Hate your job? Watch the dumpster divers…

Hate your job? Don’t like the working conditions and think you are not paid enough?

Watch what I watched a few minutes ago and you might change your mind.

These days, I have read, it has become a status symbol just to have a job – any job.

I was getting something out of my car in the apartment complex where I now live (we had to downsize from a house to an apartment – we like it though). A young couple was dumpster diving, gathering all the recyclables they could in plastic bags. The guy said hi and told me “it’s a rough way to make a living”. While I was out for a morning walk a few days ago I had seen an older man and a younger man doing the same thing, dumspter diving, that is.

You could say, oh well, people make their own life choices. But really, especially in this economy, it is only by the grace of God, yes and maybe some decisions you made along the way, and luck that you are where you are now.

I truly think that as a nation (a world?) we are in another Great Depression. It may not be as bad as the last one or, in fact, it may be worse. But a lot of people whose lives have not been terribly affected yet, and especially that insulated class we call our leaders, don’t realize the misery much of society is going through.

On a happier note and related to all of this, I am back at work again truck driving. Unfortunately I am not at my last job – I had to go back to a previous job and am making half or even less than half as much as I made in my last job. But I’m not complaining. In fact, I am hopeful that I can keep working, and that will depend on two things: the economy, and my health.

For my regular readers, I had blogged the other day that I would be off the web for awhile because I was on the road. I’m back at home for a day and a half, but it’s back on the road tomorrow.

The optimists (the Republicans) say that if there is15 percent unemployment that it is not bad because that means 85 percent are working. Well without going into all of it, I doubt whether the statistics accurately reflect the real situation – they are at best an indicator. And the indication is that society is in turmoil.

I noticed a lot of businesses along the road boarded up. I was going to stop at a café I used to stop at out on Highway 97 in eastern Oregon, but it was no longer in business.

Stay with me here – I’m not skipping to another subject: I just read a news story that said that Iraq war veterans now in Afghanistan are finding the enemy there fiercer.

It’s an all-volunteer force now – kind of like a mercenary force, and I’m sure they all feel happy to at least have employment. And they seem to be quite brave.

But maybe our leaders need to rethink this whole thing. We’ve already leveraged or indebted ourselves to the tune of a trillion dollars or more to fight in Iraq, which we did not have to do, and now to fight in Afghanistan where our goal is illusive. And Afghanistan has been resistant to invaders through the centuries. Maybe in some broad geopolitical sense there is a rationale for fighting there. But in the real world of economics I am afraid it is going to bankrupt us.

If my job and I hold out I won’t have as much time to blog and pontificate or bloviate (maybe), but at least I will be part of the world again, and I do plan to continue this blog and may blog quite often when I can upgrade and get more mobile with it.

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