David Muse

I am a professional audio engineer/technician.  In this business it’s very hard, number one, just to make a living.  Thinking about retirement, I’ve always thought about retirement, because I’ve never wanted to do this for all of my life.  I wanted to move on and do other things, but the eventuality has come upon me that I have no savings and no pension. 

I have paid into Social Security.  That’s one benefit to look at down on the road.  But in today’s economy -- and especially in this city -- Social Security is not going to be enough. 

You work until you either fall apart, your health totally crumbles, or you die.  My anticipation when I was 14 and got in this business was that I would make good money.  I wouldn’t become a millionaire off of it -- I’m a realistic person -- but I thought that I could make a decent living off of it, send my child to school, and then have a little money down the road for retirement, maybe even open a hobby shop -- something I’ve always wanted to do.  But that dream has been deferred for so many years, it’s now in the attic, just collecting dust.

My incentive would be to see some of these policymakers get up and come out and here and live in the real world with us.  Live day to day like we live.  They have benefits that are afforded to them, perks.  We don’t.  Our perk is to get up every morning, make sure we live the right way, do the right thing, and hopefully things will work out. 

I mean, we all want to have all those great things at the end so that we can sit back on the porch and watch the sun set with your wife and have a glass of wine…enjoy yourself after 65.  Fortunately, my parents were able to do that.  Myself and one of my other brothers (I’m the last of five), we’re not able to do that.  But the rest of us, they were able to do that, because they had that foresight.  They went into jobs that were good, secure jobs, so they wound up with a pension. 

If I had an opportunity to address policymakers about this situation, I would also say, “Open your eyes and your ears to what people are telling you.”  The consciousness of Americans, of human beings more importantly, has a lot to do with policymaking, but it doesn’t seem like we’re being listened to.  We’re being really ignored in this society, and it’s frustrating.  And I don’t want to see my daughter grow up and become disgruntled and her have a family and her child winds up in the same situation in this just recurring nightmare.  This is not the “American Dream.”  It’s truly a nightmare.