Robert Melliard

Rookie - 10 Points (20 - 5 - 1953 / Georgetown)

This Economic Crisis - Poem by Robert Melliard

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
(there may be some exceptions -
doctors, dentists, lawyers,
civil-servants and bankers
may hardly notice this crisis) .

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.

Topic(s) of this poem: money


Comments about This Economic Crisis by Robert Melliard

  • Egi David Perdana (1/1/2009 1:00:00 AM)

    I know, I sad because the crisis but I never stop to hope all to be better (Report)Reply

    0 person liked.
    0 person did not like.
  • Sidi Mahtrow (12/27/2008 7:55:00 AM)

    Welcome to the Global Economy!

    Wallace and Darwin
    Foretold the end.
    Those strong or adapted
    Survived, while others died.
    (Report)Reply

    0 person liked.
    0 person did not like.
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Poem Submitted: Saturday, December 27, 2008

Poem Edited: Tuesday, July 1, 2014


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