General malaise


I have a general malaise.  I’m expecting something.  I’m anxious.  I’m anticipating.  I’m just not sure what.

Something is gonna break.  Something is gonna give.

I fully expect the economy to get much worse.  I get my news from a really large variety of sources and I don’t see any hopeful economic news on the horizon.  I expect the employment picture to dim.

I do expect some eventual civil unrest in the US.  As people continue to lose their jobs, homes and health insurance we’ll all be under more stress.  More people will go hungry.  More people living in their cars or with friends and relatives.  The government safety net will be stretched to the breaking point and perhaps beyond.

To have a contract you need to have an offer and an acceptance.  In my opinion the social contract has been breached.  I grew up in a time that offered US citizens much hope.  If you accepted the offer educated yourself, learned a trade or skill and worked hard you could get ahead.  Not so much anymore.  It’s getting more and more difficult to get ahead.  Heck, it’s getting damn near impossible just to maintain one’s standard of living.  Without the carrot of upward mobility being dangled in front of citizens’ faces it may get tough to keep people motivated and working for the system.  I mean why borrow, struggle and bust butt only to end up in the same place you would have been had you just checked out of the societal expectation and made a go of it in less traditional means.

What do you tell the college senior who is graduating with tens of thousands in debt and no job prospects?

What do you tell the 65 year old who has been saving towards retirement for 50 years and now that retirement seems ephemeral and fleeting?

What do you tell the parent who no longer has health insurance for her kids because she was laid off?

Maybe our expectations have been too great.  Maybe we asked too much of our country.  Is it even possible for every successive generation to have an ever greater standard of living?  To use the hot term of the day, is perpetual growth “sustainable?”

Poor, hungry, dissatisfied and anxious people have always been the catalyst for revolution.    The US and the world are in for some enormous changes over the coming years.  I expect nothing less than our very way of live to change, whether or not some people think that the American way of life is “non-negotiable.”

Prepare for the unknown.  Gather your acorns.  Build your nests.  Find peace in nature.

winter23This is a cool rock.  This large rock is sitting at the very top of a little rocky knoll.  How’d it get there?  How’d it get higher than anything else around it?  A glacier deposited this rock 10,000 years ago.  The glaciers came down from the Great White North bringing with them rocks, gravel and sand.  When the glaciers melted or retreated back up north they left all sorts of things behind.  This rock is a good example of glacial erratic that could have been dragged for thousands of miles to its final resting spot.

winter26Just a nice picture of the winter sky and clouds moving along.  I like the sun’s halo.


7 Responses to “General malaise”

  1. Ramon Says:

    I am a 60+ year old white male (USMC) that has now been working for 50 years. I had my first paying job in the San Joaquin Valley cotton fields at the age of 10. At this point in time I fully expect to be working until I die, or my health fails and I am no longer able to work. As to what then, I only hope I will be able to travel south to a warm climate to join what ever mass of homeless folks are living under the overpasses.

  2. Dean Says:

    Hmmm… I’m not quite sure how to interpret your article. I’ve done everything within my power to educate myself,I have an auto eng degree, a tool and die maker, CNC machine programmer,30+ yrs experience,everything. On paper,not to pat myself on the back,I should be the most valuble employee ever! I was laid off 3 yr’s ago from a 25.00 an hr job, tried a home machine shop,went back to a real job to have it sent to china and mexico. America is losing it’s industrial base in the world market. Think of this.. if WW2 broke out today,could we convert detroit to make tank’s, plane’s or gun’s? The machine’s are all made oversea’s, and the part’s are assembled anywhere but here! The only real job’s left in America are investor’s or import/ export! The last company I worked for was a large corporation that bought up smaller companie’s, cut cost’s and such. We bought up a company in Waterloo IA that made toolboxe’s,brought it to AZ for a yr to redesign,cut cost’s,etc.. Once we did that,it got loaded onto truck’s and sent to mexico, and the staff laid off. I have nothing against profit’s,but if american’s aren’t working,who is there to buy this stuff? I was laid off in early November,lucky enough to still have my home machine shop making stuff for ebay,barely getting by, or I’d already be bugging out to a bridge or the wood’s. REGARDLESS of who is in office today or tomorrow,it is going to take a long time to reverse the trend already in motion. This all took year’s to happen,and will take years to solve. In my opinion,I think we should declare a period of isolationism,raise taxes and tariff’s on import’s,and rebuild the US industrial base. Although I can’t credit this teacher who passed it on tome as the originator,he posed a question to the history class.. “what do you call a country that export’s raw material,and import’s a finished product??… A COLONY!!”

  3. Mike Says:

    Expecting something bad to happen is only natural for intelligent people. Experience teaches us that it is only a matter of time before something bad happens. The only variables are how long, how bad, and to whom.

    “If some great catastrophe is not announced every morning, we feel a certain void. Nothing in the paper today, we sigh.”
    -Lord Acton, British Historian (1834-1902)

    And Dean is right, this country has been digging itself into a hole for awhile. So far the only debate most Americans are interested in having isn’t “How do we climb out?” but “who gets to hold the shovel?”

    “The damage done in one year can sometimes take ten or twenty years to repair.”
    -Chinua Achebe

    And two more related quotes:
    “The only thing we have learnt from experience is that we learn nothing from experience.”
    -Chinua Achebe

    “Human beings, who are almost unique in having the ability to learn from the experience of others, are also remarkable for their apparent disinclination to do so.”
    -Douglas Adams

  4. Dean Says:

    I can’t attribute this quote either,but here it goe’s. “If you find yourself in a hole, QUIT DIGGING!!!!”

  5. Mike Says:

    “no no, dig UP stupid!”

    -Chief Wiggum, The Simpsons

  6. Patricia Says:

    You take some beautiful pictures! Thank you–it is restful to come here and see those lovely shots.

    We’ve thrown out expectations out the window. Good riddance. Try to live each day for that day and forget about the rest of it. Not an easy practice, or all that practical, but it does make for far less stressful living!

  7. Abraham Says:

    Thanks Patricia for the kind comments and thanks to everyone else for adding to the discussion.

    I wish everyone the best. Keep your heads up.

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