a Shattered Confidence

is what my generation faces in the wake of America’s present circumstances.  It’s ‘we’ the ‘young’ people of my generation who have to deal with and pick up the pieces of an extremely irresponsible former one.   What is so sad is that my generation (including myself) have completely lost confidence in their country.  It’s as if by Fall 2008 we started to see the plummet of the modern day Roman Empire and we fear it’s so far gone it just looks like a giant unfathomable mess that cannot be salvaged.  We all knew it was heading in this direction, slowly but surely, yet apathy and greed conquered.  America fell behind in the very world it invented.

My generation has entered the job market during The Great Depression 2.0, and what separates this depression from the last one?  What makes this one more bearable?  Technology and more efficient means of doing things, that’s pretty much all that’s different about it.  We can go on and on and on about the blame game and trace the crisis back but it doesn’t solve anything.

It’s upsetting to see such hopelessness.  You don’t want to be a part of the negativity but you just cannot help but face the grave reality that the America my generation knew in Middle School and even High School… is over.  Every day the market drops, European markets face the same dangers, countries turn to Communist China for help..  Headlines that are becoming normal and more frequent include people taking apart aluminum from high school bleachers and copper from wires and steel from railroads.. people getting robbed and not for drugs, but to pay electric bills and mortgage payments.. it sounds like America is in dire straights and doesn’t look like it’s going to get better any time soon, especially with what’s presently going on with our leadership in Washington.  (If you would like to actually call that leadership).

Everything seems bankrupt, even the jobs I’ve applied for.  There are some incredibly skilled and talented people out there that cannot get jobs and some real idiots that were just handed them because they knew someone.  About a month or two ago I was eating lunch at The Reading Terminal Market and sat next to these two guys who worked for SEPTA.  I asked what they did and they honestly replied, “Pretty much nothing. We try to do as little as possible.”  A flicker of rage swept over me and I just wanted to say, “See, you’re why there’s a problem.”  Instead I just let my friends carry on the conversation, because I had had enough.  I mean, just Google SEPTA and you’ll see it’s the worst public transportation system on the planet, and because of people like that.

The situation is disastrous and it really needs someone who is willing to step up if the country has any hope of being salvaged.  Saturday, thousands gathered in Lower Manhattan for #OccupyWallSt, a protest aimed to mimic Egypt’s Tahrir Square.  Kitchens, beds and peaceful barricades were set up to ‘Occupy Wall Street’ for the next few months hoping to gain media attention and make a statement that the way things are just aren’t working anymore.  The leaderless resistance movement gathered thousands of Americans from different races, ideologies and political spectrum’s, all agreeing to not tolerate the greed and corruption of the top 1%.  Standing on-top of the steps of the Smithsonian looking out over Bowling Green Park in Lower Manhattan, it was moving to see such a giant group of people chanting “This is what democracy looks like!”

Like those in Egypt, Greece, Spain and Iceland, the idea was to use an Arab Spring  like tactic of mass occupation to restore democracy in America.  It was a moving idea with thousands of people, but not enough.  However, many of those gathered were college graduates who are unemployed.  There were single moms with masters degrees that were unemployed, all feeling that their votes were being nullified by corporate lobbies.  It might have been a rather scattered protest with varying degrees of demands and ideas, but it wasn’t a bad first step.  I wonder how long Wall Street will be occupied though.. and if it will make any difference.

Societies can’t seem to last more than 300 years because they all can’t figure out how to deal with the money situation.  America is like a sinking ship that needs rescuing, but the right kind of rescue, not someone or some party to take advantage of the circumstances for political power.  My generation has a right to be upset and frustrated.  The Tea Party feels it, the right wing feels it, independents feel it, the left wing feels it.  This country is filled with way too much bureaucracy and is, has been, and continues to be led by very irresponsible people.  Now, the weight of responsibility has been rolled onto the shoulders of my generation to take care of the dire situation, and that is something that brings me great hope and great fear..

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