So I finally went back to the US last month. I prepared myself for everything. I got ready to see all of the fat people. I anticipated the barrage of English I would be in taking. I expected all of the mundane questions. Hadn’t I done this before? Of course I had done it all before, and I was prepared. I would not expect anything, and not hope for anything to happen. I would just let it ride, and that’s exactly what I did. What I didn’t expect was to find that all of my old friends were making so much money. Now I realize that I’m getting up there in age, but I couldn’t imagine how much money was being made. But they’ve been in their companies for over fifteen years, and isn’t it hard to be in the corporate game? Yeah right. Even the guys who were out of work got tons of unemployment or had gotten huge severance packages. I mean how can a company afford a 300,000USD severance package? That’s right, there are five zeros on that one. And my one friend was complaining how hard his job was because they now have offices in every time zone on the earth. Hell this guy made over 50,000USD in his bonus alone last year. But his employees aren’t satisfied or motivated enough. Poor baby. I picked up a bar coaster to wipe my tears for him. And that guy was talking about how much it cost him to hire somebody to cut his lawn. Apparently it takes a long time to mow his half an acre. But at the end of each and every rant and rave, everyone said that they were doing quite well, but, but, and more buts. Nothing could end without a but or three. Now I’m not saying that I’m poor or anything, and I’m not saying that I don’t complain, but man these guys do live the life now don’t they?
And then I started doing some research on how much houses cost over in my mom’s neck of the woods, and was I shocked or what? I mean a house with a garden costs about as much as an apartment does downtown over here. I understand that the US is in a recession, but is China in that good a position to be asking so much money for its houses? I knew that the real estate market was down, but I didn’t expect it to be this far down. And why aren’t my friends taking total advantage of this downturn? Why aren’t they totally buying up everything that they see? That’s what people would do around here wouldn’t they? It’s because they have no money. They have to save up for retirement and their kid’s astronomical education bills and their summer vacation and their one meter large flat screen. Okay I can understand that, but not really. The amount of money that gets blown over in the US is simply huge, and I wasn’t prepared for that.
By Tim Hoerle