An interview with a fellow over the Easter weekend gave me an interesting perspective. Downsized to part time, then downsized to one day per week, then finally let go due to 'no work' this guy finds himself where many American men haven't been before, nor have they been brought up to know how to be anything other than the breadwinner of a family.
This is a trying time for many men who find their traditional role redefined; relying on their wives who, at first provided a secondary income in the service sector, but are now the primary breadwinner. The toll is staggering on the male ego...many of whom grew up watching Andy Griffith or Hazel or Father Knows Best and whose own fathers were patriarchal. Having established secondary incomes in households may have saved many American families from the same devastation of the first Great Depression. But it's a tenuous struggle to meet the basic needs of food, clothing, shelter & transport. Some men are walking away from their family, like homeowners from a mortgage they can't pay, knowing that they can eek out a living somewhere else, leaving mother and kids behind on state sponsored welfare. Some men are struggling to find a role behind the apron...the new househusband, suddenly daily effeminate behind the vacuum that once was an occasional task. Some men are castrated by the artificially suppressed job market, finding themselves at the mercy of big government whims that keep companies from hiring.
Men who worked their entire lives are finding themselves in their mid-forties and devastated...financially and mentally. Unable to start again and save enough for retirement, facing massive debt and responsibilities of children who are already or will soon need college, and seeing little opportunity for a change during the next two years...they have a great deal of time on their hands. They have time to watch a broken government. They have time to see the vortex of overspending. They have time to evaluate every Congressman and every piece of legislation publicly available. They have time to establish networks of other like-minded (and out of work) folks who will move against this regime and fight for prosperity...if not for themselves, for their children.
Manipulation of the unemployment figure further undermines the crisis in the middle-aged male population. But they see through this. They've experienced success already and aren't the malleable mush-heads of college campuses...polluted with socialist ideals & no consequences.
The working class is getting the hardest type of education and will vote for their own self-interest. The Takers make up nearly half of the population and the Makers are being told they're 'lucky' to have work. The Administration orchestrates a crisis to create ever greater dependency on Big Government.
While preparing peanut butter sandwiches for kids lunches, middle aged men wonder: Do they understand economy isn't just about money changing hands but how much value is added or lost when it does? Do they believe they can save us from Chinese debt by deflating the dollar's power so much? How much gold will Texas stockpile? Can Republicans win as swiftly and as decisively as the Democrats under Pelosi or will they argue over what color the chess pieces should be?
The middle-aged middle class is left with the sinking feeling of "this is not where I expected to be and this is not what I expected to be doing at this stage of my life." Jobs. Opportunity. Will they come back? or is this it? Have we seen all the boom-time we're going to see in my lifetime? Is it time to just get a cabin in the mountains and grow corn and raise chickens? Is modern America gone?
There's a reason Obama is in campaign mode two years before the next election...he'll need that much time to convince those that voted for him before to give him even more time to spin down the country's engines and release us onto his Utopian tarmac who food, water & port-a-potties await between the unicorns.
Heaven help us to save America from evil and ignorant leaders.
"If we're gone tomorrow, the earth will not miss us." - Charlton Heston