We are a military family. My husband has fought in Iraq, Afghanistan and Libya. His pay JUST covers the expenses for a family of 3.
I just graduated college in May. I earned a 4.0 GPA, went to an ABA-Approved paralegal program, and did a semester-long internship with the county. However, now I cannot find a job. “Entry-level” jobs are going to people with 5+ years of experience. (WHAT??) I have even applied to be a file clerk at multiple firms. They told me that they have ATTORNEYS applying for the same positions. How can I compete with that? I am now considering going back to retail- back to minimum wage. It is better than NO wage. I would go back to school, but I have drained my savings in order to get THIS degree. Right now, spending more on school would mean loans and that seems silly, given I have had no return on my initial investment. I’d like to be able to tell my 11 year old that college is the best way to secure a bright future for herself. I thought that by going back to school I would be a good role model for her. Now, I’m not so sure. This may have taught her that college is a waste of money.
Thank God my husband still has a job and that it provides health insurance! Without that we would be homeless right now.
So it is deeply offensive when our politicians hold military pay hostage as a bargaining chip to keep tax cuts for the rich. (Oh, I’m sorry, “Job Creators”) (Wait…then where is MY job?) The last time they did that, my husband was in Libya. He was worried that we might not get paid, might get evicted, all while he fought in yet one more war. We love our country. We WANT to believe in its leaders. But they have to inspire trust. Inspire faith. Right now they do not.
· We are the 99% and we demand leaders who are not puppets for corporations.
· We demand politicians who are not so far to the right OR left that they can compromise and work together to find solutions to our country’s problems.
· We demand job creation, investment in public education, and health insurance reform.
· We want hope. We want to be able to support our families.
The American Dream is not to become rich. It is to see the fruit of your labors, whatever they may be. It is to EARN your rewards. But Corporate America has taken the rewards away. All that is left is work and desperation. (Or no work, and even more desperation) A home, health insurance, providing for your children, giving them a future…those things SHOULD be attainable. But unions are gone or ineffective. Politicians are corrupt. The Supreme Court values the speech of corporations over those of the people. Jobs are taken overseas.
“These are the times that try men’s souls.” Thomas Paine said that. He also said, “If there must be trouble, let it be in my day, that my child may have peace.”
So if MY labors must go unrewarded, so be it. But now, let us come together to find a solution. Let us make the country better for our children. I want to tell my child, “Go to college. Better yourself. Provide for YOUR family. Serve your country in whatever way you can.” We have to work together to keep the American Dream alive.
Photo from We Are the 99 Percent