Wednesday, May 07, 2008

Teetering On The Edge

It's like middle-class tightrope walking, this current economic scene in the United States. You step on the rope, hanging on to your balancing umbrella (that 401(k), that employer-provided health insurance policy, perhaps parents with some money) and you lift the other leg up in the air while the audience oos and ahs, watching the rope swing ever more violently under your foot.

And then the umbrella disintegrates, spine by spine, and there you are, trying to balance yourself with a stick.

One illness may be the exact distance which separates a middle-class household from poverty. Or one divorce or one job loss. When all these happen at the same time, kiss your ass goodbye (as they say in polite circles).

And none of this is worth complaining about, because in the side-rings of this grand circus of ours are the poor acrobats, trying to afford both bread and enough money to fill the old banger of a car so that they can get to work to earn that meager salary. Watch them let go of the bar, watch them fall, fall, fall towards the other swinging acrobat! Will their hands meet in time? You know, there is no safety net beneath them now.

You don't like to work in this circus? Then leave. There are plenty of desperate workers in China, India and Pakistan to take your place.
This is what caused my musings.