BY JONATHAN VALANIA FOR PHILLY POST So, my sister’s gone rogue. Back in 2008, I successfully managed to woo her away from the sway of her Republican-voting husband with the sweet birdsong of hope and change. Actually, looking back, Oprah probably deserves more credit than I do. Back then she seemed to read, watch, listen and do whatever Oprah said she should. Not this time. I don’t know why I was surprised when I emailed her a link to the New Yorker‘s Obama endorsement and she responded ‘Why should I? I’m done with Obama.” There had been early warnings. When her kids came to visit over the summer, they let slip that “Mom’s says she’s voting for Romney, she says Obama’s going to raise our taxes.”
At this point it’s important for you know a few things about my sister: She lives with her husband and her three kids in a million dollar home in a very red state. Out of respect for her privacy, I will not say which red state but suffice it to say it has one of the highest illiteracy rates in the nation, which I realize doesn’t really narrow it down.
Her husband is an honest to goodness pulled-himself-up-by-his-own-bootstraps story, he came from less than nothing and climbed the ladder up from running his own one-man landscaping company to corporate sales rep, then sales manager, and finally general manager, earning six figures, along with a fat stock portfolio, and, eventually, a million dollar home.They were living the star-spangled American Dream. And then the financial collapse of 2008 hit, ripping open a trillion dollar hole and in the economy and triggering The Great Recession. Overnight, my brother-in-law’s company went from record profits to less-than-record profits, which is understandable given that the economy was in free fall.
Well, his corporate overlords didn’t find that understandable, after all the company’s stock value was at risk, meaning their personal wealth was imperiled. And after giving him six months to ‘turn it around’ in the face of an economy still in the early stages of a vertiginous descent, they busted him down to sales manager, then to sales rep and finally they unceremoniously shitcanned him. Ten years of a record profits and astonishing market share gains cancelled out by four quarters of unrealistic sales projections unmet. He’s been unemployed ever since. MORE