The Boat is Leaking

December 31, 2009 Columns, Cosmopolitan in Brooklyn

by Patricia Spears Jones, February 2009

Patricia Spears Jones

Patricia Spears Jones, Columnist

The editor asked me to write about being unemployed and my job search.  Well.  It’s hard.  It’s boring.  It’s, as of this writing, ineffective.  It’s not for sissies.

Unemployment is something I’ve gone through a few times before, but nothing like this.  People keep talking about a PLAN B as if somehow all those chocolate cookies you wanted to bake while you’re were working in a law firm will provide sufficient income to pay your bills and keep various beasts from your door.

In past recessions, you may have found customers and even got venture capital to take it to the next step.  But in this one, there are no customers who can afford your cookies and even if there were, you can’t get a loan to expand your business so that you could reach customers somewhere else.  The credit crisis is AT THE HEART OF all this mess.

Until banks provide loans and lines of credit so that businesses can expand; so that nonprofits can carry out their programs; so that people can pay their mortgages or buy a new house or car—this recession will deepen.  So f**k Plan B.

The Republican resistance to Obama’s Stimulus Bill only shows you how much the conservative leadership of this country continues to deny its complicity in the current economic crisis.  No God or Gods made this happen.  Greed, cronyism, lassitude—those were just some of the ingredients for the recipe for WHERE WE AT TODAY.  The politics of the Stimulus Plan felt like a bad video that gets scratchier and grayer after repeated playing.

They had 8 years and what they gave us is a war.  The “War on Terror” which has left our nation’s treasury empty. This is the deficit  that the Republicans conveniently forget to mention when they talk about generational theft.  The hijackers on 911 helped George W. Bush and his pals carry out policies that have bankrupted this country financially, politically, culturally.  It will take 4 years for Obama and his crew to bring our country just part of the way back.  Let’s hope he gets 8 years.

So I look for arts administration positions, teaching jobs, administrative jobs, program management jobs, writing jobs, census taker jobs, foundation jobs, local color positions, dreams of suddenly get that MacArthur grant that will most likely never happen, and push comes to shove development jobs.  I am joined by thousands in the metro area; hundreds of thousands world wide.

The unemployed are legion.  This may not be the death of capitalism, but clearly something has got to give.  We are in a big leaking boat.  Will we make it to shore?  Does anyone know how to plug the holes?

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