All of it in one way or another a part of my lifetime and not an analytical study of the way that business has changed but a comparison that is not at all hard to follow or see. What happened to our country now seems to be subtle changes that occurred as the years passed by.
Always a reason behind a wage difference always because of the area of the country or because of the actual company I was working for.
Basically it has all boiled down to the ultimate understanding that it was just the standard of living country wide had taken a turn for the worse and no one, definitely not me?wanted to admit it or look at it.
Yes, beyond my capability to actually crunch numbers and really see what was happening somehow the American way of life has changed and it is harder than ever to do what needs to be done financially.
Beyond my want to know at all of what has really happened, and understand it. Because the country that I grew up in, the country that was so fair to all was slowly changing. So much that it wasn't really noticeable immediately and if you were too busy trying to make ends meet possibly you didn't even think about it or find it unusual or sad. It really is sad, but real.
Unions can't make it anymore. Why? Because we as Americans will not pay the price of labor unions and don't have to because unions no longer make a difference. Our government says that we can unionize and yet it will allow the companies that have had unions for many years to bail out on pensions that were part of union agreements and contracts. What good is unionizing when it means nothing?
What once was not the norm is now. Women have worked for decades at destroying the American family as it once was and now just as men did before us we compete with one another and with them too.
We for the most part took the original American Dream and turned it into a self serving egotistical attitude and had no real idea of when we had it all.
We as women went past the wife and mother aspect of being female and ran to the far side of the businesses and corporate offices out of some depraved kind of jealousy and why I have no idea.
I know that at this point we are far beyond being able to turn around and go back. I know that many would without a second thought throw me to the dogs for even mentioning it.
Still there was a better time and place for all of us and it isn't going to be easy to find a place like that in the future.
Families that always relied on each other for emotional support now rely on each other to make ends meet.
Families that had a bond of love that nurtured our young people to great achievements and discoveries have turned into families that have a bond that is produced by basic needs.
The college graduate of today is now in a situation many times of having to look back at a generation that seriously lived beyond its means. At the same time there are those who for one reason or another found a place in society that allowed them to enter a comfort zone that is now turning into a place of uncertainty and the worry of yesterday coming back to haunt the future is real.
Generations that lived through the Great Depression knew how to live without. Our government for how many years now has told us that there is no recession, no depression and that our country is on a firm footing.
In my lifetime I remember someone?saying that we would retire in our fifties, that we would have more time to spend at home?a four day work week. Is it my imagination or part of a novel I read in my school days?
It did not happen and no one seems to know why.
A time when there was a bread winner in a family and one person could financially support a family.
Did we use it all up? Did we somehow over do it? What went wrong with the country and where did all of the dreams of retirement, educational superiority of our country and the research and discovery so important to our country and our tomorrows die?
The comfort zone is fading away and now the political arena challenges anyone who listens to find a side and take the walk to the extremes that are a regular part of the country that I grew up in.
If not for the belief that something bigger than all of us is out there I would say that there is no hope that it will get better.
Doom and gloom is a terrible thing especially for the privileged who have no idea of what it is to do without.
Has our generation primed our children to believe that there will never be a time when we will live through another time in this country where more will be living in poverty than during the Great Depression?
I remember someone?way back saying that the United States was on the top.
Have we thought seriously of how it would be if history were to repeat itself and another depression fell upon us?
Life has been good for many. Life has been hard at times and rewarding at other times. Many of my generation grew to be far wealthier than their parents could have imagined and yet is that wealth a temporary haven that will dissolve and turn into nothing more than a memory of what was?
Is it our government, our society, our morals or the cycle of life that will return us to where we came from?
Julie Pierce has worked in the retail sector for more than thirty years.
She has been a union member of the UCFW Union and the afl-cio more than once and has worked for more than one large retailer during the course of her career.
She attended Gulf Coast Community College, Panama City Beach, Florida, in the nineties in the pursuit of a degree in Journalism and Mass Communications.
Some of her work has been published during the eighties and nineties in various editorial pages of newspapers in the state of New Jersey and Florida. She also did some work as a community reporter for a weekly newspaper in Panama City Florida.