Sunday, February 27, 2011

Economic Times

I ran into someone that I have not seen for a while. He is a social worker for a non-profit organization here in town. He is a pleasant enough fella and we have always gotten along. He has gotten his clinical social worker license and is beginning to branch out with his own practice with a another set of practitioners although part time. He was very excited about the prospect of self-employment although the competition is very stiff. He was looking into the future of some day working full time on his own. There were times, he chaffed at working under people who did not have the same point of view of social work as he did and his present employers were very much caught in the past of where social work was 50 years ago. For instance, they did not work cooperatively with other agencies and groups such as the 12 step programs which my friend liked to use.

He was ill since I last saw him but well on the road to recovery. He said his wife was still teaching school at a small school in the mountains and they decided to live closer to her job than to his although she had been working there only for a short time. She is a special education teacher and at the time they thought her job was secure, but now they are not so sure and are worried about it. She is a specialist in working with children who have troubles with reading problems especially those with autism. There are still plenty of students who need her help, but there are funding problems due to the economics of the times. The house that they bought really needs two salaries to maintain which is another reason he had to work part time, but it does not pay very much. They don't have children.

Times are hard here in this area and all over the state of California. There are many places all over the United States that are in trouble. If my friend's wife loses her job, there is a chance they might lose their house to foreclosure. There are many houses for sale in my area that are in that situation. No one has the money to buy. The price of the houses are not enough to pay off the note. My friend bought his house when times were good. One person I know has a wife who might join the Army just to make enough money since she can't find work here. Her husband is making money at his job but it isn't enough. It takes two people to make enough to support a family now. Many people are sitting on their hands and hoping that the president can pull off a miracle but he is fighting the GOP and the realities of a bad economic situation.

As for my friend, he has hopes for the future if he can hold on long enough in his present situation. I do too. It is a matter of living one day at a time. In order to help balance the budget programs such as Headstart, Planned Parenthood and other such programs are taking a hit. It isn't just the people they serve that will suffer but the people who work for them. Schools are taking a hit. Everyone who lived on the edge of poverty are taking a hit. Seniors are taking a hit since their programs are in trouble too. I heard the president of the local community college said that he finally got some buildings up but now faces the fact he has no money to pay for the new classes he needs to get going to train people for new employment. I see the wheel of poverty growing bigger and bigger and it is grinding more and more people down.

There are good things happening out there. Gay rights is better than it was two years ago. The economy was saved from disaster two years ago. It isn't over yet. On a personal note, I am healthier than I was when I started this blog, but I gained some weight back although not much. I am fighting the Veterans Administration for help in this. I am working out at a gym. My friend is working each day at a time as that is all any of us can do.

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