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Pawns in the Political Game of a President By Mark Lampkin

It is my hope that by the time you are reading this article, the lengthy government shutdown in the United States has ended.

How painful and scary it must be to know that you are relieved of your duties for no fault of your own; you and about 800,000 other people who are employed at some level by our federal government four days before Christmas. How un-American is that? Or, is it?

Among those impacted: IRS employees, Department of Homeland Security, TSA agents, Housing and Urban Development and the Park and Forestry Services. All of them, not receiving a paycheck because a president has the power to send them home.

I have often wondered as I moved through my own journey of self-employment during the past 20 years, how comforting it must feel to have that steady paycheck awaiting me every 14 days. Yes, there is value in knowing that your efforts will be compensated, even though your job likely should be filled by you and another person, yet we keep on keeping on. But, that is another topic for another day.

Right now, many of those who are still wondering how to make ends meet are being forced into looking for part-time work; maybe driving for Lyft or Uber, washing cars or anything that would allow them to earn money to feed and house their families. Why did it take something of such magnitude to make them move out of their comfort place? It almost always takes a major event to force any of us to “awaken.”

My suggestion is for each of you to look at your current employment and determine how your skills and talents are being appreciated and fairly compensated. The wealth inequality in our nation is predicated upon a multi-tiered system that keeps lower-level workers scrambling and fearful, while rewarding upper management and owners of industry handsomely. And when the storm hits, we know who’s affected and not?

Having another income stream is a MUST! We know of people who had a salon in their basement, cut hair, repaired cars, and whatever. With the Internet we can now create online businesses and share what we make and/or offer to a larger audience. No longer are you bound to a neighborhood to generate income.

Let’s learn a lesson from this for-political-reasons-only catastrophe that is hurting almost a million of our fellow Americans. Take inventory of what you know how to do, without it being tied to a job…and begin taking steps to become a “free agent.” Your family will thank you for it one day.