hear about 6000 + earmarks  (6,714 earmarks worth $8.3 billion) ....ridiculous expenditures for a Nikita Khrushchev hiking trail, billions to study idiotic crap that can wait until America is healed, and I want to vomit.
I don't know where to turn to help my friends.  They are both depressed, have given up, and I fear for them both.
It's Christmas.  Isn't this supposed to be about family, love and celebrating goodness?  I fear it's lost on some of us this year. How can we celebrate when our friends are slowing drowning and Congress is more interested in waging their own little wars against the opposite party.
 Unfortunately this scenario is probably playing out across the country, and to solve the budget deficits local, state, and federal governments are trying to cut from the bottom instead of cutting from the top. Why is is always the little guy that has to suffer the most?

If you are interested Here is a link to more information about the earmarks and what they are costing.


The Words Crafter said...

A clever grant writer can get hundreds of thousands to study the life cycle of a gnat (the first preposterous thing I could think of), which serves no purpose, but there are no funds to help the truly needy.

The thing that most frustrates me is that the president promised to stop tax breaks for companies who send jobs out of the country. I haven't seen that happen yet....

I will pray for your friends.

Maryannwrites said...

Thanks, Word Crafter. I do not know the people referred to in the note I received. They are neighbors of an friend I met online. But I do know people here in my community that are struggling to hang on during unemployment. Tough situation all over.

Carol Kilgore said...

Things have been out of whack for a while now. I'm hoping for some improvement soon. We're in desperate need for a do-over.

Maryannwrites said...

You are so right, Carol. And it can't come soon enough for some folks.


Funny how big businesses get bailed out because they made poor decisions and choices, but the people like your friends have no one to help bail them out when they are victims of those who make the bad decisions and choices.

If we all pitch in, as you did, to help people like your friends, it might help a little. Too bad the government can't help more.