The Beginning Of The End
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America In Decline: The Soul Crushing Despair Of Lowered Expectations

All over America tonight there are people that believe that their lives are over.  When you do everything that you know how to do to get a job and you still can’t get one it can be absolutely soul crushing.  If you have ever been unemployed for an extended period of time you know exactly what I am talking about.  When you have been unemployed for month after month it can be very tempting to totally cut yourself off from society.  Those that are kind will look at you with pity and those that are cruel will treat you as though you are a total loser.  It doesn’t matter that America is in decline and that our economy is not producing nearly enough jobs for everyone anymore.  In our society, one of the primary things that defines our lives is what we do for a living.  Just think about it.  When you are out in a social situation, what is one of the very first things that people ask?  They want to know what you “do”.  Well, if you don’t “do” anything, then you are not part of the club.  But the worst part of being unemployed for many Americans is the relentless pressure from family and friends.  Often they have no idea how hard it is to find a job in this economy – especially if they still have jobs.  Sometimes the pressure becomes too great.  Sadly, we are seeing unemployment break up a lot of marriages in America today.  Things are really hard out there right now.  A very large number of highly educated Americans have taken very low paying service jobs in recent years just so that they can have some money coming in even as they “look for something else”.  Unfortunately, in many cases that “something else” never materializes.  In the past, America was “the land of opportunity” where anything was possible.  But today America has become “the land of lowered expectations” and the worst is yet to come.

We live during a time when “the American Dream” is literally being redefined.  In the old days, just about anyone could get a good job that would pay enough to make it possible to buy a house, buy a nice car and raise a family.

Unfortunately, those days are long gone.  The following is from a recent NPR article….

The town of Lorain, Ohio, used to embody this dream. It was a place where you could get a good job, raise a family and comfortably retire.

“Now you can see what it is. Nothing,” says John Beribak. “The shipyards are gone, the Ford plant is gone, the steel plant is gone.” His voice cracks as he describes the town he’s lived in his whole life.

“I mean, I grew up across the street from the steel plant when there was 15,000 people working there,” he says. “My dad worked there. I worked there when I got out of the Air Force. It’s just sad.”

We live in an economy that is in serious decline.  In this environment no job is safe.  In fact, even Goldman Sachs is laying off workers these days.

Millions of Americans are suffering from deep depression because they can’t find jobs.  Many of them are sitting at home right now blankly starting at their television screens as they wonder why nobody wants to hire them.  Some have been unemployed for years and have sent out thousands upon thousands of resumes.  The following is from a recent article by J.D. Hicks….

I have a brilliant cousin with a $180K Syracuse education working part-time at a department store. She has literally sent out 38,000 resumes in the span of a year to no avail. I have another very bright friend with the kindest heart who is so desperate he has applied for dishwashing jobs and didn’t get them, sending him deeper into depression. I’m sure we all know people like this, or perhaps have even been there ourselves.

Society has trained us to believe that we are worthless without a job. Indeed, we feel worthless when we are unemployed with few prospects of making money. Family, friends, and peers constantly remind us in subtle and not-so-subtle ways that we “need” a job.

Have you ever been unemployed?

How did it make you feel?

How were you treated by your family and friends?

In the old days, a college education was almost a guaranteed ticket to the middle class.

But these days, a college education guarantees you absolutely nothing.

As a recent article by Jed Graham detailed, most young unemployed workers in America today have at least some college education….

For the first time in history, the number of jobless workers age 25 and up who have attended some college now exceeds the ranks of those who settled for a high school diploma or less.

Out of 9 million unemployed in April, 4.7 million had gone to college or graduated and 4.3 million had not, seasonally adjusted Labor Department data show.

Overall, 53 percent of all Americans with a bachelor’s degree under the age of 25 were either unemployed or underemployed last year.

It is tough to tell young college graduates with their whole lives ahead of them that they need to lower their expectations because America is in decline.

So where did all the jobs go?

Well, one place they went is overseas.  Over the past couple of decades, millions upon millions of good jobs have left the United States and have gone over to the other side of the world.

That is why you see gleaming new factories going up all over China even while our once great manufacturing cities are turning into crime-infested warzones.

But as a recent WND article reported, the WTO has a solution.  They plan to replace “Made in China” labels with “Made in the World” labels so that we don’t feel so bad about losing our jobs and our economic infrastructure…

The World Trade Organization is moving closer to eliminating country-of-origin labels and replacing them with “Made in the World” initiative labels because they say we need to “reduce public opposition to free trade” and “re-engineer global governance.”

As the number of middle class jobs has steadily declined in recent years, the number of low paying service jobs has increased.

In a previous article, I discussed how approximately one out of every four U.S. workers now makes $10 an hour or less.

Could your family survive on 10 dollars an hour?

Today, you can find hordes of very smart, very talented Americans flipping burgers, waiting tables and welcoming people to Wal-Mart.

Sadly, the United States now has a higher percentage of workers doing low wage work than any other major industrialized nation does.

Perhaps we should applaud our leaders for doing such a great job of destroying the American Dream.

Because so many Americans are working crappy jobs, a very large percentage of them have absolutely no savings to speak of.

According to one survey, 42 percent of all American workers live paycheck to paycheck.

I am constantly encouraging people to save up an “emergency fund” that will enable them to pay their bills for at least 6 months if they suddenly become unemployed.

Unfortunately, for many Americans that is simply not possible.  Way too many families are just barely scraping by from month to month.

Another area of the economy where Americans are facing lowered expectations is in housing.

In the old days, most Americans dreamed of owning their own homes.

But today we are being told that things have changed.  For example, a recent USA Today article was entitled “Home rentals — the new American Dream?“….

Steve and Jodi Jacobson bought their Phoenix-area “dream home” in 2005. They built flagstone steps to the front door. They tiled the kitchen and bathroom. They entertained often, enjoying their mountain views.

“We put our soul into that house,” says Steve Jacobson, 37.

Then, home prices tanked more than 50%. Steve, a software quality assurance engineer, suffered pay cuts. In 2010, foreclosure claimed the home and their $100,000 down payment.

The Jacobsons didn’t lose their desire to live in a single-family home, however. They now rent one, like many other former homeowners displaced by foreclosure.

Is that what we are supposed to tell future generations of Americans?

“Listen Johnny and Suzie, if you work really, really hard at your minimum wage jobs perhaps someday you will be able to rent a home that has been foreclosed by a big, greedy bank”.

It is so sad to watch what is happening to this country.

These days many Americans are scratching and clawing and doing everything that they can to make it, but they still find themselves short on money at the end of the month.

Many are turning to debt in an attempt to bridge the gap.  According to CNN, 40 percent of “low- and middle-income households” are using credit cards to pay for basic living expenses.

Overall, U.S. consumers have more than 11 trillion dollars in debt right now.

That is an incredible number.

As the economy has declined, a lot of families have completely given up trying to make it on their own and have turned to the U.S. government for financial help.  Today, an astounding 49.1 percent of all Americans live in a home where at least one person receives government benefits.

Just think about that number for a while.  It is one of the clearest signs that America is in deep, deep decline.

Unfortunately, things are about to get even worse.  The next wave of the financial crisis is unfolding in Europe and we will all be talking about another “major global recession” very soon.

That means that unemployment in the United States is going to get a lot worse.

For the millions upon millions of Americans that are already suffering through the horror of unemployment, that is really bad news.

Posted below is a trailer for a new HBO documentary entitled “Hard Times: Lost on Long Island”.  Please take a few minutes to watch this video, because I think it does a good job of showing the soul crushing despair that many unemployed Americans are going through right now….

So do any of you have any stories of lowered expectations to share?  Please feel free to post a comment with your thoughts below….

  • Joseph

    Michael,

    Debt-fueled prosperity and fractional-reserve banking have pushed this country to the brink and already caused Greece to collapse. Alexander Hamilton was right, along with Thomas Jefferson.
    Hamilton: A national debt, if it is not excessive, will be to us a national blessing.
    Jefferson: If we run into such debt, as that we must be taxed in our meat and in our drink, in our necessaries and our comforts, in our labors and our amusements, for our calling and our creeds, we will have no time to think…

    Seeing that we have grossly abused debt-fueled prosperity and do not produce anything of wealth and only consume, where do we turn from here?

    • Michael

      Joseph:

      Yes, you are very right.

      Where we go from here is into a national financial nightmare, and it will be very painful.

      Michael

  • Washington

    “If I wanted America to fail”
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CZ-4gnNz0vc

  • mondobeyondo

    35 months unemployed, and counting…

    Maybe I’ll have to grab one of those McDonald’s jobs eventually, just to make ends meet. Unemployment ran out long ago, and now the savings are running dry as well.

    It is tragic, not to mention extremely depressing. Not just for the obvious financial implications, but for my personal self-esteem. I’d be right back where I was when I was sixteen. Slapping frozen Whopper beef patties on a grill (and yes, they really were flame-broiled). That was in 1982. Now it’s 2012, Mom and Dad have passed on, and there is much more to worry about (house, bills, yada yada yada). So much for my career ambitions. It’s like I haven’t advanced a damn mile towards a career path in more than 30 years. Back to square one… is this all there is??

    Damn. Just… arrrrgh! I’d tear my hair out, but I don’t want to go bald before my time. Oh well, c’est la vie…

    And now, I’m going outside to view the transit of Venus through my telescope. (No silly, not gonna look at it directly!) At least it’s celestial entertainment…

    • Gary2

      sucks but you may have to do what I did. After 9 months of unemployment I took a job that I am grossly underemployed in but it helps pay the bills. Try paying your mortgage with pride or feeding your kids with pride. does not work too well.

      Until we get someone who is more pro-worker in the white house the playing field is tilted in favor of big corporations. Neither obama or romney is worth a ***************.

      • El Pollo de Oro

        Gary2 in Wisconsin: I give you a lot of credit for taking a job you’re so overqualified for. It sucks to pay your dues for years only to wind up in that position, which is not uncommon these days. In the future, many Americans won’t be that gracious. They’ll say “F*** working for chump change” and will collect the Desperate People Doing Desperate Things Tax. And when that happens…..mamma mia! It won’t be fun.

        • Gary2

          Thanks. The sad thing is I did actually think about starting to sell drugs a year or so back as a way to pay my mortgage and feed my kids and have a good standard of living (not just existing).

          I figured a balding late 40’s white guy from the burbs would not be a prime suspect and the money I could make (I did ask as some people I know in the past who did sell crack back in the day (forget pot hard drugs is where the money is they said)) in ONE DAY was more than my low wage job pays working 40 hours in a week.

          Was told that as a older white guy go to a doctor and pretend back pain, get pain pills and sell them. $80 per pill depending on the pill. That’s food for a couple of days. I work in the big city so it was not too hard to see and talk to folks selling drugs. Its easier than one would think.

          Yes let me repeat I would make in one day what I would make in a week of working a legit job. No college degree required (mine sure is not helping me)

          However, I have no desire to ruin others lives and for me to benefit from exploiting others. I also do not want to go to jail and damage my family who I love way too much to ever jeopardize. I do have to live with myself and selling drugs and ruining lives is not compatible with a clean conscience and peace of mind.

          The point of me sharing this with my friends on this site is that when El Pollo talks about the Desperate People Doing Desperate Things Tax (DPDTT as he puts it) he is not exaggerating. I think it speaks volumes about how bad this economy is for most people that I even got desperate enough to even consider this course of action.

          Please do not judge me until your power is turned off, kids are cranky as it is July and you can not make it no matter how much you do legitimate work as the wages are so low. Working a lot of hours at a low wage still does not get you anything but a small paycheck. And no praying did not get my power turned back on, paying the bill did. I applied for a credit card and used that to pay the bill and now am stuck paying interest… Yes I can see how in desperate times normally law abiding folks could turn to become DPDDTT collectors.

          • El Pollo de Oro

            Gary2: Down in Mexico City, there’s a notoriously dangerous area called Tepito. It’s so bad that even the cops don’t want to go there during the day. Tepito, historically, has been very poor. But because of all its criminal activity (from drug trafficking to kidnapping to black-market pirate DVDs to dog fighting to murder for hire), Tepito has a lot of illegal job opportunities for those willing to break the law. And Tepito is not alone in that regard. In many different parts of Latin America, people feed their families through illegal things. The underground economy is huge down there. Kidnapping is a whole industry. And when the former USA decided to destroy its middle class and become a banana republic, that’s what we signed up for as well.

            Welcome to Tepito North, also known as hell.

    • Alasha

      Awww. I will keep you in my prayers. This is totally INSANE.

      (Matthew 6:31) So never be anxious and say, ‘What are we to eat?’ or, ‘What are we to drink?’ or, ‘What are we to put on?’
      (Matthew 6:34) So, never be anxious about the next day, for the next day will have its own anxieties. Sufficient for each day is its own badness.

      • Tyler

        I was wondering what translation you are quoting from? sounds familiar to me.

    • Getting Ready

      With the exception of four temp jobs, I have been unemployed since 2008. Fortunately, my wife still has hers for now so we are getting by since I have no debt. There are three good things about being unemployed: I get to stay home with our toddler, more free time, and I can withdrawal funds from my retirement account. I used this time and money to find a great deal on some rural acreage and build a solar-powered, wood-heated cabin with hot cold running water.

      If her job disappears before I get one we will stop making payments on her house and move our shed to the cabin and fill it with our nonessential stuff. Then when foreclosure comes it will be easier to load up the truck and move there permanently.

      Keeping busy and productive despite not having a job has helped me to avoid depression. Those who saved no money to work with could volunteer at a nonprofit organization that might help them make contacts that could lead to a job or at least build new skills.

      • GaryToo

        positive adaptable attitude, puts it in perspective self pitying people because they lost a cushy job but are still working and surviving. There are always positives to consider especially if your wife hasnt run off with someone rich, kid shows loyalty, and money will become worthless soon enough anyway.

  • Rob

    This article really strikes home to me. I graduated with a Computer Information Systems degree last year, and just two months ago, was I able to find an internship.

    People say if you look hard enough you can find a job, any job and frankly that’s not true. In my case I tried applying to fast food and retail places and went on interviews but never got hired. I think it’s because I’m over qualified or maybe unemployed for too long. It was really luck that landed me my current internship, and once the internship ends I don’t know what’s going to happen next.

    It’s especially hard for entry level workers trying to start a career because not only is there a smaller jobs pool, but we have to compete with people who have years of experience that have been laid off as well.

    • Frank

      Rob,

      I agree with you on “People say if you look hard enough you can find a job, any job and frankly that’s not true.” I’m always hearing “Things will get better, you’ll find something.” Really? When?
      I ran into a similar problem: overqualified or entry level jobs.

      I can’t complain since I have 2 jobs and I’m getting by, but I lost a great job in 2008 and now looking harder for less. Best of luck to you, you’re not alone in your frustration.

  • Rodster

    This is why back in 2005 I started my own business and i’m glad I did. I saw even back in 2005 with housing prices going going thru the roof that it was unsustainable.

    A brief story about a young couple with a little girl who I help fix their vehicle back in 2007.

    This particular couple owned a small electrical contracting company and their business was generating around 2 million a year. Most of that went to overhead, employee salaries and insurance. When I returned to see them after the crash in 2008 I pulled up to their very modest home and saw the husband sitting outside smoking a cigarette.

    I never met the man before as I always dealt with his wife who did the bookkeeping. He began to tell me he lost it ALL after 2008. His business went from a little over 2 million a year to both husband and wife on the unemployment line and the two struggling to make their mortgage payment. It was really sad seeing a young couple with a child reduced to depending on the government.

    That was the last I saw them but it shows how gut wrenching a pitiful economy is and how it affects those who are just trying to make a buck and pay their bills.

    But as Michael as written about in the past. This is the direct result of a debt based economy.

    • xander cross

      You always did “business” with his wife, while he was away? You sure it was just “business”.

      • jaxon64

        you really are an evil, degenarately minded man Xander

  • http://EconomicCollapse Already Gone

    The fat lady is in the process of her final preformance,enjoy the song no matter what state of mind you are in.

  • mondobeyondo

    For those who are wondering, “Mondo, it’s been almost 3 years, why didn’t you get off your lazy derriere and mop floors or something”, etc. blah blah:

    Try paying a mortgage doing janitorial work. Or retail. Or fast food.
    Or all three.
    Oh yeah, you might want to eat and sleep every once in a while. Factor that in.
    Meanwhile, the utility companies are threating to shut off the lights, gas and water. (Gee, guess why?!)
    It’s not easy out there if you’re unemployed, especially for any length of time.

    • Michael

      I am praying that you will get something great Mondo.

      Michael

    • Paul

      That’s why I don’t have a mortgage in the first place.

      I started out on welfare after University. My flats were all rented when I got my first job. And always as close to the office as possible. And shared when possible.

      I never owned a car. Just public transport, except that one year when I could walk 10 minutes to the office. When the office moved, I moved.

      When my shoes are run through I have them repaired. When my jeans are rubbing through, I have a patch sewn on from inside.

      When I became a manager, I didn’t change my lifestyle, just got one more suit and better shoes. Saved every penny I could.

      I bought a house a few years ago – in cash. No loan, no mortgage. Insulated it, triple-paned windows, solar collector on the roof to heat water for the under-floor heater and shower. Heat pump to extract heat from the surrounding air and pump it into the heating system. The air-exchanger is warming the incoming air with the outgoing air.
      The insulation on wall and roof is 12 inches thick.
      Now I pay 2 EUR per square meter and year for heating and hot water.

      My way of prepping.

    • WM

      Mondo, You and I are the same age, same generation. I have been in a similar situation as you, unemployed for 30 months, and came real close to losing everything. I have been working for a year now, and am still trying to get out of the debt we incurred while unemployed.

      I hear what you are saying about the comments in your post above. Even if you could get 2 or 3 lower paying jobs, it most likely would not be enough just to pay your basic living expoenses. I know here in Connecticut, that would be very difficult owning a home. I also know how hard it is to even get one of these entry level jobs, usually you may be overqualified, or our age may be a factor, ( they same they don’t discriminate on age, but you know they do). They are going to look at the 46 year old married guy as costing them much more than the 20 something.

      I have been a high end woodworker since 1984, but that all ended in 2008, when the walls came tumbling down. I now work as an entry level CNC machinist. This industry is rapidly changing also, with the advent of robotics and a concept called “lights out manufacturing” where they are tryin to replace as many humnas as possible with machines. American workers cost too much money, with wages, benifits, health insurance, etc. And we know once that happens, the humans that are chosen to work, may very well be in a far away place from the USA.

      You and are in my thoughts and prayers. Please don’t give up, something will come along.

      God Bless

      • mondobeyondo

        I have to admit, I fell for it. Cheap house, cheap land, values will only go up, etc. And it’s only going up from here! As Buzz Lightyear would say, “To here… and infinity!” How wrong I was!!

        The only way anyone will buy my property now is if I sold it for $0.00.
        Okay, maybe $10.00. Don’t like that? How ’bout $1000.00 and the kitchen sink for free? Heh!

        I didn’t anticipate property values dropping so far, back in 2005, when the housing boom was raging. 20/20 hindsight does wonders.. ewww.

        • GaryToo

          dont mean to pry, but can i ask how you are making your mortgage payments? I have been there at times, and i had to do anything i could in the interim like cleaning carparks to not lose the house. No way unemployment could have covered it.

  • charles k

    May God have mercy on us, and our children!!

    • Alasha

      Amen…

  • PatriotOne

    Will I be next?

    • A J

      PatriotOne, your question is the one in my mind constantly… will I be next. I’m 50 and my company has been going through restructuring and rounds of layoffs for years and I wonder when my turn will be. My son graduated from college last year and recently landed a job as a Police Officer and I praise God for that! Amen! I have a daughter in high school and wonder what is going to be there for her. I have family and friends who have been unemployed for years and continue to struggle. So many things have led us here and I’ve wondered when this was going to happen for years. My extended family has always been in heavy manufacturing and those jobs are gone, and have been gone for years. We hardly make anything anymore. I live in Bethlehem PA and the huge Bethlehem Steel Mill is a rusting hulk that has become an entertainment center and Casino — just what we need. Oh Man, what are wwe going to do?????

  • Big Dave

    In reality the college degree of today is yesterday’s high school diploma. Employers want more than a piece of paper saying you sat through a certain number of lectures. All college bound kids must think very carefully about the degree plan they choose. If you are not proficient in math or science consider a trade. Liberal Arts degrees wont cut it anymore, and the debt to get them is a twisted joke.

  • davidmpark

    I have plenty of stories of lowered expectations, and I’m glad I got ‘em. I won’t bore everyone here, but I will say that good has always come from it. The good Lord blessed me with adversity and broken hearted turmoil to teach me lessons and drive me in His way and His expectations for me and the family.

    To every problem there is a solution. Where determination is, the way will be found. These aren’t slogans: this is how to accomplish great things!

    • Alasha

      mmmm.. there is a diabolical factor here that cannot be overlooked. God is good and stronger, however, the Devil is vicious and hates mankind! Believe it… Cannibalism is on the rise…. and the victims are not even dead. What!

      • davidmpark

        Diabolical is the perfect word for this. Cannibalism, pedophilia, bestiality, and anything else that can be thought up by deranged minds that worship death and evil made to look cool and socially encouraged.

        And folks wonder why their society must face this turmoil.

      • Abdurakhman Rosenberg

        Who created Devil, or where did the Devil come from, Alasha? What/whom else can we expect to come from where Devil came from?

  • K

    Excellent article. Many of the unemployed are depressed. But understand what depression is, inner directed anger. Such anger often results in suicide, the numbers of suicides are rising quite rapidly. Outer directed anger, often ends in violence, even murder. The number of murders, including mass murders, seems to be rising as well. A certain saying has been true throughout history. Beware the man who has nothing left to loose.

  • tappedops

    Flippin burgers — who wouldnt mind that…lol

    Rule of thumb (yes ive posted this before) Find a job NOONE else wants, and that even YOU WOULD HATE… and go after it like its the last job on earth (cause it is!)… get it, love it, keep it…

    Im a 30 an hour Journeyman Carpenter who now loves scrubbing toilets and urinals for a third of what i used to make….perks? yep, when some spashes up on your upper lip…

    The wheels fell off my wagon in late 07… i sent out 20 to 40 e-res a day for 4 months and then got 1 phonecall… ive been scrubbing for 4 years… get over it

    Have a bakup plan… mine is federal… and im not talking about the gov…

    • mondobeyondo

      I’m very good at burger flipping. Authentic backyard mesquite or oak wood, or just plain old Kingsford charcoal briquets. Ahh, hear that sizzle as that 100 percent beef hits the grill! (Um, okay, whatever.) Nothing that a little A-1 sauce and Worchesthire sauce can’t solve…

  • r.bitting

    I read a comparison in an article once, comparing the collapse of the Soviet Union and the impending collapse here in America. The article compared the two nations with respect to which of the two was better prepared to handle collapse. The writer ( who lived through the Soviet collapse, but now resides in America ) made an interesting observation that quite honestly, should concern many Americans. The writer observed that here in America, most family members are disconnected from one another, spread out throughout the country, desiring to have their own space and only come together during the holidays ( and barely being able to stand each other then ) whereas in the Soviet union,it’s commonplace to have two and three generations living in the same house because it was the only way they could make it, so they learned how to live together and to help one another through the tough times, especially vital after the collapse occurred. It was written by Dimitry Orlov, and I Believe it was titled ” Why the Soviet union was better prepared for collapse “. or something to that effect. There are many other comparisions in it as well that will concern you. A very informative read, although his take on religion is ill advised.

    • Gary2

      good comment I read this also.

    • Josh

      his article is a must read for anyone who is prepping.

    • Deborah

      I have read this as well and it was very interesting. The Russians also had public housing so not many lost their homes. They also knew already how to live off of a family garden and how to turn grain into bread. Think about it…who in the USA won’t lose their home and will be able to create their own food? We are in serious trouble.

    • 4U2CY

      Look around and stop watching the puppet show, peek behind the curtain.
      I know a person that went through the collapse in Russia and was told
      it wasn’t easy, the big advantage the Russians have is they speak
      Russian.

  • Tom

    People who are medium and long term jobless need to stop being brainwashed and start thinking for themselves. They need to create their own jobs. Go house sitting, become a teacher of English somewhere else in the world, start a CSA from your backyard, pick fruit for a grower, become a companion for an elderly person etc etc etc.

    Yes, being without meaningful work means eating is sporadic and spirits get low. So do for yourself – become self-reliant as much as posssible and feel competent again. When did we ever get so dependent on someone else to provide for us in exchange for our time ?

    Wake up folks, and take charge of your own life.

    • http://itsafluffy.blogspot.com DL

      “…become a teacher of English somewhere in the world…”

      Exactly, Tom! In many instances you don’t even need a teacher certification (which requires college, after all)–TESOL (Teachers of English to Speakers of Other Languages) certification is not expensive, can be done online, and can get you into another country where you are wanted. I know China is not the best place in the world to live and work (bad pollution, totalitarianism, serious poverty, etc.) but for some it would be better than to live in misery in a country where many are still living under delusion.

  • stevefraser

    Don’t underestimate the role of the illegals taking not just jobs “no one else will do” but millions of other jobs from all levels of the job market. See California for the dark future of the Republic.

    • Gary3

      Look at the crime statistics. Illegals commit the crimes Americans won’t.

      Too bad for the families “torn apart” because they invaded USA and had anchor babies. They brought it upon themselves. The 14th amendment was intended to grant citizenship to the children of freed slaves. Read the writings and debate preceeding it’s adaption. This amendment has been perverted by the courts (I see a pattern here) to cover illegals.

      For the people who whine “how can you deport 11 million (really more like 30 or 40 million) people”?: Easy. One busload at a time.

    • Paul

      ILLEGALS CANNOT TAKE JOBS.

      The jobs are given to them.

      In Hong Kong, anyone who employs illegals and is found out, goes straight to prison – 2 years.

    • AngryPops

      Finally someone said it! And I will say it again. Get these Illegals OUT OF HERE!!!

      • Paul

        Why do you give them a job in the first place?

        Because it’s cheap?

        Think before you spend your money.

        And do some research. Buy local from local craftspeople. In the end it isn’t more expensive. Those guys get an income. No welfare. No petty crime. Honest work and good quality has its value – for the seller and the buyer.

        And – buy from the small guys, not the big corporations. Buy second hand, so the stuff doesn’t land on landfills, and the poor guys get some money to survive. (make sure it isn’t some fenced good from a heist)

      • http://infowars.com Forte

        @Paul: Are you really gonna go do the jobs that illegal immigrants do? If not shut the f up. That goes for everyone who just likes to blame people instead of corporation who are outsourcing the jobs that you really want.

    • laura m.

      Florida is another California…we left there in ’82 when the econ was bad. Had to relocate for a job in his field and we are now retired. Both my bros left California during the 80’s, same reason. People probably need to relocate. Several friends left the area then too. Get online and look for jobs in your field and send in a resume..choose a state next to yours, we did. Cubans and Viet namese were working for lower wages in Fla. than Americans, pay we couldn’t live on and survive. This country is far more trashed now than 30 years ago and headed over the abyss. Check on overseas contract jobs too.

  • SidDavis

    Those with special interests lobby Congress and the President for laws that give them economic advantage. The accumulation of these laws transfer wealth from the many to the few.

    Thee are also some people who want government to regulate us all right down to what we can eat and drink, and who don’t care how destructive the regulations they want are to economic production. They don’t care if your business goes broke as a result or if countless people are not employed because their regulations drive employers out of business.

    Huge amounts of wealth are destroyed in endless wars and police actions, that produce little benefit for most of us, yet impose huge cost on all of us.

    There is little wealth left over for the average person, and unemployment is just one way the impoverishment of the majority takes form. If all the wealth had not been stolen by politicians and their cronies or destroyed by their insane regulation of our lives, and wars, there might be some left to be spent to employ the masses who are now in desperation.

    When government runs the economy what they produce is poverty for the many. If this isn’t the time to consider the words of the Declaration of Independence, I don’t know when would be more appropriate:

    “That whenever any Form of Government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the Right of the People to alter or to abolish it, and to institute new Government, laying its foundation on such principles and organizing its powers in such form, as to them shall seem most likely to effect their Safety and Happiness.”

    • Diane C

      Sid – boy did you hit the nail on the head. This article is so sad and depressing and it is so sad for our country to be in this condition. The American people need to wake up and see what our corrupt government has been doing for years and years. It is time to “abolish it” and start over. Unfortunatly, how do we do that? We are trying to elect the right people, but it will take years to get the old cronies and their partners in crime out. I’m not sure this nation will last long enough to do that.

      Diane

  • Dakota Peterson

    I was finally able to get a job only because of my dad. I am 21 and this is my first true job. It has been a long five years trying to find one in central oregon with18 to 22 percent unemployment. I don’t know whats next when it ends this summer but I look forward to working for the next few months.

  • i’vegivenup

    Michael:

    A great article (as usual)!

    I was unemployed for almost 2 years. Being almost 60 at the time I felt useless and my depression got worse as time went by. I have also become very cynical of most every politician since that time. I am now working at a liquor, beer and wine store as assistant manager. The pay scale is very low but I am very thankful to have a job and benefits at all. I also have a bachelor’s degree in business management. As you said….a college degree doesn’t help much these days…

    • Michael

      In this economy it has been so hard for those over 50 that lose their jobs.

      I hope that you will be able to find something that you will like better. I know things are tough right now.

      Michael

  • Gary2

    Michael–I heard a good description of the downward mobility a while back:

    The radio host was saying his father had a job that paid $15 per hour back in the late 1960-1970’s and this was considered at that time to be a good family supporting wage. The exact same job now in 2011-2012 still pays the same $15 and is no longer considered a good paying job. It showed in stark terms the wage stagnation.

    I am using the $15 dollar figure for illustration as I do not remember the exact number but the point was that the pay for this same job was what it was roughly 30-40 years ago.

  • OH NO

    Automaton has replaced alot of jobs thanks to the tax breaks obama has given to these companies.

    • Kevin2

      Automation increases productivity and makes goods cheaper. It’s fine as long as that facility is in the US.

      It’s free trade with slave labor nations lowering the bar of compensation in the developed world that is the problem.

  • Gary2

    A very large number of highly educated Americans have taken very low paying service jobs in recent years just so that they can have some money coming in even as they “look for something else”. Unfortunately, in many cases that “something else” never materializes.

    Michael–this is my situation 100%. Thanks for a great article!

    • Michael

      I am glad you liked this one. :)

      Michael

      • Gary2

        I like them all, I just agree with some of them and not all of them. But that’s OK, keeps life exciting.

      • Joseph

        Gary2,

        It also should be noted how much the national debt has skyrocketed, tax slush fund surpluses that were raided to pay for wars, NASA, and such, as well as how much the M3 money supply has blown through the roof. Couple that with constant dollar devaluation through money printing and QE with the fed’s idiotic monetary policy system and bing, you have growing inflation. Those $15/hour wages will never hold value with more money in supply as prices must rise to reflect the new dollars in circulation. Today? That same dollar is not worth the presidential face it has printed on…it’s only a matter of time now.

    • OnceWasADeamer

      That is our family too. Trying to support our family on $8 an hour with two degrees in hand that you can do nothing with.

      • Mal R.

        “two degrees in hand that you can do nothing with.”

        Then doesn’t that make you every bit as much “$8hr unskilled labor” as the guy with no degree in the first place?

        It’s not really that you need a degree, you really dont. You just need the right skillset and the ability to elaborate on your skills in an interview. I have a stupid 2 yr degree and make a VERY comfortable white collar living.

  • Shamaka

    In my opinion the majority of the world’s problems are the result of straight out corruption and fraud. Many years ago I worked at a great Pharmaceutical company in Australia. They worked very hard to ensure everything complied with the FDA requirements and ended up selling products into the US. You would think people would be happy. Instead, the financiers complained, got rid of the “knowledgeable people” who made it all happen and the standards began to slip. SInce then, I worked in many other companies. I have seen my signature forged on quality control documents for pharmaceuticals and substandard raw material used, below label levels of actives in tablets and container, etc. I developed several products, with anyone having actually done the work being let go and the bosses given credit for the work. I developed a method for separating uranium isotopes and after being told it couldnt be developed because of proliferation concerns(by the government), was approached by foreigners to whom it had been sold to them (they certainly werent signatories to non proliferation treatise). The funny thing is that a colleague alerted a primary industry research body and government officials of dangerous grain legumes sold as lupins being exported for human consumption to Indonesia. His career was destroyed. These same “lupins” are being packaged and resold into Australian supermarkets (and probably American ones) very cheaply. I worked for one of the largest wine labs in Australia and had a boss who in a screaming fit, demanded to know where in my contract it said I was to act within the law. [Yes, even court cases get compromised as the organisation only forwarded part of the documents in the Supreme court issued “discovery order”. eg Cleint wants stuff removed because it shows the product was crap, director demands removal of offending section, court finds “nothing wrong with the clients product”] QED … and the client gets a huge settlement. Hey, if you Americans get a red wine with a carcinogen (Rhodamine G found in coolant) in it dont worry!

    What is now apparent is that many companies cant improve because they have sacked all the competent people and are beholden to any supplier. They’ll use lawyers just to bankrupt people – stuff the truth.

    But in Australia we have a great government. When they got into power we had almost no soverign debt. Our debt is now growing faster than anywhere in the world.

    • Gary3

      We’ll see about that debt thing! USA!!!USA!!!

    • Paul

      Agree. The competent people don’t get paid enough. So they can’t open their own company after they get fired, because they don’t have the capital.

      As a result only tell your company what is really necessary, do not volunteer information they could profit from.

      That’s what I try to do, do my job, but don’t tell them how.

    • GaryToo

      ‘our debt is growing faster than anywhere in the world’. Thats nonsense. We would be losing AAA credit like usa and euros if that were true. There was indeed sovereign debt prior to 07 when kevin got in. All countries ran a big deficit to create “stimulus” in 08-2010. They are returning to a tiny surplus this year, this budget. And most of all we have 70% debt per capita to gdp. Most of the debt in australia is private not public debt. All the miners driving mercs and mcmansions.

      I am not defending the useless gillard govt which will be wiped out along with the greens, just like the democrats were wiped out. But we are sinking on the same world titanic, just a higher deck.

  • DaytoDay

    You want to hear some stories?

    I’ll tell you how much the economy is improving…

    1. One of my uncles just got a 13% pay cut, ironically he moved out of state 7yrs ago for a pay raise.

    2. AK Steel, where my dad worked, his dad, and several uncles and cousins, has laid off over 5 thousand people since 2009, last year they closed down.

    3. Last year my dad lost his house of 40yrs to foreclosure, the house that my grandparents personally built, (Grandfather was a contractor) and the house that I grew up in.

    4. I have two cousins who are 26, one is living with his mom jobless along with his 22yr old brother and the other is in Atlanta trying to retrain at CSX, after 4yrs he still can’t find work and his brother who is 23 has just dropped out of college in hopes if getting a job at Marathon Oil, where his mom works. I have another cousin who is 31, and living with his 33 year old sister and both are jobless, they are living in their parents house.

    5. And of course I can’t leave myself out, I have some college, and have worked various jobs since graduating high school in 2009, and I recently got laid off in April and so I am forced to stay with my mom.

    So that’s my story… I can’t even begin to describe the whole situation, but picture going from everyone being happy, everyone making money, everyone taking vacations and owning their own home, and buying new cars etc… To nobody speaking to each other, everyone out of work, nobody buying cars, and what’s a vacation?

    I just want people to understand, that I came from a well respected and prominent family, some have went to college, some went to the military and some started their own business and now, we are just trying to survive.

    • Michael

      DaytoDay:

      It is sobering to hear those things. Sadly, “just trying to survive” is where so many Americans are at these days.

      I pray that you and everyone else that regularly visits this site would find blessing despite the economic chaos that is coming.

      Michael

    • DAS

      Day to Day i feel for you. But number 3 is you own familys fault. 40 years and you couldent pay the house off? Plus you built it? Come on thats whats killing us, over spending and not paying off debt.

      • DaytoDay

        Well, you are partially correct. The house has actually been refinanced 3 times, in order to renovate and repair the house. My dad is on a fixed income now (Retirement/Disability)and on a flex mortgage and so the house payments are rising but his income wasn’t.

        And my dad hates it because, when you are on disability you’re not allowed to work ANY type of job, even if it’s selling lemonade, you can have your disability taken away, and my dad fought 2yrs for it and needs it.

        So, it was “foolishness” but just a bad economy…

        • josh

          thats a bunch of B.S. my father is on disability for the past few years, ive read his paper work. he can work a certain amount of hours per pay period. the thing is it will take away from his disability check. so would you want to work part time busting ass for a low wage and then have no more at the end of the month than you would by just sitting around on full disability? either way the situation is fed up, but no need to make excuses. thats what has gotten every one of us in this mess excuses. people need to take charge of their own situations. start being creative. not lazy.

          • DaytoDay

            “he can work a certain amount of hours per pay period. the thing is it will take away from his disability check.”

            You just made my point… And know that disability is different in every state… I’ve read my dad’s too and he cannot have ANY additional income…

            “people need to take charge of their own situations. start being creative. not lazy.”

            Did you even read my original post?

            Next time please think before you show your ignorance…

          • josh

            im not sure why disability would be different for every state since its A GOVERNMENT PROGRAM.
            NOT A STATE PROGRAM

            “Next time please think before you show your ignorance…”

          • josh

            also i did read you post, your family lost a house that should have been paid for. good job. thats really creative.

          • josh

            https://www.disability.gov/ see that .GOV at the end? that means its not a state program.

    • Mal R.

      “Last year my dad lost his house of 40yrs to foreclosure…I came from a well respected and prominent family”

      Huh? A Mortgage is only 30 years, so what the hell has he been doing – it sure wasn’t paying for the house. Heaven only know why your lot were well respected.

      • DaytoDay

        Actually, you didn’t because I said the house had been refinanced 3 times. Meaning it had been paid for 3 times and money was borrowed against the mortgage.

        @ mal r,

        “A mortgage is only 30 years” Where do you people come from? Again this is not true. And there all a lot of hardworking good people who have lost their homes.

        People like you and Josh make me sick… You have nothing to contribute to the discussion but nitpick about things that have no concern for you. I mean, my God… Sorry for sharing a sliver of my personal life… But you don’t know me or what I’ve done or what I’ve seen… So hate all you want, I’m sorry the grass was never greener for you.

        • Here in Texas

          DaytoDay,

          I appreciate you sharing your story. The other commentators are right, 40 years it should have been paid for. What they closed their ears to was how you shared that it was refinanced 3 times. Sometimes we have the best intentions but hardships come our way. Putting myself in your father’s situation, I don’t know if I would have refinanced or just sold it. There is a history to what was your home and that hurts everyone involved the most. Shame on the other people who were knocking you. People talk big but when the situation happens to them then some of them crumble. God bless your family. I hope that every single one of you gets a job that is worth who you are. If worse comes to worst; I hope you are the guy that becomes my neighbor and we can lend a hand to each other. God bless you!

  • Deborah

    I am a teacher on Long Island and my husband has not worked since October of 2008. I feel lucky because I still have my job, but things are really hard for my husband. He is a pretty young man with a CDL and an associates degree, but we are just better off without him working. I refuse to leave my children in a daycare and pay to have some stranger raise my kids. I can tell that my husband feels bad sometimes that we were not able to climb up the “ladder” in life. We are sort of moving down b/c I just don’t make enough to keep up with inflation and rising taxes here.

    I am in the process of watching many teachers that I work with lose their jobs. We are losing many teachers each year. NO we DON’T make that much money. We have decent benefits and a pension that I don’t expect to see as I have more than 15 years before I can consider retiring.

    This article touched me because I feel sad for my husband and especially my children and their future in the USA. I just try to pray each day for a miracle for people who are suffering even more.

    • Michael

      Deborah:

      Thank you for sharing your personal story with us. Thousands of people see these comments, and your story will touch many lives out there.

      Michael

    • DAS

      Sorry but teachers do make alot of money. The average Long Island teacher makes 48k plus 20k in bennys. Lets not forget summer break, vacation time, winter break, spring break, and so forth. Figure it out and and most teachers are making 40-50 dollars an hour for the year plus there bennys. This is all on the tax payers back. Sorry I cant vote for any more school taxes when 80 to 90 % of the money goes to teachers rasies, and not the kids. I wont even get into the doubble dipping that so many teachers take part in.

    • JAH666

      Deborah
      I feel for you and your husband. But the writing is on the wall for communities in New York and a lot of other states in the northeast. You need to make the decision(both of you)to pick up stakes and MOVE. Plenty of communities in the lower midwest are screaming for teachers and truck drivers. Your children will also benefit from the lifestyle of the west. Northern Texas, Oklahoma, Kansas, and Nebraska welcome all that want to make a new life here. My wife and I fled the deep south nineteen years ago and settled in a small town out here. We never looked back. We’re both IT professionals and sorely needed when we moved to the area. Nine years ago, I lost my job (I was an hourly employee and expensive) and we decided to start our own company. So far so good. Small communities (and ours is tiny) give a great feel for what America should be.

    • Long Island Tax Payer

      Baloney! Don’t lie. Teachers are sucking us dry here on Long Island. The kids come out with poor educations and the teachers retire of fat pensions. I have a Masters and cannot find work but, you’re the reason my property taxes are so high. Seriously, $8,0000 a month for a 60×100 size lot and a modest house. Just wait, the scales are about to tip in the other direction. Can you say Wisconsin?!

      • Deborah

        I have a masters degree plus 60 extra graduate credits. In any other profession it is considered just fine to earn over 100k with that amount of education. I knew that some may comment on my story thinking that I am some sort of wealthy person. I have been teaching for 15 years and make a modest salary. It is NOT even enough to afford my two bedroom house in a so/so neighborhood.

        It is sad that our society expects this “cheap” education system. Everyone is so ready, willing and able to blame teachers and schools for all of the ills in society. I feel that I deserve to be paid a reasonable salary to educate the future of this country.

        Furthermore, you can no longer blame teachers for the decline of society once “Wisconsin” spreads. You will get your cheap education system and the country will continue to decline. I became a teacher and continue to teacher to make a difference in the lives of children, not to become rich. Shame on those who blame teachers for the theivery that continues to plague our tax system.

        • Here in Texas

          I don’t blame you. I blame paretns who won’t teach their own children. If a parent does not teach their child with homeschooling them, they should at least teach them with discipline, training and manners so your job is easier.

          The whole education system is messed up. Parents who don’t care about their children, the Teacher’s associations, expecting too much or too little from the children and thinking a one size fits all.

        • Gary2

          while China and India are investing and graduating many science/engineer etc our dumb ass gov here in WI is cutting education. I understand why he was reelected–there are a lot of low information dolts who are semi illiterate who do not value education and thus voted for him. BTW he was a drop out.

          Those countries will be eating our lunch in shorty order. The rich do not need more tax cuts.

  • Ameen

    I WISH I could disagree with you, prove you wrong, or ill-informed, or mis-informed. I can’t.

    • Michael

      I always enjoy your comments Ameen. :)

      Michael

  • Matthew

    I make 10 an hour at my current job. Since 1 out of 4 Americans are working a job that pays 10 an hour or less, it’s a bit scary to think that at age 22 with no college, I’m doing better than 1 out of 4 to 5 Americans. I also break open box after box of coins(mostly Half Dollars) on my own time looking for Silver. And in addition to that, I’m also studying the stock market enough to call myself a self taught finance major(no generals or tuition required). I’m hoping to one day become a professional stock trader and not have to worry about the job market.

    • lee

      um, you know that 95% of stock traders lose money right ?

      if you wish to pursue that, i would recommend following our local financial show in houston; streettalklive.com. they called to 2008 recession and have had a great record since then.
      if you want to learn how to predict markets, start follwing them.

      • Here in Texas

        Thanks for the link Lee!

    • josh

      thanks for the laugh matt, JUMP ON THE SINKING BOAT FAST! BEFORE IT GOES UNDER! anyone who puts money into the stock market might as well send the money to me. at least i will tell you what i did with it.

      I’m also studying the stock market enough to call myself a self taught finance major

      hahahah oh lord.

      you should self teach your self how to garden, and store food much more valuable info than the stock market will ever be. i see the stock market having a limited life sorta like a banana. its almost all brown.

  • asd

    Being educated does not require you to have a masters in psychology or sociology. Education has to do with scholastics. How you treat your fellow human shows your education more than a made up piece of paper. I had a coworker who used to look down on other people because she had a masters degree in management, yet could not find a job in that field. We all use to laugh at her at closed doors. So many degrees these Universities churn out, but there are only so many teaching jobs, so many CEO jobs. Please go to school for specific job, otherwise you are SOL.

  • Jeff

    What can you get with a BA from a well known college in Washington DC, a law degree from a Tier 1 law school, a letter of recommendation from the U.S. Attorney’s office, two clinics, and graduating in the top 25% of your class? Apparently not a job as a lawyer, because that’s my story.

    Last three jobs I applied for all paid under $43k – all had over 200 applications submitted, and I wasn’t offered any of them (don’t worry – they were public employers and their diversity programs made sure non-diverse people like myself got those spots).

    We will see a return to the land and increased self-sufficiency. These changes will last a generation or more. Ours is a depression era.

    • Michael

      Jeff:

      I feel very badly for you. I went to law school as well, and when you apply to law school they never tell you that there are way, way too many law school graduates being produced for the number of jobs that are actually out there.

      Michael

      • Chuck

        This is true. I know ‘unemployed’ and ‘underemployed’ lawyers. One that I met travels around doing the paperwork for home closings to make ends meet. Of course, even that market has dried up.

        • GaryToo

          I am not normally given to swearing but @#$& lawyers. If you have a legal problem you NEED one but to represent you but at 300-400$ per hour, they leave you with thousands of dollars bills in fees, for doing not very much. In a way its like holding a gun to your head for your money, because you dont have a choice, but highway robbery is wrong.

    • Shan

      As someone who attended law schoold in the late 1990’s, the legal market at that point was bad (and that was during a boom time for our economy). Not as well know is that the medical profession (with certain exceptions) is oversaturated. There will always be doctors and lawyers, but at a certain point the headwinds of the overall economy limit the numbers of such professionals.

    • Ian

      supply and demand… there’s plenty of jobs in the medical field. Right now there is a glut of people with law degrees.

    • Alasha

      Godspeed Jeff and please keep your spirits up…

    • http://infowars.com cletus van damme

      I too have a BA from a good school, but no law degree or other superior academic achievements like you; and I can’t find a job either. This is just another prime example of the real situation in the New America where women, minorities, and convicts get the jobs before the typical highly educated/high IQ white male. You can blame the baby boomers for this, for it was on their watch we got NAFTA, womens rights, affirmative action, quotas, tons of illegals, and continuous elections of the same demo/republican scum.

      Now, either by design or by bad policy, white males are left by the wayside, while others are allowed to have jobs and become relatively “successful”. This in turn has made the New America weak and destined to fail.

      You just have to hunker down and learn from this experience and prepare for the worst.

      • GaryToo

        you should have majored in womens studies and then got a job in the dept of womens interests, or as an “independent (sic) expert” for the family court, where you can tilt the scales of justice in favour of the sisterhood. easy as 123

  • Michael

    In 2005, I turned 30 and decided it was time to buy my own house. I began to research markets which lead to an investigation into the world of finance. Being a graduate of public schools I had never been taught fraction reserve lending. I was amazed that the entire world of money was based on nothing more than belief and confidence. I did however realize the real lies of this scam thru real eyes. So, my sense of morals didn’t allow me to contribute to this conspiracy of fraud and instead I spent my down payment traveling and informing others of what I’d found.
    In 2009, I met my beautiful bride, married and started our family. We live with her parents as a multi generational family, and love it. It so much better to have help raising our daughter and also to be there to help take care of the in-law’s hobby farm. The era of “me” has ended. Like it or not, the era of “we” is upon us. Embrace the change and it won’t hurt as much. Flow with the river rather than fight the currents until you drown. I’m no fan of globalist, collectivest agendas but, the “American dream” fueled by Fed fiat was bound to fail, like every other fractional reserve system before it.
    May all beings be happy. Do good work. End the fed. Help one another.learn Chinese.

    • Here in Texas

      That is awesome! Love the multigenerational living. I have considered that with my in laws but still on the fence.

  • http://TheEconomicCollapse Chip

    I can tell you the worst part is coming down the pike. We are spending 1.5 trillion more than we make and that is just the known figures, who knows what the real figures are. But when the rest of the world decides not to lend us that 1.5 trillion and also wants their original loan back, thats when we will be in a world of hurt. There is nobody around who will have experinced anything like that.

  • bobinsherwood

    Listen up grasshoppers. Anyone who has been working for 25 years or longer has NO ONE to blame but themselves if they pissed away their money. I know many people that started working as late as the 90’s and were able to pay off their home in full in as few as 5-7 years. They did it by saving and not using their homes as cash machines. They were also able to save 1-2 hundred thousand or more by using the common sense taught to them by their parents and grandparents that lived through the 30’s-70’s. I hate to say it but the fault lies with ourselves, people over 40 who made poor decisions and have nothing to show for it.

    • Instant Karma in 3…2….1

      Obviously you have been untouched by the economic down turn. I’m sure that this is because of either all or one of the following:

      1. You’re lucky and still have a job
      2. You’re a Govt. worker.
      3. a loser who has no responsibility and therefore can talk trash
      4. living with mom
      5. fell into money
      6. you’re just ignorant
      7. you’re a troll and a hater

      • bobinsherwood

        Started working age 12 1968 – Shoveled snow, yard work, newspaper route $40-50/week
        1970 – Worked in pharmacy still had newspaper route 40-50 hrs a week $60/week
        1974 – 1988 US Navy Nuclear Submarine, Instructor Duty, CCTV and Broadcasting
        1988 – Service Engineer Rockwell Automation $35k/yr started $78K/yr finish
        2003-2008 – Independent Contractor $100-150/hour
        2008 – Unemployed or Retired take your pick

        I’ve worked in over 20 countries and 30 states. I’ve started up over 100 machines in factories that each employ 100’s of workers.What have you ever done?

        • josh

          ah yes, stay divided, that will help our situation, THAT WE ALL ARE IN. come on people, DIVIDED WE STAND UNITED WE FALL.

  • Colin

    With the rise of the unions, the middle class increased and thrived. With the fall of the unions, the middle class decreased and is critically imperiled. In Wisconsin tonight, corporatism won a major battle, and, in the state where the union movement was born, the union movement will most likely die.

    When the union movement is crushed, a major source of funding for the Democrat Party will be lost, and the DNC will be fighting for political significance with less resources. Of the ten major donators in the 2010 election, only three were unions with the remainder being corporation-based organizations. The Republicans have been open about their intention to crush the unions in an effort to starve the Democrat Party.

    I don’t want to live in a Republican dominated country for I will be a casualty of their policies for I am a long-term unemployed worker who has mental health issues, and I am dependent on the government for assistance.

    • Diane C

      Why do you think most of the large corporations and factories left the US? UNIONS! If we had Right to work states, maybe more businesses would come back. But, probably too late now.

      • Colin

        Diane,

        The large corporations, and their factories, left the US because they were given incentives for outsourcing. The unions, for good or for worse, helped create the great American middle class. I agree that unions made mistakes along the way; however, they are not the great villain as depicted in the right wing propaganda. As for right-to-work states, the Economic Policy Institute in a study reported that for workers in these states that:

        * Wages for workers in these states are 3.2% lower than in non-RTW states
        * Rate of employer-sponsored health insurance is 2.6% lower than in non-RTW states
        * Rate of employer-sponsored pensions is 4.8% lower in RTW states

        According to a Bureau of Labor study,wages are lower than 9.4% in RTW states, while cost-of-living is 19.3% is lower in RTW states.

        http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Right-to-work_state

        Of the ten poorest states in 2012, seven states are RTW.

        * North Carolina
        * Alabama
        * South Carolina
        * Louisiana
        * Tennessee
        * Arkansas
        * Mississippi

        http://www.deseretnews.com/top/236/0/Top-10-poorest-states-in-America.html

        Being a RTW state is no guarantee of companies offshoring jobs. They will offshore jobs from these states as well as CBS (Collective Bargaining States). Here is an example:

        http://www.wral.com/news/local/story/6223567/

      • Gay Veteran

        yeah, keep licking the boots of your corporate masters! Why were things so good in the 1950s? UNIONS

  • Golden Child

    Flipping burgers at McDonald’s was once reserved for teenagers, convicted felons and high school dropouts. Today, having a college degree qualifies you for the same jobs as illegal immigrants, high school dropouts and teenagers. Actually, if it were that easy for a recent college grad to get “any” job. Once menial jobs find out you have a college degree, you are labeled as “overqualified”. However, these same people who are overqualified for menial jobs are deemed to be “inexperienced” for professional jobs. Entry level jobs and on-the-job training has gone the way of the Dodo bird. It really sucks to be a recent college grad. I know having graduated in 2009.

    People are not understanding of the unemployed. Money is everything in America. You can’t eat a meal without a few dollars. Our economy doesn’t even produce enough jobs a month to keep up with population growth let alone return us to a mirror of the false prosperity we experienced for the 30 or so years of steady de-industrialization. Even our best and brightest people are fighting over greeter jobs at Walmart. And we wonder why our big cities have violent crime rates that are comparable to the worst of the worst places in the third world. If more people lived on farms and knew how to take care of themselves instead of being warehoused in economically depressed areas of big cities with no jobs, there would be exponentially much less crime in America. If we truly had capitalism instead of corporatism, you would know much more people in your neighborhood who made high quality food and clothing for affordable prices. Instead, small businesses are being regulated out of existence. In America, we are brainwashed to give all of our dollars to the one percent. Everyone from the projects to the country club is clothed by Ralph Lauren and Nike (which both utilize slave labor in China) tuned in with Apple products and fed by McDonald’s and we wonder why there are no jobs.

  • Jez

    Michael: I read your column on a regular basis but living in the UK feel that I have little of value to offer. However on the TV news this evening some very interesting news on the economic front – the repatriation of manufacturing jobs back to the UK from China.
    Why?

    1) In China, labour costs are rising and rising fast. Far fewer wage slaves than in the past.

    2) The costs of transporting finished goods half way around the planet are becoming horrendous and unsustainable.

    3) There is a growing movement in the UK retail sector to highlight products made in the UK.

    Now lets not kid ourselves that all these manufacturers have suddenly discovered patriotism. They have not gone to their local Church and discovered the error of their ways. They are not wringing their hands over the massive damage they have wrought on communities the length and breadth of our respective Nations.

    The repatriation of production is down to cold hard economics.

    Michael- watch the Baltic Dry Index. With particular reference to the number of cargo ships currently laid up and rising.

    Keep a sharp eye on national PMIs (purchasing managers index). Anything blow 50 and falling means trouble for the Country concerned.

    China is in trouble – so is India. Tough.

    If the above is happening in the UK then it is surely happening in the US. I think that there is some light at the end of this cold hard tunnel we’re in.

    God Bless you all.

    Jez

    • Michael

      Jez:

      I really value when we can get comments coming in from people all over the globe. Sometimes my focus is too much on America, and it helps to get some perspectives from other corners of the planet posted.

      Michael

    • My Brain Just Got Bigger

      Thanks!!!! Any more info?

  • http://worldendsar5newsat11.blogspot.com drbuzzsaw

    I have had all kinds of jobs, I worked for General Motors for 11 years, I worked as a cook at a restaurant, I worked as a truck driver, I worked Nuclear Security, I even owned a pharmaceutical manufacturing company in Calif. in the 80s for several years. But now I am disabled on a fixed income and wife works at Walmart part time. We barely get by, it’s pay check to pay check. But I guess we are better off than some people. I just pray my disability check will not stop or get cut but I know one day it will stop. But then we will all be in a sinking boat.

  • Andy Stunich

    You can still be working and suffer from despair. Even when self-employed, it is getting increasingly difficult to make it. Despite the poor economy and glut of housing, rental prices remain high where i live in California. The tax burden on middle class self-employed people is crushing. Plus, it is hard to be confident and happy when the government is in so much debt and there is no end in sight to government debt increasing. It makes anyone who is tuned in to current events quite fearful of what is to come. When I walk down the street and i see people who seem to be happy I cannot help but wonder how they can be so oblivious of the disaster that is about to strike them and which has already stricken millions of Americans.

  • asd

    it was our corporate CEO’s who shipped our manufacturing base to China to maximize profits in the late 80″s 90’s. it was our Banking leaders who threw us off a cliff in 2008 and now there is a derivative implosion about to occur. We can’t blame China and illegals who want to work. Now there is no work for anyone and illegals are moving back to mexico. The blame rests on our american leaders. It is easy for fox news to spew hate and blame on minorities. Any one remember Nazi Germany?

  • Ken

    Michael,

    After reading your stories for the last few months I feel that I am so lucky to not be living in the USA anymore. I emigrated in 1994, a year after finishing college in New York.

    I can definitely tell you that things are hard all over. Here in New Zealand, for example, we pay the equivalent of $7.30 US for a gallon of gasoline and the last time I checked, NZ has more cars per capita than the US. I used to live in Southeast Asia during the 1997 currency crisis there and I’ve seen what happens to formerly prosperous people when their wealth gets inflated away in the space of weeks. The average American has no idea what is coming down the track in the next couple of months.

    What I can’t understand is why people stay in the same place after being unemployed for an extended period of time. I left at 23 years old with a plane ticket, $500 bucks in my pocket, and a normal education. I had to work at pretty interesting jobs but it was a great experience, especially in the non-english speaking places. I advocate that if someone feels stuck in the US that they find a way to get out and experience a different part of the world that might have better opportunities. It’s better than just waiting for the end.

    Ken

  • Gary2

    The poster who said that today a college degree is yesterdays high school diploma was right on !

  • J.J.C

    I was a college grad with extensive professional and managerial experience, but I was at home with my kids when the recession started and I just haven’t been able to get back into the workforce. I never intended to be out of work this long.

    Its depressing but I thank God we survived 2009 when my husband lost his job and we lost our home and all our savings. We are stable now, but I pray for better times. Like everyone else, one of the hardest parts is watching your family and friends struggling and being unable to help them either.

  • Mattyboy

    If we totally give our lives to Jesus and trust that He will provide then we will be O.K. I have been tithing to my church. I determined in my heart what I could give and give that almost every week. Read the book of Micah and remind God what He said. God wants a cheerful giver. Determine what you can give cheerfully and God will bless you. You would not believe what happened to me today after tithing this last Sunday. I had a guy give me a bunch of scrap metals- over 100.00 worth. Another man called me for a job 25.00 per hour plus gas money to move some boxes. I was called to do a painting job and to install some doors later this week. I will also work for this same guy putting together furniture and mounting a television on the wall of his waiting room. Yes, the man is an M.D. He knows a lot of well off people that need handyman services. Get out there, tithe to God, be cheerful,smile and do a good job and things will happen.

    • Gay Veteran

      tithe to God? why? does he need the money? or does the highly paid pastor of your mega-church?
      better to give it to real charities

      • Mattyboy

        The idea is on giving. I do not read many posts about giving. Most are whining about not getting. Jesus said give and it will given back to you. It is a spiritual principle whether you believe or not. Similar to gravity. I am a firm believer in gravity.

        • Gay Veteran

          I don’t think Jesus had in mind giving to preachers of mega-churches

  • Georgiaboy61

    This generation of Americans, and those who will follow, are going to learn the very hard truth of allowing “free trade” advocates and others to off-shore much of our economy to China. During the period of its greatest prosperity in the late 19th and 20th centuries as the industrial powerhouse to the world, the U.S. economy was protected by tariffs and duties collected from imports. Moreover, the federal government was largely funded by these revenues – so no income tax was needed. Free trade ideologues will counter that this is an oversimplification but they cannot refute the basic premise – that during the period of this nation’s greatest economic growth and prosperity, it was protectionist. What have forty years of free trade given us? Cheap consumer products at Walmart and a nation devoid of middle-class jobs in manufacturing, construction, or any of the other industries that once sustained us. Every nation in the world, save one – us – regards self-interested trade policy as unremarkable. We threw the doors open to our international competition and now act surprised that they have cleaned us out. It isn’t only fractional reserve banking and the false prosperity of debt that have caused this crisis – it is that we have allowed our competitive position to be stolen right out from under us.

    • Old Man

      There is and never was any free trade or managed trade agreement between the U.S. and China. So careful when you blame free trade for everything.

      Trade between U.S. & China is governed by the same WTO rules, and arbitrated by WTO experts if there’s any dispute. In short, both countries must treat each other the same way, except for a short list of defined goods and services such as those in security and certain high technology.

      Prior to WTO, from before the 1980 or so, countries trade with each other with whatever rules they saw fit. And that included outright invasion and grab and plunder. The purpose of WTO is to put a stop to military plunder by any member state.

      The U.S. has been world’s biggest advocate of free-trade (to simplify – no tariff) for some 4 decades. In fact a lot of U.S. foreign and military policies were done to support and enforce such trade regime. What’s the benefits? First, vast quantities of cheap consumer goods. Trillions of dollars and trillions items flood the mega-malls. Consumers are happy and asked for more. Mall business flourish and real estate value skyrocketed. Second, corporate profits and thus stock prices hit the roof. Businessmen are happy and asked for more.

      During the 2000’s decade, a single year of imports from Asia EXCEEDed the entire combined consumption of all of Asia, Japan, India, and Australia – about 3 billion people. 75% of U.S. GDP is powered by pure consumption – people just buying things. Pretty good life. Just look at all the grotesque obesity.

      Where did Americans get so much money to buy so much stuff? Simple – the Federal Reserve simply issues the cash out of thin air, and let the banking system multiply each dollar thus issued up to 40 times. The banks then pass the money to the economy as credit. People borrow $1 of this credit and run a lifestyle where they only have to repay less than a cent per month. People measure their happiness by their FICO score. Pretty cool!!

      In short, money out of nothing to buy stuff made in other countries that take hard work, education, capital, equipment, energy and raw materials to make. Only America, who owns and prints the world reserve currency, can do that. Pretty good deal!!

      And pretty good life! But of course, nowhere in physical laws you will find an equation that permits you to create something out of nothing. Not for people and country anyway.

      The price? You are paying it now.

  • Marco

    Reading this blog keeps me grounded. I live and work in Silicon Valley. I’ve been in the high tech industry for 15 years now. My current employers (been there ten years now) engineering teams in China and India have grown tremendously. Here’s the current pay ratio:

    1 engineer in San Jose is equal to
    3 engineers in India or
    5 engineers in China

    My employer will definitely take 1 engineer in India _and_ 2 engineers in China over one engineer in San Jose unless the skillset is so specialized that it justifies employment in San Jose. Thankfully, my skillset falls in the specialized category. I consider that a blessing when I started my career, but I’m no fool – once any employer thinks my specialty is no longer the kool-aid flavor of the week, I’m gone. General skill sets like Java, C++, etc is no biggie. Employers expect something more compelling and that’s very hard to do when there is so much folks vying for employment. Heck, HP just announced that they will lay off 27,000 folks. And you can bet a disproportionate part of that number will be in the good ol’ USA.

    We have no debt and we’ve very thankful. At the same time though, we have been living below our means for years. For example, I don’t know many people who make six figures that lives in a mobile home park. Keep in mind, six figures is pretty normal for any Silicon Valley professional with over a decade experience. My wife quit her job and stays at home raising our own kids – not a stranger or the TV (we have no cable). We don’t want to be debt slaves. I don’t consider myself to be career minded – I work to live, not live to work. So many folks around here have husband and wife working like crazy, rushing to pick up the kids, not have a normal dinner at home – why? For a silly, overpriced home? Latest model BMW? I don’t get it. I value my time more than keeping up with the Joneses or shopping at Santana Row (look it up). Forget the Joneses. I like material stuff, but there are more important things. Health. Family. Friends. Faith in God. You don’t need money for these.

    When I was unemployed during the Internet bubble bust, Philippians 4:6-8 really helped me:

    6 Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication, with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to God; 7 and the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus.

    8 Finally, brethren, whatever things are true, whatever things are noble, whatever things are just, whatever things are pure, whatever things are lovely, whatever things are of good report, if there is any virtue and if there is anything praiseworthy—meditate on these things.

    • Michael

      Very timely verses. :)

      Michael

    • jaxon64

      Thank you Marco, I have a sticky note with verse 8 written on it on the visor in my car and aspire to live this way as a Christian and toward evryone. I have not read verses 6 and 7 for a while–your reminder to be thankful for God’s blessings are timely and the wisdom and peace found in “being anxious for nothing” are pricelss and is something I need to cling to a bit more often…thank you again.

  • howwaslife

    It seems more likely everyday that all will be over very very soon.

    Like others have pointed, this seems to be very bad times to live as we are going through major change in society. It will probably last our life-time as the damage is too great to be fixed in 100 years. Moving to other countries wont help unless you begin a hermits life in the mountains.

  • Trish

    Michael, in 2008 I was in my own personal “perfect storm.” Newly-divorced, unemployed (I had been a stay-home mom and working for my husband’s business) and then my 15 year old was diagnosed with stage III cancer. Talk about depths of despair. All of my savings, pension, you name it….. all spent over those few devastating years. It seemed like we would never get out from under the medical bills…. although I pray the worst of that is over. I worked two jobs and still couldn’t make ends meet. I ended up going back to school to get re-licensed in my current profession (LPN) and got a good job a year ago. I thank God for the good health of my children and I pray that I can maintain my employment over the trying times ahead.

    • Michael

      Trish:

      I can’t imagine going through all of that.

      Sometimes life can be incredibly hard, but if we just keep putting one foot in front of the other often we can get to a better place on the other side.

      Michael

    • r.bitting

      You stated that you thank God for the health of your children, so is it safe to assume that your Daughter with cancer is doing better now too? I hope so Trish.

      • Trish

        Yes, thank you, my son is a cancer survivor! I wish no child had to go through the cancer battle. Thank God he is well now and I pray that’s how it stays. I am very proud of both of my children. I do worry about what is ahead for them — and all of us.

        • r.bitting

          Glad to hear it!

  • Mick68

    Ever wonder how the banksters have enough money to leverage 700 trillion in the derivatives market? Even at 1-100, they need 700bn, which they don’t have in cash….or do they? Let’s add all those QE’s together and then subtract the jobs it created, which is….ZERO!! Yep, your tax dollars given to wall street in the form of QE is seed money for the wall street vermin to risk in the derivatives market.

  • Time to wake up people

    I remember my first high school job was a bus boy for a popular local restaurant, I worked at the tender young age of 16, cleaning up tables, filling water glasses, placing roles and butter on the tables.
    I was so thrilled to have a part time job after school was out.
    My very own paycheck of 60.00
    Per week. Plus the $1.00 tip each of the 4 waitresses would give me @ the end of the night.
    How very sad that at the ripe old age of 55, that kind of job is hard to come by for so many Americans.
    The change we are seeing is structural, there is no fixing the unemployment situation.
    Those who have lost good jobs are pretty much finished, especially if your over 50.

  • Paul

    “I have a brilliant cousin She has literally sent out 38,000 resumes in the span of a year ”

    Can’t be very bright, if she sent 104 resumes per day and didn’t realize they all land in the spam folder.

    Resumes need to fit the open position. And the $180k Syracuse Education is probably just a MBA. MBA are a dime a dozen.

    • Orange Jean

      I was thinking the same thing. Somehow, this person got the impression that her very existence was enough to get her hired; not very smart job hunting.

    • mondobeyondo

      Oh, please!!

      If only I can train one of my cockatiels to type resumes and answer phones.
      It would save me sooo much trouble and hassle.

  • chiller

    My neighbor’s job in marketing vaporized and he learned to drive trucks, making good money as they are in short demand. My 22 year as a semiconductor engineer vanished. There were times I could go on the Monster board and find over 100 positions to apply for. Now you’d be lucky to find half a dozen. So I ended up in the air conditioning business, another job in high demand. Neither of our jobs are easy but they will keep you employed and pay fairly well. Don’t sit on a stool in a field and wait for the cow to walk up to you to be milked. Find the jobs that are necessities, have high demand and retrain yourself, no matter how degrading your pride think they may be. We make half as much as we used to but are keeping our families fed and the roof over our heads. Right now my company has 30 positions for field service engineers in the AC field. It’s hard, hot work but pays a lot of overtime and they supply a truck and equipment. My wife is 54 and was just accepted into 1 of 40 slots in our community college nursing program with over 400 applicants. Don’t lay down and give up! Go to work researching and training for a job that exists now, not one that has passed us all by.

    • DaytoDay

      I was in similar work. I worked in air-duct cleaning (Can be dangerous) for a while and we had 2 guys fall off ladders and break their backs in the same week.

      I found something else a week later.

  • Paul

    All Filipino domestic helpers in Hong Kong, Singapore, Saudi Arabia, Qatar, etc. have a college degree. Their minimum wage in Hong Kong is about $480 per month plus accommodation and food. In Singapore and the Middle East they are held as slaves.

    Cheap laborers are the biggest export of the Philippines. There are just not enough jobs in their own country.

    And thanks to the Catholic Church, contraception and condoms are illegal in the Philippines.

  • kalina

    I know this is off topic, I’m very sorry. I have been a very diligent reader of your website for years, and now being shocked and devastated I have to protest everywhere I can.
    http://www.debbieschlussel.com/50114/poles-were-complicit-in-holocaust-outrage-over-obama-gaffe-is-fraudulent-ignorant/
    This is outrageous and extremely unjust toward the nation which was the very first victim of WWII and German nazists, not Nazists themselves, but Germans. Let’s say it straight, without well paid political correctness.
    Debbie Schlussel – she’s the America too in some way. This is also the collapse. The collapse of truth, which is always the beginning of every collapse.
    Regards
    Kalina

  • DAS

    N.P.R. needs to do its homework. The steel mill in Lorain Ohio is doing great. Its a pipe mill and with the huge boom in natural gas they are really doing well. I know this because I travel there for work….. Just to set the record stright ;-)

  • Maximus

    Just a bit of advice to those under- and unemployed folks. A pessimist realizes that 53 per cent of colleague graduates are either under- or unemployed. An optimist figures out that the remaining 47 per cent have decent jobs. Ask yourself: why are the other 47 per cent successful? What do they do differently than I do? They are successful but I fail. Why? Obviously, if you have sent out 36 thousand resumes during the past 360 days with no result, you must be doing something wrong. What is it that the 53 per cent are doing wrong and the 47 per cent are doing right? If you want to be successful in the future, you must act differently than in the past. If your past experience has led you to failure, do not repeat it. By repeating your failing strategy, you will not become successful. You will fail again. Instead, study very carefully what the successful 47 per centers have done differently than you. Deploy their tactics and you stand a fairly good chance of succeeding yourself, too.

    A young relative of mine with only a high school diploma, with very limited job experience recently got hired. She even managed to attract the interest of three different employers that all wanted to hire her. So, she could bargain up her salary. That is after a long streak of unsuccessful job search. What did she do differently? Firstly, she did a SWOT-analyses on herself and figured out exactly to which vacant jobs she would fit best. Secondly, she put a big effort into making her resume perfect.

    Do not repeat the failing past strategies of yours. Deploy a successful new strategy and become one of the 47 per centers who have decent jobs.

    Maximus of Europe.

  • grandpa

    Like dead voter we just wait in silence ,The haunting will come soon

  • john.s

    i Honestly feel much less hope for the future myself right now.. and i still have a job!

  • William

    I must again remind readers that this is what Americans want. Yes, Americans want EMPIRE, instead of EMPLOYMENT. This is obvious because YOU will vote again to reelect the very same IDIOTS who have destroyed America. So, when the next unnecessary war of choice based on lies goes into action (Syria or Iran), know that the hundreds of BILLIONS of borrowed money that the war will cost would have been much better spent on AMERICANS. The standard of living for most in America either has already dropped significantly, or is about to do so.

  • TX4Life

    To me, it’s another case of normalcy bias with most people. No one truly wants to face the reality that they need to hit the re-set button on what they own and spend to match the low wages jobs are currently paying. Me included but I’m getting there. I listen to people on unemployment say they can’t make it on less than $25/hour and I don’t see how they will ever find that kind of wage in our area when their unemployment runs out. In the mean time, they continue to go to the movies, eat out, run the roads burning up gasoline, and laugh at me working hard in my garden and orchard. My spouse finally started leaving the college degree off the resume and was finally able to get a job making half as much as before.

  • Deborah

    This is what is going to be…families living with each other. Grandparents, children and grandchildren living together to be able to get by. Growing what you can if you live in a suburb. If you live in the country living on what you can grow. And trying to get by with families living together. We are a great country and what we were founded on has gone by the wayside. when we protest they laugh at us. So what do we do…We cant rise up and fight…that has gone as well. they took what we thought to be a great nation and let the powers that be take it from us…for what they say…*It is good for the nation*…I say BS!!!! They lie to us about the economy and say our unemployment is going down when in reality it is not getting better. I was at a meeting for unemployment last week and the lady that was giving the class said the state (GA) was running out of money for unemployment…so if there is no unemployment money what do people do…most people i know are going on welfare…and getting food stamps..thats if they dont already get them. This is what the Govt wants…they want the American people to be dependent on the govt…I say I WILL NOT…I live on a 10 acre farm…I am growing most of my food..I will soon by some chickens..a cow…and a couple of pigs..I barter for the use of a tractor and i have bought seeds (heirloom) for the past 4 yrs to be able to grow my food…If Monsanto wants to outlaw heirloom seeds they can come pry them out of my cold dead hands…sorry for the rant…but I AM PISSED!!!!!!
    Deborah

    • josh

      If Monsanto wants to outlaw heirloom seeds they can come pry them out of my cold dead hands…

      I FEEL THE SAME WAY

  • http://www.chapterpreview.com Regina

    I saw this coming a long time ago. I do not look for anyone to save me, and I have so little confidence in this election I think I will sit this one out. Mind you I am 47 and have voted since I was 18 but I have no faith in either party. I am working but I have not had a raise in five years. My insurance increases every year so my take home pay has actually goes down every year. My son who lives with me just found a job and I am happy for him because he was falling into a deep depression. My car broke down over three years ago. My mother came to live with me due to illness so I was using her car. Guess What? Someone stole it. I have just learned to be so thankful for the small things. Hopefully I will have enough money by the end of the summer to find a reliable used car that I will pay cash for because I would not dream of a car note at this time. I am praying for all those out there struggling because it is so hard right now.

  • http://TheEconomicVoice Gregge Johnson

    I dont know how long I have been reading your articles? Most of them make me MAD!!!! This one makes me SAD and Depressed.

    • Michael

      Hopefully I can be more uplifting in the future. :)

      On a macro level things look really bad, but on a micro level there is hope for each of us.

      Michael

      • http://msn.com thisonewilldo

        Michael, love you articles, they are thought provoking and informative. When you have the time could you check out the number of women being thrown out of the workforce and the proportion of women/men? We’re seeing a relatively new disturbing trend out here in the PacNW. $10.00 hr, part time, no benefits, fired after three months before they’re due to kick in. Propensity towards haggling and fighting over the unemployment benefits to the point where recipient gives up and gets dumped into the street. And now, there’s been a surge in the number of women laid off versus men. Not knocking men. But with a majority of women working to support a household the situation is not good.

        • Michael

          I think that would be an interesting topic.

          Any links that would help get me started?

          Michael

    • D

      It was. But it’s true. Thanks for speaking the truth Michael. Please keep it up.

  • Gary2

    This is how I would sum up our loss to walker in WI yesterday:

    2 points to take from this debacle:

    Imagine the wingnuts’ spectacular, hysterical, violent reaction if Barrett had received 700% more out-of-state money than Walker and had won.

    It is reasonable to say that the difference in this election, as usual, was that large minority of wingnut voters who can’t find Iraq on a map and would vote down the Bill of Rights had they the chance (as has been demonstrated in numerous polls). These poorly educated, ill-informed, gullible voters are the backbone of the modern right wing. By appealing to their cherished bigotries, deep resentments, and goofy fears, the Roves & Koches and their ilk can effectively subvert democracy.

    We did take back the state senate so walker agenda is now DOA.

    • DAS

      And yet your the highly edducated one that cant find a job. I wonder why?????????

    • pavan

      I can’t imagine why those wingnuts didn’t want unionized government employees to continue to receive pay increases and benefits that the wingnuts would have to pay for via increased taxes. Those pesky wingnuts actually think the government employees should receive pay and benefits that is in line with what the wingnuts can get for similar work in the private sector. I thought we were all socialists now. Well, apparently not.

      • Gary2

        we need to make the private sector come up to the state union wages and not drag down the state pay. Its this race to the bottom. Private sector is sitting on record profits. they can pay.

    • Rodster

      One down one to go, bring on November.

    • http://theeconomiccollapseblog.com chris1

      So money fooled Wi. voters.Wi, people are stupid?
      If the tooth fairy spent a billion, the TF would of won?
      The public workers pay came from the people who voted for Walker.
      Gary ,head to Wi. and help out those poor public workers ,keep that RV, boat, retirement.

      • Gary2

        The public workers was a non issue to me. I do not like the tax cuts for the rich and corporations while cutting programs for the poor.

      • Cinderella Man

        Dude Gary lives in WI

      • TX4Life

        My thoughts exactly. Money keeps getting the credit for Walker’s win but I don’t see how that’s possible unless people are stupid or were paid to vote. Even if you are paid to vote a certain way, no one knows who you pulled the handle for inside the voting booth so you can still vote for the person you feel is best for the job. It’s the same old song and dance with democrats. If their candidate didn’t win, they blame money.

        • Gay Veteran

          yeah, advertizing doesn’t work, just ask the ad agencies on Madison Avenue in NYC
          eyeroll

        • Gary2

          people are stupid this is why walker won.

    • mike Beale

      Such a childlike, sore loser attitude (emphasis on LOSER). Typical liberal response, just name calling and derogatory comments from the same crowd that claims it believes in diversity and inclusivness.
      You show your true colors Gary2, anyone who disagrees with you is stupid and hates America.
      This is just a warm up to November, although you are too intelligent to see it i guess.
      “they have eyes but cannot see, they have ears but cannot hear.”

    • GaryToo

      completely irrelevant post, once again wasting people

    • GaryToo

      completely irrelevant post, once again wasting peoples time diverting to argue. Identifying yourself with the democrat party when you know they are doing nothing useful ( remember no arguments from u on detroit, california etc being democrat dumps) is just a way to feel less insignificant by identifying yourself with something big.

    • Nomadman

      Gary you talk like a brainwashed fool.

      Walker’s “crime” of limiting the SEIU monopoly to a reasonable sharing of pension and health costs (still far below typical private sector) will be Wisconsin’s path to fiscal salvation. He has already turned a deficit to a surplus, and has job creation on the upswing.

      His other “crime” of eliminating collective bargaining rights is just another big lie as it only puts limits on benefits, public employees still have full bargaining rights concerning salary. Again, this is way beyond what a private sector employee deals with who is compensated for on merit, and proudly so.

      • Gay Veteran

        Walker is a corporate whore funded by his masters the Koch brothers

    • Louise in MO

      Gary 2

      You are just plain nuts!

  • Cinderella Man

    Excellent article Michael. I know this story all too well. I was laid off in 09 and didnt find another job till late 2011. I know the stress of not being able to find any kind of job no matter my qualifications, experience, or education. It was the most fustrating and depressing time of my life. I know the embarrasment of cashing unemployment checks and using food stamps. But I was gratefull to God that I had them. I know what its like to have friends and family with jobs looking at me like I was some kind of freak because I couldnt find work. And trying to find a woman who would date a man without a job forget about it! They run from you like the plauge. I just love how the heartless AM radio neo cons trash the unemployed. I used to listen to them back in the day but when I joined the ranks of the downtrodden it really changed my perspective on the whole left/right thing. These unemployed people are not lazy or just want to collect a check and sit on their ass all day and watch Maury snd Steve Wilkos. There were many days after searching for weeks for work I would feel so depressed I wouldnt want to get out of bed. Im glad you wrote this article my friend, sometimes when I feeling burned out from working its good to remind myself how truly blessed I am to have found another job after years of no avail. I will always remember how hard I fell and how long it took me to get back up. Im still not all the way there cause now I have to pay back all the debt I acrued during my 2 years of hell. But Im working at it I know that things are going to get alot harder this year but I will never give up. God be with all those who are suffering but just remember YOU ARE NOT ALONE AND DONT LET THEM SAY YOU AINT BEAUTIFUL!!!

    • El Pollo de Oro

      Cinderella Man: Many of the heartless AM radio neocons who trash the unemployed will get a dose of reality when The Desperate People Doing Desperate Things Tax comes to the BRA and the DPDDTT collectors come a knockin’ at their doors. DPDDTT collectors don’t take no for an answer. They do, however, take large amounts of money from the families of people they kidnap. They’ve also been known to take fingers of the kidnappees, and sometimes, they take the kidnappee’s life. The DPDDTT sucks–just ask any businessman in Honduras or Guatemala who has been the victim of a violent home invasion or received that dreaded ransom note. And talk radio neocons (or as Alex Jones calls them, “fake conservatives”) who make light of Americans’ suffering will find that out the hard way when the DPDDTT comes to the BRA.

  • Ian

    I’m helping my friend who’s been in prison for 8 years get back on his feet. Since then he’s been working for me part time, and had two to three different jobs already. They were short term contract work from a temp agency, but now he’s found a temp-hire position.

    My point is there is work out there, if you look.

    Help rebuild America: Buy American, and build quality.

  • Barn cat

    All I have is an associate degree in accounting but that was enough for me to overqualified for better paying permanent jobs than the temp jobs I had.

    I even had a place that wouldn’t hire me for one job because they were afraid I’d be looking for accounting work. Then reject me for an accounting job because I didn’t have recent experience.

  • karen

    There is an old saying… Walk a mile in my shoes, or been there done that, very few people have anything to say nice about anyone unless it’s their friends in their circle. No ones seems to raise there children with any manners, or respect these days, my granddaughter at the age of five gets snubbed by five and six years olds, there already snobs at age 5. I see parents letting their children run through the store and damage items, and parents going through cloths at wal-mart and throwing them on the ground for someone else to pick-up, I us to sit on the school bus on my way to school and all the kids would make fun of a girl whom did not always have a bath, called her dirty kerty, I had her sit by me she was my friend told her to never mind those hateful people. people are so cruel, and there children are just like them, you are a product of your enviroment. But you can become a better person if you want to, but most don’t

    • GaryToo

      good on u for your kindness to that kid karen

  • Jodi

    Next Friday will mark 9 months of unemployment for me. I’ve lost count of how many jobs I’ve applied for. So far, I’ve only had a handful of interviews and some went well and others not so well. The interviews that went well, I really thought I had a good chance for a second interview or even get the job, but no luck yet. Fortunately, for me things haven’t been all that bad, and the reason behind that is because I was already prepared for the coming collapse and knew it was a matter of time before I would loose my job. What most people don’t do, is listen to the experts advice and start preparing. I believe one of the most important things people need to do is PAY OFF YOUR DEBTS. When I lost my job, I had most of my debts paid for and already was stocking up on food and water. So please, if you haven’t prepared yet, do so. You’ll be glad you did.

    • Orange Jean

      Jodi, I sincerely hope you are able to find something soon. The fact that you shared your story with us, and offered some very useful advice (if you have a job, use it to get out of debt) is heartening.

      I DO have a job at present, but there are plenty of reasons it feels like no guarantee next week it will still be there for me… but I an also doing exactly what you suggest (paying off old debt) which very much feels like the right thing to do.

      Good luck & God bless!

      • Jodi

        Awe…you’re so sweet Orange Jean! Thanks so much. It’s true, there is no guarantee if you currently have a job it will be there next week.

  • Shanna

    Michael,

    In your article you stated that people are becoming Walmart greeters, well were I live (Indiana)that job is no more. I was wondering where the greeters were & was talking to my sister about it & that’s when she told me Walmart had gotten rid of them weeks ago. So now that’s another job (how many greeters?) gone.

    • Michael

      Shanna:

      That is a very good point. I need to come up with a new example. :)

      Michael

      • Gary2

        same here in WI. I was returning an item at wal-mart and asked the clerk to make sure to deactivate the anti-theft on the exchanged item so the greeters would not have to stop me and go through my bags.

        She said that there are no more greeters as they eliminated those positions about 2 months ago. This conversation was in mid May.

    • Orange Jean

      I hadn’t noticed that where I live but you may well be right (about WalMart greeters).

      Michael whatever you do, don’t go using grocery store cashiers as your next example, OK? I absolutely REFUSE to use those “self-check out” lines are the grocers because to me … all I can think of is how many people got laid off to support those lines? Also, I remembers when banks first started having ATMs and I wonder how many bank tellers lost theirs to that.

      Hang on in there people, and please don’t use the “self-check out” lines!! Once people stop using them, the stores will realize that strategy doesn’t work and will have to start back hiring people.

      • Michael

        Yes, I very much dislike those “self-check out” lanes as well! They are another pet peeve of mine.

        Michael

      • Alot more trouble…

        Orange Jean
        I love your passion!
        Boycotting job killing technology sounds great in theory, and for good cause!
        Supermarkets around us that shut down the self checkouts, just dont hire, they make people wait in longer lines, the same way in banks, etc.
        The sad part is people will stand on those long lines.

      • Jodi

        I dislike the self-check out too! In many cases, stores are making it hard to go to a cashier. The store up the street from us, usually has one cashier and about 4 self-checkout lines. So much for cashiering jobs.

    • josh

      if everyone voted with their money that they do have left, and not shopped at walmart and went to farmers markets and any local stores thats left we could possibly change things… 10 years ago. hahaha what a sad sad joke. we are screwed all of us. might as well continue the trend and SHOP WALMART! maybe the faster we gut this country maybe the faster a real recovery will happen, with 10% of the population cuz most of us will die. lack of food.

      • Abdurakhman Rosenberg

        Could not have said it better. When MalWorts were killing mom&pop shops, the sheeple were rejoicing.

        I’m rejoicing now, using self check-out. Evolution in action.

  • MarkieMark

    Migrant farm worker is where it’s at. With the crackdown on illegals the farmers are begging for pickers.
    I get to work out in the fresh air all day, get a great tan, travel extensively, and I don’t have to waste time going to a gym for exercise.
    If you’re fast you can make $25 to $30 an hour or better.

    These guys wasting $100,000 on a college degree to get a $10 an hour job are crazy when these jobs making twice as much are going begging.

    • Gary2

      good point!

  • ineededthis

    I can so relate!! I stayed home with my children when they were young. In ’92 my husband was permanently disabled, so I went back to school and got a business administration degree with 3.5 GPA (commuting over an hour to school one way and having 4 teenagers at home). I didn’t finish until 2003. I had trouble finding work EVEN with a degree, but later completed teacher certification and worked as a teacher 5 yrs. I got laid off last May and CANNOT find a job. I’ve sent countless apps/resumes and had interviews–but don’t get a job. I’m 53–very depressed.

    • Michael

      Hang in there – as you can see you are not alone.

      Michael

    • Orange Jean

      I hate in some ways to suggest this … but have you tried getting a job doing some kind of secretarial or admin work?

      Personally, I hate doing that type of work (boring~ and I spent years working hard to get out of what I considered the “secretarial trap”) … BUT a month or two ago my daughter-in-law, with no post-high school education, got one of those jobs in about 2 weeks after she was laid off. I don’t even know if her unemployment had kicked in yet. In a lot of places people (especially women who had worked their way out of the secretarial pool) don’t like those jobs; but also I’ve seen some that pay BETTER than what I earn, doing a “professional” job that required a Master’s degree and at least 3-5 years experience to get into.

      • Laurus

        You are right, Jean. I am one of those people. I am single and have supported myself for 30 years on Admin. work. My salary is higher than the national average. I have paid off my home, car, have a 401(k), an IRA and two year’s worth of salary in the bank, and 0 credit card debt. I have worked hard, lived frugally and survived two lay-offs. I do not have the degree, yet I am in better financial shape than 3/4 of the people I know w/the big degrees and doctorates. The problem with many Americans, is they want everything now! Patience and perserverance are virtures that are woefully lacking today.

    • http://msn.com thisonewilldo

      Oh yeah, age is also a contributing factor.

  • Alan

    Seems so strange that the norm now to living is having a job. Whereas prior to the industrial revolution and into the mid 1950’s, people still had some ties to the land and were able to return to the land and make do. We are either ignorant or delusional to disregard the history of the last 6000 years of mankind to let it be trumped by the last 60 years of corporate slavery. This American lifestyle is not the norm. The years before the current time-frame are how humans survived.

    • Kelby

      Oh, i know it, and when you even try to point this out to people, they look at you like you’re freaking CERBURUS!(sp?)

      Also, here’s a great quote i found from an anti public school website about depression:

      “I have been thinking a lot lately about what exactly is the cause of depression. Does it really exist? The other day i was reading the newspaper and came past some animal rights article about how pigs were farmed in “horrid” conditions, kept in tiny little “cells” so small they couldn’t even turn around to sniff their arses, and fed i can’t believe its not food. Living under such conditions the pigs developed all kinds of diseases, one of them being, you guessed it, depression. So, you put a little piglet in a little holding cage and never let it out, feed it crap, and never let it socialize with its own kind, and the pig gets depression (shortly before turning into delicious bacon). That’s how pigs get depression. So how can we take the pig example and apply it to humans? Easy. You take a little humanoid and you put it in a little cage, you feed it all kinds of crap and never let it socialize with its own kind.

      If you look at humans in a pure Darwinistic sense you will see that by nature we are, hunters, gatherers, tribal, territorial, and driven by very strong desire to mate. Now take a human and put it in a classroom, office, supermarket checkout, all day long keep it in a little cage. Then send it home to another little cage, apartment, broken home, mummy and daddy don’t get along. Feed it food out of cardboard boxes, paper wrappings and plastic sealed bags. Sit it in front of a television watching bull**** TV shows or put it in front of a computer so it can [pleasure itself] to anime pr0nz. Do this and your human will develop all kinds of diseases, one of them being, you guessed it, depression.

      These animal rights freaks took time out of their ever so important existence to tell the world all about pig injustice. What about human injustice? Society is a 2 by 4 foot cell so small I can’t even turn around to sniff my arse. And then I wonder why I’m so sad…”

      Yessir, natural tribal living is where it’s at. But nobody wants to change. They want their shiny cars and iPhones, iPads, iEc Cetera. VERY SAD.

      • GaryToo

        The sheep-le are happy in their pens grazing on their big and small screens and low quality food. They actually love it. The truly awakened do not.

  • http://www.lulu.com/shop/buzzy-watts-phd/judiths-struggle/ebook/product-18659148.html Buzzy Watts

    They myth of the “home-owning middle class quality person” is at the heart of our broken society. If a kid said that he wanted to be a bus driver, janitor, or food service worker, he would be laughed at or otherwise reproached. But the reality is that the majority of the citizenry is best suited for so-called menial labor, and they really shouldn’t be stigmatized for acknowledging reality. But no, we’re expected to believe that those who do physical labor for a living are subhuman parasitic scum, while the REAL productive citizens sit in a cubicle all day looking at porn.

  • lee

    yes, it’s just miserable to read stuff like this.

    i went a 4 month stretch in 2004 without a job as i got labeled as contractor and not someone who would stick around, so i know what going just a few months without a paycheck when you are not prepared for it is tough.

    since then, my #1 rule has been to stay employed; family, friends, leisure activities are all a distant second.

    after going thru 2008, and figuring out that things are probably going to be tough for the next 10 years; my #2 rule is to cut expenses to the bone, football season tickets – gone – games are on tv, buying new clothes at nordstroms – over – macys is just fine, dropping the gas guzzling suv for a prius – done – its likely at some point that annual $2500 i’m losing in my suv tank will be needed as things get worse.

    my dad thinks i wont spend on anything and my mom is concerned about me, but i have seen the next decade and while i do not expect it to be the dark ages, i do expect a depression and thats going to hit everybody and my goal is to survive it and help family members that are going to need the help.

    • josh

      youre confused. learn some history see how much technology rome lost when their civilization collapsed. stop being hopeful and start preparing for the worst, so much technology will be lost, we dont have the manufacturing base anymore and when the dollar loses the world reserve status gas will go up and it will be too expensive to ship all that crap from china, for alot of people that will be the dark ages.

  • Evie

    I do not appreciate being sent to amazon for an add. I get my nook for free at my local library so why buy? The politicans and elite ruined the economy there is plenty of work for all but they want to centrally control everything so citizens are their atm money. When stuff like this occurrs the real free market kicks in. people did not make do during ww2 rationing but went to the black market. Liquor proabition the same. I think this globalization is hokey. People in the usa are tired of this. They did not create the problem the planners did. Exploitation of the people is no economy and will fail.

  • Kevin2

    I walked out of high school in the mid 1970s and was employed by Dupont the following year. I then left there and went into an oil refinery which paid better. I witnessed the creeping decline as the Dupont plant once employing 6000 people shrunk to 800 employees 30 years later not because of technology but rather globalization. The oil refineries were always the most secure but even that has changed because as the economy contracted so did the demand for fuel as oil consumption reduced by 3 million barrels per day; that is a glaring indicator of where were going.

  • McKinley Morganfield

    For 30 years there has been no real economic growth. Our economy is fueled by debt and today we see the debt cycle is swirling down the drain. The economy will continue to decline and a severe, prolonged depression appears to be unavoidable. Weather the storm as best as you are able.

    Michael, thanks for your excellent research and tireless blogging.

    • Michael

      You are welcome McKinley.

      And I always enjoy your comments even when you disagree with me. :)

      Michael

  • Sailor Trash

    We got hit by it back in ’08. Lost our jobs, then the house, then the cars one by one. No welfare, no food stamps, just happy to have the rare part-time no-bennies job now and again, living by our wits as we can. All we have left is a 45-year-old sailboat with a busted engine. Basically, we’re homeless and live in our vehicle. Out at anchor, because renting space at a marina costs money, about the same as renting an apartment. “Grapes of Wrath” on a 33-foot sloop. But we’ve learned a hell of a lot about being off-grid and surviving with next to nothing.

    • Michael

      Sailor:

      I am so sorry to hear about what you are going through. Keep hanging in there.

      Sadly, in the future a lot more Americans will be forced to learn how to live off the grid and on next to nothing.

      Michael

  • Chuck

    I was unemployed for two extended periods in the last 4 years but I’m lucky that I was able to bounce back into better career positions and better pay, twice. I’m now working at a non-profit, the best job I’ve ever had, and my career is flourishing. From someone who has gone through two years of unemployment in 4 years, when I hear people say to people who’ve lost their jobs “why don’t you just get a job somewhere, anywhere, even flipping burgers or working at Home Depot” let me tell you that these places are not interested in hiring anyone they know will continue to look for better opportunities. I tried to get work everywhere and was ‘over-qualified’ at every turn. The reality for me was that anyone who had never lost their job, never been unemployed, just couldn’t relate to the reality, nightmare my family was living. I believe far too many folks out there are completely disconnected from the ‘other America’ that is struggling just to survive and I’m fearful for my friends, my family, and my children of the potential economic calamity that seems to lay ahead. Reading the news of Europe (indeed, the entire global economy) is like watching a train wreck in slow motion. Unfortunately, we’re all riding on the train.

  • Daniel

    Graduated college in 2010. The only fulltime jobs with decent pay have been temp jobs in manufacturing that dont require any college. I’ve told people not to waste their time with trash degrees and college debt. If they want special training go to a tech school, get a specific degree, and be prepared to work anywhere. My own family looked down on me wondering, “why arent you working in an office, you have a college degree, etc.” I replied work is work and no one hiring. People just don’t understand that this current generation of young people are being kicked under the bus when it comes to job.

    I was unemployed for three months for a period, and it sucked. People sent me job notices that required years of experience and different degrees. I applied for them at first but then quit telling friends and family that those jobs are out of my league. People don’t understand, they think college degrees are on in the same.

  • matt

    I know when one door closes another opens. I lost my job of 15 yrs. The next day I got up and my wife asked what we would do. I told her not to worry, I could still stand. That day I chose a construction site almost at random. The site Foreman told me he had no work. I countered with an offer to work one week for free. If he would give me but the chance to show myself. Laughing, he agreed. For the next week I showed up early, worked through lunch and cleaned up work area after others had left for day. That Friday the owner showed up. He had heard of me from the super. He asked what I wanted, I told him I only wished to use my hands to feed my family. He smiled and hired me on the spot. Four years later, I now have a new trade. I still show up early and work through lunch. We all have God given skills. But often times our ego stands in the way of our talents. Should it all go to pieces tomorrow, I will still have God walking next to me holding me up. Those who are in despair, KNOW THIS, God will never leave your side. Although at times we stray from his.

    • AssHat

      Well lets all try this then and fill our bellies with god. Slag off.

    • Eve

      This works. Some industry like insurance; almost require it. I worked 3 weeks for free…..to see if they wanted to keep me. I wasn’t worried, I knew I had this one. But, after 10 months of unemployment, I tried this ‘work for free’ scenario, and it landed me the job as soon as I said it. Great strategy, it is better than college; it shows drive and initiative. Employers want employees that want and need a job. kudos!

  • http://hitekhobo.com Skylar Thomas

    For all the offers cities like San Francisco make to serve the homeless, it does seem odd that an intelligent, rational soul like Skylar thinks his best option is a nylon camp tent. As the economy tanks and jobs disappear, you have to wonder how many other people will opt for the woods. And what we will decide to do with them.
    Read more: LINK TO ARTICLE

  • Kathy Smith

    The saddest part of this is that our own government (you know the one that was designed “by the people for the people” is the very cause of all of this. Sending millions & millions of jobs overseas & then expecting these very jobless people to buy these overseas products. You really gotta wonder what the government really has in mind for all of us??? The gov. knew what was going to happen to this country when people were unable to find decent jobs. Ask yourselves what is the gov.’s true agenda here?????? God Help Us All.

  • sharonsj

    Well, I’m surviving on Social Security of $12,000 a year ($10,700 after Medicare is taken out). It can be done only if you have a paid-for home and you give up things like a phone and cable, good food, travel, and whole-house heating and cooling. But I still scramble every year to pay school and property taxes and the electric bill.

    I don’t know how anybody survives unless families send everyone out to work at any kind of job and they all live together. I was talking to some friends, one is on SS and the other is on disability, and we think the future is that a large percentage of people will become scavengers and junk dealers. There won’t be enough jobs and more and more people will have to operate under the radar.

  • El Pollo de Oro

    As The Banana Republic of America (the Third World cesspool that used to be the United States) slides deeper and deeper into the financial abyss, many of the victims will be destroyed by soul-crushing despair. Some will commit suicide. Others, however, will stay afloat through illegal means—and that’s where things are going to become really, really dangerous in the BRA. If you want to see the violent side of economic desperation, here are some countries to visit: Honduras, Guatemala, Mexico, Papua New Guinea, Venezuela, El Salvador, Jamaica. Take a good, hard look at those very violent countries because that’s what the future of the BRA will be like. Drug trafficking, carjacking and violent home invasions will skyrocket; so will kidnappings. The have-nots will turn to violent crime out of desperation; the haves will be in constant danger. The neo-poor will pull themselves up by the bootstraps with guns and knives. It’s going to be a bloodbath.

    “When people lose everything and have nothing left to lose, they lose it.”—Gerald Celente

    “It is becoming increasingly impossible in America to get a good job without being connected to the system that serves the elites.”—Paul Craig Roberts

    “For many, the American Dream became a nightmare long ago. It’s little wonder that Americans are afraid and angry.”—Michael Fumento

    “Prices are going up. Unemployment is continuing to go up. And we have not had the necessary correction for the financial bubble created by our federal reserve system.” —Ron Paul

    “Things look incredibly bleak for the global economy right now.”—Michael T. Snyder

    “My next door neighbor’s two dogs have created more shovel-ready jobs than this current administration.”—Gary Johnson

    “As the economy unravels, as hundreds of millions of Americans confront the fact that things will not get better, life for those targeted by this culture of hate will become increasingly difficult. Rational debate will prove useless.”—Chris Hedges

    “Unemployment for a year or more, the kind that just sucks the heart and soul out of people, is about double what it was in late 2009—and yet in the 1960s, it was essentially nonexistent. ”—Michael Fumento

    Benvenuti tutti alla Camorra di Napoli. Bienvenidos a la Familia Michoacana y Los Zeta. Welcome to life in a bloody, violent, crime-plagued Third World hellhole called The Banana Republic of America.

    • tex

      And look at how good other western countries are doing- Australia, New Zealand, Germany and Canada right next door. Higher taxes to fund services have not seemed to hurt their economies. We have cut our own throats by cutting back expenditures on education, research and infrastructure and by failing to rein in the outrageous bribes paid to politicians through lobbyists (and the private and corporate donations to political parties). Elections are now bought and paid for- someone has to foot the bill- Sadly it is the people least able to affords it. And yet an electorate deficient in critical thinking skills continues to buy it. The Koch Brothers smile. America is done. Stick a fork in it.

      • El Pollo de Oro

        Tex: I’ve done a considerable amount of international traveling over the years (I’ve been to at least 15 different countries), and this country’s image has gone way, way down all over the world. They realize that The Banana Republic of America is an absolute basketcase. Instead of looking up to us as they once did, they feel sorry for us. I know a businessman in Australia who used to have a lot of U.S. dollars but totally abandoned the U.S. dollar; all his assets now are in a combination of gold and non-U.S. currencies.

        “Americans like to believe that the rest of the world looks up to us, but the truth is that the rest of the world is laughing at us.”—Michael T. Snyder

      • Stacey

        Some people say we need to give more money to education, better books, better equipment, pay teachers more ect. Been there done that. What’s hurting education is the unions. Bad teachers can’t be fired and replaced by good teachers. If there is a complaint about them they are just moved to another school. Are these the people we want teaching our children? Teachers are not hired and fired based on how well they do their jobs. In WI they recognized this and took appropriate measures.

  • http://googlecrome sequoia

    Stevefraser: We can blame the illegal ailiens for taking our jobs away all we want,but who hires them? Who would rather hire foreigners,so they can pay less wages? These are American people and corporations that are doing this.We have only ourselves to blame in this matter. It is a race to the bottom and almost everyone is involved in it.The illegal ailiens would leave this country if there were no jobs for them,but there are too many greedy people and corporations that would rather make a few more bucks, than care about the American people.WE ARE DOING IT TO OURSELVES AND EVERYONE IN THIS COUNTRY INDIRECTLY IS TAKING ADVANTAGE OF THIS,BECAUSE WE CAN PAY ALMOST SLAVE WAGES TO PEOPLE (UNDER THE TABLE)AND GET AWAY WITH IT. Then when things go bad,Blame the Mexicans and foregners for it. REMEMBER we opened the door to this mess, by our actions and now we are paying the price for it. If anyone points one finger at another person, there are 3 fingers pointing back at us.We are HYPOCRITES IN THIS.

    • stevefraser

      Thanks for your response…I’m in California, which has been overrun by Illegals. Here, once a Mexican gets a position, they only hire other Mexicans. Other races are completely locked out, even if the people “on the inside” are illegals. True madness!

    • Old Man

      You know Sequoia, reading your comment, I am reminded of the first half of the 1800’s in America where something like this happened.

      Then, the northern states (which extended only to the midwest) began to adopt the tools and ideas of England, who was pioneering the great Industrial Revolution. Factories, infrastructure and technical education took off. And wealth began to grow.

      The southern states, however, followed no such industrial ‘nonsense’. They have great agricultural climate, flat lands, endless water, and the BIG TRUMP CARD – slave labor. Growing and exporting vast amount of cotton and food, the south matched the north in wealth despite being much less populated. They were happy with the status quo.

      But the norther states were not happy just following England to industrialize. They can’t stand barons of the south getting so filthy rich with imported slave labor working on vast plantations. (By that time, most slave labor were imported from the Caribbean, Spanish Mexico and central America.) The situation became intolerable and insolvable. It was the GREAT POLARIZATION of the 19th century.

      Surely, I don’t need to write what happened next.

  • Washington

    The NSA Is Building the Country’s Biggest Spy Center (Watch What You Say) By James March 15, 2012
    http://www.wired.com/threatlevel/2012/03/ff_nsadatacenter/all/1

    Congress Looking Happy to Reauthorize Broad, Secret Spying Powers By David Kravets May 31, 2012

    http://www.wired.com/threatlevel/category/surveillance/

    Published on May 21, 2012 NDAA Shot Down, But Threats Remain – David Seaman

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lraUc8VnLNI

    Fact Sheet – Unmanned Aircraft Systems (UAS) For Immediate Release December 1, 2010 http://www.faa.gov/news/fact_sheets/news_story.cfm?newsId=6287

  • John Rambo

    “those that are cruel will treat you as though you are a total loser.”

    Just like you treated young men who are unemployed like a total loser in your post on the End of the American Dream?

    • Michael

      John:

      May you be greatly blessed today.

      Michael

  • http://worldendsar5newsat11.blogspot.com drbuzzsaw

    Can some one spell Greece —— U.S.A.

    “Turn out the lights, the party’s over, all good things must come to an end”
    Don Merideth he don’t know how prophetic his good night song truely was.

    Anyone thinking that without power in Greece there city’s will not only have no electricity for lights, no heat, no air conditioning, no radio, no tv etc. but they will NOT have running water and their toilets will stop flushing.
    If the power goes in Greece you will see rioting like never before because no one will have anything to live for any more…
    When the power goes you will have a lot of death and destruction in Greece.
    And one day that contagion will come visit us here in America. But it will be 10 times no (100 times worse), it will be Greece on steroids, meth and adrenaline all at the same time. As we have grown fat, lazy and we are American’s and WE ARE ENTITLED, And our Government owes us a living.
    http://surviving12-21-2012.blogspot.com

  • Bob

    I no longer think of retirement and at age 66 and after under going open heart surgery I have a good job and will hold on to it as long as I can. We need quality Healthcare and my employer supplies it.
    We have been laid off many times in our working career but I have never seen it this bad and as obama has said on many occasions america needs to brought down a few pegs and I’m the guy that can do it! Well congratulations to him, he has done it but is not finished yet! It will take him 4 more!
    Please America think before you vote. This is the most important election in the history of this country!

    • mile

      at almost 60 putting a stop to being wheeled into open heart surgury, stopping all prescriptions i feel fine after a year of exercise watching financial news while stationary peddling to create collaterals rather than be bankrupted

  • arleigh

    You can thank the Democrats for NAFTA allowing other countriies to ship their goods here in stead of maintaining our own food production and manufacturing . Also states like California (Democrat liberals) That are driving business out of the country ,highter taxes and greater demands against the manufacturing processes.
    The hypocracy of the government is ,a great many products are shipped in, cannot be produced here because of the process is in violation of environmental consraints and fraudulant environmental claims .
    We also have a MARXIST president that has offended our foreign enemies further, and the dollar is no longer a world money . Russia and China no longer accept it .

    • Gay Veteran

      arleigh, you need to get a clue! Both parties are OWNED by the Wall Street banksters and the corporations

      • stevefraser

        A “gay” veteran…boy, you shoulda stayed in…under Obama the party for homosexuals in the “armed forces” is about to really ramp up! The sky’s the limit now for homosexuals in the army, etc.

        • GaryToo

          I can see new recruitment ads with village people “in the navy….” skys the limit eh? GV probly made it to Rear-Admiral

        • Gay Veteran

          hey steverfraser and GaryToo, tell us about YOUR experiences in the military

          oh, that’s right, you’re just a bunch of chickenhawks who want others to fight your wars

          • GaryToo

            since u asked get comfy GV

            I was in the army reserve in reconnoissance patrolling when i was in uni 20-25 yrs ago had a ball,
            my goal was to join the psych corps as an officer when i finished study. when i finished i took a govt job and went into the psych corps part time. it was crap doing testing and interviewing of recruits initially, then debriefs of returning servicemen and screening for ptsd.
            I got out of it altogether because i was morally opposed to psyops, “enhanced interrogation development” I could not keep quiet. Plus the fact that i never got to go out in the field like i used to, stuck in an office. When i did finally get out there it was “please dont touch anything sir” haha.
            The only real operation i went on was East Timor 1999-2000, hardly risking my skin in the UN compound.

            I fully appreciate you risking your ass for us. I hate it being risked to secure access to oil and gas under a **************** excuse against terrorism.

            I can see louis gosset jnr in an officer and a gentleman eyeballing richard gearbox at attention on parade, “only two things come out of san francisco son, steers and queers (moves closer) which one are you?”

            Yes, before you point it out

    • Bob Marshall

      You hit on the head! Obama is a Marxist. whistleblower publication issue June 2012 should be read by every citizen looking for the truth as to why he is a Marxist and his days at Occidental college from someone who was there with him and said Young Obama was a committed Marxist dedicated to the overthrow of the capitalist system. “Thanks to whistleblower publication i found out about Obama and his background while he was campaigning for office. “If a nation expects to be ignorant and free in a state of civilization,
      it expects what never was and never will be…if we are to guard against ignorance and remain free,it is the responsibility of every citizen to be informed.” Thomas Jefferson. whistleblower publication june 2012 Title: MARXISM,AMERICAN -STYLE

      • xander cross

        I hope you realize that Thomas Jefferson was an elitst and was also against free market principles. He was a big government as they came, and also, he did not have a problem with having sex with black slaves and having many black kids, in which, you whties denied until DNA evidence proved you all wrong. Just like what happen in TN a few days ago. You are defiently misinformed by alex jones.

  • erheault

    I truly hope that the American people never have to go thru a depression as I still remember the end of it and WW11, the education at that time was age 16 or 8th grade which ever came first also at that time there was no laws against children working on jobs that had low danger risks I wound up on wheat farms and cattle ranches, Now days the police swat teams raid children who dare to open up a lemonaide stand,and cannot work untill age 18 then the employers want them to have 8 years of experience,
    The nation has turned into a feel good society with the thought police in full controll and a government that at the least should be in federal prisons, Never thought I would se a tax dodger as National treasuery head or a cabal of crooked bankers controlling the nation, I will offer this small advise if you are not into science or math you probally will be far better off staying away from the siren song of College for all and winding up with a lifetime debt, often times less is more.

  • http://www.financialexecutives.org/KenticoCMS/events/events.aspx Greg

    These are very distressing times for many people and the future is uncertain and scary. It certainly was easier to attain and maintain the American dream for our parents and grandparents and mine admit it. Even people who are well-educated and financially savvy are feeling it. Saving money helps but reserves run out when you are unemployed for years.

  • LJRich

    I’ve taught my sons that getting a job in a field that we still have is a far better option than going to college for years, racking up student loan debt, only to come out with a worthless degree that you probably won’t find a job in, anyway. As a result, they are both going to technical and vocational schools instead of college. They will work the jobs that a lot of college educated people look down on. Electricians, cable installers, truck drivers, auto mechanics, those are the jobs you can get if you have the skills. These are the skills they’re getting. And, I’m not one bit ashamed of the fact I told them to skip obsolete college degrees and never look back.

  • http://itsafluffy.blogspot.com DL

    My advice to laid off English or Elementary language arts/reading teachers: GET YOUR TESOL and work overseas! My daughter will do that when she is teacher certified (she has no desire to teach here in the US, even if jobs are available, as if she already knows what coming down the pike), and so can you. You don’t have to be a victim!

  • DGB

    The American Dream is really a nighmare.

    Our entire system is based on wage jobs and $money$. We threw away extended families, and community. All you need to do is get a ‘job’ and you can buy whatever you want.

    Well now we see the problem with that kind of thinking. The fat lady is gonna sing, real soon.

  • Ian

    the greed and materialism of the last several decades has finally caught up to the masses of america. I can only laugh and say i told you so.

    • Old Man

      Well, yes Ian, But also add imperial and holy wars of choice. Runaway military-industrial complex making armament that add no wealth. Grand hubris of the politicians. Lousy educational system. Lazy, fat, dumb and brainwashed younger generations. Rampant political corruption by big money. Wall Street mafia and con artists. 75% consumption, 0% saving society. World most wasteful country. And of course, a overwhelming culture short-term gratification and hell with tomorrow. You know, tomorrow as in now.

      Did I missed anything?

      • JJJ

        “Lazy, fat, dumb and brainwashed younger generations.”

        Yes, because it is the younger generations that have literally run this world into the ground. Why do I even dignify you with a response? You are a disgusting waste of life, and a charlatan that seems to have to respond to every post on this article. Who really is dumb and brainwashed and lazy?

  • Friend

    All, don’t forget to tithe every month to God thru CBN, 700 club, your church, whatever your hearts desidre is, etc… This is one (or the only) way God tells us to test him. If you tithe regularly (and cheerfully) no matter what your financial circumstances are, God WILL reward you 100 or 1000 times over. This is as true as the law of gravity and an universal truth worldwide and thru the ages.

    • Gay Veteran

      yeah, give your hard earned money to the charlatans!

  • mondobeyondo

    Back in 1982, there was a hit song called “Allentown”. It was by Billy Joel, if I’m not mistaken. The song told of the decline of the steel mills in Allentown, Pennsylvania, and the lost “American Dream” of the people who worked there.

    People thought it was bad 30 years ago (and it was). Just look where we are now…

    I want to see Clint Eastwood do another ad like the one he did for the Super Bowl. What ya got to say now, Clint?

    “It’s overtime in America. The (false) unemployment rate is rising. Last month, from 8.1% to 8.2%. More Americans are in despair. But, if anything defines optimism, it is America! Those of us who have jobs… we bust our butts every single day! The light is at the end of the tunnel. Or maybe it’s just an Amtrak express train… -splat-“

    • Michael

      Very nice :)

      Michael

    • El Pollo de Oro

      Mondobeyondo: 1982 was also when Grandmaster Flash did a hip-hop tune called “The Message,” which really reflected the mood of pessimism at the time (“It’s like a jungle/Sometimes it makes me wonder/How I keep from going under”). Times were definitely rough in 1982 for a lot of people, and Reagan’s approval ratings were in the toilet. But the country bounced back economically, and Reagan was re-elected by a landslide in 1984. People definitely vote their wallets.

      Ironically, the early 1980s seem like the good ol’ days compared to the horror movie of 2008-2012.

    • Discouraged One

      Great song…I thought something bad was coming since the late 70s even though I was just a teen, but I never expected our government to sell us down the river completely.

    • Uncle Sam

      No they never taught us what was real….iron and coke, chromium steel.

      Yes, they lied to all of us.

  • Perfidy

    I have to say that I am offended by this article and the fact that it reflects such widespread sentiment; the 20th century was perhaps a time to nurture delusion, to wait patiently through puberty and public education for your caste-appointed labor allotment, learning your windsor knots and your dot.com tribal insider jargon, accepting your salary compensation for an artificial contribution to the lunacy of interlocking interdependent control systems. When I was growing up, kids boasted or whispered about their parents’ occupations as if this involvement was the measure by which their value was determined, and everyone politely pretended that these occupations were based on merit and skill and knowledge and not prostitution, institutionalised homosexual violence clubs (fraternity connections), racism, and black-mail.

    Now the mask is slipping, and the poverty of our condition is more apparent, and people only long for the days of our polite glad-handing half-truths. We are still encouraged to ignore the harder truth at the heart of the system, that mankind is actually an obsolete commodity, that his contributions to his economic systems are just ritual affirmations of his servitude and subordination to AI computer-model governance.

    I got a degree, and I work a crappy job for crappy pay. No benefits. I wish I could afford a baby with my wife, a nice vacation maybe, but I do not pretend that these things have ever been anything other than a caste-sanctioned display of usefulness to a given power structure. People should stop being so concerned with buying into the utility of the ruling classes and shut up about the american dream. It’s the 21st century; why are we still attached to the promise of sleep and dreaming? Wake up people.

  • Klean

    “Perhaps we should applaud our leaders for doing such a great job of destroying the American Dream.” … if anything.

  • Anthony

    If I could offer a little advice. I spent ~60months self/unemployed. I’ve been employed for the last 3 years now and have made some observations on hiring practices. I’ll start with the most important:

    1. Do not bother sending one single resume if you do not have a personal reccomendation from someone who works where you are applying. Your degree/experience is of very minor importance compared to WHO YOU KNOW at the company you are trying to get a job at. I can tell you from watching the hundreds of new hires where I work, that every single one of them have a friend who works here. If you don’t have a reccomendation from someone who works at your potential employer, then you aren’t getting the job. If you really want a job at a particular place of business and don’t know anyone who works there, then find out where the employees drink after work. Plenty of contacts can be made at the local watering hole. Sending 38,000 resumes is a waste of effort. Make a dozen friends with people who work at places where you want to work and you will have a job in no time.

    2. There are plenty of jobs available in a few particular sectors. Government, Banking, and Energy have hundreds of thousands of open positions. Government is as big as it has ever been. This means contractor jobs as well. This may mean MOVING to a location where there are available positions.

    3. Mobility is important. I eliminated all non-mortgage debt. My mortgage is only 1x my yearly salary (this used to be the standard.) In some areas this may mean renting, or renting with roomates. If you just lost your job and are not upside down on your house, the very first thing you should do is SELL that house, and then live on as little as possible to stretch out any unemployment income. Going 90 days late can be catastrophic as the Mortgage holder may start tacking legal fees onto your payoff.

    4. If you are unemployed then you should consider taking any offer to get your foot in the door. A temp job can turn into full time quickly in the right environment.

    5. Be persistent. The squeaky wheel gets the grease. You want to be annoying enough that friends, contacts, HR employees want to help you get what you need, but not so annoying that your persistence becomes a negative.

    The other option is to start your own business. Usually in the past, when unemployment has risen, a small business boom follows as the unemployed start their own businesses. However in the current economic climate this is very difficult.

    Good Luck on your Job Search

  • LM

    I have personally witnessed situations at no fewer than 3 companies I worked for where foreign people were hired instead of American citizens. These were well paying accounting and sales jobs for which there were many qualified American applicants.

    At one of the companies, the owner decided to sponsor several individuals for H1B visas and as part of the visa process, had to post job opening notices in various newspapers and online sites in order to “prove” that Americans were given an equal chance to be hired. The reality was that no Americans were ever actually considered for the positions.

    A former coworker of mine who got laid off with me in 2010 had just received her H1B visa prior to the layoff. Within two months she had landed a really nice auditing position at a Fortune 500 company. Although I was happy for her, I wondered how many equally qualified Americans she beat out for the position.

    I think this sort of thing goes on a lot more often than people realize. It seems like the deck is stacked against Americans in so many ways these days.

    • tex

      Perhaps if they went to work with an attitude that they had to give 100% effort and 100% commitment 100% of the time they would get and keep those jobs. But employers have learned that too many applicants are lazy and abuse sick time, family days, lunch hours, quitting time and benefit plans- so they are passed over or not even considered. People have to learn to make themselves indispensable and to go to whatever lengths to get and then keep that job. Sadly most people today just do not get it.

      • Gary2

        People have to learn to make themselves indispensable and to go to whatever lengths to get and then keep that job. Sadly most people today just do not get it.

        you are exactly right!

  • Crystal

    There are at least 2 factors that are causing the high unemployment rate in America.

    1)As mentioned above the shipping of middle class jobs overseas.

    2)According to NumbersUSA “the federal government continues to import more than 125,000 foreign workers every month.” Skill levels range from low to high so many lower-paying jobs and higher-paying jobs are being taken by foreigners.

    Immigration MUST be addressed.

    • Crystal

      I forgot to mention illegal immigration. Even though the illegal aliens take lower-paying jobs, many Americans need these jobs because of the scarcity of jobs.

      We are more than capable of doing these jobs.

      Illegal immigration must be stopped!

      • tex

        Most Americans wouldn’t take these jobs if offered. What? Scrub Shi_ters? Sort Recycling refuse? Pick tomatoes or lettuce? For how much an hour?? Are you nuts?? So the illegal takes it.. and soon he is laying floors or nailing on roofing or running the vegetable section at the market. Don’t blame the illegals and don’t blame the employers.

        • Gary2

          there is no job an american will not do if the pay is good. Yes no one is going to pick fruit all day for a dollar an hour.

  • Washington
  • erheault

    Still your most valuable asset is your family.

  • Bonus Gift

    Just as there are three keys to real estate so there are three keys to American employment, or lack thereof: (1) immigration, (2) immigration, and (3) immigration. Just as the solution to too much debt isn’t more debt, the solution to too much immigration isn’t more of it (legal or illegal).

  • 1984

    Americans have horrible attitude of entitlement. Thank your so-called education institutions. Americans have many vices such as cell phone addiction, sports, etc.. that interfere with real world. American children are, well.. a joke. As hotel owner in Virginia Beach, we hire Russian students who at least show up for work. Many problems with partying mindset of young Americans. Yes I will say that I would NOT hire any US student ever again. Many here feel same way. So go work at Burger King your ‘crown’ is waitng…

    • Colin

      Our sense of entitlement has been with us since the beginning of our country. In our Declaration of Independence, Thomas Jefferson wrote that humans have three inalienable rights – Life, Liberty, and the Pursuit of Happiness. As George Carlin said, if someone can take away your rights, they aren’t rights. They are privileges. Our Founding Fathers felt they were entitled to these inalienable rights, and they elected as a body to declare independence from England.

      • Old Man

        With due respect to the Founding Fathers, they obviously erred.

        Life – Life is not a right. Life arrives when you’re born, which you have no say whatsoever. Life disappears when your biological systems fail. You biological systems do not know anything about your rights.

        Liberty – Liberty is not a right. It is a state of geopolitical situation that gives you some defined set of freedom, for the moment. That situation must be created, maintained sometimes at great cost. It can die, or get corrupted. Therefore, it cannot possibly deliver to you any kind of inalienable rights.

        Pursuit of happiness – This is the most ridiculous of proposals. One can certainly try to pursue happiness, whatever happiness mean to you. It is something completely personal. Calling that a right is self-evidently a sort-of con game. Putting that in the Constitution, along with the rights to bear arms, are two of the grandest mistakes.

    • JJJ

      This is also why we should not let people like you in our country, because you incestuously hire your euro-trash gypsy family members. Hate to say, the guy with the stubby mustache was kinda right. I guess it’s too late for that though, Ser-gay.

  • Seratone

    Good article Michael. You are spot on about how people treat you differently when you are unemployed or under-employed. I’ll never forget the blank stares, and look of horror on peoples’ faces when I told them I was a lawyer working 20 hours a week. People always looked uncomfortable, and suddenly became uncomfortable talking to me.

    A year later, I lucked out and found a decent job. Now people tell me I should run for Congress. The difference in how people treat me is profound.

    • Michael

      It is very true.

      And perhaps you should run for Congress. :)

      Michael

  • Jon Q. Public Menace

    Good luck to all of you my fellow Americans. My prayers are with all of you.

  • a lot more trouble…

    Really did not want to write the news of a new round of layoffs so soon in the month but it’s picking up speed again.

    Albertsons to Cut Up to 2500 Jobs at California and Nevada Stores
    ‎Patch.com – 7 minutes ago
    Albertsons grocery stores will cut up to 2500 jobs in layoffs set to take place in two weeks.

    School may lose all but 2 teachers to layoffs
    ‎fox5sandiego.com – 21 hours ago
    SAN DIEGO — With more than 1500 layoffs on the horizon, nearly every school in the San Diego Unified School District will be affected next year. But one school …

    Things are getting so bad in RI that even the agency that help the unemployed find work is laying off.

    RI unemployment agency laying off staff
    Providence Eyewitness News – ‎1 hour ago‎
    By Melissa Sardelli PROVIDENCE, RI (WPRI) – Eyewitness News has learned that the agency in charge of helping to combat unemployment in the State of Rhode Island is getting ready to lay off dozens of workers. The Rhode Island Department of Labor and …

    Things are even worse in the rest of the world i could fill this blog with pages and pages of layoffs in Canada Greece UK Spain Japan, but i am not going to focus on that.

    Things are so bad here and for the global economy that they are calling on the Fed for more help, printing funny money again.

    Fed Must Be Ready to Help Job Market: Williams
    ‎CNBC.com – 1 hour ago
    The Federal Reserve must stand ready to take even more policy action to boost the ailing job market, the head of the San Francisco Fed says.

    US economy closer to need for Fed action, says Williams
    ‎Chicago Tribune – 16 minutes ago
    SEATTLE (Reuters) – The head of the San Francisco Federal Reserve Bank said on Wednesday a softening U.S. economy is getting close to a point where he …

    But don’t look to the stock market gains today as a sign that there is hope, usually in a severe recession and even a depression, the stock market swings erratically as wealthy investors seeks ways to make profits, in the stock markets, then pull out.
    Basically Day Trading.

    mondobeyondo recently wrote the lyrics of Venus by Bannarama

    He should have wrote the lyrics
    It’s a cruel, cruel summer…

    • Rodster

      The only Albertsons in my area is also closing it’s doors.

    • mondobeyondo

      Hmm, don’t ever recall posting the lyrics to “Venus”. I could be wrong.
      Besides, Shocking Blue (who did the original song in 1969) does a much better job than Bananarama did. Just my opinion.

      • Alot more trouble…

        Sorry Mondo,
        I must have had you on my mind, because I always read your comments,
        But It was
        SMASH THE CONTROL MACHINE writing the Venus song,
        that should have been
        “Its a cruel , cruel summer” lyrics instead.

    • Gary2

      thanks–Michael–you should give this poster a weekly section in one of your posts about the economy.

  • Dave

    Our value comes from our creator; not our job.

    I’ve been unemployed three times in my career. I’m now retired. I understand the pain of wondering when the next job comes that keeps food on the table for my family. To those who find themselves
    In this situation I have one suggestion.

    Understand that you have been created for a purpose by a loving God who wants you to know him. Cry out to him in earnest and he will reveal himself to you.

    With love and understanding.

    Dave.

    • stevefraser

      Excellent comment…thanks.

    • Icedmochanut

      How sad this article is, people living right next to us that we might not even know, suffering, ready to end it. We were made for each other, to help, support and love. Please dont be afraid to reach out for help. Do not let society define you. You will never find your worth there. Yes Dave!

  • John

    Hello All,

    I’ve been following this blog for awhile now and this article really struck a cord with me. I’m one if those over educated underemployed in this country and I feel for everyone that wants to work but can’t find a job. I have an MBA that I received in 2000. Worked in the nonprofit business for 6 years and then was unemployed for 10 months. I can relate to almost every emotion an unemployed person is thinking. I eventually reinvented my career and took a job with a medical company in 2009 and I will have 3 years with them inJuly. I work for less than half of what I use to make but they pay OT and I take everyone ones OT if they want. I pray for each of you that are looking and try to remain optimistic about our future which I will leave at that. I encourage each of you to ask everyone you know that has a job for a lead and take what you can. If you get one, keep your mouth shut and do whatever they ask…this is one if the reasons I get the OT now is I never complain and my young boss likes that. The best I can say is stay positive because that is one of the few things you have control of and never let anyone see you down. I have learned to smile and be upbeat when I didn’t think it possible and I believe it pays off. I’m praying for each of you reading this blog. Best wishes!!

    • Michael

      John:

      Thank you for praying for those that come to this site. My hope is that we can all join together to pray for those that are hurting and those that need jobs.

      Michael

    • Gary2

      same for me–I take all the OT I can get and my boss loves my work and attitude. I always have to laugh at the people where I work who complain about not having any money and then turning down OT when it is available. I will also be underemployed for 3 years this July. I have learned everything I can about the job I have and give 200% value for the small wage I get. I am now one of the go to guys.

  • mondobeyondo

    Oh noooooooo….

    I’ve been to the Tempe (Arizona) Improv a few times, although admittedly not lately. The Improv closed on June 1.

    http://www.azcentral.com/community/tempe/articles/2012/06/06/20120606tempe-improv-owner-found-dead-abrk.html

    What this story doesn’t say (at least until it’s updated) is that the police believe Anderson shot himself in that Buckeye hotel room.

    So you see, even people who have connections to comedians are apparently reaching the end of their rope. Just keep your heads up, no matter what.

  • md

    As an owner of a business that employs up to 50 people, it is a huge responsibility to keep things going so all of those people and their families can eat. There is the constant thought that our products and services may someday soon not be in demand due to people’s loss of spending power. This problem weighs in on both sides. Jobs are created by need only (at least in the private business world)

  • Dave

    My experience is somewhat varied ever the last few years in Australia, we have had high employment.

    I have two jobs, one at a mail centre and one at a supermarket, I am only 21, but I used to make over $75,000 with overtime from them, working 10+ hours a day, 7 days a week. Still living at home meant I had so much money. But I hated it. hated being cut off from everyone, and everything all the time..

    Since coming across this site, it has made me question whether lots money is something I really wanted, and I have now cut back significantly in order to return to a simpler, less consumption-based life. I became thankful for everything after realising how well even the poorest people live here compared to people in africa.

    As part of my job, I also delivered mail to some of the richest ‘old money’ suburbs in Australia. Massive palaces with a swimming pool and tennis court in every second house. I saw how unhappy wealthy people are even though they ‘have it all’, which put things in perspective. I realised that there is no use grinding away for corporate gain forever just for a few extra toys, and to perpetuate such inequality.

    I lowered my expectations of what I want out of life, and decided to learn new skills in my spare time like market gardening, repairing things, making things, and learning to cook great meals with anything, I have changed my focus to others and family rather than just myself.

    I now work only for the necessities of life <25 hours/week. And am so much happier.

    • Michael

      Dave:

      It is a pleasure to hear from somebody down in Australia. I have always wanted to visit Australia but I have never had the opportunity.

      Michael

      • Navy91

        Michael,

        Make the time and opportunity to visit Australia. Seriously! The country is gorgeous and the people are fantastic! I visited Sydney and Brisbane several years before they hosted the Olympics. I had the time of my life! I’ve been all over the Pacific and half of Europe but my favorite destination was Sydney. Truly, if you ever get the chance, do it. You won’t regret it!

        By the way, I loved the post. Keep up the good work! I’m a daily visitor.

        Mark

        • Michael

          Navy91:

          I would love to visit Sydney, but unfortunately now is not the time for me.

          So much to do and time is running out before the next crisis hits.

          Michael

    • Paul

      A friend of mine in England has only one job. He is a cleaner at a restaurant, for minimum wage, which is £6.08 per hour. He works only 32h per week.

      On the days he is working, he needs to work until 11pm, and start the next day at 8am. 3 hours in the morning, 5 hours in the evening until 11pm. After 11pm there is no bus home, but he can stay in a cot above the restaurant. As there are many parties on Friday and Saturday night, he cannot sleep until 2am. Returning home Sunday night he is totally exhausted. Going home at day time makes no sense either, because one way bus takes 1.5 – 2h.

      How long could someone do this kind of job? And if it is hard to get any job, should he stay, or complain and maybe lose this job?

      Last year he had a job at Royal Mail. They only started paying their staff after they lost most newly hired temps and the newspapers reported about unpaid Christmas temps.

      Now he might get another job with an agency. The application process takes ages and there is no guaranteed work. How can you survive the unpaid time until there is a job to do?

      How many agency jobs do you need just to survive?

      Did you ever use automatic cashiers in the supermarket? I rather take the queue at a human cashier. Even if all machines are empty. What’s the point of destroying all those jobs?

      To have their kids robbing my home?

    • GaryToo

      dave, you show a wise and mature attitude well beyond your 21 years, Im in the west where theres not enough workers and people are so well paid. Nobody even remotely thinks about what happens in europe or usa ever happemning here, but it will.

  • Floating Clouds

    I have a masters degree. Over a year ago, with city fiscal problems, my hours were cut. I applied for many jobs, in 3 states, but got no interviews. I am 60 years old. I was forced to apply for unemployment for the first time; and qualified for $1275 per month. My rent was $1250. I lived off of my meager savings until it was gone. I then cashed in what little retirement funds I had. I sold off my possessions on Craigslist and garage sales. My 3 beloved pets and I resided in an empty apt. I went from eating health foods, to getting my food from the food bank. I spent all day waiting in a line in a dangerous neighborhood hoping I would be eligible for social service benefits. It turned out that my unemployment income was too high. I received a small amount of food stamps, that ended after 3 mos. I finally got to where I ran out of food. I went for 3 days without food, and was too ashamed to tell anyone. I had one relative living in the rural part of the south. The rents there were half of what mine was. I had one credit card to my name with a maximum of $2500. I bought a ticket for myself and 3 pets and flew to the rural South where I could afford rent on my unemployment check. It is lonely and isolating and unfamiliar here. I have no car. I am worried about my unemployment shortly coming to an end. Homelessness is looming for this 60 year old woman, who has always worked, always actively volunteered in her community, and has nothing physically or mentally wrong with her. I fear most of all for my pets.

    • Michael

      Please don’t be ashamed to reach out for help. There are always organizations and churches out there that are willing to be of assistance, but sometimes you have to be willing to reach out and ask.

      Michael

    • Cinderella Man

      Hang in there even when you are living in a car and getting food in a soupline like I had to last year I swear to God it will get better. I pray for you and all who are suffering. You know these days we hear all this talk about a supposed recovery on the news and financials but this is where we hear the real story. Michael this is one of your best articles I hope you will do more in the future because this is the reason I love this website. Ive almost had enough about the Europe situation because stories like these strike a chord in all your commenters and visitors. This is the truth: the only recovery has been for the big banks and Wall Street firms. Joe and Jane average are struggling hard to just be able to eat. 2012 is going to be a year of testament. Ive lost before in this Depression and I wont always lose again. Keep fighting and like Michael and I said before when things get tough you gotta get a backbone and get kinda mean otherwise you are done for. Only cowards commit suicide!!

    • Diane C

      Floating Clouds – please know that in reading your story, you have many praying for you. I agree with Michael, reach out and someone will be there to help. I’m in a small community and the churches and others ALWAYS are there to help.

      God bless you, and your pets, from me and my 3 pets!

    • Paul

      Why not go to Detroit?

      Over there you can buy a property for half of your monthly rent.

      Anywhere else property prices are also declining, so you could cut your monthly expenditures drastically.

  • Kevin2

    May I suggest a field of employment that has provided pretty good opportunities?

    A power plant operator / stationary engineer / power engineer / operating engineer / combustion turbine specialist are all under the same umbrella of employment which is running and maintaining an electric generating plant. Fortunately they cannot charge a capacitor in the third world and discharge it into the grid in the civilized world. Electricity is not going out of style and with the abundance of natural gas the predominate mode of future generation will probably be combustion (gas) turbine combined cycle power plants. It does not require a conventional college degree but trade school ( Williams in Pa is about the best) and or US Navy experience with good mechanical know how will take you far. The pay can be very good to excellent with operators making $60 – 70K / year base pay and upwards of $100 K with overtime. The positions are virtually all rotating shift work (which over time is very difficult) and demand a certain “marriage” to the job. Variations of this line of employment are found in the natural gas distribution field and waste water treatment.

    I hate to see good Americans unemployed and this field has been rewarding for me.

  • Gary2

    Michael–whats your thought about describing this economy as the “New Normal”?? When I hear people say this I understand what they mean but it almost seems to be a resignation of a sort.

    Also in one of your articles a while back you reference the fourth turning book. Could you elaborate on this also in a future post??

    Thanks

    Gary2

    • Michael

      I think that “new normal” is perfect for what we are experiencing right now.

      And I actually don’t know much about “The Fourth Turning” but a lot of readers have cited it in comments. It has something to do with the cycles of history I think. A lot of people have told me that I should read it.

      Michael

      • tara

        Yes, read it – you’ll be stunned. And even more astonishing, it was written in 1997 and it reads like today – exactly. The Fourth Turning will be an altering book for you.

  • greeneyes

    This message is for Gary2. I am also from Wisconsin and we are so THANKFUL that
    our Governor Scott Walker has defeated this recall. Many of us were praying for him
    throughout this ordeal. We are rejoicing today.

    • Gary2

      yep–the GOP bought another election. This was the day our democracy was lost.

  • sistrunkqueen

    Michael

    This is the saddest post I have read on here.
    To the TEFLers.. I am also returning overseas to teach English in China.
    There are alot of teaching jobs in Asia and Latin America. To all the laid off teachers you can work in China or Asia until the job market comes back in the US.

  • Paul

    some prepping tips:

    Have your logins and passwords written down on paper with a pencil. And keep that paper safe. Very safe. One in each BOB.

    Do the same for all the phone numbers and e-mail addresses and addresses of friends and family.

    There might be a day, when your e-mail is hacked, your phone falls into a puddle, some electronic gadget is not available.

    When you change from one system to the other, take your time to transfer your data to the new system.

    I still have dias, photos, negatives, music tapes, VHS cassettes and floppy disks with stuff on them.
    I have no idea whether I will be able to recover them. My record player doesn’t work anymore. Good that you can buy new ones again.

    And then all those old things you still cling to, can be put in boxes somewhere or thrown away. Or give them to your local museum?

  • shypuffadder

    Floating Clouds, I am in a situation very similar to yours. And I also fear most for my pets. I am trying to start a clearing house for older American to band together as roommates – right now, most people hate the idea. But I think that will soon change.

    • imnotoldjustolder

      shypuffadder – my friends and I started joking, back in about 2008, when I was unemployed and struggling, that we would end up in a commune in our old age…. maybe that isn’t so far fetched?

  • Yuropean

    Well, be prepared that things turn around when you least wait it. Till 2008 I had 2 own businesses with 4,000,000 USD and 3,000,000 USD turnovers per annum respectively. Being 28 y.o. in 2008, holding Ph.D. in humanities and additional MBA. Crisis came… Wife “stuck knife” in my back and took all property, businesses went broke. It took me 3 years to rebuild to 6000 USD income after taxes per month now. 3 years of having 5 bucks in my pocket sometimes, sleeping in a car for months (yep, in winter time, below freezing), doing jobs like janitorial – cleaning urinals, and having to change 3 countries to live in… You better get ready, no matter if you have a perfect job, advanced degree, huge savings or whatever else good now… It could change in a moment.

    Michael, thanks for your great job and tremendous blogging efforts! If this helps to wake up hundreds, those in turn will wake up hundreds of thousands!

    • Michael

      Yuropean:

      I am trying my best to warn about what is coming from my spot on the wall. :)

      Michael

    • lee

      judas, that stinks. really sorry to hear that.

      i started preparing this year as i figure the US will make it thru 2012 no matter what happens everywhere else. i figure obama isnt about to let the SHTF until after election day or theres no way he’s re-elected; but by january 1, 2013; i will have no debts and at most a 1 year apartment lease in case i have to move for a job.

      one thing i was ahead on was the spouse. i spent a long time accumulating what i did and then 2008 took 1/2. no one else gets 1/2 until the US gets thru this debt deleveraging era. i just dont have another 1/2 to give and not retire as a government dependent.

    • DAS

      Even with a PHD you couldent figure out not to get married?

      • Me

        Win!

  • Ruth Barnes

    Obesity is one sad answer…. Believe it or not I was talking recently to a couple area people I have known for a few years. They asked me where I was working and I told them I currently have two part time jobs, with NO insurance of any kind. I just scrape by, month to month.

    They both told me; “Why don’t you start eating a lot more junk food, and get real fat like we are!”… they both are younger than I am, but get full disability and have insurance, because they are obese….

    • GaryToo

      you cant be serious?

    • Vladimir

      If this is true, then the end is nigh :-(

  • mondobeyondo

    “According to one survey, 42 percent of all American workers live paycheck to paycheck.”

    Imagine how the people who are getting NO paycheck at all are doing.
    The income stops. But the bills never stop coming.
    Help from friends? Hell, my friends are asking ME to help THEM!!
    You guessed it. Lots of sleepless nights.
    Which explains why I’m posting on this blog at 4:45am.
    Hopefully I can get a couple hours of sleep…

    • Michael

      I hope you can get some sleep too Mondo. We are praying for you.

      Michael

    • imnotoldjustolder

      Back when I was struggling and unemployed, I had a friend who made $90K asking me for money… It was holiday time and she had no money to make dinner for her kids, etc… She had lost her home, filed bankruptcy (all while having a great job!). Amazes me that some people just don’t know how to manage their money. I gave her some money out of my savings but it still irks me a bit…

    • Mustard Seeds

      You said it Mondo! Sleepless nights.

      We are concerned about our future, but now worried sick about extended family. They have been sharing their concerns as things get worse. Cutbacks at work. No more overtime. Doubling insurance premiums. Coverage reductions. Benefit reductions. Inflation.

      This morning was pretty rough.

      My sister called. Husband got laid off. The job went well for years. Lately, medical industry spiraling. Hospitals are cutting back. Five years ago, who would have thought?

      Then another call….from sis-in-law. My brother may get cut from his job this year. The stress is growing. Company made big announcement this morning. Put everyone on pins and needles.

      Both families made near 6 digits. Both rented early in life and saved up down payment for homes. Both have been paying faithfully on modest homes for 15 years plus. Worked hard. Reliable. Saved for retirement. No fancy vacations. Had kids later in life.

      401K’s haven’t been doing so great. And can’t sell homes in this market….not even when you are willing to move. Worried about losing everything.

      Starting over in your early fifties. Not a good prospect.

      What are people supposed to do?

      We have been trying to help, but it has been hard for us too lately. No pay raise for over 5 years, and inflation eating up every bit of our surplus.

      This is insane!

      Time for a worldwide reset. A do over.

      Only thing is….not sure what we could do differently. Everything goes along good for a while. Then one day everything you worked so hard for goes up in smoke.

      I think all these folks talking about God are right. He is the only thing that really matters. All the rest is just stuff. Sure is a hard lesson.

      I’m saying prayers for all who have posted here.

      • Michael

        Thank you for sharing that.

        There is very little job security today. Your job could be here today and gone tomorrow.

        Michael

        • Trish

          So true…. I heard the same thing today about the hospitals laying off… If I were to lose my job…. it wouldn’t be pretty.

  • Betsy

    I have been underemployed for over 2yrs., it has truly been hell. Nearly everyday I endure the scorn of others–that I should have a better job, that I am just not trying. I have worked part time minimum wage jobs here and there, believe me the part time minimum wage job world is not like the professional world at all! The competition is unbelieveably tough for these jobs, you wouldn’t think that would you? The ethics of the job place are entirely different, the lies workers tell on other workers, the dog eat dog stance, the fear and hate of those who have college degress is staggering to observe. The desperation is the saddest thing I have ever encountered. I have trouble dealing with the realization that my world has forever changed and that I live no better than someone in third world country. I did not go to college and work like hell to work service jobs for virtually no pay. I have barely been able to keep up with my rent and am losing my car. Depression has become overwhelming and just last night my boyfriend of 10yrs has told me he no longer feels the same about me. I know this is coming from the stress that poverty has brought to our lives. He has not suffered any lapse of employment and doesn’t understand how difficult it is to find any sort of work. I hate what the leftists have done. They seem only concerned with government workers and have ignored the problems with the economy and job market. I am angry, disgusted and ashamed that the American people voted for people who are undeniably socialist/communist. I currently am forced to accept public assistance for food and it really doesn’t help as much as one would think. After YEARS ans YEARS of paying taxes I have to worry where my next meal will come from after the foodstamps run out. I don’t want a hand out I want to become gainfully employed again. Where I live it seems the local economy runs off of medicaid and medicare, a doctor’s office on every corner. If you aren’t a doctor or nurse you can look forward to a lowly service job with ‘questionable’ coworkers and bosses. A local economy running off of the sick. I know it seems unbelieveable even to me and I see it everyday. This is how a socialist system would be, service jobs only. Working in welfare, healthcare or some sort of work in servitude (let’s call it what it is-not service but servitude). I am getting older toward middle age as all the gen xr’s and that is another stumbling block employers want the young, they can pay them less and some employers believe that they are a better bet, they believe they can work them longer and harder, they physically last longer. I remember the Reagan years, the years before NAFTA and the recession (depression is what it really is) and that may be the saddest part of all, that I remember a much better time, a time when you could work to care for yourself and enjoy at least a bit of your time here on Earth.

    • lee

      sorry, you have to go thru this.

      thats the thing i hate most about this. i’ve prepped and should be okay, but i can just look at other family and friends and know that when this really hits; its going to hit them hard and both parties let it get this bad.

      i’ve had dogs that had more sense than the politicians that have been running the country for the past 20 to 30 years.

      • Warren

        @lee

        Nothing happens in Washington by accident or because they didn’t know any better about the results of their decisions. It’s not ignorance on their part; it’s by design. That’s the hardest part to wake up to, but it’s where you have to start. This is an engineered problem.

        • Kev

          Oh yes.

    • Jim

      Betsy: I am moved by your post. Yes the middle class has been robbed of the American Dream. The key to where we are heading is to downsize NOW. I grew up in the ’50’s and life was way different. We had an old pre-WW2 home with a wood stove, no insulation, some outdoor potty’s, and a huge garden. I saw the nation changing in the early ’60’s as “California Dreaming” came and the youth headed for the free love, sex and the good life. Well those baby boomers now run the nation. There was not a moral force of any kind to stop the drug culture and “it’s all about me” movements. There will be great tribulation coming like a storm cloud and it is not stopable any longer. jmo

    • Old Man

      Betsy: I feel sorry for you. Your plight? No, because those with lower skill levels in America has long been doomed by competition around the world. (They have been propped by government massive borrowings from foreigners.) I feel sorry for you because your brain have certainly been quite washed by years of media washing:

      “American people voted for people who are undeniably socialist/communist…”

      It is the runaway American capitalist system that caused the current fiscal and economic disaster. Believe me, I have worked high in the capitalist and corporate system and I know. The great masters of capitalism are the one who blew up half the country to ‘maximize’ profit.

      Socialist? No doubt government spend a great deal of money on social welfare. But half of that is directly financed by special taxes – i.e. they are not ‘freebie’. As taxation falls, welfare promises established in the past cannot be paid without opening a tremendous deficit. You may call this ‘socialist/communist’. But it is the only thing right now that preventing almost 100 million depressed Americans from starting a real bloody revolution. And if they do, history will call this the American Revolution to reject capitalism and embrace socialism. Now clear your mind of the washing and think about that.

      • Poorboy2

        I think Betsy has it more right than you Old Man. The socialist/communist forces have been subverting our country for decades. Half of our Democrat representatives in congress espouse socialist/communist philosophies. Our problem is not with capitalism, it is with corporatism, big companies/conglomerates (run by those that consider themselves elite) that now control almost all of our resources. These elites are working through socialism/communism to return us to more like a fuedal system of serfs and lords (and of course they are the lords). As for the bloody revolution, that is something they want. They will keep on pressing until they get it so they can use it to reduce the population and conserve resources for themselves (manage the earth). The only hope is that when this revolution comes, it is organized well enough and has the right moral footing to succeed, otherwise we are going to have another dark age.

      • Me

        Heh embrace socialism…

        While I agree the Capitalists have basically strip-mined this country metaphorically speaking…

        You yourself admit socialist programs are based on taxation. Which is fine and all but…

        Where the hell are you going to get your money in a fully socialist system? The money fairy?

    • http://msn.com thisonewilldo

      Betsy, boy, I sure can relate. Talk about a turnabout and betrayal. I am about to lose my job of 12 years. The company I work for is notorious for coercing people to resign rather firing employees to stop newly departed from collecting unemployment. The fortunate ones left on the rolls know they’re time is up next. The shock of not going to work was soon replaced with the shock of staying home and having neighbors drop for an unexpected (yet almost daily) visit (bum rushing) to learn just how dire everyone’s circumstances appear to be versus how they really are. Neighbor’s children, their mothers are welfare come over to eat dinner because that’s the only meal of the day. Some come in to stake out the place in order to steal. Shocking numbers of young adults unemployed walking the streets wanting someone to talk to (their parents busy working and unavailable), nicely dressed clean cut kids asking for any cans that can be returned (this also includes older people!,welfare mothers with kids collecting food stamps, and cash assistance saying it’s payday on the lst! when they’ve never even worked a day in their life. Want to know what America really is like? Spend a week at home and invite your neighbors and their kids over. If they are honest it will only take them a few hours to they admit that they’ve lost their jobs, collecting unemployment and only months away from foreclosure and that they don’t even have the nerve to tell their families the truth of what they’re facing. People please wake up. Be honest and truthful about your situation to your family. The sooner everyone accepts reality and gets on board the better off everyone (including bum rushed neighbors) will be.

  • Evie

    About the unions. Their pension money like 401k has already been stolen and squandered. Who in their right mind would.want to pay more into it? Just to keep the ponzi going for longer to pay others who are already collecting and politican entitlements. Last time I checked people do things to benefit themselves.

  • pete

    Okay, we’ll blame “globalists” or greedy bankers…

    No, I think the real blame for being stupid falls on people that are stupid..

    If you were under the impression that college would be a gaurantee of employment, or that you could safely borrow 500K with a 100% certainty of employment to repay it or turn your paid for car for a 65K new cash for clunker???? Sorry, but that’s stupid.

    All of that is the old way of thinking. Back when we had solid money and it was worth something.

    They tossed me down the stairs enough that I wised up. I bought a place for cash…fixed it up as time and money allowed….lived within my means and converted cash into gold and silver way before it was trendy or fashionable to do so.

    HELLO!!! That’s old and dated thinking too isn’t it? It is going to suck from now on…..unless we get rid of the fed and that silly notion that you can borrow whatever you want to have whatever you like.

    Do we want that back…the idea that buger flippers can have a McMansion? Or should we long for, wait, desire and save for what we want?

    We needed to get knocked down a peg or two kids….sorry.

  • Stan522

    I 100% agree… attitude is everything. This state of mind is a self fulfilling prophecy. It’s a cycle down, as well as a cycle up. It’s measured in consumer confidence. In past years in this country, we’ve had lowered consumer confidence, but under the management (I’d say leadership, but this guy can’t lead, only divide)of the chairman, he is driving us into the abyss.

    In my opinion, it’s on purpose. It’s part of his attempt to reduce the impact the United States has in the world. It’s part of the liberal mantra that feels guilty for our good fortune. That attitude is destroying our country.

  • jgusc

    I can’t find QUALIFIED workers for my company. I advertise for a simple dispatcher position and I get “resumes” with statements like “very qualified at surpassing all excellence” – sounds like my dog wrote it. And when you interview them and ask “what was the last book you read” and they CAN’T REMEMBER the last time they even read a book I know we’re doomed. Then tell them “no facebook or myspace during work hours” and they almost go into a withdrawal fit. We’ve have dumbed down the graduating classes to the point where they can’t compete against 65 year old retirees looking for more work. There was an article recently about a blog reporter going to a fast food outlet drive through with a real US GOLDEN Eagle, face value of $50.00 – actually worth about $1600.00. He tried to buy something off the dollar menu, and the girl at the window said “we don’t take gold”. So the guy asked for the manager and the manager said “this is no good”.

    We spawned this baby, and we’re gonna have it for the next 50 years.

    • Anne

      I hear you – People rely so much on electronic money via their credit/debit cards that they literally don’t know what physical cash looks like. My husband found a “foreign” coin in a vending machine; he showed it to me and it was a Sacajwea dollar. He said he’d never seen one before. “When did they start making those?” “Oh, about 12 years ago.”

      Well, I’d better get back to my job while I have one… Good luck out there.

    • Jim

      We hired a high school grad to work at our espresso bar. We trained her and when her boyfriend came for a $3.00 drink, we told her that it was half price for him. She could not do the math. We let her go right away.

  • Robert

    I guess it’s time for everyone to wake up and realize that the monetary system that we have don’t work (better yet, it works very well for the bankers, owners of the Earth). Only an honest monetary system, made to serve the people, and not the other way around, can bring decency back. All the resources are there, all the people, talent and will, the only thing lacking is a decent medium of exchange.

    LOOK for the Monetary Reform Act.

  • Jay

    Where there is no vision, there the people perish. The last few elections have all been about money, jobs and the economy. God has been completely left out of the equation and the thinking of American citizens. Soon America’s tolerance of homosexuality will turn into outright gay marriage as the law of the land and still, no one lays it to heart that America has forgotten God. Did America really expect a different outcome than what it is getting?

    • Gay Veteran

      Jay, why are you fixated on sex? why are you determined to use the power of the state to impose your pathetic religious views on everyone else?

      • The Claymobile

        Gay Veteran, by passing gay marriage laws, arent you using the power of the state to force your views upon those of us who view homosexual marrige as repulsive and culturally sucidal???

      • Louise in MO

        GAY VETERAN

        I didn’t get the opinion that Jay was pushing his “religious views” on anyone. He is, however, free to express his opinion, and if that includes GOD, then so be it.

        However, people on the left are more than willing to castrate anyone whose views are different than there own.

    • Mom

      Rick Santorum was trying to do that, but people didn’t seem to want to listen to him.

    • Degreed AndBroke

      Jay, moral values and belief in God/Supreme Being, etc foster positivity, concern for others, hope and a reason to persevere etc in bleak times with disillusionment and a future filled with frightening possibilities.

      And you are entitled to your opinion, but … SERIOUSLY? We brought this on ourselves, most of “us” actually being the unfortunate victims of the actions/decisions and downright machinations of others long before us as well as those currently in power–visibly and behind the scenes. This has long been planned and carefully orchestrated by certain elitists with a personal agenda.

      But to blame the growing economic crisis not just on “losing sight of God” but go on to single out people’s sexual orientation and their personal rights to marry, etc.?? What bearing or true significance does THAT have in the Big Picture?

      If you find yourself without food one day and the only person you know that might have any and be kind enough to share it is gay, are you REALLY going to care more about something that’s none of your business than just being grateful to have something to eat because of their generosity–something I foresee becoming increasingly scarce along with everything else?

      People’s sexual orientation has no bearing or correlation to the global economic collapse. I’m straight but the most sincere and generous people I’ve known have been gay. So to be blunt, your comment about gays and our tolerance of them was not only rude to gays, it was not even relevant.

      So let’s agree to disagree on that.

      • Louise in MO

        Again, Jay is free (at least it says so in the First Ammndment) to say what he believes.

    • Larbo

      Jay, you are absolutely correct. America left God. Now, God will leave us to our own undoing. When Gods hand was on America, He steered us and protected us. But, we have betrayed God, We have taken God out of nearly everything in America. God has warned us through the years, with consequences for our wrong doings. Did we listen? NO. We continued on the wide path, not the narrow. God Bless America? Once upon a time, but now, I don’t think so. Even our most gracious God, loving and forgiving, will allow us to our worldly demise, if we choose that. I pray for America and for all the people of the world. Ask God to Bless America again….it is not too late…YET!

  • jsmith

    How many of those unemployed drive foreign cars? How many of those that replied to the article are driving foreign cars? Foreign? Yes, that’s where the jobs went. To foreign countries! That is why we have high unemployment here. Wake up you fools!

    • mondobeyondo

      I’m unemployed, and I drive a Chevy Cavalier.

  • Kelby

    I have TRIED, over and over, to tell my parent about all this, about how our economy’s being completely destroyed, but of course they’re sheep and they’ll hear none of it! “Quit listening to those negative economists!! They cant pedict the future!!” Uh, yes they can, with the statistics and facts all around the world!! They REALLY think the economy goes through cycles, well if it wasnt for this God forsaken Federal Reserve and all the NWO hacks of the world, it wouldnt BE in a cycle, it would be just GROWTH all the way!!! And, well, that was the case for a long time, but now, because of this debt, the fiat currency and the lost manufacturing we’ve had, we’ve reached the breaking point. I learned so much more about Economics from Ron Paul than anyone else ever could!!

    And, “Made in the WORLD???” HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAAAA!!!!!!!!

    • Me

      There’s no such thing as perpetual growth unless you happen to be able to harvest fricking Jupiter.

      It was just a really long upswing.

      Winning a major war, with all other world powers in shambles, establishing the world’s reserve currency, and having a metric ton of nukes will do that.

      Everyone else wasn’t “growing”.

  • DEFCONStudios

    Michael here is a great quote from George Carlin the comedian (Rest in Peace):

    “Forget the politicians. The politicians are put there to give you the idea that you have freedom of choice . . . you don’t. You have no choice. You have owners. They own you. They own everything. They own all the important land. They own, and control the corporations. They’ve long since bought, and paid for the Senate, the Congress, the state houses, the city halls, they got the judges in their back pockets and they own all the big media companies, so they control just about all of the news and information you get to hear. They got you by the balls. They spend billions of dollars every year lobbying . . . lobbying, to get what they want . . . Well, we know what they want. They want more for themselves and less for everybody else, but I’ll tell you what they don’t want . . . they don’t want a population of citizens capable of critical thinking. They don’t want well informed, well educated people capable of critical thinking. They’re not interested in that . . . that doesn’t help them. That’s against their interests. That’s right. They don’t want people who are smart enough to sit around a kitchen table and think about how badly they’re getting fucked by a system that threw them overboard 30 fuckin’ years ago. They don’t want that. You know what they want? They want obedient workers . . . Obedient workers, people who are just smart enough to run the machines and do the paperwork. And just dumb enough to passively accept all these increasingly shittier jobs with the lower pay, the longer hours, the reduced benefits, the end of overtime and vanishing pension that disappears the minute you go to collect it, and now they’re coming for your Social Security money. They want your fuckin’ retirement money. They want it back so they can give it to their criminal friends on Wall Street, and you know something? They’ll get it . . . they’ll get it all from you sooner or later cause they own this fuckin’ place. It’s a big club and you ain’t in it. You and I are not in The big club. By the way, it’s the same big club they use to beat you over the head with all day long when they tell you what to believe. All day long beating you over the head with their media telling you what to believe, what to think and what to buy. The table has tilted folks. The game is rigged and nobody seems to notice. Nobody seems to care. Good honest hard-working people . . . white collar, blue collar it doesn’t matter what color shirt you have on. Good honest hard-working people continue, these are people of modest means . . . continue to elect these rich cocksuckers who don’t give a fuck about you. They don’t give a fuck about you . . . they don’t give a fuck about you. They don’t care about you at all . . . at all . . . at all, and nobody seems to notice. Nobody seems to care. That’s what the owners count on. The fact that Americans will probably remain willfully ignorant of the big red, white and blue dick that’s being jammed up their assholes everyday, because the owners of this country know the truth. It’s called the American Dream cause you have to be asleep to believe it . . .”

    You can find more quotes here:

    http://www.alternativereel.com/soc/display_article.php?id=0000000019

  • JJ The Fed

    After 911 I fought tooth and nail to land a security job with Uncle Sam. Best move I ever made.

    JJ The Fed

    • Me

      Good idea man, how do I get one?

  • Warren

    My story is a little different, but hard times are hard times so I assume it’s still relevant.

    I graduated high school in 1991 and went straight to work at a factory making $12.00/hour. While working, I enrolled in college and finished about 2.5 years worth, but didn’t complete my degree. My wife got pregnant and I had to work the full time job at the factory plus two part-time jobs to make up for my wife’s lack of work when she came down with toxemia. I had to quit school to do it, but we made it. In 1996, I got a job in an IT department at a different factory and then transferred over to the sales department in 2000 where I was making $50,000/year + $30,000 bonus. I was incredibly fortunate to make $80,000/year without a college diploma. Unfortunately, in 2007, I became very ill and had to go on long-term disability (via insurance not government). My salary went from $80k to $25k. Talk about austerity!

    To make it, I had to cash out my 401k to pay off medical bills and accruing debt, but we are down to just a mortgage only. Now, I’m cured and it’s time to go back to work and what I’m encountering is nothing like I’ve ever seen before. For starters, manufacturing jobs have been eviscerated. I would gladly go back to the $12/hour level I had in 1991, but those jobs don’t exist. The factories that are still here require you to go to a temp agency and the going rate is $9/hour with no benefits. For office work, the competition level is through the roof due to the saturated market of young college graduates. The best example I can give of how desperate people are is this: There were 3,000 applicants for 7 jobs at a local Chic-fil-a fast food joint. Oh, and I forgot to mention, we’re in an area that hasn’t been hit as hard as most places.

    Good luck to everyone. I’ll pray for you all.

  • Frank

    “America in Decline?” Absolutely YES!!! And although Obama is a big factor in that decline, the big government loving GOP is also at fault! Basically the USA has become an out-of-control Big Brother welfare/warfare/Police State now headed towards an unsustainable debt level & financial collapse. When will we wake up to the threat & change course back to a small, limited, Constitutional Federal Government, self reliance (instead of government dependence), mind out own business in foreign affairs (unless we are directly attacked or threatened at home) & return to the liberties we are supposed to enjoy? When will we return to sound money (gold/silver) & let the free market place determine interest rates & prices instead of an uncontrolled Federal reserve that can print up money at will & artificially set interest rates? When will we return to the US Federal Government spending only 3% of GDP instead of the nearly 25% of GDP it now squanders? THIS GENERATION OF AMERICANS HAS KILLED THE AMERICAN DREAM OF A BETTER PLACE TO LIVE IN THAN WHAT IT WAS BORN INTO!! Shame on America & this selfish generation!!!

  • Jugears McKenyan Sr

    Tell ya what and this isn’t whining at all, but I’ve had MS since I was 36 and I’m now 48 and while I was doing fine until Jugears came along as I was a printer at the Chicago Tribune I segued into web coding and graphic design but even THAT little kids in India do on Freelance dot com for 3 bucks an hour.

    I won’t do it if that’s the case, and then that means try working out there when you’re crippled. You don’t get hired until all the able bodied and nice looking chicks with huge mongas who all do web design now are hired before they hire some crippled 46 year old man they think can’t use an Ipad… It’s over until everyone else is working out there for guys like myself, that’s for sure …… but I keep jammin and making it, just not how I had it dreamed and planned, not even close.

    But If I can you can do it, but it ain’t easy, especially on one leg. So be thankful if you have your health because it CAN get worse. :(

  • LM

    @Floating Clouds – do you like children? I’m a working mom going insane and losing my health trying to work the hours necessary to keep my job while trying (and often failing) to keep up with everything else… chores, groceries, helping with homework, making dinner, etc. I can’t afford to pay the going nanny rates, but I can afford to give someone a room, food, and a small amount of money in exchange for some help managing things at home. I’d take someone with pets as long as they’d help take care of mine, too. I wish there was a safe place where I could find an educated, healthy older woman who would welcome an arrangement like this. I have to believe I am not the only one who needs help managing life while trying to keep a job. Maybe churches could help put people together that could help each other survive these crazy times.

    • tara

      You’ve put forth an excellent idea, LM. Let’s hope Floating Clouds reads this posting again. Things like this should come from the churches and synagogues.

  • William

    While not all those in difficulty voted for and supported the Smirking Chimp and war criminal Bush, many did. This nightmare started with Bush. Clinton left four straight balanced budgets, including the excess paid in S/S….BUT, a balanced budget is a balanced budget. In waltzes the Smirking Chimp, who gives the nation two tax cuts the country could not afford, and unnecessary wars of choice based on LIES that have cost over a TRILLION dollars, all borrowed. Yes, the failed and phony Obummer is a total disgrace, and has not improved anything. But, the genesis of this economic nightmare rests with the Shrubber and the Republican Party. Finally, if you believe the official US government story of 911, you are a total IDIOT.

    • Gay Veteran

      Clinton signed the repeal of the Glass-Steagel Act who let the banksters go wild

      • Old Man

        Yes Clinton signed the Glass-Steagel repeal. But it was Congress who wrote it and passed it with enough votes to override a veto.

        Anyway, the repeal only permits commercial banks to engage in standard insurance business. Both are regulated business. Such as Citigroup buying up Traveler Insurance after the Act. This DID NOT cause the subsequent creation of the Wall Street monster.

        What permitted the financial recklessness is a secret insider deal led by Goldman Sacks who got the SEC to sign off allowing INVESTMENT BANKS to leverage their assets up to 40 times from 10. This is the genesis of the creation of all those mortgage derivatives and other toxic stuffs, which they pass into the economy to corrupt the housing market. This insane deal was done under Bush, by his SEC appointee, under the ideology of maximum de-regulation.

  • Evie

    Geez the foreign cars are made in the usa and gm is producing in china. People have the right to produce robo resumes as employers only collect key words. Dispatchers do not have to read books but maps.

  • davidmpark

    Another solution that helps when the depression and despair get to me is to build something. Tools, hutches, toys, machines; anything is possible when you have the basics written down and formulas to follow.

    Usually after building something (even if it’s total rubbish), the rush of achievement is a natural high!

    I have two standing orders for homemade rabbit hutches and three for oak walking canes. Just from people seeing and experiencing my handiwork.

  • http://http//hawaii.gov Leland Long

    I live in Hawaii, Honolulu, and our economy is doing much better then other states. There are many job openings with the State government, I also work for the State and have been employed for 30 years now. Some of these jobs do not require a college degree. Please see the jobs web site for the Hawaii State government at http//hawaii.gov

    Good Luck, God Bless you and Aloha,
    Leland

    • Old Man

      Careful announcing this. You state will be flooded by a million unemployed. And you might have to declare independence and restore the Hawaiian Queen to kick out the foreigners.

  • http://economiccollapseblog.com bill

    trust me im not braggin i comer from a family of 10 and we are blue collar workers that never relied on goverment for crap.
    we have common sense,hate facebook have old fashion values,we all work,some of us toke small paycuts some of us didnt.
    we dont work at the same place but are skilled workers from plumbers,sheet metal workers,wood workers,mechanic a nurse and an electrician(i think that covers it)but we all work even in the worse of times.
    if you rely on the goverment you are screwed period rely on yourself and youll never be let down

  • SMASH THE CONTROL MACHINE

    I JUST SITTING IN MY CAR WAITING FOR MY GIRL ????DO YOU GET IT????LET ASK THE KIDS AT TIANANMEN SQUARE THEY GOT MORE BALLS THAN MOST AMERICANS!!Why don’t you ask the kids at Tiananmen square?
    Was Fashion the reason why they were there?

    They disguise it, Hypnotize it
    Television made you buy it

    I’m just sitting in my car and waiting for my…

    She’s scared that I will take her away from there
    Her dreams that her country left with no one there

    Mezmerize the simple minded
    Propaganda leaves us blinded

    I’m just sitting in my car and waiting for my girl
    I’m just sitting in my car and waiting for my girl

    I’m just sitting in my car and waiting for my girl
    I’m just sitting in my car and waiting for my

    Girl http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=y7ShyzS3W28!!!!!

    • Kelby

      SYSTEM OF A DOWN! :D the most relevant band out there (besides Rage Against the Machine of course)

      • Kelby

        Here, let me sing with you my friend:

        Dead men lying on the bottom of the grave
        Wondering when Savior comes,
        Is he gonna be saved?
        Maybe you’re a sinner into your alternate life
        Maybe you’re a joker, maybe you deserve to die

        CHORUS
        They were crying when their sons left,
        God is wearing black,
        He’s come so far to find no hope
        He’s never coming back
        They were crying when their sons left
        All young men must go,
        He’s come so far to find the truth
        He’s never going home

        Young men standing on the top of their own graves
        Wondering when Jesus comes
        Are they gonna be saved
        Cruelty to the winner, bishop tells the king his lies
        Maybe you’re a mourner, maybe you deserve to die

        Chorus

        Welcome to the soldier side
        Where there’s no one here but me
        People all grow up to die
        There is no one here but me…

  • Buddy

    True. Those who are still employed do not know what the unemployed feel. I am employed today but was unemployed for a while. If I even have time today to even notice who is unemployed or not, or what’s going on out there? NO! Today I understand why I was so misunderstood when I was jobless, and people couldn’t get why I was not working. There is no time, there is too much pressure in the job, and plus, when you are not living a situation you can hardly understand it. It’s hard to be unemployed and looking for a job, believe me.

  • BFH

    I know full well what is coming. it is too damn obvious to ignore. I have paid of ALL my bills and am debt fee. I own my nice country home outright. I am a slim, attractive man of 57 and can’t seem to find a good woman no matter where I look. Just drunks and dope heads. So, I’m sorry but when I read all these blogs of despair I have to ask is this just a mans problem? Where are all the ladies who’d give anything to have security, love and a future?
    We all have our problems and I’m sorry to say it’s going to get worse,much worse. If any of you know a decent woman who needs a break and to start over with hope and a chance because she has lost everything have her email me at Timex421@aol.com. Till then please prepare for your families people.

  • BillybonesIII

    It is absolutely heart-breaking to sit here and read these letters. I am 79 and was blessed with a time of plenty. The work was there for anyone willing to work.
    In the 50’s and on the work was there. But no one was satisfied with the wages – soooo – unions demanded more money so Mr Jones could buy a bigger car, house etc.
    We all have a piece of where we are now. I have to share the blame here too. But unless everyone is completely blind, this has been on both horizons for more than 30 years now.
    I have to ask – how many people in bankrupsy now have or have lost all or most of the expensive toys on the market today.
    – Cell phones – 0 to several hundred dollars each plus contracts and phone bills running in the hundreds a month!
    – computers
    – video game consoles
    – video game (cartridges 40 to 100 dollars each!
    – ipods, ipads etc (heck, people sit out on the sidewalk days before the newest model is in the store and guess what? It goes on a charge card costing 18 to 27 % interest on the purchase price!

    Are we stupid or what??

    And how many people have been evicted from a house they couldn’t afford in the first place! I know, I know, those lousey bankers made it possibe didn’t they? But who signed their name on the mortgage?

    Sorry, I don’t have any answers. I guess little Pogo had it right, “The enemy is us.” and in this instance, “The problem is us.”

    Maybe now we’ll listen to God. Let the Bible and prayer back into the classroom.

    • SunShine

      Need good investors to turn around some of these desperate areas like Detroit and have them run on clean solar energy.
      Recent insert in elec bill states NONE, zero power source from solar. Why not? Is solar viable and a competition to big oil?
      Part -maybe all- of the worlds woes has to do with the too-much-money-now-want-to-own-and-control-the-world-crowd. (Maybe need to add wealth discrimination to sex, race etc. anti-discrimination laws so the man of modest means can have his say too with these club of Rome types)
      If-according to this website, http://www.green-agenda.com/gaians.html the quotes from some of these moneyed mouths like Maurice Strong, who is said to own thousands of acres in Colorado, land of the creepy Denver airport, are correct they really resent a decent standard of living for the people of modest means that have air conditioning.
      GOOD GRIEF! The horrors of it all! An air conditioner!
      The dirt poor living on something other than a dirt floor?!?! Oh no, cant have the people live a decent life with dignity, that’s not sustainable.
      Do you really believe in order to save the planet we have to be poor homeless and hungry?
      One wonders why they themselves aren’t lowering their standard of living.

      I think the best thing that could happen is to move away from oil based energy.
      People for Prosperity.

  • toomanyfakeconservatives

    I don’t come here much anymore because there is virtually no talk of events that could turn things around radically. I for one believe that the following events will come to pass in the near future: 1. MASS ARRESTS of federal scumbags and the virtual dissolution of the federal government. 2. Repurposing of FEMA camps to be used on “them” rather than “us”. 3. Repurposing of the U.S. Military into a humanitarian organzation that helps global hotspots rather than bombing them. 4. Ron Paul installed as President temporarily until legit elections with legit candiates can be helped. 5. Massive decentralization and a roaring return of the Constitution, czars, most laws, most courts, etc all invalidated.

    • Kelby

      Ahhh, i hope so!!! But when?? After the Greater Depression? I hope so!!

    • John W.

      You need to sober up. The real scumbags will still be running things.

  • Max Speedwell

    Thirty years ago it was tough. My boss was arrested (had no idea he was wanted in THREE states, or even wanted…) lost my job, housing, fiancee’, subsisted on hot water and potato powder concentrate, and so much more happened that wopuld take too long to tell. In 1981 I had two jobs, which totalled about 11 hours/wk, and was losing weight fast. For the next 31 years I planned, kept ahead of financial trends, and kept myself safe. I didn’t want to ever go through that again. Today I so very suddenly found myself about three weeks from losing my job. I tried to keep myself safe but the greed, and lack of planning by others has caused an end to my job.
    Eight of us will be leaving. Some of them are just young kids with families, and mortgages. This is all so sad. It’s what happens when America forsakes her God.

  • mpugh

    For any of you who voted for change you can believe in, and plan to vote for the same person again, how’s the change going for you? As for me, I’m on Zoloft now but at least I know who I’m NOT voting for.

  • DEFCONStudios

    Michael,

    Here is another great quote from the Movie Matrix (1999):

    “Morpheus: The Matrix is a system, Neo. That system is our enemy. But when you’re inside, you look around, what do you see? Businessmen, teachers, lawyers, carpenters. The very minds of the people we are trying to save. But until we do, these people are still a part of that system and that makes them our enemy. You have to understand, most of these people are not ready to be unplugged. And many of them are so inured, so hopelessly dependent on the system, that they will fight to protect it.”

  • raistlyn

    Hi. Never had a problem getting a job. Guess what? I’m skilled in my field. I don’t sit around trying to drum support for people to buy my books with hyperbole. You are a predator. You are hurting these people who really want to help themselves. STOP.

  • mondobeyondo

    Well, we’ve lost another one…

    Bob Welch, former guitarist for Fleetwood Mac. Dead at 66. Self inflicted gunshot wound. His big hits were “Ebony Eyes” and “Sentimental Lady”.
    ————————-
    Please – if for any reason you feel discouraged, in pain, living in a tent down by the river, hopeless, or terminally ill – reach out to someone. Anyone. There is help out there, and there is hope out there, too. Let God call the shots, not you. Since He created you, He has the right to decide when you’ll take your final bow in this life. Not you.

    • mondobeyondo

      You’ve heard this song, somewhere, some time in your life. If you didn’t already know, now you know who wrote and sang it.

      “Sentimental Lady” – Bob Welch (rest in peace..)

      http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jE9CW-QHoUo&feature=related

    • mondobeyondo

      And just in case you’re curious (which I’m sure you’re not, hehe) – Yes. That is Christine McVie of Fleetwood Mac, singing the backup vocals on Sentimental Lady. (“Oh, I believe it…”)

      After Bob left the band, Fleetwood Mac would go on to release hits such as “Dreams”, “Tusk”, and “Don’t Stop (Thinking About Tomorrow)”, which became a Bill Clinton campaign song. Yeah.

  • BlueRoo

    Hi. Never had a problem getting a job. Guess what? I’m skilled in my field.

    Some of us just really lucked out.

    My recommendation: Get a college degree, get a Secret-level or higher security clearance, speak a second language, and speak, read and write English very well. THOSE jobs are just about the only jobs that can’t be shipped overseas right now… oh, unless of course you get deployed. Oh well, at least the pay and benefits are there.

    I’m racing the clock to pay off my debts while I still have a good job. It’s scary.

  • Steve

    Maybe the union workers in that Ohio town with the Ford plant should have sucked it up and voted to work weekends. It’s their own stupid fault that they all don’t have jobs now.

  • Grandee

    Sigh–My hubby and I were just talking about this over coffee this morning. He is a Fireman and I a stay at home mom most of the children’s growing up years. We are getting ready to retire and feel we have been fruggle enough over the past 38 years to be able to do it. However, we have taken in my sister to live with us as she has lost everything – home, hubby, savings, all her retirement. The only thing left is her job, thank God, and she still has that. Just yesterday my youngest daughter called to ask if we would be able to help out one of her firends. The friend works 2 jobs, but the husband has not worked in two years. He has become the Mr Mom for their three children. She called my daughter to say they needed help with groceries. My husband has a friend who is in terrible debt and ill health and has little health insurance. Our oldest daughter is living check to check and yet both she and hubby have jobs. “There just isn’t enough money to go around”, she says.
    We send “care packages” of meat and veggies often. My hubby asked this morning if I thought he would be able to retire after all as so many family and friends need help. Firefighting is a young man’s job. He should retire. But will he be able to ? Sigh. Who would have thought this of America the Beautiful. The Land of Opportunity. Sigh.

    • Michael

      Grandee:

      Thank you for sharing that. There are millions of families out there that are going through similar struggles and we never hear about them on the news. Hopefully this article and the comments are shining a bit of a light on what is really going on out there.

      Michael

  • Cheri

    Dear “Imnotoldjustolder”… Me, too! Where do you live? I was thinking about the possibility of living in a commune a couple of weeks ago. I’m a 60 yr. old divorcee (TWICE) and live alone with my little Cairn Terrier. I wanted to live in a commune in the late 60’s, but I was a couple of years too young..The one time I tried to run away to Greenwich Village (NY)with my best friend in ’67, a neighbor gave us up to my Dad before we could begin our journey and we had to endure a 2 hour lecture! (My Dad LOVED to give long, drawn-out lectures.) At any rate, I’ve been unemployed since November of 2011 from New and Used Car Sales, which I did for 25 years. I despise selling cars now, and haven’t had ANY luck trying to find a job outside of the Automobile Industry..and am also on anti-depressants…AND DO feel like my life is over! I would love to get 40 or 50 people together (or more) to begin a commune..If everyone put in $1,000 towards a roof over our heads and the basics needed to grow our own food and buy some cows and chickens, it seems very possible that we could create our own self-sufficient community! What do you think?
    Cheri

    • imnotoldjustolder

      I’m in AZ – where are you?

    • John W.

      Cheri,
      It won’t work for the same reason that Communism and Socialism cannot work. Simple human nature will result in a large number of the commune just goofing off while a few hard workers do all the chores and pay for everything. Read the history of Plymouth and Jamestown where they tried the group thing and just about starved. Those that survived the first Winter that is. If you are a layabout then this might work for you for awhile but if you are one of the hardworkers you will just get pissed and leave.

  • Cheri

    Dear “toomanyfakeconservatives” Boy, are YOU wrong!! I wish so much that you were RIGHT, but I’m afraid you are not. There will be NO “mass arrests of Federal scumbags or the dissolution of the Federal Government…What WILL happen, though, is the BIG Businesses, BANKS and the Federal Reserve Corp (Do you know who runs the Fed?…Neither does anyone else!) are going to destroy the United States of America and all we stand for, because ALL THEY CARE ABOUT IS MORE MONEY FOR THEM..and DO NOT care where it comes from. AND, MOST IMPORTANTLY, THEY RUN OUR COUNTRY NOW!!!… and have for a LONG time! Why do you think that all of the Presidential nominees seem to take different platforms and make different promises, BUT, in the end, they are virtually interchangeable, because they really HAVE NO SAY on ANYTHING our Government does… It doesn’t matter WHO occupies the Oval Office, because the EXACT SAME things will get done or NOT, depending on what these big, multi-billion dollar businesses and the Federal Reserve want! Believe me..WE, the people, have absolutely NO CONTROL over our own Government anymore. They can arrest us for NO REASON, torture us and keep us incarcerated for as long as they want without pressing any charges!! (or even having a reason to detain or arrest us in the first place! They have also taken away our right to free speech and to gather for public protestation. I don’t know about you, but I’m scared S#%tless!

  • Warren

    (I started thinking of this song by Don McLean when I read the article. It pretty much sums it up.)

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pyFEXgpp2VY

    “Orphans of Wealth”
    by Don McLean

    There is no time to discuss or debate
    what is right, what is wrong for our people.
    Time has run out for all those who wait
    with bent limbs and minds that are feeble.

    And the rain falls and blows through their window
    and the snow falls and blows through their door.
    And the seasons revolve mid their sounds of starvation.
    When the tides rise, they cover the floor.

    They come from the north and they come from the south
    and they come from the hills and the valleys.
    And they’re migrants and farmers and miners and humans,
    our census neglected to tally.

    And the rain falls and blows through their window
    and the rain falls and it blows through their door.
    And the seasons revolve mid their sounds of starvation.
    When the tides rise, they cover the floor.

    And they´re African, Mexican, Caucasian, Indian,
    hungry and hopeless Americans.
    The orphans of wealth and of adequate health,
    disowned by this nation they live in.

    And with weather worn hands on bread lines they stand,
    yet but one more degradation.
    And they’re treated like tramps while we sell them food stamps
    this thriving and prosperous nation.

    And the rain falls and blows through their window
    and the snow falls and blows through their door.
    And the seasons revolve mid their sounds of starvation.
    When the tides rise, they cover the floor.

    And with roaches and rickets and rats in the thickets,
    infested, diseased and decaying.
    With rags and no shoes and skin sores that ooze,
    by the poisonous pools, they are playing.

    In shacks of two rooms that are rotting wood tombs
    with corpses breathing inside them.
    And we pity their plight as they call in the night
    and we do all that we can do to hide them.

    And the rain falls and blows through their window
    and the snow falls in white drifts that fold
    and the tides rise with floods in the nursery.
    And a child is crying, he’s hungry and cold,
    his life has been sold, his young face looks old.
    It’s the face of America, dying.

  • GameLongOver

    This nightmare started in 1776. We have about 2k years or so of somewhat recorded history and for about 200 of it a few of us were beholding to know one, free. ITS GONE for maybe 2k more years maybe never. “Corporate Person Hood” achieved through the courts not Congress by what was to give freed slaves equal rights the 16th Amendment was interpreted to apply to corporations. Debt Based Economics and Fractional Reserve Lending has today enslaved us all. Americans use 25% of the “worlds” GDP use to be much higher. But as you have been told our rulers they are going to and I quote many of them here “Level the Playing Field” here is some more to think about… Playing to your ego “the American Worker is the best worker in the work and can compete with anyone” You know by compete they mean work harder for less than any starving college educated 3rd world person. We are tenets in our own land! Jefferson knew! Money is truly CREATED from thin air! When its “created” it has to be created in the name of “all” the people not just a select few then spent into circulation DEBT FREE.

  • R

    In the good old days corporations did not import millions of 3rd world scum or export our best jobs just to max out profits so the rich can live so well and we all die.

  • John Steinsvold

    An Alternative to Capitalism (if the people knew about it, they would demand it)

    Several decades ago, Margaret Thatcher claimed: “There is no alternative”.
    She was referring to capitalism. Today, this negative attitude still persists.

    I would like to offer an alternative to capitalism for the American people to consider. Please click on the following link. It will take you to an essay titled: “Home of the Brave?” which was published by the Athenaeum Library of Philosophy:

    http://evans-experientialism.freewebspace.com/steinsvold.htm

    John Steinsvold

    “Insanity is doing the same thing over and over and expecting a different result.”~ Albert Einstein

    • RealChange

      Is capitalism really the problem or is it just the way in w/capitalism is implement here in the US? I mean, if poor people could set up shop and buy and sell on public sidewalks, many people could start up their own small businesses that way. But it isn’t allowed, violates city ordinances. Why? Because the big corporations don’t want the competition from aspiring entrepreneurs. If we had capitalism that everyone could participate in and that limited the money and power of a few and spread the wealth more democratically, that might work. What do you think?

  • stacy

    THe unions in Wisconsin had a straggle hold on our economy and the tax payers. Unions would take money from their members and give it to the democrats who in turn would give their me.berserk whatever they wanted usually far more than what the tax payers (the people paying their salaries) could ever hope to receive. Public workers are whining because they have to pay a small amount for their pensions and benifits, when most of us in the private sector have no benefits at all, they can retire at 55 we can only hope to be able to retire. How can our economy survive when the tax payers receive less than the public workers. WI. Unemployment rate is now down to 6.7% even in this economy,without taxes being raised or public workers being laid off. There was only two choices raise taxes o. People who couldn’t afford it or lay public workers off Scott walker did what was neccessary for WI. Which is why he won the recall.

    • Gary2

      so the question is–why do you not make a union to force the crap private sector jobs to pay as good as the state jobs? Yep divide and conquer sure works on these low information fools who are jealous of someone who has it better than they do.

      Walker will be indited anyways in the near future.

      For the record I do not really care about the public unions I was concerned about him (walker) giving tax cuts to the rich and corporations while throwing poor off badger care.

  • Robyn

    Thanks for the article. I’m almost 40 and lost my job of 15 years when they moved out of state. I have a Masters in analytical chemistry and many eclectic skills. I was voted smartest female when I graduated high school but now I’m begging for minimum wage jobs. I haven’t gotten a single job offer since I started in early 2012 to find a new job. I have skills that people should be begging me for not the other way around. Luckily, I have enough savings to pay for my animals for a few years and can otherwise sap off my parents for everything but animal care and health insurance (which is a totally insane $533 a month!). I don’t think blaming the problem on any one person or president does any good. Something basic in the world economy is broken. It could just be the natural cycles of up and down like when a pond gets too many fish, a bunch have to die to restore balance. The problem is that people aren’t dying, we’re just rotting along with Mother Nature. I honestly think that until there’s a mass die off of humans, such as from a virus, and they recover from that and figure out what’s important, there’s not much hope of things improving. Those of us out of work such as myself should be out there working, yes for free, to fix this disaster. I used to be a genius, or so I’ve been told. Well, at least I’m cleaning and mulching.

    • Rikki

      Robyn:
      I would have done anything to move if they offered me a job elsewhere….I mean 15 years of steady employment you should have had plenty of money saved just in case..

      ———thanks for the article. I’m almost 40 and lost my job of 15 years when they moved out of state.

    • Gary2

      I know where you are coming from. I guess we just need to get used to downward mobility as long as the tea party gov are in charge.

      Seeing as the tea party is mostly older diabetics they will be gone soon anyway. They can put on their best shirt and put in their best set of teeth and go to all the rallies they want-there generations is dying out. The only thing keeping them going is Lipator pills.

  • Dave

    I was unemployed for just over two years in Canada when I finally landed a job in Australia. I had also tried to find a job in the U.S. where I was from originally, but had no luck at all. After being gone from the U.S. for 23 years I must be persona non grata there now. I can see how badly the U.S. has declined from when I used to live there. Some of the older cities have a Stalinist look—very grey, beat up and brutal looking, plus no jobs! I would advise any student in the U.S. to finish their education and then get out. It is going to decline a lot more in the coming years.

  • http://www.verydumbgovernment.blogspot.com Al Thompson

    I don’t think this economy is going to recover soon if ever. What is it going to recover with? Maybe we can all go to China and work there for .29 cents an hour. I remember talking with my local congress criminal in the early 1990s and I begged him not to vote in favor of NAFTA. Many of use were appalled at the stupidity of it and now the proverbial chickens have come home to roost. Since its passage, at least 42,000 factories are now gone. I suggest that nobody vote and start thinking about establishing or making your own job. This way, you can build up some kind of business..even if it is only a few hundred a month to start with, do that rather than continue to endure the indignity of applying for jobs. Most of you know how to do something, so start making money with whatever you have a talent for. Don’t let the depression overcome your soul.

    We have the most evil and stupid government on the face of the earth. So don’t look to them for solutions. You’ll have to learn to take care of yourself.

    The most important thing to do is to work for yourself from now on.

    • RealChange

      Thanks for posting–my thoughts exactly! Unfortunately, it’s not so easy to start a business, but it can be done and these days it is much easier than finding a decent job. You protested NAFTA? Good on you! Wish we had more people like you in this country.

  • DownWithLibs

    I live in a town with a large University. They recently had their graduation. My thoughts can’t help but drift to wondering what percentage of them will find gainful employment, or even just a living-wage job. Scary times!

  • http://www.examiner.com/unemployment-in-denver/kelly-wiedemer Denver Unemployment Examiner

    I am educated – put myself through college as a night student. Used to be in the upper middle class income level. Last year, for the first time in my life (literally) I worked briefly at a gas station earning minimum wage (in CO is $7.64/hr). I’m here to tell you that my eyes have been opened wide as a result of this nightmare. The fact that corporations are making record profits while tens of millions of people go without basic housing, healthcare and food is beyond my wildest imagination.

    Millions of the long term unemployed are classified as ‘Adults without Dependent Children’ [AwDC] – which simply means that they do not qualify for any assistance other than food stamps once their unemployment benefits are exhausted. Many of the individuals and families receiving assistance from these programs not only fall into the ranks of the unemployed, but are many are also among the under-employed and ‘working poor’.

    Along with skyrocketing gas prices, food prices have also soared, leaving many with the absolute inability to feed, clothe and house themselves and/or their families without some level of assistance. The plight for those ‘AwDCs’ continues to be grim, and will only get worse if the SNAP program is cut even further while, at the same time, millions of ‘AwDCs’ also remain without meaningful work and the means necessary to sustain their very own existence
    financially.

    http://www.examiner.com/article/house-gop-proposes-34b-cuts-to-food-stamps-to-offset-pentagon-spending

    • RealChange

      Your “eyes have been opened.” Yes, but what if you weren’t in that situation, working at a gas station. I mean, what if you still had a nice paying job. Would you still have empathy for those less fortunate than you? Or would you be one of those posting on here that you have a decent job and can’t understand why people are whining so much? I’m not trying to be sarcastic. I like your comment. I’m just making the point that while you and I (and many others) are concerned about what’s happening now, many Americans really don’t care because THEY are doing well. And as long as THEY are doing well, they don’t care about the rest of us who aren’t.

      So again, I ask you, if this hadn’t happened to you, if you were working at a job that paid, say, $100k per year, would you be posting here and expressing concerns about people suffering in this economy? Or would you be one of those people who’d judge by saying, “Well, I got a nice job. Why can’t you?”

      Think about it.

  • Timo45

    I cried when I read this and watch the video. This is so sad and down right wrong. We must stick together and get a better system in. We much keep learning about economics and realize that every thing about this system is corrupt and they will keep destroying our economy until we learn to work together and support each other. It’s not about an indivisual its about all of us. I have been learning alot about this system and one thing for sure its not for the people its for the banks,big business and who ever is part of the 1 percent. Don’t vote for Obama or Romney, tell congress we don’t want to us the federal reserve no more. We don’t wont that fake intrest barron money. Tell them we want our own money printed from our own government with no private banks involved. We have been warn by presidents of the past that if we allow the banks to control the money they will take everything from us and put us into slavery. And thats whats being down. Stop watching tv, go online and learn whats going on. I stop watching tv once learn its a way to keep our minds off the reall issues and to put that sorry poilitician in front of us so they lie, lie and keep lieing. Its enough we have to make the changes. If we dont its only going to get worst.

    • RealChange

      I voted for the Green Party myself. Cheri Honkala’s an advocate for the homeless. Problem is, though, there aren’t enough of us who care. Most Americans don’t care about each other. There’s no love in this country other than self-love.

  • David

    I remember I got fired from my bank job in 2009 during the middle of the crisis and I couldn’t find another job. I looked everywhere too. Finally I went with a temp service and bounced around from job to job til I landed a permanent job where I’m at now. Strange thing is, I’m making more money at my current job than I did at my bank job, but it’s harder for me to get by because of inflation. Everything’s higher now than it was in 2009. I got used to having a lowered expectation for things because as soon as I graduated from college I went to work for a grocery store. I haven’t ever used my college degree. I’m more cynical now about the indoctrination of going to college opens up career opportunities. Even if you have a technical degree, it doesn’t. The jobs are just not there.

    • HecatesMoon

      You’re really lucky to have the job even if you didn’t get to use the degree, David. My sister had a job with a bank too, and they closed her department. Well, she goes on unemployment and starts looking for a job, but she decides too that having a degree will get her a good job so she takes out some student loans. She didn’t think she would have a hard time getting a job. It is now a couple years later! She has this degree, but still no job. I think she tried employment agencies too, but I know that a lot of them in our areas aren’t putting a lot of people to work. Now, her unemployment is out. She and her husband are having yard sales and stuff, trying to sell things to get the money to pay the bills. Her husband told me if my sister can’t find a job in the next few months, they won’t make it. I think they will lose their vehicles which are almost paid off and possibly their house. Someone else recently told me too, that their cousin actually had to leave the state just to get a job!

  • PNO

    I was wondering how much of this unemployment is caused by employers squeezing the workers. In other words, if you are paid the market salary, but have the workload of 2-3 people, bringing in 2-3X the profits, would you accept such a salary?

    On the other hand, if you bring in 2-3X the profits, most employers will not double or triple your salary.

    If people keep accepting lower wages, is there a bottom to this all?

    If people do not have a choice but to work, what is the mechanism to prevent unfair wages?

    • RealChange

      Very true and this is why we had labor laws, enforcing minimum wages, paid breaks, lunch breaks, etc. Sadly, many Americans don’t appreciate how good we used to have it.

      And in order to compete, many small businesses will need to engage in that same type of downsizing. They don’t care if they drive their employees to insanity, heart disease or alcoholism ’cause there are so many people desperate for work these days, they can replace their dead employees with fresh meat immediately.

      Also if you saw “Capitalism, a Love Story” then you know that some employers benefit when their employees die as they collect insurance payments.

  • Kenuck

    Can go 3 days without eating..little Top Ramen and lot of water…thank goodness for the dollar menu.Denied treatment at Emergency room…healed my fractured foot at home…Vet clinic even denied flu shot and dental…go USA!

    • RealChange

      Yes, and your fellow American cares so much about you. That’s why so many Americans are out protesting and insisting we all have access to health care and higher education and that the govt stop encouraging companies to outsource jobs to 3rd-world countries. Makes you patriotic, doesn’t it?

  • Victor

    jgusc- I understand your plight in finding a qualified dispatcher. Contrary to popular belief, a dispatcher is a specialized job that requires a person who can multi-task like a champ, understands the units under his or her control and each one’s specialized capabilities (try sending a ladder truck to a car fire instead of a pumper and see how long you’ll last in a job or sending a tow truck designed to haul a Toyota when some semi is broken down on the freeway blocking 2 lanes of traffic). And when a busy dispatcher is handling heavy volume, the phone doesn’t stop ringing. In addition to phone traffic there are cellular PTT comms coming in, radios crackling, people skills tested with every call and a constantly changing real-world situation. The dispatcher has to critically think, play a constant game of “what if…” and keep the level of situational awareness at a high peak. At 60, I can still dispatch my way out of a paper bag with style, but my job dried up when a huge ambulance corporation contracted my job from the little ambulance service I worked for. The price to replace me? 200 bucks a month! In retrospect, I would have done the same. When McAmbulance can move in with a huge dispatch center, CAD dispatching, covering the entire western side of the state, our small call volume is a drop in the bucket compared to the multi-thousands of calls they dispatch in a year.

    Try as I might, companies and agencies look for young “bright” dispatchers and call-takers. Over the years I’ve developed a calm friendly demeanor over the phone, the crews like my style and my customers always enjoyed the good service I gave them. The experience,the commendations, the lives saved and property protected, the radio and phone personna developed and cultured for years means nothing. Old guys like me are passed over despite having decades of experience and good references. Hell, I can’t even get work as a telephone switchboard operator at the local hospital!

    So, I wish you luck in finding a qualified dispatcher. They’re not easy to find. As for me, I feel used up and worthless with each passing day.

    • RealChange

      Fact is, you’ve got great skills & wd b a better employee then most of the youngsters you’re competing with because of all your experience. Employers will claim publicly they’re not hiring you ’cause “young” employers are faster or whatever but the reality is they’re hiring younger employees because they’ll accept much lower pay and they’re more likely to just do what they’re told without question (like drones.) Also they’re further away from retirement so retirement benefits won’t need to be paid anytime soon and medical expenses are unlikely (so not as much of a chance of worker’s comp claims.) I wish more older employees would speak out about age discrimination. There’s a lot of propaganda on the Internet because it’s easy for big corps to hire paid trolls to make stupid comments on sites like this one. Real people need to speak out about their experiences. Thanks for discussing yours.

      BTW, I’m in a similar situation–younger but finding that despite my skills I can’t compete with 21-year-olds willing to work for $7-8 per hour at jobs that should pay twice that much (as well as 3rd world employees earning $3 per day at outsourced locations.) I currently work for minimum wage for an ungrateful, unappreciative employer who bounces our paychecks and sometimes shortchanges us on our pay then complains she can’t find enough employees willing to work for her! I guarantee you that if she upped the pay to at least $10 per hour and improved the working conditions she’d have no problem finding quality employees. But she’ll never do it. Her need to buy herself a lot of nice things and to travel comes b4 her employees’ needs to earn a decent living. Most employers don’t care at all about their employees, their community or their country. They’re consumed with selfishness, acting on what is best for themselves not what is best for the rest of us. It’s a sickness really.

  • mondobeyondo

    I went to Petsmart today to buy the cockatiels some food, and a couple toys for their cage. While browsing around the store, I came across the rodent section. There was this huge black and white rat running around its plastic enclosure. It would run around, and then climb onto this wheel and spin it, like a hamster would do. Just spinning, and spinning, and going nowhere.

    And the thought came to me – “That’s been my life for the past 20 years!”

    • mondobeyondo

      “In spite of my rage, I’m still just a rat in a cage” – Smashing Pumpkins

  • david

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=39btKqMiqiQ&feature=share

    Pleas watch this one. More serious things are coming . . . . . .

    God help us all . .. . .

  • david

    The sign of Devil is marked on the Euro coin according to this video you are about to watch . . . ..

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=39btKqMiqiQ&feature=share

    2012 the End of the world conspiracy theory . . . . .

  • Sceptic

    Sorry, but I don’t agree. I have been “unemployed” several times during my life but I have always found…

    – there is always work at minimum wage
    – there is always work for someone who does there job perfectly, it doens’t matter what the job is
    – there are far fewer people who do their job perfectly than there people looking to hire such people

    Having gone from job-seeker to hirer, I can tell you that to find someone to do a job well and conscientiously is almost impossible.

    At my “lowest” point I was out of work (during the recession of the early 1980s) and decided to go back to school. I still needed to earn a living of some sort, though. So I spent $10 on business cards, walked up and down commercial streets offering to do office cleaning and within a few hours lined up all the work I could handle. I made a point of doing an excellent job and when the time came to move on to something else my customers were sorry to see me go, because they couldn’t find anyone else.

    As long as people depend on others (government, society, whoever) to make their breaks, they won’t get ahead. Make your own breaks. By taking such an attitude, despite no formal education other than the school of life, I have managed to move my income from low 5 figures back then to healthy 6 figures now.

  • boo hoo

    boo frikin hoo. i droped out at 16 and got a g.e.d and have worked like a dog ever since. 45-50 grand a year either government or private. lost my job a couple of times and went back to work a day later. forget collage. grab a frikin shovel and go to frikin work. and in your spare time bash in the heads of the lazy and stupid.

    • mondobeyondo

      Well, good for you! I sincerely applaud your work ethic.

      If I ever need a ditch digger, I’ll be sure to give you a call. Unfortunately, I have no need for the plumbing in my humble home to be replaced anytime soon…

  • http://www.PeakDollars.com Scoob

    When I saw “Hard Times: Lost on Long Island”, I felt compelled to chime-in. As someone who has been living on “Lawn Guyland” for longer than I’ve wanted,…as someone who’s only marginally employable(for a NUMBER of reasons), and as someone who’s done the vehicular living thing for the past 10 years here, I have a couple of issues with this thread.

    #1: There is nothing “soul crushing” about lowered expectations. Lowered expectations is the rational conclusion a logical person would and *should* draw, based on the evidence all around us. I lowered my expectations a good decade or so ago, and then lowered them some more. The only one unhappy with this, is my nearly 80 y/o mother, who has yet to come to terms with the new realities, of resource depletion, peak oil, and peak people. I have long ago made peace with the fact that my life will not be nearly as good as that of the previous generation here.

    #2 Long Island, for all it’s flaws and faults and high cost of living and high traffic, is still, relatively speaking, still the proverbial “Land of Opportunity” when it comes to employment. If you can’t find a job HERE, you’re either setting your sights too high, or aren’t really looking. Seriously.

    • Arthur G. Brina

      I admire your grit and defiant spirit. I just want to add a personal anecdote to your comments, based on personal experience.

      From January 1991 through April 2000, I supported myself comfortably by investing in the stockmarket. When the dot.com boom turned into the dot.com bust, I proceeded to lose all my working capital by November 2001. I kept believing in the American economy, that it would recover and that the stockmarket would recover.

      In 2001, believing that Republicans would get the economy going, I borrowed $10,000 against my credit cards to invest in the market again. This was risky; and proved to be foolhardy, since the market did not recover until we invaded Iraq in 2003. However, I had lost all this capital by the summer of 2002.

      After that, I applied to almost 200 job openings in financial firms, ranging from administrative clerk to junior trader. I did not get the courtesy of a reply, much less an interview.

      I lowered my expectations; and applied to be a stocking clerk ar a chain of retail stores, a night watchman at an urban university, and a cleaning man for a janitorial service company which serviced several office buildings in Manhattan. I also followed up on every lead for “work-at-home” jobs offered on the internet. For all of this, I never got a reply, much less an interview, from any of these, except for the chain of retail stores.

      The retail store screener informed me that, after a credit check, I coul not be hired. Being in arrears in servicing a debt pretty much disqualified me from consideration for any position, for which there was a surplus of applicants. My condition is not unique, I am sure. This is the plight of many, once middle class tax-paing Americans.

      I then filed for bankruptcy, thereby discharging my responsibility for these debts. I survived because of the support of my family, until I became eligible for social security. Now I get by.

  • Arthur G. Brina

    I have just 3 words for you, which explain what America must do, in order to “right the ship”: Tariffs, Subsidies, and Nationalism.

    TARIFFS: Everything being imported into this country, including services, should be taxed at 50% or more of its commercial value. The effect of this would be to force corporations -both domestic and foreign- either to maximize the use of American labor and resources to serve the American market, or to abandon this market altogether. At least 30 million full time private sector American jobs would have to be created and filled, in order to replace the foreign workforces (about 70 million) which are currently employed to meet the demands of the American people.

    SUBSIDIES: Let capitalism prove itself. Corporations should compete lawfully with each other, in order to meet and create demand for their products without government assistance. Government should not be picking and choosing favorites to support. If there are no subsidies for anyone for any reason, the incentive to get wealthy or stay rich by buying politicians or influencing government contractors would be greatly diminished.

    NATIONALISM. Americans should respect the rights of other nations to govern themselves and not to interfere with their internal affairs; and Americans should insist on the same for themselves. There should be no Israeli lobbyists, Chinese lobbyists, Mexican lobbyists, etc. We should have no foreign bases and no foreign military interventions, except for 2 reasons: either to repel invasions by one country/axis against another; or to stop ethnic cleansing of any indigenous people from its homeland. America should be for Americans, Mexico for Mexicans, etc.

    Well, that’s my 2 cents’ worth.

    • Old Man

      My response:

      TARIFFS – U.S. is a member of the WTO, which has more than 150 countries as members. Under WTO rules, no country can unilaterally impose tariff without being authorized by the WTO. WTO authorize an unilateral tariff against another country only when it is proven that it has engaged in dumping.

      So your suggestion of massive unilateral tariff is a no-go. Unless USA cancel its WTO membership. In which case, any tariff imposed unilaterally by the US will be met in kind by that country, thus triggering a global trade war.

      SUBSIDIES: Subsidies by the government to private industries are actually very tiny. There are enough laws on the book to prevent large government subsidies. But the government does spend obscenely vast amount on its legitimate functions, such as defense, education, welfare, etc.

      The private sector is not the cause of the great recession. (Although it is not blameless due to its vast outsourcing of manufacturing.) The root cause is the distortion of people and economy by easy credit of untold trillions of dollars, plus borrowing of trillions from foreign governments. Such credits were created out of nowhere by the banks, and loan out to fuel an unearned American lifestyle, which of course make the bankers very rich. National policy makers deliberately allowed such runaway credit to pump up the economy, knowing full well such debt cannot possibly be repaid and will therefore lead to crisis when the bubble blows up. This is not capitalism at all. It is called fake economics.

      NATIONALISM – Respecting the rights of other sovereign nations is not called nationalism. Interfering with just about every foreign country business, even fighting dozens of bloody wars on foreign soil, is the hallmark of U.S. foreign policy for 60 years. Which is why it needs a trillion dollar military. It is called imperialism American style. American high officials love to go around the world and preach ‘do it my way or face sanctions back by the military’. This kind of big brother policy can have the occasional blowbacks – 9/11 being most dramatic. While US have gotten away with it for decades due to its superpower, it will find itself lonely on the decline. As the saying goes – watch who you stepped on on the way up, ’cause you’ll see ‘em on the way down.

      • rebootd

        Very well said, Old Man.

  • The Claymobile

    Thank you soo much for this article!!! I can really relate to what was said. Whan I graduated from high school back in 1971 one had the hopes of finding a good job in construction or manufacturing. He could support himself, a wife and a couple of kids and the wife did not have to work outside the home. Those jobs are gone and none of our political leaders, both left and right seem interested in bringing them back. Nobody seems to give a hoot about the dying blue collar middle class. I work a seasonal/poverty wage/no benefits job. Because I make so little money, I am forced to live in my mothers basement. Do you have any idea how embaressing it is to tell a women you are trying to date that you live in your mothers basement??? When I try to tell them my situation yhey have no compassion or empathy at all towards me. They remind me of the Haters on this post. I make 12.73 an hour and am thankfull for that. I drive a truck locally. Some manufacturing jobs in my area (Weat-Central Missouri) pay only 8.00 an hour. Sometimes I feel like walking into the owners office and asking him if he makes 8.00 an hour! When he says no, I would say “then how do you expect your employees to live on those wages?!?!”. who is going to buy the new houses and new cars and go to the Dr. And save for retiremeny on those wages??? I ask my friends what is going to happen to this country when everybody is making 8.00 an hour. They have no answer for me. For the last 4 winters when I have been laid off, I have tried to find a real job with good pay and benefits. But like so many in the article, there are no jobs like that. Big plants like Armco Steel plant, GM Leeds plant, the TWA Overhaul base that use to provide good paying/good benefits blue collar jobs have all shut down over the years. Sometimes I get really depressed. One day I was thing about these things and Jesus wispered to my spirit “dont worry Clay, I will take care of you.” I try to keep that in mind, but some days its really hard not to be concerned and fearfull for my future and the future of this once great country. Thanks for letting me vent.

    • http://www.PeakDollars.com Scoob

      @Clay:
      From your post I gather you’re fairly young and single? If I were you(Heck, if I were ME, 20 years younger), I would see about getting a cheap, used, pop-up camper – something that can be easily and safely towed by a smaller
      car with a class I or II hitch, and heading to where the money is high, and unemployment is low – toward the boom towns around the Williston, ND area. Burger flippers are making $15 an hour, strippers are making $1000+ a night,
      and truck drivers can make $100k a year. UE is currently around 3% there.

      This boom won’t last forever, but while it’s booming, I’d suggest taking advantage of the opportunities there.
      Rents are now *EXTREMELY* high there, which is where your
      camper comes in. It’s summer, and you should be able to get by until Fall with it. In the meantime get yourself one of those inflated pay-scale jobs, save your money, and upgrade to something more solid, insulated and substantial if you decide to work through the winter there. Get a generator if you want. Stay in your
      RV/motorhome/travel-trailer/slide-in camper and keep working. Just by providing your own accomodations, you’ll
      be saving about $1500-$2000 a month that you wont be wasting on rent. Plus, you’ll be mobile and be able to persue better opportunities as they arise.

      That’s what *I* would do if I was 20 years younger, and found my home turf to be an economic desert, as apparently you have.

      Check out Craigslist for ND job listings:
      http://geo.craigslist.org/iso/us/nd

  • http://aadivaahan.wordpress.com Vivek

    If called, step in here…Jobs for all, created. Anew.

    For Immediate Release

    13th June 2012

    INDIAN INNOVATOR HAS SOLUTION TO END THE AGE OF OiL : PUTS OUT CHALLENGE TO THE WORLD :

    Bangalore based visionary, Polymath and long-time blogger Vivek Chaturvedi today put out a challenge to a world begging for a solution to the Age of OiL.

    Writing from his bloffice in Bangalore, Vivek stated in his latest post on June 6th (6666, a date he says was especially powerful, a trigger missed by the world at large) that he has the Definitive Engineering Solution to gracefully end the age of OiL.

    In a desire to make the solution open to the public at large, Vivek has asked 3,000 brave folk to come forward, purchase his Book/DVD/CD and the unique Certificate of Sharing.

    With-in 90 days of the 3,000th purchase, he says he will release a fully working model to the world. Here is what he says he will show:

    An Electric Car that costs 50% less than existing models, will travel with a range extended by up-to or exceeding 200% of the current state-of-the-art, will need no subsidy, will allow for “backyard” conversions of existing vehicles in a safe manner, will allow for the blossoming of a Electric Vehicle Cottage Industry and most importantly, will exceed all the safety standards of current vehicles.

    His work, he said, will reduce global oil consumption by up-to 40% with-in 2-3 years (depending on the pace of adoption, far exceeding any mandated lowering of such consumption. The impact on the world is expected to be tectonic.

    The core concept is un-deniable, a fact Vivek says he is willing to prove to any serious, large investor.

    Referring, only half-jokingly he insists, to this as the ultimate pre-IPO opportunity for the public on a set of technologies that will transform our world, Vivek is open to approach by honest media for interviews.

    Please visit:

    http://aadivaahan.wordpress.com/2012/06/05/6666-beyond-carbon-beyond-time/

    He urges you to go to the comment section, and read what people have to say.

    This IS the time, Vivek insists, to launch the first truly Aquarian Project, and is looking forward to cohorts who will come to the table and participate.

    Vivek’s Product concepts and designs, his art and his music have been variously described as jaw-dropping, graceful, piercing, brilliant, innovative, disturbing and something, as one lady insisted, she was glad she had lived long enough to see.

    Contact:

    Vivek Chaturvedi
    Bangalore, India

  • Don

    The American dream is no more. Figures will show you that Americans have actually started leaving the US for other contries in Asia, Africa and South America. This says alot about the US economy!

    • RealChange

      Very true. I’ve already met several people who’ve left or have close friends leaving. Some countries are even starting to restrict Americans’ abilities to work there… We are to them what the Mexicans are to us–immigrants taking their jobs.

  • http://4xgold.com Marc

    RE: “The American dream is no more. Figures will show you that Americans have actually started leaving the US for other contries in Asia, Africa and South America. This says alot about the US economy!”

    The reason I’m ‘leaving’ is cause these STUPID IDIOTS want to ‘tell me’ how to invest in the forex market (-of course if your brokers account has a minimum of $10 million you’re EXCLUDED!). -This RULES from IDIOTS that can’t even RUN their own country!

    Oh, AND USA citizens are NOT allowed into online gambling casinos! But they DO allow their IDIOT citizenry to ‘play’ the lottery, -the WORST (and most STUPID) gambling game (odd-wise).

    STUFF it America!

  • http://www.kennydrewjr.com Kenny Drew Jr.

    I have been a professional musician playing piano and keyboards for over 30 years and I have never seen things this bad. I play mostly jazz & classical music and these genres are almost dead. I’m considered one of the best people in my field but nobody wants to hire me for anything anymore. Over the years I’ve sent out hundreds of CDs and have e-mailed thousands of possible employers all over the world with almost no response. Every once in a while someone has the decency to respond just to say no. If I didn’t have a relative who I could stay with rent-free I’d be either homeless or dead. I’m also trying to deal with a lot of health problems without any money or insurance. Last week I had my 54th birthday and I was working more and making more money when I was 24! I’m too old to go to school to learn how to do something else. Unfortunately your average person thinks that if you have a great talent and you’re not making a lot of money with it, there must be something wrong with you. After making over two dozen albums of my own and playing on dozens of other musicians’ albums I still get no respect from the industry and if I complain about my situation I’m just thought of as a negative whiner. The best I can hope for now is for my health problems to eventually give me an early death, then perhaps I might finally get the respect & recognition I deserve posthumously.

    • RealChange

      This is a very dark time for artists and creative people. I’m experiencing the same thing as a musician. Amazing how brainwashed Americans are. They assume that if you’re struggling you must be the problem. Even with all the news about how bad the economy is, people losing jobs, homes, etc., the propaganda that says intelligent, talented, capable people will rise (like cream) to the top and that we live in a “meritocracy,” a “democracy” where the best and brightest succeed. I’ve started to believe that Americans are the meanest as well as the dumbest people on the planet. Sorry, but I guess I’ve turned into a misanthrope. On that note, however, I wonder whether you’ve considered relocating to a different country?

  • BFH

    There is NO question the economy sucks and is going to get worse and much worse at that. However, where are all these homeless ladies? Being an attractive, slim, sane, male aged 58 I have tried every reasonable means known to get a good woman to come here and be a mate in a nice modern country home that is completely paid for. All I can find is obese women, drunks, dope heads and mental patients. If so many are having it so hard and have fallen through the cracks of this recession one would think I’d have an interested lady calling every fifteen minutes. After 2 years nothing hut players, deceivers and liars. Has this economy only affected men and families and somehow decent single women have escaped?

  • Eve

    Ha ha ha. I’m a petite woman in my late 30’s, used to be a Senior Buyer at a huge global corporation making $80K. Lost my job & they cancelled the extended benefits for unemployment in my state so I’m now working on a farm. You heard me, a farm, for $10 an hour! Hey, you can’t call me lazy, right? Thank god I have a good back and am physically fit.
    My first day working I literally looked up at the sky and said, “You’re kidding me, right God? This is a ******** joke, right? What the hell am I doing here?! What kind of LOSER am I?” But hey. I’m working. I’m strong and healthy and I do what they ask me to do and do it well. Whatever. Things are getting better and I believe it. I have my house, I bought it low, so hey. It’s an asset, right? I just wanted to read up to make sure I’m not the only intelligent person working at a weird job. I guess it’s not just me. I know I’m fine and everything is getting better. I keep a good attitude and when I get down sometimes I get back up. ***** doesn’t last forever. Remember that. There’s a light at the end of the tunnel.

    • Guest

      The problem is when that light at the end of the tunnel turns out to be a speeding, out of control train

  • http://outdoor-pavers.com/ Cynthia Thompson

    don’t let the feeling of desperation get the better of you. because when it does, you just lose all the fight that’s left in your tank. hope springs eternal for as long as we live. when you keep looking at the negative and anticipate the worse that is not even there yet, then surely you’re attracting it to come. stay positive and go on living, persevere, be patient and pray. life is still good.

  • Guest

    This article completely speaks to me. I’m honestly surprised there haven’t been more suicides yet. 17 years ago, I chose to enter education because we were all being told there’s a teacher shortage. The problem, though, was that they didn’t say that it was only in certain subjects. I majored in music and, 7 years later, lost my job. My career hasn’t recovered, since. I jumped through all the damned hoops I was told to jump through. I got my masters degree, got my National Boards certification – everything. Now, I’m so damned expensive to a district or a parochial school because of all my years of experience and education, they won’t touch me with a ten foot pole. The best I was able to do was a part time teaching job for the last three years, which I was let go from at the end of my when my program was eliminated. We’re completely upside down on our mortgage. I have a wife and a kid and I completely feel as if I have totally let them down. I’m a terrible example to my son, whose now showing to be as musically inclined as I am. I don’t want to tell him to not pursue music, but I don’t want him set up for disaster the way I have been. I often feel like, now, my family would have been – and probably would be – better off without me. It’s only a matter of time before the suicide rates start going up as the hopelessness gets worse and worse.

  • http://www.infowars.com Anon

    These financial scandals, and the ‘Fed’ won’t be going away anytime soon, UNLESS YOU GET UP OFF YOUR FAT, LAZY A**ES, and DO SOMETHING! (Remark intended for the boobs that still work in corporate America, for the very companies enslaving us all!)

    HR 459 passed by an overwhelming majority in the House, by a vote of 327-98!
    Now, this bill (S.202) needs a vote in the Senate!

    CONTACT YOUR SENATORS HERE:

    AUDIT THE ‘FED’!
    http://www.auditthefed.com/?mode=actionpage

    End the Fed! Whether Congress Wants Us To or Not!
    http://www.lewrockwell.com/boldin/boldin22.1.html
    http://tenthamendmentcenter.com/2012/07/25/end-the-fed-whether-congress-wants-us-to-or-not/

  • RealChange

    Problem is, Americans won’t come together & help each other. Those who are doing well, don’t care about those who aren’t (blame us for not doing all “the right things” to better ourselves.) Those who aren’t doing well just blame themselves & vegetate in front of the TV instead of coming together, unionizing and forming ways to help each other. The old way of getting a job and putting food on the table doesn’t work anymore. Jobs are few and far between and they don’t pay a decent, living wage. We need to stop trying to find jobs altogether and instead create an alternative way of living that is INDEPENDENT of corporate America. I’m talking about people forming communities in which we grow our own food and live with each other. This doesn’t have to mean “communism” but does mean people learning to cooperate and work with each other again. I’m in a situation where I cannot find a living wage job and will have to become homeless or commit suicide if I don’t find a solution to this problem soon. Why can’t all of us in this situation get together and put our efforts together to find a way to help each other. Maybe we could find an old, abandoned house, renovate it together and start living in it? Maybe those of us with houses can start opening our doors to those without? I’m telling you the only reason why this can’t work is that Americans have forgotten how to cooperate with, live & work with each other. We need to learn how to trust and be trusted by each other again. Stop being dependent on these big corporations and start depending on your friends, families and neighbors! We need to form new communities that haven’t been created yet. But if enough of us come together and are trustworthy and able to cooperate we can do this relatively easily.

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