6.5 % Unemployment … and Climbing

I’ve fallen through the cracks
and landed on my back.
I need a helping hand to continue.
I’ve encountered some bad luck,
and I’m not asking much,
just a touch of the goodness that’s in you.

I’ve worked throughout my life.
I’ve got kids and a wife
whose fate I’m now so desperately in fear of.
For sometimes factories close,
while that stack of bills just grows,
and there’s nothing you can do for God or dear love.

The mortgage payment’s short,
and my credit card report
discloses that I’ve reached a state of crisis.
We’ve got a little socked away,
but it grows smaller every day,
and I’m haunted by demands of heating prices.

There are beggars on the street
that I never thought I’d meet,
and get to know as brethren in our sorrow.
But the beads of sweat congeal
as I face the facts and feel
that that’s where we may find ourselves tomorrow.

How all this came to pass
is a question we must ask
and find an answer soon, to gain salvation.
Unless we set things right
we’ll just wander through a night
culminating in the doom of our dear nation.

Dennis Rahkonen, from Superior, Wisconsin, has been writing progressive commentary with a Heartland perspective for various outlets since the '60s. Read other articles by Dennis.

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  1. Jacqueline S. Homan said on November 21st, 2008 at 3:36pm #

    The real unemployment rate is not the official 6.5%. It’s much higher. The official unemployment rate only counts those who qualify for unemployment benefits. There are millions of jobless, most whom are long-term unemployed middle-aged people, whose unemployment ran out two, three, and four years ago who have not been able to get another job. Yet they are not counted as “unemployed” even though they’re jobless and poor – these “discouraged workers” have no income and have lost their homes and gone through their life savings trying to live while aggressively seeking adequate employment to no avail. There are many more poor women who were ejected from the welfare rolls pursuant to the 1996 Welfare Reform Act who have not been hired anyplace. They are not counted among the unemployed. The underclass, the homeless, who have been economically left behind long before now who are jobless, under-employed, and destitute are not counted among the unemployed. If all who want and need a job who don’t have one were counted, the true unemployment rate would be upwards of about 20%, if not higher.