Saluting with misty eyes
Actually, the economy getting better is- in my neck of the woods, anyhow- a complete and total myth.
While I currently am employed (and we won't get into how long it took me to find one, and why I was unemployed in the first place), I have numerous of my friends who are either 1) not employed 2) begging they don't become unemployed 3) watching those they work with lose their jobs and praying they aren't next.
Even my employers have put their employees on a guarantee. I am the service tech at the Oreck Clean Home Center in Allentown, Pa. I am paid based on the number of services I perform, and the number of sales I make when the floor gets busy enough to require my presence. The owners have placed every employee in all 6 of their stores on guarantee that if our paychecks start to fall beneath a certain level, we are guaranteed at least our average to date... even if we are due 1/2 of that amount. Their reasoning? Sales are starting to fall off significantly.
We have had, within the last few months, 4 houses on my street- over the space of 2 miles or so- go into foreclosure.
The local water/sewage company (city owned) is allowing people a 1 time deferrment (3 months) on paying their quarterly bill, and is making payment arrangements with anyone who cannot pay the bills... including re-connecting the ones who have had their water shut off for non-payment.
We are having businesses fall away at an alarming rate.
My former band is watching their audiences (normally some of the largest the various clubs get) dwindle to the point where they have lost (in the last 6 months) several venues they used to play at. And they are not the only ones. More venues are going to DJ's or no entertainment at all because they are required to pay my band a minimum that is substancially more than a DJ would make, and no one is going out due to the lack of disposable cash.
Several full-time bands, playing 5-6 nights a week and providing the musicians with their only source of income are dropping to weekend bands because venues cannot afford the entertainment costs during the week.
One of the local volunteer fire companies has reported that their annual Easter Flower Sale to raise money yielded just over 1/3 less in sales than they did this point last year.
I know for a fact that the majority of the locals are still waiting for some sort of upswing. Other threads talk about the 9/12 commissions (TEA baggers) being Republicans with a sour grapes attitude and a complex against the fact that they lost the plotical fight... the organization I belong to is 47 strong, and as of last night included 9 full-blown, card carrying
Democrats, a few of whom who couldn't care less about the taxes, or the health cre bill, or anything... they are adding their voice to those who want something done about the economy.
A better economy, in my not so humble opinion, would normally involve... uh... well, I don't know, but not this.
Life's journey is not to arrive at the grave safely in a well preserved body, but rather to skid in sideways, totally worn out, shouting, "WHAT A RIDE