This has become a time of mergers, consolidations and downsizing.
It's the era of doing more with less, much less, doing without in fact, where those who care must choose who they can care a little less for so they can continue, in some whittled down way, to care.
These days, layoffs are common, raises are often rare and a once spoiled generation is perplexed as things are taken away, again and again, until all that is left is a memory to play with, of what once was, but may never be again.
Unemployment remains high, the number of homeless grows and organizations that offer public assistance and services work overtime as their caseloads swell, yet their resources shrink.
Locally, assistance groups fill motels up with individuals and families without homes, for a variety of reasons, the consequences of the Great Recession one of them.
Walk inside social services and it echoes, like a broken record, “I lost my job,” and “laid off,” and “I don't know what to do.”
I dare not look in their eyes, lest I lose myself in a hopelessness bred by a system that forgets broken parts as long as the giant wheel keeps turning round.
So, where is the unified outrage?
Where is the anger?
Have the voices, that when gathered gain strength, really been lost to the days without answers?
Lately, I've been attending meetings of municipalities and schools, and the slogan of doing more with less prevails and the discussion focuses around, what more can we take away without further breaking what has already been broken?
But wait, there's money somewhere. Government bailouts resulted in hefty bonuses for a market that seems to deserve punishment more than reward.
Various corporations that benefit from war report significant earnings, record earnings, as the majority of the country crawls on bloodied knees under the weight of the Great Recession.
And let's talk about war.
There were no weapons of mass destruction in Iraq, a country that had nothing to do with 9/11, and it has become increasingly clear that it was largely known there were no weapons of mass destruction there leading up to the war. Saddam Hussein couldn't have been singled out for being a brutal dictator, because he was toward the bottom of a long list of far more dangerous dictators, although the real sociopaths live in countries that offer little in the way of natural resources.
But the point is, more than $1 trillion was spent on that effort. Imagine the education programs that could have been funded with that money.
Imagine, instead of rewarding the wealthy with tax breaks, money is put into social service programs and a real effort is made to break cycles that down the road actually results in less people needing services.
Imagine, again, education a key to economic success and progress, being funded in a way that all children with their unique differences are reached out to and pushed to succeed.
Well, inside your imagination is exactly where such thoughts are going to have to remain if people don't unite and demand something different for themselves, for their children, for their country.
I wince when I read about companies with ties to public officials profiting off war and then cheating the government and when I learn that an oil company is earning record profits while the majority of people suffer.
But when it really hits home is when schools gut themselves, municipalities starve their first responders because of lack of funds and human service organizations reveal significant increases in the amount of hard-working people in need, and in the same breath, have less and less funds to work with.
Yet, a small minority profit, and apparently often not honestly.
This has become a time of downsizing, doing more with less, and...complacency.