Thursday, 3 February 2011

The Price of Life

So I've reached the point in my life where I want to go and be more independent and earn my own money, and have the time whilst I try and figure out where exactly I want my life to lead and what I want to do to make my mark on the world. Sounds good, right? So why is it that in this modern day, and in an economy that is trying to recover I cannot get a job?

One would have thought that in order for companies to provide a better service to their customers and ensure that they can stay open longer to serve them that they would like more staff. And indeed there are adverts out there. But it appears that there is a contradiction in what we are being told. Despite it sounding like some companies are desparate for new staff, there is also the issue that there are far more people unemployed than there are positions availiable. In five months of job hunting and filling in applications for everything and anything, I have only had one interview. For most things, I appear to be either too qualified or not qualified enough. What is more, the number of advertisments that ask for a full driver's license is astonishing. The conundrum comes however, when you realise that I do not have said drivers license, would love to get one, but do not have the money with which to have lessons and take the tests. For that, I need a job, but to get a job, I seem to need a license. Troublesome? Infuriating? Yup.

But that's really a separate matter. It's just one of those things that will work itself out eventually, and I just have to wait for the day when I can afford to do such a thing. What really REALLY confuses me, is that the government said last month that we were, in fact, potentially heading for yet another economic downturn, but still brought VAT back up making everything more expensive even though there is still large numbers of unemployment. Not only that, but the energy company, EDF, have said that from March they will increase gas prices by 6.5% and electricity prices by 7.5%, and the UN's Food and Agricultural Organization (FAO) has said that world food prices are at an all time high. This graph (taken from the BBC - shows the cost of corn in US cents/bushel.

Can we really see an end to the difficulties and true economic recovery when it seems that there is nothing being done to help us out? It seems that the government seem to want us to work longer and pay more to try and sort the economy out, but what makes me laugh at the stupidity is this news report headline that caught my eye:

"The average age at which men and women retire has increased in recent years, according to data from the Office for National Statistics (ONS)."

Of course retirement age is increasing - the pension plans that those working signed onto have reduced to practically nothing either through the decrease of money being paid into such things, or the need for money to pay for increasing food and fuel prices in order to keep us alive and well. Don't get me wrong, I'm by no means saying that those that are past the retirement age shouldn't work - if they want to, then by all means they should! What is ridiculous is the assumption that this is why most older workers are there. It couldn't possibly be out of neccessity for survival due to lack of money. But of course, it's more than acceptable for the big bosses in the banks and those in the government to take big bonuses, or  to claim expenses for things that most of us would (potentially) give our left arm to have. Add to that the increase in student tuition fees and things and we really have to wonder who exactly is benefitting from such a system.

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