Two people, one, Paul, a man in a business suit, and the other, Sam, a man with work clothes and a lunch bucket, had been friends in middle and high-school. They had just run into each other on the street. After re-acquainting themselves and bringing each other up to date on families and other friends they began this conversation as they walked.
"So, Paul, what line of work are you into?" Sam asked, running his eyes over Paul’s suit and tie, and nicely shined shoes.
"Well, right now I’m out of work. I normally am a payroll accountant, but with the economy the way it is, so many people being laid off, payrolls are not that large. My last employer kept me on as long as he could, but after the last round of cuts, the payroll, and benefits management, wasn’t large enough to warrant three senior accountants and two of us were laid off." Paul said.
"Man, that sucks. I didn’t know it was that tough on you administrative guys. But, I guess if you think about it, when the labor force is cut, there won’t be that much administrative work going on either."
"What are you doing these days?" Paul asked.
They had reached a stop light and both looked at each other and nodded— yes, each was still going in the same direction.
Sam answered, "I guess I’m sort of lucky. I’m working for a government contractor. I was in the construction business, new housing, right. But that’s not really humming along like it was. With my plumbing and electrical abilities I was able to get work with this contractor. Thing is, I had to take a slight cut in pay, because it’s a new company and they have to keep costs down to get the government jobs bids. They keep saying that as soon as they are in solid with the government people it’ll be easier to spread the work around and the money will come then."
"That’s okay with you? Having to wait for more money?" Paul asked, raising his eyebrows.
Sam smiled and said, "What real choice do I have, if I want to feed my family?"
"Yeah, but what about what the government says about spreading the wealth around, you know, redistribution?"
"That’s the point, isn’t it? If we wait now, we’ll be the ones getting the redistribution money."
Paul didn’t look directly at Sam, he just pursed his lips and looked down at the ground.
He finally looked up and asked, "The way I understand it, Sam, is that taxes go up on the wealthy, and then the government has charge of re-distribution. What that means is, they have control of the money and they decide how to re-distribute it. But first, they take their cut off the top to pay their own (the government’s) expenses. It costs one heck of a lot of money to just pay the interest on what those guys have borrowed already, and in addition to that they usually give money to the most needy first, that is, whoever they decide is the most needy, and the most needy, generally means people that can’t work for one reason or another. With so many people now out of work, and with things like unemployment benefits and, disability payments increasing every month, how long do you think it will be before somebody who is already working gets a piece of the re-distribution?"
Sam had been listening to each word Paul had been saying. He and his wife had discussed something similar the other day when they were talking about benefits, like health care. His wife had mentioned how their health care policy rate was already going up because of the fact that pre-existing conditions were being added to most policies and also people were going to be able to put their children, up to the age of twenty six years old on their regular family policies. The Insurance companies were saying they had no choice because of the National Healthcare package that the politicians voted on behind locked doors. It was only the Democrats allowed to vote and ask questions, the Republicans were locked out completely from the conversation and voting process.
Sam said, "You know, I’ve always thought that middle-income people like myself, and you, had it pretty good and I still think that, but Jeez, with so many things being affected by this bad-economy, they keep looking for ways to tax more and more things, and as a result businesses have to keep raising prices. Where does it all end?"
"I’m pretty much in the same boat as you, except I’m out of work now. My wife is working and thank God for that, but If I don’t find something soon I’m not going to have a choice, but to take whatever is there. I’ve got to feed my family, I can’t expect my wife to carry that whole burden. It really bugs me when I hear about some of the things our government is pouring money into without considering much else but getting re-elected. You know, like the oil drilling in places that we already know are good sources for us for using our own oil instead of relying on an oil cartel that couldn’t care less about anything but their own tightly knit group dictating how much we can buy and at what price. We have the resources, why not use them."
Sam nodded and said, "Yeah, I’m all for green energy, but when the government is trying to put the cart before the horse and try to jump into green energy before they’re ready, something’s wrong. Their strategy seems to be we won’t do it unless we’re forced to because the price of current oil and natural gas still isn’t high enough. They’re saying they know better than us common folks about economic matters. It seems to me, most anybody understands that if you want to get from point A to point B and you need a bridge, in this case the bridge is having an ongoing, reasonably priced source of oil and gas, and you already have an abundance of sources ready to go and capable of going in a short period of time, you use them. That will give you the time to develop your other green sources efficiently.That way when you put them on the market they are efficient and economically priced."
Paul shook his head and shrugged his shoulders, then said, "Yeah, but that would take common sense. These guys in Washington think they’re on Easy Street. The worst economy ever hasn’t bothered them yet. And as long as they have the free-ride pass the general public is giving them, they won’t ever change until it’s too late."
The two men reached their corner to go different ways, but first they exchanged phone numbers and promised to keep in touch with each other. They shook hands and parted, both with something more to think about, that is if they weren’t already thinking about it .