Today I am going to take a little political detour on the finance issue.
As I said yesterday I am a lucky senior, because I have social security and 2 pensions.
However, after watching President Obama’s Jobs for America speech before the joint houses of congress yesterday afternoon (4 pm here in the west), I started thinking about people living alone without an income. It is not a pretty thought. I actually don’t know anyone, personally, who is doing that, but it must be very hard and very stressful. Maybe you have unemployment, which doesn’t last forever. Hopefully you have applied for food stamps. Every area has a food bank that gives away food. Selling your possessions is another option. Either putting your house up for sale or letting it go into foreclosure is another. Good Will, Salvation Army and St Vincent de Paul have programs for unemployed, especially if you have a disability of some kind. Maybe your church? Have you moved in with a relative? How do you pay for doctor visits? Probably you go to the Emergency Room. It is a bleak path and millions of Americans are on this path to despair. This goes beyond the luxury of having your own little bit of the American dream to actual survival. This is the reality show of reality shows and you didn’t even audition for the part! I have never been homeless or out of work, when I needed to work, so I can only imagine the pain and embarassment. It is especially difficult if you are fifty plus, and even worse if you are fifty plus and a minority.
One day I was at the store and I parked next to an older car that was filled to the brim with what looked liked somebody’s life. Clothes, food, blankets, etc. When I came out of the store, I saw an elderly woman who looked very worn get slowly into the car and drive away. I didn’t know what to do to help, so I just let her go. And then I thought…how many other seniors are in the same position she is. A sad commentary on our twenty first century society.
Let us all help our elected officials work on this problem. I hope that congress will be serious about the American Jobs Plan.