I was in Youngstown, Ohio over the weekend. I had breakfast in the Hampton Inn in which we were staying. It was one of those free breakfast buffets so popular in the lower end hotel chains these days. The had cereal and oatmeal, cheese omelets, spicy American fries, bagels, muffins, breads, waffles, fruit, juices, and coffee. It was pretty good, well stocked, and it stayed well stocked and fresh the entire time I was sitting there. There was not a whole lot of cooking involved. It was all about preparation. The cheese omelets were pre-made and just had to be heated. I imagine it was the same with the potatoes and the bacon. I am sure the preparation of the oatmeal and pancake batter was also minimal: add water, stir, and put into the keep it warm and dispense container. I was impressed with the lady that was keeping everything clean and stocked. So, I thanked her.
She was a nice lady. She works five days a week from six in the morning until noon. It is a job. It is a job that pays no benefits. She has a high school education and recently went to vocational school for accounting (I believe they used to call this simply bookkeeping). This lady, I will also call Rene because for the life of me I cannot remember her name, had to be in her late 40s or early 50s. Rene has no idea what the future holds for her. She knows that she will not be able retire in the near future or maybe ever. I gathered that Rene was divorced. As far as I could tell in the short conversation I had with her was that her daughter graduated from college and has a job she doesn't like and would like to change even though she does feel fortunate to have a job with benefits. This goes to support the point I have been making for a couple years.
Both of these Renes are poster children for the fact that we have become a country in which a vast majority of people will not be able to retire. These folks all work hard, perhaps even enjoy their jobs, but are not really building a career or any kind of nest egg. I am surprised that no one talks about this... at all. The Democrats do not really address this. The Republicans for sure do not. I suppose we, collectively, do not want to depress the vast majority of the population. They push for less government and more independence for individuals.
The Tea Party is made up of a lot of Renes. It is a prescription that would allow corporations to pay less and offer less and less benefits to the common man. It is the death knell of the middle class. It may just be inevitable. I hate being right in this case. Perhaps, I am the only person that sees this. If others see it, I feel like I am the only person bothered by this. It is change. Things are changing and I am afraid that this change is inevitable.