Tuesday, January 23, 2007

Economic Insecurity times 10

A few days ago, I wrote about economic insecurity. It is one of my big struggles as a recovering alcoholic (probably as a regular person, too, I don't know, I don't think I've ever been a regular person). Well, it has shown it's ugly head again. I live in Michigan and the economy has been weak here, but yesterday it got a lot weaker as a major pharmaceutical company and employer of thousands announced it will shut it's doors. I have family, friends, and colleagues who are (were?) employed there and their heads are spinning. My prayers go out to all of them because they are facing some serious challenges. It will be virtually impossible to find another job in Michigan with the unemployment rates over 7% and rising. They will have to job hunt nationally and, if they're lucky enough to find employment, uproot families, sell houses at below bargain rate, and start over again. The employer had promised to relocate 70% of employees, but I would be surprised if they relocated even 50%. I firmly believe this is a lie they perpetuate to keep their ex-employees from bombing the facility. For the rest of us who live in Michigan and still have jobs, the future looks so bleak. It will be years before we can recover from the losses of the auto industry and every loss we experience on top of that extends those years. Much of southeast Michigan is experiencing urban blight already and the poverty is going to keep growing. I want to believe that we will be okay and that God has a plan, but it is a struggle. I am so fearful that layoffs will continue, that funding for my job will be cut, that the sales my husband's job depends on will drop so he loses his job, that we will be struggling to pay for a house that is in a neighborhood that has become unlivable due to the surrounding crime and poverty. I know these fears sound irrational because we still have jobs and there is still some commerce and economy in Michigan. I am doing my best to pray a lot and remember that God has brought us through many things and has the power to bring us (and the rest of the folks in Michigan) through this also.

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