Are We Really Better Off Now Than We Were Four Years Ago?


"Work is not only good in the sense that is is useful or something to enjoy; it is also good as being something worthy, that is to say, something that corresponds to man's dignity, that expresses this dignity and increases it ...  Work is a good thing for man - a good thing for his humanity - because through work man not only transforms nature, adapting it to his own needs, but he also achieves fulfillment as a human being and indeed in a sense becomes 'more a human being.'" - Blessed John Paul II, Luborem Exercens #9

"Are we better off now than we were four years ago?"  We hear that question a lot these days.  From a personal standpoint, the gas prices are a big factor and our property taxes are outrageous.  But for others I know, life has changed drastically.

My husband and I know more people out of work than we can ever recall and the length of time to find another job can be as long as two years.  Most are older workers who have been on the job many years.  The impression was that they were going to retire from that place of employment and found themselves starting over.

Though none of them can prove it, age discrimination seems to be lurking in the background of some these situations.  In other cases, the Union did nothing when a job was lost.  And for a friend of mine, her job was eliminated because the company she worked for wanted to spend more on marketing.

I personally know many "under-employed."  Their hours have been cut to 12 hours a week and they've had to go on welfare assistance just to keep food on the table, never mind paying the rent.

One of my friends has been at her job for 30 plus years.  She makes good money, but her hours have been cut to the bare minimum.  She is a widow and she has been forced into dipping into her profit-sharing just to pay her bills.  She is fortunate to have the profit sharing.  Some companies have stopped giving that as a benefit.  She is seven years from collecting Social Security and she finds herself at her wits end.

"Are we better off now than we were four years ago?"  There's no one answer to that one.  Even Joe Biden has a reason not to answer.


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