The United States Congress passed an extension of jobless benefits last month. Storms raged in the Gulf of Mexico and oil sloshed on the shore. Fishermen were busy cleaning up the oil and Congress was busy playing government. Where, though, were the young people?
Ben Bernanke, the chairman of the Federal Reserve, described the current economic situation as “unusually uncertain.” Where does this place the young, newly-educated job candidates? It appears that the economy has taken a strong turn into the realm of ambiguity. Where will the jobs come from and will certainty be anywhere in a young person’s future?
I have been away from New Hampshire for the past few months. I spent the opening of my summer as a substitute teacher and then returned to my old stomping grounds, CPBN. I work part-time for the Connecticut Public Broadcasting Network and help out with articles, proofing, and job postings. Job postings! There seems to be a lingering truth that jobs are available. However, for every job there are at least fifty applicants. Competition is a wonderful thing, but continual competition with little positive feedback is frustrating, disillusioning, and breeds hopelessness. Luckily, I have another semester to go before I begin looking for a full-time and “unusually” permanent job.
It’s hard to fathom the state of joblessness in this country. I updated media contact lists at CPBN yesterday, and the old contacts didn’t change their email addresses – they changed their job status. It’s sad to know that good people and good workers lose their jobs at such a high rate. The print media has made it clear over the last year or so that print media is losing money and losing jobs. There is a new order to our economy, our lifestyles, and our perceptions of the American way of life. Where do I find hope for young people? Greed is more prevalent in the news than charity. Divorce sells more papers than marriage. The downfall of a single athlete brings more television ratings than the honesty of a dozen others. Where are our priorities? Where is our guidance? I wouldn’t say that we need to “go back” to where America used to be. America used to work in factories. America used to openly discriminate against a large minority of her population. America used to fight Communists. America used to enslave. America used to be worse off.
We are a better country and better people today than we were when I was born a little more than two decades ago. We need to keep working, though. We need to be less selfish. We need to read more and take better care of ourselves. We need to practice what we preach and we need to preach less.
With that, I think I’ll go read.