I get occasional emails from readers about these hard times. Most of the time, I can soldier on (because I won’t give these bastards who are running the show the satisfaction of taking me down) but I got one yesterday from a C&L reader that moved me to tears, because it’s all so sad and overwhelming:
I was unemployed myself for a year after our business (fine furniture and kitchen design and installation) went belly up, and we almost lost our house (our heating bill for the last year there was over $5,000). We were fortunate to sell it a week before the foreclosure sale, and more fortunate to move into the mobile home on the 10 acres where we board our horses, and by sneaking money out of the closing have been able to purchase the land and trailer from our neighbor. My husband lost his job in January due to budget cutbacks by our utility and now works for $10/hr, half what he was before and has to do construction jobs on the weekends to keep us from going underwater again.
However – we consider ourselves fortunate beyond belief. We lived out of the garden all summer, the chickies lay enough eggs so I can sell enough to pay for chick feed, we shot a couple of deer out at the end of the pasture and have meat in the freezer. I have a stable government job which since it is funded by licensing fees isn’t subject to general state funding, and we will get by.
I guess my point is that people who do not have the ability to fall back on self sufficiency of any sort are really in terrible trouble. I have friends I made when I was at ** who are never going to work again. Women in their 50’s and older who used to be well paid, who have run out of benefits, living in their friends’ basements – basically reduced to begging. Guys who had worked in construction all their lives and have no other skills to fall back on. We have a close friend who had a roofing company started by his grandfather in the 50’s, he has no work, debts up the arse, his wife left him, he lost his house (which he had mortgaged to keep his crew on). I am expecting to hear he’s gone out in the woods with a gun any time soon. The man is destroyed.
I am so fucking sick of all this. I was born in England and lived in Canada for 30 years – people ask me why I won’t become a US citizen. Why would I take citizenship in a country that treats its citizens like dirt.
I can’t vote, not that that has any effect. What are we all going to do to change this? We know that congress won’t vote for public financing of elections, so that’s out.
Revolution????? Why aren’t we out in the streets like they are in Europe? All you see here in Helena is a bunch of pathetic teabaggers, but admittedly even though Montana’s unemployment rate is 7.4%, Helena is pretty stable, even though my husband has to work as a fixit dude for a RV dealership, pretty pathetic. The feeling of powerlessness, with daily revelations of criminal acts by the corporatocracy, is too fucking depressing.
If you or any of your pals have ideas for starting a revolution, count me in.
Thanks for your wonderful writing and being here.
Maybe I’ll feel better in the morning.