The other day, I was thinking about the time I arrived in America after the 2004 election, as to how they compared to 2012. Within only a matter of days of arriving, I obtained a job. While the pay was merely minimum wage, the most important aspect was “it’s a job”, and being able to begin the American dream.
Just 4 years later, came the start of Obama’s first term. I found myself out of work for 18 months, and if I did gather any employment, it was merely part-time work. When I say Part-Time work, I mean working Full Time, and lucky to have Part Time compensation along with occasional months of work hiatus.
My employment during the Obama years has seen me working as a Social Science Field Researcher, mostly dealing with Household Income in the midst of this economic downturn. This has allowed me to get a first hand view, mostly how the public has fared under Obama’s policies. The study spoke to “The Dirt Poor” all the way up-to ”1%”. Surprisingly, all Socio-Economic categories had been affected by this downturn.
It’s difficult to see on the surface how people are affected by the downturn, as Americans by nature will always keep up appearances. They will compensate their indulgence or outsourcing their work by doing more themselves. They will ‘Brown Bag’ their lunch, make their own coffee, cook their own meals, change their own oil, rake their own leaves, or take a pay cut to maintain employment or their own business. At each step of readjusting, a new normal is being established, however the underlying point is always carrying on, and holding on.
It’s difficult to imagine another four years like this, and it gives me a chance to paraphrase the other Co-Founder of Solid Principles John Cronin. Over the past few years, whenever I would talk with John about the recent economic downturn, he always had a level he would compare it to, how his relatives fared during The Great Depression. John would point out they could only afford to eat meat like Chicken only once a week (mostly Sunday), and then save the Lard/Dripping so during the week they could make a ‘Lard Sandwich’. John would always tell me, “If you’re not eating ‘Lard Sandwiches, you’re doing all right”. While no one in America is at the level, or forced to eat ‘Lard Sandwiches’ just yet, it allows us to see where we may be heading.
Just last week I began work on a new round on household income, speaking with two different Socio-Economic groups. One was a working class couple, who were now a single income family due to the economic downturn decimating one industry they worked in. The other Socio-Economic group was a self employed business owner, they had experienced a massive drop in yearly salary due to new Federal regulations. The aspect they both experienced was decline. One was seeing their chance to enter the Middle Class falling away, while the other was seeing themselves fall out of the middle class. After only four years of economic downturn, the ‘New Normal’ was taking them ever closer to ‘Lard Sandwich’ reality.
It’s less than 24 hours until the Voting opens for the Presidential election as I write these words. I can’t give you one single reason why Obama deserves a 2nd term, and only if I happen to suppress my own logic would I be capable of having a million reasons for you. For the sake of sanity, it’s time to restore America to what we know it once was, and can be once again.
unrelated listening - The Power of Lard – LARD