Monday, October 04, 2010

Coincidentally, I'm Not Travelling

by Dick Mac

The governments of Japan and the United States have issued warnings to the citizenry about travelling to Europe.

On October 3, 2010, the State Department of the United States issued a statement that starts:

The State Department alerts U.S. citizens to the potential for terrorist attacks in Europe. Current information suggests that al-Qa’ida and affiliated organizations continue to plan terrorist attacks. European governments have taken action to guard against a terrorist attack and some have spoken publicly about the heightened threat conditions.
(See, Travel Alert, U.S. DEPARTMENT OF STATE, Bureau of Consular Affairs)

Fortunately, I have no travel plans because, well, I can't afford to travel. I have managed to stay employed, but I am in no position to go into debt for a trip and I don't dare use savings to travel.

I love Europe. I look forward to taking my daughter to Paris, London, Milan, Florence, Krakow, Amsterdam, Prague, and scores of other European destinations. Just not now.

Because of a different, more immediate form of terrorism, I daren't go to Europe. it's not the threat of radical religious people randomly wiping-out groups of innocent people; it's supply-side economic theory and the decision by the American voting public to spend the last thirty years electing politicians hell-bent on pushing America's wealth to the top and leaving the rest of us behind.

It is terrifying to know my job isn't secure. Still, I have to get on the subway each day and travel 90 minutes to a location where my job is held like the Sword of Damocles over my head. Either I shut-up, suck-it-up, and get my work done, or I can be unemployed for the rest of my life. (At my age, I am likely in my last job, as companies do not hire people of a certain age.) Working conditions are terrible. Nobody is happy at my workplace, although everyone is grateful, and the people who own the company know they can save money (although they are making more money than ever before) by cutting staff and benefits and those spared the axe to do more for less.

And they are correct. Everyone today that has a job will pretty much do whatever they have to do to keep that job; and management knows it.

It is terrifying to think about losing my job. I have a family to support and I can't imagine struggling on unemployment and food stamps, then charity when the savings run out.

That is terror.

So, because of the terror I suffer at home, I don't dare spend any money travelling to Europe, where my government thinks total strangers might hurt me.

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