While watching Tuesday’s MSNBC’s talk show Morning Joe, I heard that one of the  top GOP contenders in the next presidential election, former Massachusetts governor Mitt Romney, will unveil his economic plan in a major speech on Sept. 6. Supposedly included in the speech will be his plan to help deal with the huge unemployment challenge our nation faces.

Romney’s speech will come about the same time that President Obama unveils his economic plan to get the country moving again.

As someone who has been unemployed for 41 months, I’m one of the more than 6 million Americans who has been without a regular paycheck for at least six months. I am also part of the 14 million unemployed Americans who continue to look for work — any kind of work — to be able to contribute to our families and re-gain a sense of self-worth. Needless to say, I will be looking forward to both speeches with great anticipation.

What I’m hoping to hear are solid ideas that will give us a sense of hope that we may be able to return to work soon. I don’t want to hear about ideas that will take one or two years to roll out — I want to hear ideas that can be implemented now. I’m tired of staying home and looking for a job, wondering why no one will return my inquiries and always thinking that nobody wants me, despite years of experience and major skills.

I’ll listen for any good idea that keeps me going and continuing to look for that elusive job. 

(Courtesy of Daniel Joyce)

Despite low expectations considering the political climate that causes normal Americans to hate the political process, I’m hoping that Romney or Obama or one of the other candidates will come up with something new and innovative that gives the millions of unemployed hope for the future. We’re tired of the political discourse and embarrassed by the recent fiasco on the debt ceiling, and we want all politicians to focus on one thing: putting America back to work.

Like many who have voted largely Democratic in the past, I am keeping an open mind to any of the Republican candidates who are smart enough to come up with some solid ideas to help bring the unemployment rate down. I will put my support behind the candidate with the best ideas for improving the economy — with an emphasis on creating jobs.

I’m a charter member of one of the newest and unfortunately largest voting blocs:  the long-term unemployed. If you want my vote, come up with the plan to help put myself and millions of my fellow Americans back to work.

Daniel Joyce, a 54-year-old former financial marketer from San Jose, Calif., has been unemployed for three years. Read more about him here. Read about the “Help Wanted” project here. Visit the project home page here.

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