Souring gas prices. Fears of rising inflation. Hordes of unemployed.


Portrait photograph of 39th President of the United States of America, James Carter

Jimmy Carter Then

A President over his head and considered weak by enemies and allies alike around the world.Don’t like what you’re seeing in today’s headlines? Don’t fret. Those were just some of the concerns from the late 1970s.

The more things change the more they stay the same. History repeats itself. It’s déjà vu all over again, as Yogi Berra would put it. Those phrases stay in vogue or become revitalized because we never seem to learn. But actually, we do learn . . . eventually.

Our current economic woes have caused some observers to remark that our plight is the worst we’ve seen since the Great Depression. It’s really the worst we’ve seen since the late 1970s. And we got out of it — with an economic boom that lasted a couple of decades.

Just as President Carter agonized over double-digit inflationand unemployment rates, the energy crisis, and insurmountable chaos in Iran, President Obama apparently has his hands tied with fears

Barack Hussein Obama the 44th President of the United States of America

Obama Today

of stagflation and sustained unemployment predicted to last for years, escalating gas prices, fanatics in Iran and upheaval throughout the Middle East.Progressives are now faced with damage control, even resorting to calling Obama a “conservative,” exactly what some liberals tried to do with Carter as the 1980 election approached.

Campaigning for Sen. Ted Kennedy’s run against Carter during the 1980 primaries, watch and listen as Carroll “Archie Bunker” O’Connor compared Jimmy Carter to Republican Herbert Hoover.

By November 1980, the American public had enough and sent Ronald Reagan to the White House. Under President Reagan, shifts in economic policies kept inflation under control and gas prices stabilized. Unemployment rates went from 10 percent to single digits, steadily dropping with occasional fluctuations for the next 25 years. Reagan’s tax cuts helped the stock market skyrocket through the 1980s and 1990s.

Ronald Reagan, the 40th President of the United States of America and arguably the finest President to serve in 20th Century

Ronald Reagan

Reagan even threw in the destruction of the Soviet Union for dessert. While communist insurgency spread throughout Central America and Africa during the 1970s, it suddenly fell to a complete standstill. Reagan was re-elected by a landslide in 1984 as the country once again felt good about itself.

Will it be déjà vu all over again? Do we need another Reagan? Perhaps we need somebody different. Times change. The country may have needed an FDR in the 1930s and a Reagan in the 1980s. We may benefit from someone with the proper vision and leadership skills to carry us through the 2010s. Fear not. When federal leaders fail, the American people succeed.

Mature worker, experienced worker, priceless employeeToday’s world is much different than at any other time for the over-55 generation. Loss of employment, the fear of getting the axe, an unexpected credit burden or even foreclosure or worries about foreclosure have made early retirement unthinkable for many older workers. In fact, some people believe they will be working for more years than they once imagined.

What’s worse than the sudden loss of employment for people in their 50s, is the difficulty in getting hired in a full-time position at good wages. It’s especially hurtful when you have the education and experience that would be beneficial to most companies. And yet, the underlying reality of age discrimination rears its ugly head. Many older workers are shocked to learn they can only find $8- to $10-an-hour jobs following a sudden layoff after many years of devoted service to an industry. They develop a sick feeling that this is the way things are going to remain for the rest of their lives.

One silver lining in the fluctuating unemployment rate is that temporary jobs are on the rise, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics.Many employers are willing to hire experienced workers for short-term projects, as the economy looks unpredictable. They know deep down inside an older, skilled person will be an asset when compared with younger employees, who often need on-the-job training and constant guidance. Temporary or contract work often pays well, especially for talented, knowledgeable workers. Although contract work does not provide benefits, it offers favorable compensation and a chance to manage your own time and your own personal

mature worker, working over age 55, experienced worker

Experience Counts Today!

insurance needs, which may be a sign of the future. Many senior, professional and temporary agencies and companies provide contact with potential employers looking for looking for people with know-how and accountability.

Contract or part-time work can also provide security as a proactive measure, even if your financial situation is currently sound, but you want to prepare for any unexpected pitfalls. Whether the current economic situation is a temporary nightmare or the so-called new normal, considering temporary jobs may be what holds your financial life in order until retirement. At best, a contract job can turn into a full-time position when the employer thinks the time is right. At the least, it can be a way to develop expertise at self-employment, managing your own life and rebuilding lost income.