Dear ABC News Discussions:
I am intrigued by the "Kitchen Table" series on World News. I would like to contribute my experience. I live alone and there is no "discussion" at my kitchen table. There is great trouble in America. I was infuriated by President Bush and his "State of the Union" speech. The economy has deteriorated during his two terms. Our jobs went overseas and the cost of living (especially health care, gasoline and heating oil) has skyrocketed. I had a better standard of living as a student.
Today I turn 58 and am frightened about my future. It is not a "happy birthday" by any means. I am an unemployed woman, and a displaced homemaker (divorced many years ago). I have two college degrees and have attended many classes to upgrade my credentials. I am a professional mariner and hold the top license in my field which is "Master, unlimited". In lay terminology, I am qualified to be captain of any size United States registered merchant vessel. I should be earning a very healthy salary. I have been a full book member of a professional union since 1991. I have been chronically unemployed due to the decline of the American Merchant Marine. The last 7 years (on President Bush's Watch) in particular have been extremely stressful. I have had less and less work as each year passes. I ask myself difficult questions regarding the lack of work time toward earning a pension.
There are many Americans in similar circumstances who have studied and worked very hard only to see their jobs go overseas. I see no integrity or ethics in American government or business and am angry that at my age I am in this financial predicament.
Oh my gosh when I real your email I almost fainted!!! Someone is in my shoes!!! I am a 54 year old female, divorced and have one daughter who is 26 years old. I have been divorced for 16 years and my life has been an uphill battle the whole time. I have a college degree that has gotten me nowhere. They drill you to go to college and so I did and I'm still "unemployed." I recently got laid off from work because my job got outsourced to China...our government doesn't care. I have fallen through the cracks time and time again. I'm either over qualified or under qualified. I'm sick of hearing it. I'm sick of making the same pay that I was making 15 years ago and yet my cost of living has soared and is 4 times what it was just 10 years ago. Our government is catering to the corporate elite and our government is nothing but a fraud.
And now, when I go into a job agency to look for a job, there is a Latino woman sitting behind the desk telling me she doesn't have any work for me...but when I look in the room it is filled with Latinos. What is happening here? There are some jobs I can't even apply for because you "need to speak Spanish..." Is this what our government has brought us to? I see other people from other countries working...even buying homes here in America, and I was born and raised in the United States and I can't find a job.