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This Economic Crisis

My son has given up his job:
he survived for almost a year
but finished up stressed-out.

He worked fourteen hours a day
for 1,500 euros a month.
He is a land surveyor;
he studied for five years
to get his degree.
That was his first job
and he is disillusioned.

One night they kept him in the office till 5 a.m.
then he had to go to work again at 8 a.m.
and measure accurately all day.

If he made a mistake
the company would lose money
and he would be responsible.

Another night they had him measuring by lamplight:
the job had to be finished in time for elections
to please a local politician,
who had been expensively wined and dined
in order to get the contract.

They could of course have employed two surveyors
on bearable eight-hour shifts,
but that wouldn't have been cost-effective.

He was never paid any overtime.

I realize things are worse in many countries,
but I can only think about my son.

No bank would give him a loan
because his contract was short-term.

His income was relatively good.
Most young workers in Spain
make a thousand euros a month
or even less...

They can't get a mortgage,
so they rent a bedroom
in an old, shared flat
for 400 Euros month
in Barcelona or Madrid.

By the time they've paid for light,
heat, phone calls, food and clothes,
there's nothing left for a car,
let alone for a house.

Don't worry, I'm not a socialist,
but I would ask Spanish leaders:
'Are you surprised that car sales are down,
or that many new homes are empty? '

Politicians, of course, earn more.
Perhaps they lack the imagination
to understand how hard it is
for most of us to just get by.
Perhaps they were always rich.

Obama may be an exception.

If consumers can't buy, because their income is low,
demand for goods and services goes down,
production is cut, workers are laid off
(so in turn have no money to spend in shops)
and the downward spiral just goes on.

I'm not an economist,
but I believe that Mr.Ford
used to pay his workers well,
so they could buy his cars.

Another question is what the banks have been up to...

I repeat, I'm not a socialist,
but giving everyone third-world wages
and impossible working hours
just isn't going to work.

Sorry if this is not a poetic subject.

In England my younger daughter
gets the minimum wage in a café:
eight hours a day on her feet,
eight hundred pounds a month.
Just her room costs four hundred.
She's an aeronautical engineeer
and that was the best she could find.

My other daughter, in the same country
is paid the same salary - as an assistant teacher.
She studied English and French for six years
and has a Master of Arts
in translation and interpreting,
and that was the best she could find.

They barely get by.

Soon no one will have enough cash
to buy anything from anyone.

I suggest that the governments of certain countries
should be requested to raise their minimum wage
(if they have such a thing)
until it's similar to ours, at least,
so that their citizens can buy our exports
as well as exporting to us.
They might even stop exploiting children.

Their businesses would still be competitive
because their employees
are used to working hard.

Money has to circulate - that's trade:
if you take out buyers,
then sellers are lost too.

Editing stage: 


its very true that the rich seldom think about the poor. I agree money has to circulate for the benefit of trade. unfortunately we don't know the plans of the trade starters. Its getting bad to worse. Wages rarely increase but the cost of living is becoming more and more expensive.


on a work which many will probably not accept as poetry, You have concentrated on the ideas, which are the strong point of this poem, and I am glad that you agree with them. This was written several years ago but I am constantly updating it as the crisis goes on. Right now there are small signs of improvement in Spain, but the jobs being created are mostly part-time, poorly paid and with short term contracts. About half of young people are still without work.
Best wishes,

author comment

This is a statement not a poem and should be in a blog somewhere. Regards Roscoe

Roscoe Llane,

Religion will rip your faith off, and return
for the mask of disbelief that's left.

When dealing with such a serious subject I find it hard to worry too much about rhyme or rhythm. But this text still makes use of line-breaks and short stanzas to emphasize key points, so I cannot accept that it is wholly prose.
Best wishes,

author comment

the poetic format makes it more likely to be read, which is justification in itself.

You can imagine that being as strongly opinionated as I am this problem occurs with me frequently. Some of my worst poetry is when my statement is more important than form. I have tried writing them in highly structured form like "Corporate Villanelle" which helps a bit.

I love the content. Intelligent, honest and well thought through.

A new workshop on the most important element of poetry-
'Rhythm and Meter in Poetry'

A statement is a statement, I will if I have the time today try to either prose some of this write or poetry it.
You can make the same impression if not more in words strung together in a poetic form.
I have a great problem with correct form, lets look at it this way if I said that as lyrics for a song this would not work, as with a poetic layout, it has fallen in-between the floorboards.
I think you could capture a good audience with your themes.
Take something simple:-
A weeping willow stood there on my right.
The willow wept, sweeping a pathway to my right.
There are many ways to write this as with anything you see or have knowledge of.
Same statement but grabs more thoughts and would be read by a wider audience.
I will PM my attempt when I have a few moments spare later today.
Yours, Ian.T

There are a million reasons to believe in yourself,
So find more reasons to believe in others..

in traditional terms my main aim in this poem is to imitate the thought process that went into it, and I find that this is easier to do if I have the freedom to use line-breaks and short stanzas which would be impossible in prose. Nevertheless I look forward to reading your future suggested versions.
Best wishes,

author comment

A few things have come up that I need to attend to so it will be the weekend before I have a space to do some writes.
Meanwhile have a go at a poem with correct form just a short one will do then we can go from there, Yours Ian.T

There are a million reasons to believe in yourself,
So find more reasons to believe in others..

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