Monday, December 9, 2013
Who can ruin your day?
The middle class is dead. It's gone. A tiny fraction of them made it into the upper the class. The rest are poor, whether or not they know it. As for the poor -they've dropped right off the map.
The old game is dead. Your bosses just hope you don't know it yet. As long as people keep striving for that American dream, they can keep skimming the cream off the top.
The game is rigged. If the top 1% find themselves impacted by a new law, they call up their pet politicians and get the rules changed. They don't even have to change the law. Changing the way it's enforced is good enough. Haven't we heard of those “too big to go to jail?” The government can't prosecute the big boys as it “would negatively affect the economy.”
The little guy? No such luck. Anyone who works for anyone else knows they can lose their job at any time. Everyone from the big boss miles a thousand miles away to their immediate supervisor can impact a worker's life. They don't even have to fire you. Work condition changes can quickly turn a good job into a living hell. Your good company can be bought out by a bad company and your life goes down the tubes in a hurry.
Do you think owning your own business insulates you from all that? Nope. A different bunch of bozos can ruin your day. Government regulations can turn a small business from a profitable venture to a money loser. Even simple things like road construction can cause a small business to fail. If your customers have to travel miles of bad road and dodge construction equipment, they might not be your customers much longer.
The whole nation, thanks to Obama care, now knows what's it's like to have your life impacted by the government. Work hard. Try to save a few bucks. Get it all wiped out with insurance costs -or medical expenses. Either way it's bad.
What's a poor peon to do?
The first thing is to realize the game has changes, won't change back, and has to be dealt with. One way is to look at around and see how many people can impact your life and ruin your day. Cut down on your vulnerabilities. It might be by eliminating debt, downsizing before you have to, cutting losses and moving on. Maybe it's by having 5 small income streams rather than one “regular” job.
Mostly though, look at those who can casually screw you. This past year my pension income was quietly cut back by a $1,000. I didn't even get a letter. My check didn't show up on and I had to contact the pension system to find out what happened. Now $1,000 won't make or break me, but I felt it. Eventually I'm going to have to better isolate myself from those arbitrary decisions. I suspect that one day the checks will just stop entirely. Plan B is in the works. There will be a few less bad boys who can ruin my day.