We’ve all heard that expression, “The rich keep getting richer while the poor get poorer”. This is nothing new and has been around a lot longer than I have. The bad thing is that it’s becoming more and more true. Not only is the gulf between low and upper income Americans becoming wider, but also the gap between middle and upper income. I first noticed this alarming trend more than ten years ago and I have my own personal opinion on why the gap between poor/middle income and upper income workers in America is widening at an ever-increasing pace. But do the reasons even matter anymore?
I read an interesting article this morning on a couple of surveys that were done by two different groups who came to the conclusion, ‘the gap between poor/middle income and upper income is widening’. DUH! I and every other working American already know this. The solutions given by these groups to solve the problem are okay, but would be akin to plugging a hole in a dam with your finger, a mediocre and temporary fix at best.
The last, ‘get up, leave the house and work for a company’ type job I had was four years ago and recently I decided I’d check out the job market and perhaps take a part time position somewhere. I’m a full time writer, but there are times I miss the hustle and bustle of working away from home, not to mention, like many others, I could really use some extra cash. This little job search was quite an interesting experience. I laughed at a couple of people I spoke with and lost my temper with one.
The qualifications and duties they quoted were ludicrous for the salary they were willing to pay. Education, training and experience were required. Okay, I had that covered. What I had a hard time coming to terms with (even before knowing the salary) were the duties. I’d have been doing a job or jobs that should have been done by at least ten other employees as well as myself. Then, the highest wage I was offered was two dollars less an hour than I made at my last job. Also at my last position, I was paid a good mileage rate. When I was told by one of these companies my mileage would be ten cents a mile, I laughed. I couldn’t help it. I told the person that with the rising cost of fuel, I wouldn’t open my garage door for ten cents a mile, much less start my car.
I plan to continue my job search, but now more as a research project than an actual attempt at finding employment. I can still afford to turn these offers down, but every time I fill up at the gas station or buy a bag of groceries, I wonder how long it will be before I have to crawl back to these companies and beg for that job I refused. The plight of middle income America facing recession is hard and going to get harder, but what about the low-income workers? The working poor–what a horrible expression. In a country like the USA, there should be no such thing as working poor. It’s a disgrace and a shame on all of us. Low and middle-income workers are the backbone of this country. When they can no longer afford to get in their car and go to work, how long will all the high income executives and professionals out there going to be able to keep this country a float?
Elizabeth Melton Parsons http://elizabethmeltonparsons.com