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The Sinking Middle Class

Thanks to Momrising for profiling stories of individuals - real people - real lives - having a terrible time in the job market. It is a shame when anyone can say I have a bachelors degree - I have a master's degree and yet, I cannot get hired. More so, what about the statements from these folks, myself included, that speak volumes: I just need to work. I will rewind and start at a beginner's salary. Add this statement to a monthly student loan payment and feel the fury! This is pain folks. This is middle America - sinking fast!

I have a brother-in-law out of work for a year and a half from the VP-level of the advertising-marketing world that now only believes in presenting themselves as a young industry with newbies across the board. Well, quality suffers when we don't put deserving, seasoned folks in jobs. Benefits are gone for this family and a job at Home Depot had to be wheeled and dealed....and they limit your hours there so they don't have to pay benefits. Oh yes, folks are going to be lining up at the mental health facilities soon because this economy is about to crack everyone's sanity. Then you feel even more love when you read an article stating that the "hiring leaders" of today don't want to hire someone who has been out of work for longer then six months or so because they have lost their sharpness. Really? Who writes this stuff? And who says this stuff? Can we find anyone with a pulse who has talked to a real person out of work? Who is really out of touch here?

I am in Connecticut and here we have an expensive state and no jobs. Nothing to even apply to. I have a master's degree and have yet to be paid what my professional associations state as the standard average for my position. All I do is work to pay childcare costs and commuting costs. And I do it only to "stay in the game." One word: numbing.

Talk to a mother who stepped out of her professional position to raise children for a few years. Well, unless you're in specific industries, at say $75,000 and above, I have seen with my sister where it is quite difficult to jump back in the game where you left off. Damned if you do and damned if you don't.

Do you hear the anger yet? There's more....

Work for yourself you say? Sure! Yet start-up costs are only for the wealthy if you look into franchising. If you can make something else a go that isn't online, then you face the nightmare of state taxes.

So, here folks are with degrees who cannot get hired at deserving salaries (why even mention poor benefits) and then you have the fight to raise the minimum wage for folks who have found themselves making these life-long permanent positions, out of need or lack of opportunity, etc. I understand this but at the same time, I look at my situation and these folks would be on my heels if $15/hour and other amounts get approved. So how does this playing field look between educated and out of work or low paying jobs and the not educated in low paying jobs?

Who is investing in me? No rewards. No lucky stick. The reality that the 1970-80s motto of "work hard - go to college & it will pay off" was a myth. And now, I suppose this is the part where I am told "life is not fair." Indeed, it is not.

—StephanieCT
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