First Person: I Am Not Getting Richer

Yahoo Contributor Network

I am not getting richer, at least not financially. According to reports, other people are. Let's just say that the last couple of years have been strictly adequate in terms of economic success. I have maintained a job and I continue to meet my financial obligations. However, there is an ongoing sense that I am not getting anywhere fast from the standpoint of personal wealth. There are no guarantees in life, and no one said that profits would keep going up every year. However, I am impacted by news that the money gap is widening. Little by little, it feels like this is something that the middle class is supposed to just accept.

Income flat, costs up

Like many other people in my peer group, income remains flat. People still have jobs, and I imagine some of my friends and family are getting raises. However, there does seem to be an ongoing sense that raises are a luxury these days, particularly for the middle class. Meanwhile, gas prices remain high and there are the looming health care costs that may go up in 2014. This type of data is another story amongst many stories over the last couple of years that all essentially seem to be saying the same thing. The message is, "You're not going to be making more money anytime soon. Deal with it."

Impact on my situation

Again, I have to be thankful. I have a job, while others remain unemployed. This is something that I cannot take for granted. There is also still some disposable income that I can spend. However, there is only so much I can do to improve my financial situation. I have a rewarding and satisfying job, so do I go looking for a better-paying gig that I might enjoy less? We maintain a household budget, but there is only so much that can be done when gas is $4 a gallon and medical insurance premiums go up every single year.

Welcome to capitalism

It is not like I am going to protest. Organizing another "99%" rally would not do any good, particularly since that movement never really had a defined goal in the first place. This is America. This is capitalism. Do some people get richer through unscrupulous ways? I suppose that is possible. However, I also know that rich people get richer because they are smart, resourceful, hard-working and innovative. Is it unfortunate that corporate leaders get bonuses for laying off employees? Yes, but that is our system. I am going to keep working hard, enjoying what I do, cutting household costs, and hoping that the economy evens out a bit. I don't expect wealth to suddenly get spread across the masses, but this is America.

There is always opportunity. I won't let this type of news get my down. It impacts me, but it doesn't define me.

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