There was a time in our history when companies counted employees as assets, a pool of talent more precious than physical property or inventory. Over the past couple of decades a shift has happened where people are now a cost to be managed out of the system. Our current employment environment is a result of that change.

There are reports today that 14 million American are out of work, an unemployment rate of 9.1%. Some estimated that with the people that have given up looking for work the number goes to over 20 million. In my region of the country the unemployment rate is over 11%. However, there is only one unemployment rate that matters to me – mine, which still stands at 100%.

Due to my long period of unemployment (2.5 years), state of the economy, age and other factors it is statistically possible that I may never again find meaningful employment. Discussing the situation involves pushing down tears and fears when it feels like a judgment on and rejection of my value in the world. It has become a lesson of being in the moment, celebrating each breath and appreciating that I have is all I need.

Despite my battles over worth, I understand that it is not personal. A thousand or more people apply for each job opening. Yet a company like Apple sits on more cash reserves than the US government. Second quarter profits for S&P 500 companies are at an all time high. Oil companies are making historically high profit dollars while still receiving government subsidies. The people running the show find it far too easy to turn a deaf ear towards those at the lower end of the scale. For people at the top life is better than it has ever been, they have no reason to pay any attention to anyone else.

We need to stop believing that giving a company tax breaks will create jobs; it’s a myth. Remember the Clinton years? With higher tax rates companies are motivated to either spend the money or have it go to taxes. In a large percentage of cases the company will choose to spend on expanding their business, which means jobs. If the job creators won’t start creating jobs on their own, perhaps we need to give them some additional motivation.