I have been watching the news lately. Where I live, I get the news from the Portland, Maine TV market, and the Boston TV Market.
I’ve heard them say several times that because of several snow days, sales have been slower this year than normal.
Now let’s think about that. Say you had a list of ten people to buy for and you only bought for five of them. It’s snowing; will you actually say to yourself “Well, I guess I won’t buy anything for those other five people”. Come on.
The reason sales are slow is because people don’t have any money. I am unemployed and have been for eight months. I look for and apply for jobs almost every day. I have had one interview in all these months and I am a skilled technology worker with an extensive background. I am not buying any presents this year at all. My friends that have jobs and are earning an income are struggling. They have had to cut back on what they normally would buy. My family is big. I have 5 brothers and sisters. All married, all working. They are struggling too. Gas is expensive. Food is expensive. Raising children and preparing for college is expensive. The doctor and the dentist are expensive.
We are the disappearing middle class. That’s why people aren’t spending as much money on Christmas presents this year, and probably the year after that. The economy is terrible and people are just trying to survive every day. Why isn’t the news reporting this. Why is everyone afraid to say that Americans are more in debt and getting poorer every day. The middle class is becoming the working poor and god only knows what will happen to those that are already poor. I think we need to get our heads out of the sand and admit that China and Russia are buying up America at a record pace. America is a debtor nation and for the first time in history, the next generation will be poorer than the one before it. I just think it’s time we tell it like it is.
I am 43 years old and have been working since I graduated high school at 17. So for 26 years, not a week has gone buy that I did not bring home a pay check, and as a result pay taxes, until now. For the first time in my life I had to ask for help. The town I live in just paid my rent for the month of December and gave me a debit card which is equivalent to food stamps. And even the local convenience stores aren’t hiring.
Let’s not blame lackluster sales for Christmas on the fact that there is snow on the ground. Let’s un-bury our heads from that snow and really take a look around at what is really going on. The state of the middle class is terrifying to me; it is what I am afraid of, not Osama bin Laden.