Sometimes I struggle with understanding why there are apparently so many people who complain so much about our economy. I see where personal income in the last year showed the biggest improvement in decades and the unemployment rate is at 4.9% which is the lowest in forty years. So, why is there so much dissatisfaction around?
Being retired for 16+ years now I admit that I don’t know much about the current job market other than what I read. I know that full lifetime employment is pretty much a thing of the past for many and that the average person will change jobs seven times during their working life. I also know that except for very small businesses assembly line jobs have disappeared. Without those mind-numbing jobs people right out of high school have trouble finding any form of lucrative employment.
Being without some schooling beyond high school means a lifetime of minimum wage and often short term employment. One of the biggest obstacles to getting that education, especially among the lower middle class and below, is the every increasing costs of continuing education. I am hopeful, thanks to Bernie Sanders that when Hillary is president she will try do what is necessary to make educational opportunities affordable to all. That is if the GOP don’t fight it tooth and nail as they have in the past. I know… I am a dreamer..
Then there is another segment of our society for whatever reason have not kept up with the times by upgrading their employment skills. They see the world moving beyond them. Some in this mode go into the permanent complain mode. I think these are the real base for the Trump campaign. How many of them there are we will soon know.
Now I want to change gears a little in order to try to understand why so many are so angry at our current systems. In order to do that I want to draw a link between these folks and my personal experiences with being retired and the process that led up to where I am at today. Before I retired I was often recognized at a valuable member of a large engineering organization. I provided software tools, they are called apps nowadays, to hundreds of design engineers and was sought out for my knowledge and advice. Then I abruptly retired when a Hong Kong business bought out our division and quickly began to dissemble it.
I went from “the valuable member” to the opposite in a flash. The only person who I had any amount of contact with in those early retirement years that was my wife and she didn’t recognize my skills as being particularly valuable to her. I immediately lost value. I went into a state of depression. I was in the “poor me” mode to some degree for more than three years. I just didn’t see that I was doing more than sucking air. Is this where so many Trump supporter reside? I can only guess.
It took a while but I finally found a place outside the home that seemed to value my life and that was volunteering in a local soup kitchen/shelter. I spent the next eleven years there. I was valuable once again.
I can see the parallels between this and the people currently complaining about their life situations. They just want to feel they have value. They want someone to pay attention to them. They feel unappreciated. Many in this mode, need to get off their “Poor me” attitudes and do something about it. If you want to feel valuable you must “do” something valuable and that takes work. There are no simple solutions to it… or most other things in life…
That is the way I see it….