It's been a long time. I want to introduce myself. My name is Scott Barzilla and I am unemployed. Back in November, things were picking up. I had what seemed like a firm offer from an insurance company and I got a holiday job at Barnes and Noble. That job went away when the holidays ended and the insurance company is still doing background checks. Meanwhile, I've shelled out nearing 500 dollars getting certified. It's time for the money flow to switch directions.
As the Republican primary campaign gains steam it is high time that we start looking at real issues. The entertainment candidates are out of the race. Of course, for some it is all entertaining. For those of us out of work it is becoming sickening. Why have I been gone so long? Well, suddenly paying a great deal of attention to politics seems too disheartening. Many of us are suffering and the suits in Washington are doing very little.
Of course, with the changing economy comes the changing roles in family life. I'm now stay at home dad. I do most of the cooking, cleaning, laundry, and assorted work around the house. The upshot is get to do my baseball research and get to call the insurance company every week to see what hoop I have to jump through now. The dream of working in baseball took a hit this week too as the local nine hired someone else to do the job I want to do.
Something hit me today as I was driving around town. There used to be a place in my area dedicated to helping people like me find another job. That building has been torn down. Why? Government funding just isn't there. So, at a time when we need resources the most, they aren't there.
The candidate that understands that we are the priority will win the race. In many cases, it's not about money. I have clothes, a house, and food on the table. What I don't have is a clear sense of identity. Yes, I'm a father and a husband, but what else? Am I an educator that's on hiatus? Am I simply a stay at home dad that loves to write? Am I something else entirely? For generations, men have been the breadwinners in the family. Many of us have evolved to accept that our spouse will make more. Now, she makes it all.
This is all great, but what does it have to do with the issue at hand? Simply put, deficit reduction sounds wonderful, but at some point it becomes difficult to sustain an argument where you want to grow the economy and yet want to cut back. Cutting back means cutting jobs. Cutting jobs means adding to unemployment. That might work when the economy is booming and opportunities are plenty. That's just not the case right now.
A wise man once said that a recession occurs when your neighbor is out of work. A depression occurs when you are out of work. For those in a depression, they don't care about deficit reduction. They care about getting a job. At some point, telling people that balancing the budget will help boost the economy becomes a bit hollow. When will it help?
The current Congress has passed less legislation (to this point in the session) than any session for at least half a century. That would be great if everything were going great. As we know, that is not the case. This is why Congress has the lowest approval rating it has had in modern history. So, keep pedaling deficit reduction if you wish, but I ain't buying it.