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February 10, 2009

Only One Manda: The Best Things In Life Are Free [David's abridged version: the remix: volume 1]

Amanda (Only One Manda):
...First of all, we're (and by "we," I mean middle class students in the United States) made to believe that having a degree is a good and useful thing. It is when the economy is good, but when the economy is looking like Germany right around the time when people were using deutschmarks as wallpaper, it's not quite so useful. Knowing a trade is useful. Because there's a market for it.

I'm pretty sure that there isn't a job market for 20 somethings with BA's in religion and MA's in Theological Studies and no experience doing anything. I'm not sure what I thought would happen, but I'm pretty sure I thought that any kind of a Master's Degree would at least ensure that I wasn't going to be living well UNDER the poverty level. That's weird, isn't it?...

I've been working my little ass off in Maryland, here. Two jobs. The usual. Then, poof, one of the jobs couldn't afford me anymore. They felt really bad about it, but I had to go. That's fine...

Some people aren't as lucky as I am, though. I wonder what's going to happen to them as we lose more jobs. I wonder what's going to happen to us as more and more qualified and eager workers can't find work because there simply isn't any to be found? I wonder what's going to happen to families with children to feed. To people who don't have the familial resources needed in times like these.

I have to hope that we'll be able to pull ourselves out of this awfulness as a country. As a collective of human souls who have each other's best interests at heart.

I hope we're going to be willing to take a cut in hours or forego a raise so that we can ALL keep our jobs. Not just some of us. Not just the lucky ones. ALL of us. A-L-L.

Think about that in the upcoming years. What are you doing to take care of your fellow human beings? What are you doing to usher in a time of concern for each other? Of common human decency?

Even though it might seem like it, now is not the best time to have an "every-man-for-himself" mentality. That's the kind of thing that kills us.

The empowering potential of the human spirit, I might argue, is the very BEST thing in life...

Last night I was watching the news and the report was about how a bunch of police recruits who have just completed all their training were being blocked from the police force due to city budget cuts. The report went on to say that a dozen recreational centers around the city are closing due to budget cuts. Here is my first thought: kids from homes or families that will potentially be broken by the economy are losing places to go play, socialize, and be safe, and instead are turned to the streets that have no police force to offer safety. Now, my cynical side argues that a police force could be corrupt or useless or whatever, that citizens should band together to protect themselves, and that the streets should fundamentally be just as safe. Is that the case? I don't know, but doubt it. Then again, I'm pretty insulated in a middle-class suburb that is likely going to keep its Rec Center.

I hope city budgets get fixed so that we're putting money into education and recreation--but where does that money come from? I have no clue... Maybe people should start paying for their trash services around here...

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