America isn’t what it used to be. The country once prided itself on being the most affluent society in the world. Now the stories of poor families living in dire circumstances among us are heartbreaking.
It doesn’t have to be that way. The truth is that the rich are getting richer every day. We have virtually become a society of the rich and the poor. People who have jobs are working every day and not making enough money to pay for their own upkeep.
One of the statements we can feel good about is that trade unions were responsible for establishing the middle class. But we allowed manufacturing companies to leave the country, which ultimately killed the middle class.
Now, it seems we have great technological enterprises, but unfortunately, we have more millionaires and a working class that is made up of poor people.
Consequently, we are no longer the people we were. We no longer believe if we get a good education and work hard, we’ll be able to achieve the good life we believe in.
Too many people we admired have worked hard and fallen on hard times. The only people having the good life seem to be those who are rich and never have to worry about losing their money.
Many of our children are still at home with us. They have taken on families, but they cannot afford to live alone, and many of us have a second and third generation living together as one family.
We hadn’t planned on it being that way. But so many young families cannot afford the cost of having people care for their children, so grandmother and grandfather have to take their turns.
Somehow, our dreams have begun to wither. Many who started out buying homes have lost them in the shuffle. The good jobs have been lost, and now it is taking two jobs to replace one income. Husbands and wives often pass each other in the doorway.
Parents are finding it difficult to remain married to each other. When dreams begin to die, it’s hard to keep hoping. It was easy to believe when you once saw others realize their dreams and watched them come true. Today you wonder if anyone will live that long.
We want to believe that our politicians will pull themselves together and remember that we are Americans and we work together.
We set our goals and struggle until we reach them. We need jobs. It’s time to go to work.
Wake up, Washington! The country is waiting.
You can join the conversation with Rose M. Nolen by calling her at 882-5734 or e-mailing her at firstname.lastname@example.org.