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Americans Are Literally Being Worked To Death

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Are you constantly tired and do you feel incredibly stressed almost all the time?  Well, that means that there is a really good chance that you are a typical American worker.  Even though our incomes are going down, Americans are spending more time at work than ever before.  In fact, U.S. workers spend more time at work than anyone else in the world.  But it was not always this way.  Back in 1970, the average work week for an American worker was about 35 hours.  Today, it is up to 46 hours.  But there are other major economies around the globe that are doing just fine without burning their workers out.  For example, the average American worker spends 378 more hours working per year than the average German worker does.  Sadly, for many Americans work is not even finished once they leave the office.  According to one recent survey, the average American worker spends an extra seven hours per week on work tasks such as checking emails and answering phone calls after normal work hours have finished.  Other Americans are juggling two or three jobs in a desperate attempt to make ends meet.  Americans are busier than ever and work is often pushing the other areas of our lives on to the back burner.  What this also means is that “family vacations” are becoming increasingly rare in the United States.  In fact, Americans spend less days on vacation than anyone else in the industrialized world.  While some would applaud our “work ethic”, the truth is that the fact that we are being overworked is having some very serious consequences.  In fact, as you will see below, Americans are literally being worked to death.

The following is an excerpt from a comment that one reader posted on one of my recent articles.  Can you identify with what this family is going through?….

I always try and remember to be thankful and say prayers of gratitude for the blessings I have, however I can tell you that my wife and I are getting more and more exhausted.

Straight forward payroll taxes nailed us for $35k last year and the dozens of other taxes are often over-looked but also hitting us harder and harder.

My wife works 14 hour shifts at her dialysis clinic 3 days a week and every other weekend. On the Tuesdays and thursdays she has off she ends up resting half the day to give her poor feet a break since a nurse on her feet 14 straight hours of continual busyness is exhausting.

On top of that, her company has had a pay freeze for 3 years, has dropped Holidays down to just 2 per year ( Thanksgiving and Christmas of which she must work 1 of them), has canceled the reimbursement of her CEU’s ( medical professionals are required to continue to take schooling and classes for their entire career in order to renew their licenses) –also they no longer match 401k’s and her company health plan just bumped up $30 per week!!

I put in so many hours at times that when I get home I am too tired to eat. I come home, change clothes/shower and go straight to bed–this is not living. I try and keep up with my volunteer work and rounds at our local nursing home but something is going to have to give. My caseloads are growing and growing and people are making appts 2-3 weeks in advance. I never had a schedule so filled in advance before. I usually have more long-term pt’s with needs of stroke, Parkinson’s, traumatic brain injuries..but now ortho pt’s are scheduling surgeries as to when I’ll have slots for hip replacement and knee replacement rehab time.

I’m ground down and in the mean time everything is getting more expensive, they keep taking more of my money I earn and we are having all of our benefits cut or completely stopped.

All over this country, millions of hard working men and women are slowly being worn down by jobs that are sucking the life out of them.  Working way too many hours for an extended period of time can have dramatic consequences for your health, your family and just about every other area of your life.

But for some Americans, there is simply no other choice.  There are millions upon millions of Americans that live on the edge of financial disaster these days.  According to one recent survey, 77 percent of all Americans live paycheck to paycheck at least some of the time, and the middle class in the United States has been shrinking at a very steady pace in recent years.

Many Americans are not working 60 or 70 hours per week because they want to.

Many are doing it because that is what they must do just to survive.

For example, a recent article posted on Economy In Crisis profiled a mother of four up in Michigan named Lisa Bosworth who can’t make ends meet for her family despite working three jobs….

Bosworth remarried but her current husband, Ray, was forced onto medical disability when a prescription medication caused health problems. The couple, who had a fourth child together, struggle to support their family on Lisa’s meager income.

Bosworth’s gross monthly income from working as a classroom aide in Reeths-Puffer schools and doing two Chronicle newspaper routes is $1,900. That amounts to $22,800 annually, nearly $5,000 below the poverty level for a family of six.

When they run out of money near the end of each month, Lisa and Ray Bosworth line up at one of several food trucks that visit Muskegon each month.

Earlier this month, the couple and three of their children waited in line at a food truck at Calvin Christian Reformed Church in Norton Shores. Lisa Bosworth had just finished her two newspaper routes and was clearly fatigued after another 70-hour work week. “I’m tired,” she said.

Today, there are more than 100 million Americans on welfare, and a significant percentage of those people actually do have jobs.  In fact, some are working two or three jobs.

Working class Americans are working harder than ever, but at the same time many of them are making less money than they once did.

This is putting an incredible amount of stress on working class families.

In fact, it appears that a lot of Americans are literally working themselves to death.

And as a recent CBS News article described, this is particularly true for poor Americans that do not have much education….

Overall life expectancy has dropped for white Americans who have less than a high school diploma to rates similar to those of the 1950s and 1960s, new research finds.

The study found non-Hispanic white men without a diploma lived on average until 67.5 in 2008, three years less than they did in 1990. The drop in lifespan was even bigger for non-Hispanic white women with low education: They live five years shorter than 1990 rates, from 78 years old to just 73.5.

This is a sign that our society is going backwards.  Working class Americans are actually living significantly shorter lives than they used to.

Of course the garbage that passes for “food” these days certainly is not helping matters any, but that is a topic for another article.

Sadly, those that are working themselves to death consider themselves to be the “lucky ones” in our society today.

There are countless millions of other Americans that are sitting at home right now without a job.

The mainstream media is trying to convince us that the unemployment rate has been falling, but that is a lie.  If the labor force participation rate was the same today as it was back when Barack Obama first took office, the unemployment rate in the United States would be 11.2 percent right now.

But that doesn’t sound nearly as good as 8.1 percent sounds, right?

And the percentage of working age Americans with a job is actually lower today than when the last recession supposedly ended.

In this economic environment, most people are scared to death of losing the jobs that they currently have because they don’t know if they will be able to get another one.

During the month of August, the unemployment rate actually increased in 26 different U.S. states, and yet we are supposedly in the midst of “an economic recovery”.

But the truth is that we are not better off than we were back during the last recession.  In fact, there are a whole host of statistics that indicate that things are getting worse.

Unfortunately, much of the time people tend to forget that the horrible economic numbers that we are seeing have very substantial real life consequences.

People that cannot find work and people that work very long hours for a very long period of time tend to be much more depressed than the population as a whole.

And depression can often lead to suicide.  According to a recent Daily Mail article, more Americans now die from suicide than from car accidents….

Suicide is the cause of more deaths than car crashes, according to an alarming new study.

The number of people who commit suicide in the U.S. has drastically increased while deaths from car accidents have dropped, making suicide the leading cause of injury death.

Suicides via falls or poisoning have risen significantly and experts fear that there could be many more unaccounted for, particularly in cases of overdose.

That is incredibly tragic, because there is never a reason for anyone to commit suicide.  One of the things that I have learned in my own life is that there is always a way for things to be turned around.

Yes, life can be very hard when you don’t have much money, but our lives should not be about chasing material things anyway.  Our lives should be about so much more than that.

If you are currently feeling overly tired and overly stressed because you have been working too much, I encourage you to take a vacation.

We are only given one life to live.  We shouldn’t spend it working ourselves to death.

So what do you think about all of this?  Please feel free to post a comment with your thoughts below….

  • William

    suicides: hit my family Christmas ’10. My research revealed single white males 30 and older with financial problems have much higher probably of suicide – my family lost of a 41 yr old, recently laid-off, single white male. (sadly, I’m sure there will be no charitable organizations stepping up for this social cause.)

    Working to death? B12 shots now coming back in popularity. I just started using them. Crazy, but a sign of the times, and they work if you can afford them.

    • KL

      Hey Mike,

      This just broke today… An Iranian General is warning of world war III. Can you write a piece about the Iranian and Israel conflict. I would love to get your take and share it with my readers: Click on the link below for more information on this

    • Alasha

      mmmm b12 injections just did not do it for me – guess i am too far gone – lol

  • Mattyboy

    A friend of mine told me about 8 yrs ago that you will need to diversify to survive. You will need more than one job or skill. Today, you need to be able to do more to survive. The days of the one job and sweet retirement have been over for some time. I have always been my own man in respect to work and making money. I can do many things to earn a living. The problem is that I hardly even stop working because if I do I run the risk of falling behind. I am educated as a teacher, I have owned my own businesses and continue to run two at the moment as well as attend full time college and make money wheeling and dealing on the side.

  • Kyle S

    Sad, sad, sad state of affairs

  • Why work to make the bankers richer!

    • While not defending the actions of those in the top levels of the financial sector, tossing a blanket over all bankers is a tough thing to do. Many in the retail world work insane hours for very minimal pay.

      I have two friends, one is a branch manager and another is a VP in a local bank in Operations. I’m pretty sure the branch manager *might* make 45k a year, the VP *might* make 65k.

      Not exactly wealthy if you know what I mean.


  • markthetruth

    Yep work 12hrs, drive through traffic to get home, open bill’s,listen to your kids problems ,wife works so microwave dinner. Then get to the couch to watch weird people on the TV having fun making more in a night then you do in a year, or switch to sports and watch them have fun playing ball for multimillion dollars , or tune to politics to watch our congress and senate act like children and get nothing done but make fortunes. O Well now your depressed time to go to sleep and get ready for that nasty boss tomorrow. Oh! is it Friday yet.

    the end.

  • beedee

    I work 9 hours a day plus a 3-4 hour commute every day. Get up at 6am, come home at 8pm. It’s exhausting, I’m single in my mid 30’s, reason I don’t have a partner is because I have no time for myself. On the weekends I usually sleep and drink all day to deal with the fact that I have to do it all again the next week. I am saving money but not enough to buy a house. I also don’t really eat too well, on workdays I have a good lunch, but that’s it. No breakfast or dinner, But on the weekends I usually don’t eat at all. It’s a depression I have from the hellish insanity without end. The commute is killing me, my family whom I talk to all the time tell me I am absolutely crazy to even think I should quit with nothing on the back burner. I’ve thought of giving up and jumping off the local bridge but something keeps me going I don’t know what it is. A hope that it’ll get better but year after year I just get older, am still alone and completely miserable. I’ve recently gotten into the “screw them” attitude when thinking about how much taxes are taken from me and that I’m being used to support everyone else who have kids and a family while I have nothing to show but just another work week. It’s like this apathy seeing people with wives and kids while I can’t even have the energy to get out there and meet someone. I know other people have it worse work even longer, I could be in China in the foxconn factory, but this isn’t China this is supposed to be the United States.

    I don’t know what to do really, I have advanced degrees from College and do well by anyone’s standards but I work to much and it’s taking its toll on me, mentally and physically. I see a shrink and he prescribes medicine to deal with the uneasiness but I believe that’s not helping anymore. It’s work work work work work wake up again and do it again. Just barely scraping by with no hope for the future. And the people who want jobs are even worse off, I have somewhat a sense of purpose in my job, but that’s all I have in my life. It’s pretty bad.

    • Michael


      Thank you for sharing your story with us. I think that it is going to resonate with a whole lot of people.

      There are millions of people out there that are living lives of “quiet desperation” like this.

      Please do not give up. It may not seem like there is a light at the end of the tunnel, but there always is.

      I would encourage you to come up with a plan that would enable you to make some major life changes. It might take a while to accomplish, but the key is to keep fighting. I have been there.

      And the most important thing for everyone reading this is to find a relationship with God through the Lord Jesus Christ. If you are interested in learning more about this, please check out this article….


    • ProgrammerGuy

      I hear ya sort of. I got a job where I could eventually work from home, but the downside of that is being single and living alone lol. So my social life can struggle from time to time. There are some months when some production cycles have to run and I am working 80-90 hour weeks to monitor/fix them if they come down. So when my friends/family want to go chill I am practically imprisoned in my home…granted that is better than being at an office.

      I think we both have to really get out there and network. A lot of my friends/co-workers say that linkedin is a great place to get connected and find a job that better fits you. I have a profile set up but haven’t gotten too carried away with it yet so I can’t tell you from experience.

      In general as a side comment, I think our on demand society is to blame. If we didn’t set these ridiculous standards and deadlines for ourselves I think we would be living happier lives. I’m as guilty as anyone else signing up for amazon prime to get that nice 2-day shipping without giving a thought of what people have to do to get my package to me in that time period. Society has programmed us to be deal-seekers and getting as much as we can for the least amount of money. I think much of that can come with these consequences.

      Don’t give up bud, you aren’t alone. Keep chugging away and I will too…we will find a solution.

    • Rodster

      Thanks for sharing beedee and please don’t give up no matter how dire things look for you. At least you have a job. There are tens of millions who are not as fortunate.

      I found something interesting which you just confirmed: “More Americans now commit suicide than are killed in car crashes as miserable economy takes its toll”

    • Susanne

      um, so you are single and can move, why keep up the commute? How about moving bike distance to work and drop your commute costs to zero.

    • Rikki

      MOVE closer to work…no excuses….what would that take 1 weekend?

      I don’t know what to do really

    • chunkeroo


      Michael is right. I have been in the same dark abyss you are in – and in fact we are of similar ages and educational attainment. I really do not like to “share” publicly things of a personal and spiritual nature but I could not read your post about thoughts of self-annihilation without commenting. I feel I would negligent if it did not.

      I have found only God can give you inner peace and joy. Draw near to Him and He will draw near to you. I know this probably sounds insane but I have found it to be true.

      Instead of throwing yourself off a bridge, put yourself into His arms and surrender all your worries and control of your life to Him. He says His yoke is easy and His burden is light. He makes us to lie down in green pastures. Cast all your cares upon Him for He cares for you. A bruised reed He will not break. I have found all of this to be true. You have nothing to lose.

    • K

      beedee, perhaps I can help a little. You say you are seeing someone for your depression. How big is the company you are working for? Is it covered under the Family Medical Leave Act? If your Dr. will do the paperwork. They would have to give you time off for your depression. If your sick leave is unpaid, I know this will not help much. Please, no jumping off of bridges. Do not let the greedy basta*ds win. Google FMLA it is one of the few laws, that helps the working man.

    • Me

      If we all get into a position where we can afford at least a pre-fab or a house in Birmingham or Cleveland (check out the prices… dirt… I’ve seen houses for 70k in Birmingham)…

      Then just… stop.

      The parasites think they can do drugs and reproduce like rabbits and have our taxes pay for it all. What will they do when tehre’s no tax revenue?

      Like you said… why should I die to fund irresponsible people’s babies, when I’ll never get to reproduce?

      Eff it.

      Soon. Very soon. I will be able to do exactly this.

    • Orange Jean

      beedee – I’m sorry to hear you’re having such a hard time of it but I would like to make a few suggestions. (I suffered from depression for many years when I was younger, but finally got the better of it. It CAN get better, but not if you go jumping off a bridge!).

      First, if you haven’t done this already – please talk to your therapist about both your drinking and your suicidal thoughts. For one thing, you may have an alcohol problem (from the sound of it) and drinking does not solve problems… It is actually a depressant… so that may be increasing your feelings of depression! Second, some drugs (including prescription drugs and especially even anti-depression drugs) can have a side effect in some people of causing more depression and even creating suicidal thoughts where you may not have had them otherwise. (I ran into some other “mental health” problems with some drugs I was prescribed, taken as prescribed). Alcohol and drugs can also interact; sometimes with fatal results.

      If it turns out you are an alcoholic (yes, possible … I believe there is a binge drinker type of alcoholic) I have heard good reports from a few people I know well who were able to quit drinking with the help of AA. Please consider the possibility.

      I think also the suggestion either to move closer to work (or find a job closer to home) would help you a lot also – as would eating properly. All that party-hardy stuff that seems to work as a young adult, really isn’t good for you. But try to plan a short period each weekend when you do something you like to do (of the non-destructive variety) even if it’s something you USED to like to do, and haven’t enjoyed for a while. Sometimes all it takes it doing the thing and you may enjoy it more than you expect.

      Take care, and good luck! ~Jean

  • Run Eddy

    I fortunately have a 40 hour work week, but I live at low overhead cost I nearly have no bills. I don’t live in materialism, as for me I’m happy with what little I have. I’ve learned that having abundance doesn’t make you happy just more ******** you gotta pay at the end of month…

  • Washington

    Do you know where the GM jobs, and money went? After the bailout with U.S. taxpayer dollars? Here is where they went!

  • DaytoDay

    Well, I can say I’ve worked my fair share of 10-12 hour days…

    And no, it is not fun coming home, taking a shower, eat, go straight to bed, wake up and do it again 5-6 days a week…

    On top of that, you add in lousy pay, stress, work bs, traffic, etc…

    Also, the competition at these “slave plantations” is FIERCE… I got a job in 2009 as a men’s spa attendant at the Westin Kierland and about a week after being hired, my managers told me that I beat out over 100 people for that one, part-time $10/hr position…

    I have worked at the grand opening of restaurants, where over 150 people, came for interviews the same day…

    You name the industry, and I’ve probably been in it… I’ve worked in law firms, hospitals, restaurants, hotels, grocery stores, multimedia centers, etc…

    And what I can say is, the competition is FIERCE, everywhere for everything…

  • AFK

    Well then? Go ahead! Explain to us HOW we can protect ourself and how to demand less hours and higher pay. You have explained the problem, but nothing said about the SOLUTION?

    • paul

      Thats easy. Find one or more rich people to pay for your service or product. But remember: do not tax them.


    • DaytoDay

      They’re called UNIONS…

  • Gman

    I understand exactly how this is, my wife is a nurse. Her company has had a pay freeze for the last three years. I got laid off on Thursday. I suppose luckily for us, her company has become short on nurses, so she is allowed to get overtime for the first time this year. So now she is having to work 4-5 days a week. 12 hour shifts. It’s going to be hard for me to find a decent job because we have no childcare and I’m going back to school full time.

  • Kenny

    Newsflash! Almost everyone is now riding in the cart. The few that are (still) pulling it are working themselves to death. Nothing to see here… move along please!

  • Roger Smith

    Great article Michael. Now how do we convince some of those “rich kids of instagram” to consider the ******* solution?…Just kidding!…kinda. Anyway, I think what goes hand in hand with the over-worked American problems is the increase in drug and alcohol issues. It seems like everybody is looking for a way to dull the pain….which is expected ’cause there’s definitely a lot of pain to go around. All it leads to is people becoming even more run down, tired and broke. So those who are doing it….stop it, especially if you have kids. It’s time for all of us to get back into shape.

  • Sam

    I’m salary and my company has decided on a “no overtime” policy. So guess who gets to work extra without any extra pay. There are hourly workers that could desperately use the overtime and I would rather have my life back. The company has cut every department’s personnel to the bone in order to save money and keep profits up.

    The next nasty surprise comes on January 1, 2013 – the new marginal tax rates. The rhetoric the democrats is that we must tax the rich, but guess what marginal rate gets the largest increase? DING DING DING WE HAVE A WINNER – the lowest rate. It goes from 10% to 15%. That’s a 50% increase in the taxes of the bottom earners. And for those of us in the next bracket that jumps from 25% to 28% many of the deductions we currently take are being phased out. So even if you manage to crawl up one more rung on the tax bracket ladder, you’ll pay more.

    Both my husband and I sacrificed much in our 20’s and early 30’s to get our education, pay our dues and finally make good money. Our retirement plan is losing $700 – $900 per quarter, our savings account is only getting 0.5% interest and our house we purchased for $270,000 in 2006 is currently worth (wait for it……..) $64,000!!!!!!!!!! Add to this inflation, which is way more than what the government reports. Evidently no one in Washington DC goes grocery shopping or buys gas. Despite our low 6 figure income, both of us may be looking for second jobs to make ends meet. But alas, when we make even more, the government takes even more.

    Atlas may be shrugging soon…………

    • paul

      sounds like my former company – no overtime paid, no pay increase for the last 10 years. And if you go after 8 hours, make sure your boss doesn’t see you. He could be upset when you le

      ave earlie
      r than him
      We didn’t have enough personnel. Couldn’t finish projects on time, no invoics sent, no income. Solution: get rid of more people.

    • A.S.

      Overtime work with no pay is 100% illegal. Sue your company if they make you do this!

      • liberranter

        Don’t bother. Most companies categorize salaried employees at certain pay grades as “exempt.” This means that they can work the s*** out of you, without paying you overtime. Unethical? Sure, but completely legal, rubberstamped by the U.S. Department of “Justice” and the Bureau of Labor.

        • paul

          Same in UK, Germany, China.

          In China people are creative.
          First thing in the morning they have breakfast, last thing in the evening they have dinner delivered. And why not? The office is airconditioned, their home is not. Just make sure to stay longer than the boss.

  • TtT Engine

    For those of us still standing [have a job that barely sustains us and not taking food stamps and government vote subsidies], life is about praying in the car, on the run and working/living to pay our bills. Government pension taxes and paying our bills is sucking the life out of most of us. Money in, money out, that’s the big government entitlement game. This is what this disgusting, anti constitutional liberal government has left us with. Remember indentured servants, your blood taxes only pay for BIG government pensions and entitlements. Our government is $1.5 trillion over budget each and every year now, the new norm. This means that they print, borrow and spend to keep the lights on. The economic collapse or the physical collapse, what is your choice ? -> BIG LIBERAL TAX AND SPEND GOVERNMENT is WHAT YOU VOTED FOR, baby and THAT’S WHAT WE GOT ! NICE WORK ! Christi Fidelis !!

  • Rikki

    I call BS on this Michael

    I do not know 1 single person who is overworked, its the opposite they cant find enough work…people working 2-3 jobs…well ok if its retail or janitorial work…but a real job…huh? I just want 1 full time job…

    I am stressed out from having months long vacations…i want to work

    If you are currently feeling overly tired and overly stressed because you have been working too much, I encourage you to take a vacation.

    • superbighuge

      You don’t know any over-worked people? Bwahahahahaha! Americans now work 6.5 months per year to satisfy the tax burden imposed by the government. That’s just the folks who earn enough to pay federal taxes. The remainder of the slaves work full-time yet STILL qualify for welfare benefits…but YOU don’t know any person that is overworked. Must be nice.

    • liberranter

      Please. Go home, troll.

      • Rikki

        Funny….i would love to be over worked i’ve had enough vacation time…so why are they doing it?

        Its easy enough to hire some people to take the load off…

  • Zak

    Life is precious. No amount of money can get back lost time.

    I wish I knew this 20 years ago. I hope the future generations are wiser than our generation.

    I have spent countless years on dead end jobs. Fortunately this year I found a job I really like.

  • Christie

    I think many people who DO commit suicide are not not chasing material goods but are trying to make ends meet. Overall good article.

  • Matthew Wickman

    I just quit my job almost 2 months ago at the end of July and I had started in February where I was working 52 hours a week 6 days at a butcher shop it was supposed to be for 10 an hour. I’m not stupid I knew I was getting underpaid from the start. Before taxes that should be 520 dollars, but I was getting 317 a week after “taxes” It was a local business in Sioux City, Iowa. I really needed the money though. My boss was a below par human being who tried getting me to use rotten meat to grind in when making hamburger to rip people off and obviously didn’t care for food safety and he treated all the workers like crap and complained the business wasn’t making enough right after buying an 83 inch T.V. he was bragging about and buying a brand new 2011 Camaro. I haven’t been able to find a job since I didn’t expect to, and have gotten a lot of flack from friends and family for quitting even though I was getting ripped off and working for a bad man. I’m honest on applications too when they ask me to describe in detail why I quit my last job and I’m sure that doesn’t help as everyone in the United States wants a zombie slave only workforce. It’s so sad.

    • paul

      Yes, our boss always complained about bad business situation. Then bought himself a Porsche, and was afraid we’d see him, so he didn’t use the company car park.

      Anyone who stuck to the safety rules and didn’t want to rip off the customer was labelled as bad for business and uncooperative. If you helped your colleague you got blamed for not doing your job in these 30 minutes …

      In Germany it became common to fire people for peanuts
      – an engineer because he recharged his phone in the office – for stealing electricity;
      – a rubbish collector, after he took a still packed item home instead of putting it into the shredder;
      – a care worker because she didn’t throw away left over food, but ate it.
      Etc. Etc.

      • paul

        oh, in Germany the employer says this behavior is common in America where the “real” business people live. So better get used to inhuman working conditions.

  • Where does the money go. It’s being made, but you don’t get to take it home, and you don’t even get to keep yours in your family when you die.

  • Steven Woeste

    I have much experience at “working myself to death”; I just don’t understand why I’m not dead yet. When I was younger (in my early 20s), I worked two, full-time jobs simultaneously, for 80-90 hours of work per week. Later, in my 30s, as an assistant professor at a small University, I worked as much as 48-72 hours without any sleep, and did it repeatedly, yet I still was fired for not being “productive”. And, in the last several years, when my bills were becoming overwhelming, I again worked in a frenzy to sell things on Ebay; I had over 500 auctions going at one time. The hardest part was walking everything to the Post Office (I have no car), sometimes making 5 trips in a day, and carrying 200-300 pounds total to be shipped. So, I paid my bills, covered my debts, and put a tiny bit aside, but at what cost? Unfortunately, I only see things getting worse from here, and not just for me, but for everybody.

    • Michael

      Great comment Steven. Most people that work themselves nearly to death end up not having much to show for it. Most of the work that gets done by the American people makes other people rich.


      • liberranter

        Most of the work that gets done by the American people makes other people rich.

        BINGO. And God help the entrepreneur who is stupid enough today to start a business “above ground.” I really get a big belly-laugh out of the politicians who vomit the disingenuous nonsense that their states and localities are “business friendly.” Sure they are – to the established “big boys” who will move in and strike up sleazy, criminal deals with the local political machines to steal from the local population and impress massive numbers of them into their slave labor racket. But let any self-starter who doesn’t want to play the state-corporatocracy game try to start up a new business without lining the pockets of the reigning kleptoplutocracy and he’ll find himself locked up –and his assets “forfeited”– so fast it’ll make his head spin.

        Words to the wise, based on advice that I’m now following myself:

        1. Take some quality time to write down some ideas for a side business, something with which you can start out small, with minimal investment in money, time, and capital using your existing talents and assets.

        2. Develop a list of potential clients who would want and would be willing to pay for your goods or services.

        3. Advertise to these clients by means that DO NOT involve traditional vehicles. In other words, make “word of mouth” work for you. Traditional advertising vehicles do nothing but attract the attention of the “Kommerzpolizei” that are infesting Amerika looking for small-time “tax cheats” (i.e., people wanting to keep the fruits of their own labor) to clamp down on.

        4. NEVER, EVER accept anything but cash or barter-in-kind for your labor or goods. Electronic or financial institution-based payment transactions are the surest way to make yourself a target for the reigning kleptoplutocracy.

        5a. Start spending more and more time on your “sideline” and less and less time at your slave job, particularly as your “sideline” grows.

        5b. Start multiple “sidelines” if you have the time, money, or resources to do so, especially if one sideline isn’t generating the income you anticipated.

        6. Remember: NO job or sideline is “beneath you.” If it’s making you honest money, if you’re providing a good or service that someone else is willing to pay you for, and the transaction is VOLUNTARY and harms neither you nor your customer(s), then it’s a legitimate business!

        In short, folks, the only way to gain financial independence is to break away from the Matrix and become what previous generations would call a “hustler” or “huckster.” This does NOT mean that you’re dishonest or that you are selling your customers a proverbial “bill of goods.” It means, very simply, that you are working as hard as possible to earn every dollar you can FOR YOURSELF. Will it require hard work? You bet, possibly even harder work than you do now for the faceless slave machine for which you labor for 50-100 hours per week. BUT, the the fruits of your labor are YOURS AND NO ONE ELSE’S! You’ll also probably feel a renewed sense of energy being your own boss. I know I’m already feeling this, and I’ve just gotten started!

  • Michael

    Problem is most of us even with a higher education are fighting just to keep our homes and the lights on. Vacation… can’t afford one. Married 17 years and no have only taken 1 vacation, a 3 day drive up the coast of California 12 years ago.

    • Michael


      It is true – many people simply cannot afford to even think about a vacation.


    • Mondobeyondo

      What’s a vacation?

      • Mondobeyondo

        When I was working, I was too busy to take one. Now that I’m unemployed and broke, I can’t afford to take one.

      • paul

        In Germany workers get 30 days paid holidays per year, in addition to public holidays.
        During the crisis many people have a staycation in Balconia.

  • Arianey

    Spare a thought for two job Kate,
    She starts work early and gets home late,
    Since the local mechanics closed their doors,
    Her husband now works on other shores,
    Overworked and underpaid,
    Her hope and dreams, to rest now laid,
    Others would laugh if they saw her remittance,
    For the hours that she works, it’s truly a pittance,
    It’s hard to function in a sleep deprived haze,
    Or provide for three kids on her minimal wage,
    The staff in HR just don’t seem to care,
    They don’t allow breaks or pay her train fare,
    She knows what will happen if she goes there and sobs,
    They’ve got fifty more people who want her job,
    Sadly stories like these spread like a contagion,
    Profits all, workers nil in this crazy equation,
    What has led to this dire situation?
    The end of growth in Western nations.

    © A. Higham

  • I think this is one of the best articles that has been written on this blog!
    It’s not partisan, it’s about the American people as a whole.

    • liberranter

      It’s not partisan, it’s about the American people as a whole.

      Absolutely right, and it makes me sick to my stomach to see the two pretenders to the Puppet Throne trying to make it a partisan issue.

      There isn’t a vile enough section of hell for either Mitt Obama or Barack Romney to inhabit.

  • k

    well now we know one of the reasons why corporations arent hiring inspite of having good profits since the last two years after the recession has ended…..they are making existing employees work more.

  • ScotinOz

    Companies in the US prey on the whole fear factor to make employees work longer and longer. The article mentions Germany, I lived and worked there for 10 years. The Govt was able to avoid spike in unemployment with options that saw employees work less hours rather than have them lose jobs, also there are strict rules around working 12 hour days for more than 3 in a row it should be an exception rather than the rule.

    I worked in the Bay Area for a few years but to be honest the constant demand for working all hours just because I had guys in India to deal with drove me insane. I am not a pro union person I believe they do as much harm as good but I think some sort of concerted effort is required to put a stop to this, just saying no might mean losing your job but if the cost is your long term health then maybe its worth it

  • chiller

    I don’t know who’s more fortunate….those who have been laid off or those who are being worked to death.

    • paul

      Just made redundant. I am doing things I never found the time doing in the last 20 years.
      Today we had heavy rain. I put on my rain gear and walked to the city, and when I came home, checked what got wet and where and how much.
      Quite interesting only my shoes need to be taken care of.

      My partner just got a job as a nurse. Before he cooked my food, now I do the cooking, gardening, laundry, etc. And some training and learning linux and android – to become legal with unpaid software and to replace the desktop system with a tablet, and …
      Actually, there is so much to do. Need to learn languages as well. Can’t get a job in China if you don’t speak Chinese.

      Luckily, when I had that job and worked 80 hour weeks, I didn’t spend much. I still lived like on social welfare. Vacation? Yes, but staying at friend’s houses not hotels whenever possible. Or camping with a tent. US$10 per night.
      Still my best holidays.

  • Zechariah

    That which an individual can control, they should control. My uncle use to say “It is not the high cost of living but the cost of high living” that gets folks in trouble. One partial solution to a 2012 nightmare is trying to live a 1950s reality in terms of individual fiscal restraint. Granted, that is tough since your only worth to the American System is that of a consumer. And…the System actually declares you have no value unless you consume this, that, or whatever. Commercial Babylon!

  • Frederick

    I work in the health care field in the U.S. American hospitals are sweat shops and Americans don’t care to do anything about it. They are chronically understaffed, which is dangerous. Managers very often ignore complaints and sweep them under the rug, and turnover is very,very high.Conditions are so bad that Americans don’t even want to work in American hospitals. And pay has stagnated for years for mid tier workers. 40% of doctors are burned out completely. Things are so bad that hospitals all over America are recruiting nurses from the Philippines now on two year contracts. It has reached a dangerous state and the quality of care is suffering, as most people are absolutely exhausted.

    • paul

      oh yes, Philippine doctors are retraining as nurse, as a nurse’s income in the US is higher than a doctor’s in the Philippines.

      The UK has replaced all her doctors by consultants.

  • Frederick

    “In this economic environment, most people are scared to death of losing the jobs that they currently have because they don’t know if they will be able to get another one.” And the corporations that run hospitals know this so they are willing to ignore concerns and valid complaints about things that need to change.

  • C

    Thanks for this article.

    At my last job, I was openly mocked by my boss when I told him that I was working more hours than I expected. I was told that this is how that industry was, and “there is a line of people waiting for your job.”

    I had it easy compared to the people in your article: I was working hard labor about 50 hours a week, plus another 10 hours of week in travel. And I was completely exhausted: at the end of my tenure there, I would “sleep in” on a Saturday until 6:30 – I normally woke up at 3:45 – and then go back to bed for a nap at 10:30. I can’t even imagine having to work 60-70 hours a week.

  • Bill

    At my day job, I work between 42-45 hours per week. I also moonlight as an adjunct professor at the local community college, which takes up an additional 5-7 hours per week (not including prep time). I’m also a struggling author who has written 2 1/2 books and I’m currently looking for a publisher. (That’s another 5-10 hours per week) On top of that, I have a 4 year-old son that I don’t spend nearly enough time with.

    My secret to keeping up with this impossible schedule is a combination of eating a mostly vegetarian and exclusively organic diet and by taking a variety of vitamin supplements designed to repair damaged cells. I also take every vacation day I’m given by timing the busy and non-busy times in my work schedule. I also take the time to do what I love to do the most, which is spend time with my wife & son and I write as often as I can.

    I know I’m one of the lucky ones, but there are things you can do right now to make an impossible work schedule less likely to kill you. There are ALWAYS things you can do to change your situation even if it means increasing your short-term hardship. Remember that what you do for a living should never define who you are as a person. If you’re stuck picking up garbage for a living, either find a way to be the happiest sanitation worker on the planet, or find a way to not do that anymore. That may sound like a tall order if you’re living paycheck to paycheck, but look at it this way…

    What would be the greater hardship on your family? Cutting back on some of your comforts in order to make yourself healthier and happier, or not being around for them anymore because you worked yourself to death?

  • Gift

    All around the world, the elits create SCARCITY BY DESIGN and keep people busy … for not to think!

    Imagine if we would save all tomato, apple,avocado… seeds and plant in public space, in school yards, along roads… WE WOULD HAVE ABUNDANCE and FREE FOOD = first step toward SOVEREIGNTY & INDEPENDENCE
    Imagine if we would use LINUX , UBUNTU… instead microsoft! Using & creating FREE STUFF = ABUNDANCE TO ALL
    Imagine if we would work FOR FREE out of passion, friendshi… in the image of wikipedia collaborators…
    Imagine if we created and used FREE STUFF AT ALL LEVELS..

    google/ youtube: GIFT ECONOMY

    • paul

      Well, we had tomatos on our balcony in China, and herbs.
      On Sundays we walked along the canal in England and collected blackberries and plums. All our kitchen scraps go onto the compost in the back yard. Our flowers attract a lot of butterflies and humble bees.
      We don’t use the heater unless it is really uncomfortable at 5 degC.
      We use an electric dehumidifier to reduce moisture within the house and avoid mold buildup. And keep the warmth in by not needing to open the windows as much.
      Yes, we have TV and computers and gadgets, but no car. We choose the house location according to public transport.and shops reachable on foot especially in snow, when busses are unreliable.

    • completelynuts

      I suggest you look up the tree The American Chestnut it was the envy of the world.
      To just put things in prospective there were about 6 billion trees
      and if each tree provided 5lbs of nectar and pollen for various
      bees you would get over 2lbs of young bees per a tree and there are about 3000-4000 bees per lb its pretty much a fact that even plants that don’t require pollination will have a 5% increase in yield just from the buzz affect and cross pollination affect,that is just one tiny tiny part of the picture.
      Then ask yourself why in the world would our government encourage the planting of Chinese chestnuts? the same in control then are in control now.

      Oh and this example is very very conservative

      • Adam

        Isn’t the Chinese chestnut more resistant to blight?

    • Malcolm Reynolds

      You first comrade.

  • Gift


  • lastmanstanding

    Try running your own business…or 2…they want you to quit.

  • JustanOguy

    Living the America Dream on the Hamster Wheel! Gotta work more to get more, gotta work more to pay the bills.

    Let’s print up another Trillion… That’s the ticket!

    • Mondobeyondo

      “Spin faster! Spin faster! You’re not meeting your quota!”
      Yes, I remember those days.

    • paul

      Reduce the bills as much as possible. I was surprised when my colleague told me that they use at least triple the electricity and triple the gas than we do. And he was just as surprised at our bills. 🙂

  • Eric

    More people die because of suicides then car accidents. This should be a big wakeup for Americans. The lamestream media is lying to you, saying the economy is recovering. The economy is not recovering and the stats prove it.

  • AaronR

    No one ever lays on their death bed wishing they spent more time at work.

  • Jake

    Try living on a single income, where the wife stays home and home schools? We have 5 children. We live paycheck to paycheck. I have never inherited any money from some rich relative, didn’t have my school paid for. I have no relatives with money and will never receive any inheritance. I don’t want to be rich, but most all people of my age have got “old money” from grandparents or parents to help them get started in their first house or had some or all of their college paid for. Try to do all of this on your own if you think you have had it rough. The elite have stolen all the wealth out of everything in this nation, and control most people with payments from birth to grave. There is no American dream anymore. I could care less about being rich. It is all an illusion anyway. Anyone with federal reserve notes better start spending it on silver and tangible assets because in a short amount of time, it is going to disappear.

  • S. Wiseman

    We’ve skipped right back into Egyptian bondage. Today’s bondage far worse than the Israelites captivity in Egypt (they only paid a 20% tax). We’re all slaves now and begging the PTB for more leeks and melons, and more bondage!! No jubilee in sight for the working man or woman.
    In the 40s the government had to wait until the end of the year to get its tax revenue. Today it demands its tithe up front, the first four months of your labor, straight to the greatest organized crime ring in the history of mankind. Impressive.

  • Bob Marshall

    We were never told by the corporate controlled news media that more U.S. troops died from committing suicide than were killed in both wars either.

    • paul

      really? So who told you?

  • WM

    Great article Michael. I can relate to this a lot. I am now working 6 days a week just to make ends meet. The real income destroyer is the insane amount of taxes we pay here in New England. I know the cost of living is one of the reasons people are struggling, because my wife and I live very humble lives, no cable tv, both drive used, paid off cars, etc. But, I work work with a lot of folks who have their priorities screwed up. They complain that they are working 7 days a week, but to listen to them and how they spend their money, they asked for it. I think a lot of of it is that many are not responsible with spending and are chasing the materialism.

    However, I know that many people are just trying to make ends meet, because everything is so expensive. All the while you have millions of able bodied people having baby after baby, and hanging around looking to keep busy while they collect their government checks. Believe me, we see a lot of this type in the industrialized Northeast with all its multifamily housing left over from the golden age of the 20th century. Most of the areas with high rental housing have become welfare, entitlement cesspools where there are drug related shootings each night….

    The entitlement crowd is not as stressed as the working middle class….. This is all on purpose. Those us us who follow this site and Biblical prophecy should know that there is an agenda to destroy America and usher in a New World Order. This whole article perfectly describes how things have gotten out of control, people are over worked, over stressed, and over distracted from seeing that our freedoms are being removed little by little, and we are all so distracted with entertainment and/or just plain working too hard to recognize it. This is exactly what the globailists want to happen…keep us distracted by trying to pay the bills and entertaining ourselves that we wake up some day and all our freedoms are gone and we were too busy working to notice and actually standup and speak out in order to keep this from happening.

    The nations are being aligned, and I personally think it is too late for real change, outside of a unified revolution. America as many of us know it, is gone forever.

    • paul

      After the war my grandma started with three small children, the clothes on their backs, a down quilt and her husband and the older kids imprisoned.
      Everything we had was coming after that. Everything works out within the family.

      My mom and her siblings took care of their mom, I bought my parents a house, which will probably be inherited by my niece or nephew. I pay for university for the nieces of my partner.

      Someone in the family will take care of us. Just make sure all family transactions are in cash, so no tax office will benefit.

  • Kevin2

    I remember reading about how things were going to be in the future when I was a kid in the 1960s. Machines were going to do the work and the work week would be 32 hours with all of your needs (and many wants) met through the marvel of technology.

    Then came a little variable called Free Trade. That kinda altered the plans a bit.

  • donna laxson

    You encourage us to take a vacation?? Hahaha!! Aren’t we talking about HAVING to work ourselves to death out of necessity? I, for one am certainly not ‘chasing material things’. I am chasing the basics of life for my family! If i do not work every minute available to me, we will instantly fall behind. Falling behind CAN and many times DOES result in homelessness!! The concept of ‘vacation’ is foreign to ‘us’ on my economic level. Got any more helpful hints:-/

    • Michael


      I apologize – I certainly did not mean to be insensitive to those that are working themselves crazy just to survive. There are millions upon millions out there that are just trying to make it from day to day.


  • John

    Excellent article and I couldn’t agree more. This kind of reminds me of why Mother Jones supported unions for workers (not what the unions have become today, but what they originally were). Thank you for writing this article and shedding light on how bad things really are here in the real world. Many employees are treated like garbage and like robots instead of human beings with families and feelings. The people doing the back breaking work make very little while those that play golf and sit in padded chairs in air conditioned offices do little real work (if any) for inflated salaries (all because they could afford to sit through 4 years of book reading). The people actually doing the work should make the big money (the more “back breaking”=more pay, in my opinion). Those sitting in air conditioned offices, getting weeks of vacation should make minimum wage. Americans are called lazy, yet we work more than any other industrialized country. Americans are called stupid, yet nothing is done to fix education and many employers refuse to provide quality training. We are told to go to school to get a better job, yet we can’t afford school ($1 trillion student LOAN DEBT is evidence that Americans can’t afford education). On top of that, Americans are required to take classes they have no interest in (like requiring a Math major to take English classes to earn a Math degree. Meanwhile, Australia only requires a Math student to take Math classes to earn a degree and the Swiss keep their education affordable). If America is doing everything right, why do we rank so low in education when compared to the world, why do we have so many homeless and working poor, why do we have so many on welfare, why are people having to work so much for so little? How long before we have to put up suicide nets at jobs like China does (since more Americans are dying by suicide than car crashes already)?

    • Malcolm Reynolds

      Yea, you’re workers’ paradise is a fantasy. See Cuba.

      “The people doing the back breaking work make very little while those that play golf and sit in padded chairs in air conditioned offices do little real work (if any) for inflated salaries (all because they could afford to sit through 4 years of book reading).”

      Te back breaking work just simply isnt worth much because it’s ‘stupid work’ as in any moron can do it. The people you criticise sitting in that padded chair doing little ‘real work’ because they read books are actually working every bit as hard work. It’s just doing hard mental work because they aren’t morons and are hence more valuable. get it? I didnt think so.

      • Malcolm Reynolds

        “get it? I didnt think so.”

        Prolly has something to do with why your stuck doing back breaking work instead of using your mind for a living.

  • GA

    So if those of us that ARE working are killing ourselves, what are all the people on the dole doing?

  • Paul M

    At my previous job I worked 70-80 hours every week. I merely blended in because everyone else there was working the same amount of hours or more. It was very obvious the department I worked in was severely short staffed. I had the position of Corporate accountant and was heavily involved in the month end close.

    A few years back I started developing the symptoms of Ulcerative Colitis. My performance at my job started to deteriorate. I had difficulty meeting deadlines and the quality of my work was poor. I was burned out and sick. I could not sustain working such ridiculous hours every week. Eventually, I received a written warning that my performance better improve quickly. Otherwise I risked termination. Before the Ulcerative Colitis flare up, the quality of my work was solid and I had no trouble meeting deadlines.

    Because of the stress of the job and workload demands I ignored the bleeding that was occurring for 3 months. Eventually, I developed symptoms of severe anemia and had to be hospitalized. When I came back my co-workers resented me because they had to complete some of my assignments. It was a cut throat company. Working 70-80 hours got me nowhere within the company, strained my family relationships, and landed me in the hospital.

    Eventually, I landed a job where I only had to work 45 hours. I was able to reconnect with loved ones and my health improved. Also, I got more done working 45 hours compared to working 70-80 hours. Due in large part to making less errors. I had a clearer head and was not as tired.

    I wanted to share this story as an example of what can happen if you work excessive hours and ignore your health. If you are feeling sick and are burned it is imperative you take some time off. Also go doctor to address your health issues. No job is worth risking your health or life. It will not be the end of the world if you take some time off. It is a chance to rejuvenate and come back a more productive and focused employee. It was my fault I ignored my health issues and let my job performance slide. But it was a hard life lesson that had some positive takeaways.

    • Michael

      Great comment Paul.


    • Concerned Reader

      I am glad to hear that things have worked out better for you Paul. Within the last few years I found myself in a very similar situation. Was working a job in which the company expected us to often put in overtime which we wouldn’t be compensated for. I left said company after 5 years of increasing insanity for another company – from one kettle of fish right into another. This company was even worse! They kept on preaching, “we want you to have a life outside of work” while on the other hand expecting completion of an insane workload. It was very frustrating – being a person who enjoys doing a good job and being valuable to the company I work for, I began to feel like I was failing. All the pressure began to manifest itself in anxiety attacks, marital disharmony etc., until while off for a few days around Christmas I found myself terrified of going back to work – I had never felt like that before. I became unable to cope with going to the grocery store without having severe anxiety – my body was about ready to shut it down if I wasn’t going to. I went to see a Dr. got a note and took a few weeks stress leave – needless to say the company I worked for didn’t take kindly to this and attempted to put me through all kinds of red tape even though I paid the premiums on my health insurance. This was the last straw – i was determined to get out of there before it killed me. I was very fortunate to have Dr.’s who went to bat for me regarding my employer and during the time I had off I was able to reconnect with an old connection in the industry I worked in and found a different less intense job with a challenging but yet manageable workload. I am a praying person and I believe in Jesus Christ to whom I give all the glory for this!

      You are so very right Paul about doing something about your situation before it is too late. I realize some may read this and simply say “well that easy for him to say” because I know that a lot of people are struggling these days – I struggled for years until my body put the brakes on. For those I pray that they will find the grace they need to find their way to peace and prosperity.

  • Charles

    I am in sales and I know I am being worked to exaustion. In 3 years I have only taken 1 week of vacation, and that was to get married. This year we had our quota increased 15% and took a 25% paycut. I was told if I didn’t like it I could quit. The only down time I get is swimming laps at the public pool and Aikido classes. I sleep 4-6 hours a night and commute 3 hours a day to work.

    • Michael


      Those long commutes can be absolute killers. I remember those days, and they were not pleasant.


    • liberranter

      This year we had our quota increased 15% and took a 25% paycut.

      WOW, an increase in work accompanied by a cut in pay?

      My middle finger couldn’t be raised high enough and my feet couldn’t carry me out of such a company fast enough.

  • erheault

    Unfortunatly during the last 30 or so years Amercans have lived off of debt They thought nothing about having several credit cards even the cats and dogs were getting credit cards in the mail, We allowed the governments to spend without any restraint or reasons huge amounts of our worth while entering any local war they could find, Well gang the payments are now due and they will be paid no matter the results to the working class, that is whats left of them, Of coures the 1% will pay all of it ( ha ha )enjoy the ride it will be a lulu.

  • Concerned reader

    I couldn’t agree more! Although it is very sobering content, I appreciate that I’m not alone in seeing things this way – keep up the desperately needed reality checks!

    I think a lot of companies, even companies who aren’t in financial turmoil, are using the excuse of “recession” to oppress their staff and subordinate them into this idea that employees ought to be “so very thankful” to have a job in this economy. So thankful in fact that they will do anything to keep that job, meaning said company can lay the responsibility of three or even four staff onto one person and save millions instead of hiring the right amount of staff to run their business even with the overtime they may pay which gets snatched away from the employee by the taxman who gives tax breaks to big business – pretty nifty little scam. Nobody holds big business to account for their social responsibilities – they need to be reminded that if it wasn’t for people like their employees and customers their “bottom line” wouldn’t be so healthy. Contrary to popular opinion, it is good business to invest in people – after all, without people there would be no need for business. This is absolutely crucial if we expect to recover financially – the recession that followed 2008 was a window of opportunity to re-adjust and proceed with a better perspective. Investing in people definitely is one facet of a sustainable well rounded prosperity that goes beyond just dollars and cents – how can we expect to prosper financially if our society is not healthy?

    • joe oberr

      What is most oppressive is big gov’t which enslaves us through higher taxes (remember – Boston Tea Party over something like 5% tax, & ONLY on tea!!!) and regulations which stifle job creation thru higher employee costs, among other things. If we put our faith in big gov’t than we have to be prepared for the consequences. Problem is 95% of people believe it is big business at fault. In a way it is, its called statism or fascism as big business is in bed with greedy politicians who dole out favors ($$$) to business that bribes them, excuse me, makes campaign donations. Problem is the greedy politicians, like BO who has a revolving door with Goldman Sachs & other bankers, GE’s CEO Immelt etc. I know, the Repubs do it too, but at least some of them they are for less gov’t to some extent. Wait for another 4 years of this extreme left-wing Dem & see how many new jobs are created.
      Business is reluctant to hire due to hi taxes, regulations, hier costs, e.g., obamacare and a poor economy. Now with inflation getting worse & a guarantee of it spiralling out of control due to the banking cartel, excuse again, I mean the Federal Reserve printing unlimited amounts of dollars, we had better hold on tight. Jefferson (I think) said if a gov’t is big enough to give us everthing we want is also big enough to take everyting we have. That’s why the Constitution limited the Federal gov’t to only a few responsibilities. FDR & since have ignored the Constitution & now we find ourselves poorer & one step away from tyranny. We have no one to blame but ourselves.

  • Chris

    Basically the Americans and Brits are being made to work harder and longer for less of a return and less of a pension, if any. Clearly someone is making serious profits from this insecurity and lack of workplace unions intervening and it’s not difficult to see who that would be.

    • Malcolm Reynolds

      Oh please dont hold the unions up as a bastion of wonderful economic theory. Those organized crime syndicates are conning all you suckers that think you’re gonna get those pensions that take something like 29 new workers to support 1 pension. That doesn’t work past the 1 generation of people collecting the pension, which is why is failing everywhere.

      The better plan is to eliminate ALL of that employer and govt based garbage and reinstitute individual freedom over YOUR money. In other words, put YOUR pension back into YOUR hands and let YOU worry about it.

  • I have suspected for many years that the game was rigged and something bad was afoot. I never realized that political corruption and financial graff would take over every aspect of our lives. A great fiction writer could have never made up a twisted plot to describe what has taken place in America in the past five years.

    I wholeheartedly agree. Take some time off to regroup – and breathe. My wife and I are doing everything we can to step off of the ever circling hamster wheel. If that means downsizing even further or relocating to an even simpler place – then so be it. As you say, life is too short. I refuse to allow a broken system to use up whatever is left of me.

    Food Fredom!

    • paul

      Take a vacation. It is surprising how little of your personal possessions you really need to survive. When you take a flight, you’ll anticipate delay of luggage and take the most important stuff into the cabin.

      Back at home do you start downsizing?
      Could you live in a hotel room plus a kitchen for the rest of your life?

      • paul

        and remember, profits can only be made from exploiting workers. The less you work, the less profit can somebody make from you.

        If they want more profit they either need to work by themselves or employ more people and reduce unemployment.

        In the end, people who work unpaid overtime increase unemployment.

        • liberranter

          Profits are fine, but the problem we face in Amerika –heck, the world– today is that “profits” are concentrating into the hands of fewer and fewer people. Contrary to popular belief, this is NOT due to the free market weeding out inefficient producers; it is due to the “big boys” in each sector of the economy using the power of the State to stamp out competition that the free market would generate, which in turn would lower prices, create more jobs, allow more people to compete in the market, and assure more profits for more people (by this I mean a whole lot of “little people”).

          Until the status quo changes, we’re all S-C-R-E-W-E-D.

          • paul

            Try to read some books from Marx and engels. Quite amazing how today is similar to what they wrote 150 years ago in England.

            Actually they predicted what we have today – financial companies controlling everything including the governments.

            There is only one non-violent solution: deny them their profit. Take ownership of your country and treat everything as if it is your own – with care.

  • Plato’s Pug

    Just took a 10 minute break from my daily “take home” work from teaching school. 144 “essays” for 144 students. Admin decided that a simple rubric won’t work for feedback. Now we are to write extensive comments/comments that the students will not read.Most plagarize anyway..It is estimated that teachers put in at least 4-5 additional hours after school.

    Oh, and this brilliant idea came from an overpaid educational “consultant”.

    • Michael

      I feel badly for teachers all over this country. They are being overworked like crazy, they don’t make a lot of money and they have to deal with our monstrous kids.




        • Your Mama

          The problem is that everyone should be making those kind of wages by now. Wages have been stuck in the ****** for the last decade.6% of the workforce is unionized down from 60% fifty years ago. Quit being jealous and do something abut it.

          All you guys are always tea-bagging unions, saying its the workers fault that we are in this economic situation. But I always choose the working man over the 1 percenters. You dopes have really got to get out more, turn off the Fox News and come back to reality a little.

    • Former Teacher

      It would be nice if teachers were left alone to actually teach. After all, how many have masters degrees plus and, yet, are required to attend training sessions like we are a bunch of idiots. I don’t know, but maybe this would make life a little easier: Have students submit work electronically. Create some generic responses to typical errors, which conform to the rubric. Cut and paste in a comment bubble or the rubric framework, then add a few words to personalize or contextualize it, then send it back to students.

  • J.J.C

    After my husband lost his job in 2009 and we had to relocate across the country, I was not able to find work following the move having been home with my kids for so many years makes me a less competitive candidate. The fact we have only one source of income hangs over our heads and my husband works long, long days and is afraid to take time off for the kids school meetings, music recitals or anything that isn’t absolutely essential.

    My mother had a stroke last summer and returned to work just as soon as the doctor would clear her. She worries she can’t afford to retire yet, but she is 64, her job is physically demanding, and she works nights. I’m very worried she literally will work herself to death.

    • Bill

      My dad had a stroke over Labor Day Weekend (how ironic!) because he’s been overworking himself for as long as I can remember.

  • Mondobeyondo

    Be thankful that you have a job where you can work yourself to death, rather than being unemployed, constantly searching online job sites, watching boring soap operas on TV and languishing yourself to death.

  • Mondobeyondo

    The rat race is over. The rats won. Yeah! Go, you rodents, go!!

    • liberranter

      Yes, the “rats” have indeed won. But then again, ain’t that always been true?

  • I worked as a truck driver for several years and would work 5 and 6 days with as little as 8 or 9 hours sleep. Typically you would drive part of the day and all night to make a delivery and only get an hour or two of sleep their and then when you got empty you would have to drive somewhere to reload and then drive the rest of that day and all night to make another delivery the next day, and do it over and over and over. The only time I could get caught up on my sleep was the weekend. Oh you say what about the log book, sometimes we would run two, three and four log books so we could keep driving and not get in trouble or when a shipper or receiver had you load or unload your trailer you logged that time as “sleeper birth” time but in reality you were working your ass off in the back of your trailer. You would get caught in traffic jams all the time but would log it all as if you drive it 55 or 65 MPH. Lots of ways to lie in a book where you draw lines and tell stories. I am sure a lot of American’s work extra or extra jobs to make ends meet.

  • Ben

    Great article, and the majority of Corporations are doing just that “working your arse to death and sending one to an early grave”. Apple was on this list of corporations back in 2009 and probably still on this list today of guilty corporations in call center/email technical problem resoultions department!

  • joe oberr

    We are no doubt, as the article says, getting poorer. That is because we are becoming an immoral nation. BIG government is the solution, not the problem, and more regulations & higher taxes ALWAYS follows when people put their faith in big gov’t. The main indicator of an immoral people, however, is our lack of concern for the innocent lives of preborn babies. Guaranteed that when we vote for pro-“choice” (meaning pro-death for a little baby)politicians they will be the most EVIL people on earth. If they don’t care about a little baby living or not do you actually think they will care about your life?? and whether you have a decent job or not?? Keep voting for liberal left-wing extreme Democrats and continue to watch our formerly wonderful country disintegrate.

    • Heather Williams

      Fight the unions….and end up being slaves to corporations. Fight the government, and watch your rights be oppressed for profit.

  • KL

    Hey Mike,

    This just broke today… An Iranian General is warning of world war III. Can you write a piece about the Iranian and Israel conflict. I would love to get your take and share it with my readers:

  • Skeptic

    so where is God when u need him…
    We need Him more now than ever and so where is He…
    this whole earth/human experiment seems totally ridiculous to me…
    we are just pawns….used to exonerate God…He wants your worship but does He deserve it….I’m still pondering that question…..
    any comments…..

    • Jody

      God is right here forever with us. As a people we rejected him we want his blessing but not him. Jesus promises us forever if we accept him, but not tomorrow. Sadly though many have to go through hardships before they will ever cry out for him. Take care and God bless.

    • Scott

      Hebrews 11:6:

      “But without faith it is impossible to please him: for he that cometh to God must believe that he is, and that he is a rewarder of them that diligently seek him.”

      What have you done for God today?

    • mondobeyondo

      God is everywhere. You’re the one who doesn’t know where He is, or where you are, for that matter.

      Yes, I want that phrase trademarked. Hee!

      • Mondobeyondo

        Whoops! Got that upper case M back again! Thought I’d lost it for a moment!

    • F.T.

      Hi Skeptic. God is judging this nation, similar to nations in the Old Testament times. Why? Because any nation who kills its young, and engages in many other abominable things such as worshiping idols and other gods, engaging in lewdness, adultery and the like, etc. will reap God’s judgment. Plain and simple. But, if this nation will repent and turn from its wicked ways to do what is acceptable in His Sight, God in His mercy and goodness will forgive this nation like Nineveh. Please do not turn away from God, but rather pray for God’s mercy through Jesus Christ who died at Calvary and rose again the third day having been the perfect sacrifice (the only one good enough to wash us from our sins), accepting Him as Lord and Savior so that you are born again + get baptised and to help you do what is right in His eyes rather than what is right in your own eyes. God will provide all your needs in His riches in Glory for those who put their trust in Him. His Word says not to worry about those things for He knows what we need. I can testify that His Word is true in this regard. For the past couple of years I have had to live off of less than half of my income due to disability, and when I pour out my heart to Him and trust Him, He truly provides all my needs even when I have no idea how He is going to do it. But I just continue to pray and hope in His Word. Trust me, I never could have made it without Him. A lot of people have never read His Word. Open the Word of God and read a little each day and you will find out for yourself that He deserves all of our praise. But, know too, that material things can become idols so we should not trust in riches, but put our trust in Him to meet our NEEDS. Hope this helps.

    • this guy

      Agnostic? Correct???

    • GH

      He is a gentleman, when we asked Him to leave us alone He will.

      When we decide as a nation to turn back to Him, He will be there.

      • DownWithLibs

        Well said! And true.

    • WM

      The Bible tells us in great detail why the world is in such a mess. One reason it seems God is out of sight is that he is being patient in giving more time for people to repent and turn to the Lord Jesus Christ to be saved from the wrath to come.

      There is a time coming when God will shut the window of opportunity to be saved, and will step in as it were to put an end of this current system.

      It is mans rebellion towards a Holy God and his Law, that is the cause of all the heartaches we see

      The Bible says that there is no name given unto man in which he can be saved (from hell), but the Name of Jesus….I would encourage you to find out who this Jesus as described in the Bible is

      • DownWithLibs

        Romans 10:9 – “If you confess with your mouth that Jesus is Lord and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved.”

        And, yes, it is THAT SIMPLE!!!

        • Michael

          You are right – God does not make it complicated to come to Him.


    • Malcolm Reynolds

      “We need Him more now than ever and so where is He…”

      Why should God protect this country? He’s removed his protection of this country because we as a nation have been ‘tolerant’ of the anti-God left that’s chased him out of govt, out of schools, out of the public eye and replaced him with evil.

    • JoanF

      God definitely deserves our praise. He has his own timetable, and when he decides it’s time, Israel is going to be the undisputed winner.

    • steve

      When a nation repents of their sin,then God will hear their prayers…stop blaming God!

      II Chronicles 7:14 “If my people, which are called by my name, shall humble themselves, and pray, and seek my face, and turn from their wicked ways; then will I hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin, and will heal their land.”

    • Victor

      Wow, lots of people off their meds today. There is no more evidence for the existence of your “God” than there is for the existence of any other historical god like Zeus or Odin. Reality would be better served without your delusions to cloud your vision.

      • Victor, you haven’t experienced reality yet. You will however find yourself bowing to the God that you do not acknowledge. How’s that for an ego buster?

    • Mad Max

      You don’t need god if you use your brain. Wake up people we are free.

      Do you know what real freedom is?

      • Lisa

        Mad Max: People have been using their brains for countless centuries, thinking they have all the answers. But God’s ways are not our ways. People are prone to make mistakes. God says in His Word, the Holy Bible, that mankind falls short of the glory of God. God is utterly holy and we are not. That means we are sinners and need forgiveness. Have you ever lied? Stolen anything? Committed adultery? Lusted after someone else’s goods or wife/husband? Then that makes you a sinner, just like everyone else. God said that he wants to forgive all of us of our sins. He alone provided a way for this to happen through faith in His Son, Jesus who lived a sinless life and is the only worthy sacrifice for us. God wants to have a relationship with each of us and has provided the free gift of salvation to us through faith in Jesus who gave His very life for us (that includes you) by dying on a cross for us when we did not deserve such love. There is no greater love than this, that He laid down His life for us. You say you are free but you are not free until you see your need for forgiveness. He alone can free you. In the the Bible, John 3:16-17 says, “For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son that whoever believes in Him would not perish [experience spiritual death], but have everlasting life. For God did not send His Son into the world to condemn the world, but that thew world through Him might be saved.”

      • Lisa

        One last thing, Mad Max: You too, can have forgiveness and be set free if you would see your need for God’s forgiveness. What God wants you to do is humble yourself and pray to Him, turn away from your sins, and ask Him to forgive you and ask Jesus into your life. If you do that and are sincere, God will forgive you and wash your sins away. That is His promise. Then, find some Christians to share that you have asked Jesus into your life. and then get baptized. I pray that this will be your decision. May God bless you.

    • God is always there when we need Him. The problem is most Americans see God as a Santa Claus, expecting God to give us whatever we want and answer every prayer exactly the way we want. God has not made us robots. He gave each of us an option to believe in Him or not believe. It’s our choice,which is a great thing, don’t you think? Bad things happen to good people because we live in a world full of greed, violence and sin. America has turned her back on God. Why should He step in and help us when we don’t even acknowledge Him, have kicked him out of our schools, businesses and even our churches! Since we have rejected Him, He has rejected us. True believers are not living in fear but know the end of the story. We are excited about the future and look forward to the coming of Jesus Christ.
      Skeptics, trust me, you WILL bow to Jesus Christ some day regardless of your refusal to believe in God or Jesus. That will be a very hard day for you when you’ve read blogs like the ones here and have chosen to scoff at us ‘crazy’ Christians. Scoff now. The Bible tells us that “It’s a terrible (terrifying) thing to fall into the hands of an angry God”. God’s nature is to forgive and restore but He also has an opposite side which is anger and judgement.
      Please don’t allow yourself to fall on the judgment side. It will not be good for you as an unbeliever.

  • Washington

    Fiscal Cliff: Will A 1937 Repeat = 2013 Dead Meat? September 24, 2012

    • Malcolm Reynolds

      I cant believe that article makes this point.

      “What’s Similar Today

      Just as there is pressure to cut spending today by Republicans and ‘Tea-Party’ Congressmen, so too there was pressure for FDR and the Federal Reserve in 1937 to unwind fiscal and monetary stimulus”

      Of course monetary stimulus and regular spending aren’t anywhere near the same thing.

    • Malcolm Reynolds

      oops. too quick on the button.

      Then there’s this revisionism whopper.

      “FDR was successful in dramatically reducing spending and significantly increasing taxes. Specifically, federal spending was reduced by -17%

  • Redd

    These companies don’t care how long or how hard you work for them. The moment they find out they can save a few bucks without you, they’ll throw you out on the street no questions asked. It’s sickening! And they take advantage of their part time employees by purposely assigning them certain hours instead of paying their full time employees overtime. And some people act like just because they are surviving that it means everyone else who isn’t is just lazy. Yes, some people on govt. assistance are just plain lazy, but like Mike said, alot of these people are working and still need assistance. What’s sad is these greedy corporations have actually brainwashed and made many Americans content with working the hardest to get paid the least. They have made the American people be happy with less and tell them it could be worse, while distracting them from the fact that it could be a whole lot better. By the way, Michael, love your articles, keep up the good work, buddy.

    • ConcernedAmerican

      Good points.

    • Victor

      “Americans working hardest and paid the least”

      Are you insane?? Have you read anything about working conditions in any developing nation on the planet? China or India or Indonesia or any other country that makes the things you buy and wear and use. You have no idea how good you have it right now.

      As for companies being “greedy”, companies are made of people, and companies are there to make money. A company that didn’t find ways to save money would be acting irresponsibly. If you were a shareholder in such a company, you would be (rightly) furious!

      • Lisa

        Victor, a decade ago that may have been true. But this time in history is unique. Today, corporations are even more greedy than ever before. They have gotten meaner and even work Americans harder. Lack of strong unionization in America that once was there to look after it workers’ welfare, is almost nonexistent. Also, due to corporate greed for goods and services, people need to work more than 1 job just to make it through the months. Corporations are part of the unbridled capitalist system which is ruining our world. What capitalists don’t seem to realize is that it’s not only about making money; it’a also about being fair about people’s welfare and not to just exploit workers for the sake of getting more and more filthy rich. People should never be seen as commodities. People have human needs: the need to see hope for their lives and to be rewarded for their labor in a fair way and to no have opportunities to gain a better life for themselves taken way. That is what capitalism has dome to Americans. I am not anti-capitalist; I just have witnessed the negative social and psychological consequences of the mean-spiritedness of what corporations have done to all of us. Returning to my original point, it is also true that people who have Bachelors Degrees, also work longer hours because their bosses demand it or have to just to justify having a job. That is the trend these days. I was let go of a job last year that I was certain would kill of me because of the severe workload and stress. The bosses didn’t care as long as I met deadlines. I couldn’t do it any longer because I got so burned out, I couldn’t keep up, so they fired me. Like so many more Americans, I haven’t found work even though I have diligently looked. I have great skills and plenty of experience, but no one will hire me. I’m not complaining; it’s just a fact. I’m getting re-training through the federal government WIA program since there are so few jobs open in my area in the field I’ve worked in. Hopefully, that will open a few new doors for me and I can start a new career. O hope I have shed some light for you to help you wrap your head around what has taken place in the world of work in America. This so-called recession (I call it a Depression) has had horribly devastating effects on too many people’s lives.

        • Victor

          First, human labour IS a commodity. As an American, you’re likely just used to that being true in other (developing) nations, but not your own. Do you *really* believe you work(ed) harder/longer/under better conditions than a Chinese worker on an assembly line?

          Second, corporations aren’t “mean”. Corporations are entities made up of and owned by people, and people invest their money in said corporations in order to make more money. As a shareholder, I’d be furious if a company COULD make more money, and chose not to. That’s not what corporations are designed to do.

          There is no reason for anyone in the working class to live in luxury. Historically, this has NOT been the normal situation. In fact, throughout most of our history, most humans were just working for food and shelter!

      • Lisa

        People who reaD my post to Victor (and Victor, too): I apologize for the typos. I’m very tired tonight (it’s 11:17 p.m.) and my eyesight isn’t that good anyway. So, I’m sorry. Hope you all have a good rest tonight.

  • I think Leo Tolstoy nailed it with these words: “Money is a new form of slavery, and distinguishable from the old simply by the fact that it is impersonal – that there is no human relation between master and slave.”

  • I was just out today grabbing some lunch and running errands and noticing this same thing. People (many of them much older) working as door greeters or waiting tables, I wondered how many jobs they had just to put food on the table or to pay for their meds. Sad indeed.

    While not downplaying the fact that our dollar’s purchasing power is shrinking along with wages, at least some of the work induced stress to “pay the bills” self inflicted. People have accepted as some kind of strange rule that they should do some of the following:

    1-go to school no matter what, rack up huge student loans. In order to continue to defer payment on student loans, enroll in graduate school and get more loans.

    2-you must have a huge wedding, charge it!

    3-home “ownership” is mandatory, buy more than you can afford, you’ll grow into it,

    4-everyone I know has 2 new cars, we should too!

    5-0% APR for 18 months? I NEED that 60 inch TV so I can watch football, I’m headed to Best Buy right now.

    6-Only the best for our kids, we’ll finance a complete private school education.

    7-all my buddies have a new Harley, I’ll buy one too, just use my HELOC.

    Just some random examples, but the main point is we have come to a place in our society where we feel entitled to all of these things. We simply must have the mc-mansion and all the other good stuff that goes along with it. Michael addressed this very concern in the “materialistic” post. So people get all of this crap and then have to work 80 hours per week just to pay for it all (or maybe just the interest payments on the debt).

    Just some thoughts. Again that’s not everyone but it certainly does reflect a large % of the population.


    • Victor

      Well said. Some of the whiners on this blog should pay attention here. There is no reason for anyone in the working class to live in luxury. Historically, this has NOT been the normal situation. In fact, throughout most of our history, most humans were just working for food and shelter!

    • ConcernedAmerican

      This describes some people perfectly. However, I know people that are working very hard just for basic needs (water, food, electricity, clothes) and are barely making it. Some Americans have even had to make the choice not to have children based simply on the fact that they can not afford another mouth to feed or back to clothe. When I read the numbers about how many Americans struggle with hunger (I think it was 1 in 6 last time I read it), or when I see the numbers on homeless people and homeless veterans in the United States, or when I see the numbers on how many children are homeless in this country or dropping out of school to get jobs to help their families pay basic bills, that is what makes me realize that poverty is not only touching Americans that overspend and need to show off. Instead, poverty is even touching working class people that are very frugile and only buy necessities.

      • ConcernedAmerican

        Excuse the typo….frugile was supposed to be frugal.

  • Kim

    I see the ‘Well, what can we do about it?’ responses, and while I don’t think this would work for everyone, it’s an option –

    Gotta be better than the alternative.

  • bas


    I live and work in Amsterdam the Netherlands. I have always been amazed by the work people in the United States do. Two / Three jobs i realy dont think this is normal. Here the maximum contract is for about 38 to 40 hours but a lot of people work 32 hours or less. It even isnt encouraged to work two jobs because i would have to pay more tax so that it isnt that rewarding to do. I think in the United states there are more extravagant rich people than over here. Wealth is divided more in europe i think.

    • ConcernedAmerican

      Thanks for giving insight into how other countries treat their people. I have read that some other industrialized countries give their workers 2-4 months time off per year with pay. Then, workers can afford to take time off/vacation and I have also read that workers come back refreshed and productive. I think Redd made a great point when Redd posted “distracting them from the fact that it could be a whole lot better.” Bas- Your insight/comments shed light on that point perfectly.

  • BeeDubs

    The worst is how un-fulfilling most jobs are. Imagine working at a McDonalds as someone who hears your order, then types it in for you?

    The rest of us work desk jobs either figuring out ways to make jobs obsolete by computer or converting data from physical to electronic.

    Then you got the poor factory workers over at Foxxconn….

    The world needs a fucking *********. It needs to start now and it needs to be big. Be it artificial intelligence or free energy we gotta make something to dig out of this ***********, systems and politics and bull********** aside. It’d give us a reason to get up in the morning, you might not be working on the main vein of the project, but dammit, you’re supporting it, a common goal for humanity is out there, this life doesn’t have to be a series of aimless events.

    • ConcernedAmerican

      I think there was recently an article here along those lines. I think it was “Looking for work, don’t get your hopes up.”. It talked about how not many jobs are good jobs anymore and we are mostly left with mindless service jobs (flipping burgers, opening doors, etc.). Not everyone wants to work in service industries here in America. America was supposed to be the land where dreams came true, where one could find and fulfill a life calling. Now we can only find jobs where we flip and serve GMO burgers to grumpy people. We can’t afford school as the cost is outrageous and the people that actually work for a living get paid next to nothing (when compared to what it costs to live). When some people complain how little they make and how hard they work, there is always a “go to school” (be part of the $1 trillion in student LOAN DEBT) if you need to make better money (even though it has been shown many college grads are unemployed or underemployed, work harder (yes, a human body does not need sleep or rest….let us work 168 hours per week instead of the 70 per week many are already working). Well, I for one know Americans are not stupid nor lazy. Americans are too trusting, kind hearted, and think the best of everyone and that is why Americans are taken advantage of. Sad that so many are so quick to take advantage of good hearted, hard working people.

      • Lisa

        Thank you, Concerned American. Americans are usually good-hearted people that corporations take advantage of and screw over. That’s the problem. We’ve become too complacent and docile. We need to get a= some real backbone and STAND UP TO what has changed the conditions under which we live over the last few years. The Occupy movement failed. What’s next? Well, if Americans finally woke up from their sleep and got mad as hell and stood up for their rights AS A NATION then maybe we would get our leaders to listen to us. People need to write to their Congress people EN MASSE. And vote out these good-for-nothing ultra low-life Conservative so-called tea party bunch who have done nothing but make life hell for us. We deserve better. And we WILL get better ONLY if we stand up to these scum bags!!!

        • Louise in MO


          Get rid of these low-life, scum bag conservatives and tea partiers?


  • I saw this coming 12 years ago. I noticed right away that my 401k was play money for the BANKsters so I stopped contributing. I noticed that the credit score is used to scare me to take the drug called “consumerism” so I cut all my credit cards and spent only when I had cash. I moved my money to the community bank and credit union. I noticed that the food industry was selling unhealthy items so I started organic backyard gardening and minimized on processed food. I realized that real value was not in stocks but in land that produces real food so I saved cash to buy land very soon. I noticed that I paid too much money to health insurance but since I came to the US my family never had any health issues so I stopped paying that paid cash for dental and visual needs. I noticed that the oil industry had too much influence on my budget so I modified my car so I got 45+ mpg highway. I noticed I paid the large auto maintenance business too much while there are small-business auto mechanics who can do the same job for the cheaper price so now I am writing/coding software and a website ( to level the playing field and give the small business auto mechanics the ability to gain customers just like the large ones. Now I am adding 3-4 hours per day to finish up this website.

  • Will Dav

    I live in Scotland, UK. In my 50s, I’ve had problems with bipolar disorder and Asperger syndrome since adolescence. This has made finding work and keeping work difficult for most of my life. I improved my condition with a low carbohydrate diet, eliminating foods I had an intolerance to which made my symptoms worse, exercising and taking antioxidant supplements. This has improved my capacity for work.

    I sympathize with the folks on here who work such long hours and commute so much. I simply couldn’t do it. I was long term unemployed, and decided to work in a charity shop as a volunteer in 1999. This meant I didn’t have the hassle of being interviewed by the social security every three months to explain why I was still unemployed, and being sent on useless courses by them. It also gave me something I could put on my CV to impress prospective employers.

    Soon after the voluntary work, I got a temporary summer (6 month) job with the local authority, mowing pensioners’ lawns. It was my year doing voluntary work that impressed the interviewers and got me the job. In 2001, I was offered a job by the authority as a park litter picker. I took it, and have been doing it ever since. It’s a low stress job, which is what I need. Psychological stress is the worst thing for people with mental health issues. It can worsen things badly, particularly when it’s prolonged.

    I work a 4 1/2 day week, with a 1pm finish on Fridays. I only earn $11.50 an hour, but I’m single and don’t own a car or take vacations. I rent a 2 bedroomed house from the local authority for $85 a week. I get 42 days holiday a year, and am allowed 15 days self certified sick leave a year before any question are asked. I haven’t had a day off sick in the last 3 years, though. I reckon I walk about 8 miles a day at work, and that keeps me fit.

    When I was young, I’d have been aghast if I’d been told I’d be doing litter picking as a job, but, given my problems, it’s turned out to be a great job despite the low pay. I’d recommend to any unemployed person to do voluntary work while unemployed. It looks very good on your CV and it got me back into employment.

    • paul

      How do you get to do voluntary work? I never got any reply to my e-mails. We applied to foster children only to be told there are a 101 reasons why we can’t be considered we should try again next year. Next day they put out another ad that they urgently need foster parents. We probably weren’t rich enough .

  • El Pollo de Oro

    The corporate fascists and robber barons that Gerald Celente and Alex Jones often warn us about would have us believe that the poor and neo-poor (formerly middle class) are lazy and shiftless. There are some people who take advantage of the system, but in many cases, the opposite is true: people are working themselves to death and have nothing to show for it. That type of thing is typical of corrupt Third World hellholes, which is what The Banana Republic of America (formerly the USA) has become. The frightening thing is that when enough Americans realize that the game is rigged, they will do what so many people do in other Third World hellholes and apply their work ethic to the underground economy—and that underground economy will grow by leaps and bounds as the BRA sinks deeper and deeper into the abyss. So get ready for the poor and the desperate to look to the following growth areas: drug trafficking, kidnapping, murder for hire, carjacking, extortion.

    “Being deeply in debt is like being grossly overweight. You’re carrying around this extra baggage that slows you down, and without continuous, conscious effort you tend to stop moving. That’s the situation in which the world finds itself.”—John Rubino

    “You know what Michelle Obama said the other day? She said to the troops, ‘We have your back.’ Oh, yeah? I don’t see you out there with a gun, sweetie.” —Gerald Celente

    “Jamie Diamond is Satan.”—Max Keiser

    “If our research is right, Americans will have to make some tough choices on how they’ll go about surviving when basic necessities become nearly unaffordable and the economy becomes dangerously unstable.” —Keith Fitz-Gerald, Chief Investment Strategist for the Money Map Press

    “This is the face of our political class: arrogant, authoritarian, and on the level of some banana republic south of the border. Welcome to the New America, where leader-worship has taken the place of politics, Team Red and Team Blue battle it out to see who gets to be El Supremo for the next four years, and politics resembles a prolonged soccer game.”—Justin Raimondo,

    “Mitt Romney was born with a silver spoon in his mouth and a magic diaper on his ass.” —Bill Maher

    “If we have a systemic banking failure in this country, the FDIC is still going to pay out. But it’s only going to be one-third of a cent on each dollar.”—John Stadtmiller

    “I see the beginning of World War III. This will be so hellish.”—Gerald Celente

    “The neoconservative propaganda that America is the indispensable nation with a right to world hegemony sounds a lot like Deutschland uber alles.” —Paul Craig Roberts

    “Truth is treason in the empire of lies.”—Ron Paul

    Idealists and ideologues, both knee-jerk Obamabots and knee-jerk Romneybots, don’t like hearing the truth. And I hear the usual nonsense from them: America will always be number 1 (yeah, they said that about the Roman Empire), Obama will lead us to the Promised Land (ha ha!), Romney will turn this country around (ha ha!), Alex Jones and Gerald Celente are just cranks (no, they’re painfully honest, and you can’t handle the pain), Ron Paul is wrong about the Federal Reserve (actually, he’s spot on), you’ve obviously never been to a Third World country (wrong, I’ve been to both Latin America and North Africa). Many people can’t handle the truth; so the truth will kick them in the head and kick them hard when they wind up living in shantytown slums or become the victim of Honduras-style kidnappings.

    And no, preppers, you aren’t nuts. Far from it. In fact, preppers are the sanest people out there.

    • Mondobeyondo

      Hope and Change, baby! Hope and Change!

      No hope, and 27 cents in change.

      • El Pollo de Oro

        Hope: Americans hope they won’t wind up hungry and homeless.

        Change: Americans fear that their country is changing into a Third World horror movie (and they’re right).

  • Here is the best easy understand statement by Dr. Richard Wolff as to who this all transpired over the years.

    • Gary2

      Dr wolff is right on!

  • bobinsherwood

    A friend of mine got divorced about 10 years ago and his ex-wife is now collecting disability from Social Security based on his earnings. He is about to get married again and says his new wife will ALSO qualify for Social Security based on his earnings with not one penny of reduction for any of them. Is this some type of loophole? Can you marry 10 different women and ALL of them collect Social Security based on the higher earnings of the spouse? Sounds like the Welfare scam of all time!

    • liberranter

      Can you marry 10 different women and ALL of them collect Social Security based on the higher earnings of the spouse? Sounds like the Welfare scam of all time!

      Believe me, it is. Divorce, for today’s American woman, is the biggest and most lucrative scam ever perpetrated in human history It’s all about *********** over the man. (That’s enough. I don’t even want to get started on this topic.)

  • Gregory T.L. Malcomworth

    Nobody is working for themselves or the bettering for themselves or family. It is simply for people like Mitt Romney and other steadfast, piece of ************ republicans to become wealthier and keep blaming people for being lazy and jobless. This world is so puke inducing it’s insane. Thanks mom, thanks dad.

    • John W.

      Hey greg,
      You sound like a real loser. I bet your mom and dad wish they never had you you little crybaby. Maybe you should realize that the real fat cats are democrats.

      • liberranter

        Why don’t you address the obvious merits of Gregory’s statement rather than launching into an ad hominem attack? It sounds like YOU are the loser here.

        • El Pollo de Oro

          Liberranter: John W. is a neocon, not a libertarian–and the difference between neocons and libertarians is enormous. Neocons resort to ad hominem attacks and cheap emotion because they don’t have the intellectual capacity to make strong arguments or have a real dialogue with someone they might disagree with. My response to Gregory’s statement would be: yes, Republicans are corporate fascists, but so are Democrats (can you say…Jon “MF Global” Corzine?). As Gerald Celente says, choosing between Republicans and Democrats is like choosing between the Gambinos and the Bonnanos (Jesse Ventura compares them to the Crips and Bloods–I like that analogy as well).

          By the way, you’re absolutely right about the divorce laws in The Banana Republic of America. I wouldn’t recommend that anyone get married in the BRA without a prenup.

          • liberranter

            By the way, you’re absolutely right about the divorce laws in The Banana Republic of America. I wouldn’t recommend that anyone get married in the BRA without a prenup.

            Even a prenup is useless; the courts will tear them to shreds. I would just leave out the last three words of your last sentence above. Don’t get married in the BRA period.

        • El Pollo de Oro

          Liberranter: I once asked a woman I know in Spain if she was given any alimony after her divorce. She didn’t even know what alimony was and just assumed that after her divorce, she needed to go out and get a job–not expect her ex to take care of her. Very different from the BRA or the UK, where women are awarded what Prof. Tom Leykis calls “vaginamoney” (his definition of vaginamoney is “payments a man makes for a vagina that he no longer has use of”).

          By the way, a libertarian journalist who once appeared on Leykis’ talk show (can’t remember his name) said that he wanted to write an article for the National Review criticizing American divorce laws and explaining why marriage could be financial disaster for men in the BRA, but the National Review refused to run such an article. Typical Republicans–they claim to be for small government but promote big, bloated, oppressive government at every turn.

          • Lisa

            El Pollo de Oro: You are so right about most Republicans (When I say “most” I’m being generous). They are such liars and hypocrites. They’ve totally ruined this country. The Democrats aren’t much better. Don’t know who to vote for as president. Not much to chose from. Green Party Jill Stein has a snowball’s chance in hell of winning the election. So we’re all screwed because even Obama won’t stand up to the right wing-nuts in Congress who have fought tooth and nail against his every move all because they hate him since he’s black. They, themselves have admitted it. We need to vote those low-life scum bags out of office BIG TIME!

  • Nickelthrower


    This may get long winded but it needs to be told.

    You make yourself wealthy by reducing your needs. It is that simple – it is that easy.

    Begin with transportation. My wife and I share a single vehicle – a truck that I purchased at auction from the city. I got it for $1200 dollars and it was perfectly maintained and only had 44k miles. No monthly payment and the insurance is inexpensive. My previous car was an old police car that I bought at auction for $400. It ran for 8 years and did so just fine. I sold it for $300 when I finally got rid of it.

    Entertainment. My wife and I have a single laptop and one mobile device as our entire entertainment center. No cable but we do have internet. There are some great sites like youtube, Hulu, vimeo & Top Documentary Films – so much so that we could never watch everything available.

    We also entertain ourselves by spending as much time out of doors as possible, catching high school plays and musicals (endlessly entertaining) and visiting with friends and neighbors. Oh yeah, my wife loves our local library and has the time to read 4 or 5 books a week.

    Food: Food can be tricky but we buy bulk staples like rice and beans. Rice and beans keep well and are rather inexpensive. We purchase whatever produce is on sale at the local farm stands. We avoid eating out and we avoid junk food.

    Health: My wife and I are in our mid 40’s and we have, so far, avoided health issues and neither one of us is currently taking any prescription medication. That we do not eat processed foods and walk every day in the park or at the beach is probably what keeps us healthy. We also avoid stress at all costs as it is the number one killer in this country.

    Clothes: I shop at upscale second hand retail outlets. I only buy expensive brand name clothing (most of which still has a tag on it) and I can do so at a fraction of the cost of buying new. My favorite place only accepts clothing in perfect condition and that is within one year of its original release – at least if it is in that store then I know it is still in fashion.

    Housing: My wife, my dog and I currently live on a sailboat just North of Malibu. To purchase a home that looks out on to my sailboat costs a million dollars + but I got this boat for less than what most people would pay for rent for a year. This boat allows us to constantly vacation out to the channel islands and it never hurts to plant your home in a protected marine sanctuary. If we ever decide to go live somewhere else (like Mexico or Canada) then we can let the wind push us there.

    We do give up space and some comfort but it is well worth it.

    Work: Because we do not have much for bills, we can be quite picky about work. We work when we want and under conditions that we dictate. I would never consent to work for anyone that could order me to work from home or work overtime or even tell me what to wear. I am no one’s slave – period.

    People work like crazy so that they can afford to spend a few days here at the beach or do that “once in a lifetime” whale watching tour. Then they go back to their slavery and eat buckets of sh*t so that they can maybe do it again in a year’s time. I say that you should cut out the middle man and go on vacation now.

    Once you make yourself free, people will begin to treat you differently. A free man carries himself differently than a slave and others can spot it a mile away. It is empowering.

    None of this happened overnight. In my former life, I was a high school history and government teacher. I sat in terrible rush hour traffic each and every day and I had to deal with disobedient children all day long. I was also paid less than an assistant manager at a Circle K. The stress of it all nearly wrecked my health. Finally I said, “no more!”

    What are you waiting for?

    • Michael

      Wonderful comment Nickelthrower.


      • Esther

        Great advice. I like your style.

    • John W.

      Sounds like you have it figured out. Good luck and good weather.

    • paul

      Yes, reducing the bills is the first step to paying them.

      Perishables make the seller rich and the buyer poor.
      Perishables are food, utilities, medicines, drugs, ammunition, fuel, newspapers, cut flowers, cleaning chemicals. , cosmetics.

      We wear woolly pullovers in winter. Scotland and Wales have lots of sheep.

    • ConcernedAmerican

      How does one find out when and where these city auctions, or other auctions are? I have seen a few auto auctions in my area but they usually say “Closed to the public” on the signs. These are good ideas and I hope you will point the way for us since you have first hand knowledge and experience. Thank you for sharing your experiences.

  • This is a totally valid article, however the theme with this site’s posts usually do not offer very many *specific* resources or solutions for people. I can only suggest that you start a kind of more tightly placed narrative thread about how people are finding ways out of the story shared by so many. Take a look at for a lot of basic ideas people can use to make resilient communities that aren’t so badly system shocked all the time.

    Also I’d add that when i started working on Occupy Wall Street doing video work at the very start of it, there were so many people VERY down and out, who got spurred on to find new energy and new purpose when they were feeling really utterly hopeless… so I really think we forestalled/prevented a bunch of suicides because we could help draw a vision for people working together to improve things, not just begging politicians etc., and that was a major spiritual boost for me – as right before it started I myself was rather adrift & not knowing what I could do that wasn’t simply building more chains in the system…

    i would request if possible that every article have three useful/positive items or links to possible projects that can help with some individual aspect, that way the narrative doesn’t just leave you at the metaphorical dead-end of despair, a burned shell of a Detroit street. etc. There’s an expression called ‘fearporn’ out there and i think you can cover the severity of our situation without quite going that way. thanks & good luck

    • Malcolm Reynolds

      “we could help draw a vision for people working together to improve things, not just begging politicians
      OGL, the answer has been staring you in the face for over 200 years.

      wish granted.

      #1 Distance yourself from the rapists and terrorists of OWS.
      #2 Lose the failure philosophy
      #3 edicate yourself in something other than liberalism. It’s a failure every time.

      • Gay Veteran

        of course we all know how conservatism worked out

        • Lisa

          Gay Veteran: Yeah, it almost took us over the edge into total global economic hell. It also threatens loss of Social Security, Medicare, (it also promises the end of Unemployment Insurance when you run out and can’t find work. Scary when such a multitude of unemployed run out of survival funds) and the eradication of all social programs. What would that lead to? Revolutionary action, that’s what, where many people would be killed for standing up to the system. That’s what the Conservatives want, for an excuse to kill a bunch of “useless” people off, people who they can’t use any more to exploit because the jobs are gone. Sorry to paint such a gloomy picture, but it needs to be told, not just to you, but everyone.

  • ConcernedAmerican

    Truck drivers have 70 hours per week to work, can drive 11 hours per day (but can work 14 hours per day total). Some team truck drivers roll down the bumpy roads all day, every day. Imagine how good the sleep is sleeping over bumpy roads. Imagine what lack of exercise (since truckers are almost always rolling down the road) does to a human body and health. Imagine having to eat at fast food or greasy spoons day in and day out and what that does to health and a waist line. Imagine what 2 people living in a 7×7 space for several weeks, or in some cases months, with no restroom or shower in many trucks, can do to human psychology. Then people wonder why nobody wants certain jobs in this economy and some people even get upset when the truth is spoken. Very few people ever bothered to stand up for truck drivers being overworked, and now it seems the truck driver’s work schedule is reaching other parts of the work force. The lesson is that if we don’t stand up for others that are being mistreated, how long before mistreatment makes it to the rest of us? Remaining silent because we are not a member of this group or that group only shows that we are condoning mistreatment. Just my opinions. Thanks to everyone that had the courage to share their stories here. Talking about it and admitting the problem is the first step to fixing it.

    • Michael

      Very good point about truck drivers.


      • John W.

        My old lady used to drive 18 wheelers. it was hard but no one held a gun to her head. What planet does Concerned American live on? They have truck stops with showres not to mention the occassional motel. The biggest problem truckers face is the price of fueland maintenance costs which is why most independent truckers are gone.

    • Lisa

      Concerned American: I couldn’t say enough about how brutal the work world is today. This cruelty goes on everywhere. It’s rampant. The growing number of workers who are stretched to the max has become a national epidemic. I am one of the casualties. Earlier, I posted that lost my job last year because the stress wore me out so much that I couldn’t keep up anymore. Believe me, I thought the stress would kill me. It was a real blessing to lose the job because it was the job from hell. It wasn’t just because of the work load. It was due to the idiot boss and some of the workers they wouldn’t get rid of. The managers didn’t care about us and didn’t know how to run the place, either. It was absolute chaos. No union, of course. I’m SO glad to be out of there. I’m now getting re-trained through the federal WIA program and I’m much happier even though I’m living on Unemployment and have to have a room mate to survive. (I’m single) maybe you can find a way to get re-trained, too. In the meantime, try to keep yourself and other drivers safe, as well. I wish you the best.

  • paul
  • James

    two things that lead to this predicament. First, people want too much STUFF. If they sit down and think about what they really need to live on, and make them truly happy. They wouldn’t need as much money for which they have to work for. Second, the greedy bosses are trying to make as much money as they can at the expense of the workers. These workers don’t get any of the money outside of their hourly rate or salary but make a lot of money for their bosses. If the employee refuses to work the hours demanded by his/her boss, they get fired only to be replaced by another worker who will work for the same wages, and at the same rate of work load.

    • Mondobeyondo

      True. Too many people want the latest conveniences.

      Well listen here! It IS possible to live without an iPhone!
      It’s true! You see, I was alive in an age where the best electronic items available were Pong, Space Invaders and Pac-Man. How did we communicate? Well, we did this thing called “talking to each other”. On Friday and Saturday nights, we’d call our girl/boyfriends on the phone, and chatted with them about going to the theater to see “Star Wars”. No, we didn’t text them. Texting didn’t exist. We actually had to use a thing called a “rotary dial” telephone to call them. (Cell phones didn’t exist either.) It had this circular plastic thing with holes to place your fingers in for dialing. It would go “click” each time you rotated it to dial a number. Dial a “9”, it would be one click, a “1” would be 9 clicks. I hated dialing my girlfriend’s phone number at the time, because she had a phone number with a lot of “1”s in them, and you’d be stuck hearing “clack-clack-clack…..”
      Yes, I suddenly feel old.

      • Lisa

        Mondobeyondo: yeah, I can remember those, too. I don’t have a cell phone activated right now because I can’t afford one. I have low-speed DSL internet and a land-line phone. I live on Unemployment right now because I’m one of the many not able to find a job. We need to re-train if we can’t get a job in the area we used to work in, which I am doing. America needs to go through this re-training process because we don’t have enough workers in certain field. Anyway, we have to learn how to live more simply and not be so materialistic. Things just don’t matter. And I hear a rumor that, when you leave this world you can’t take your things with you, so what is the point? There are far many other things in life that are much more important such as loving others, taking better care of yourself and sharing yourself with loved ones, encouraging each other, building a sense of community (which we’ve lost over the last several decades), and service to God.

  • superbighuge

    I have gone from Harvard to Wal-mart. Literally. From Park Avenue to park bench. The facts are clear, there are NO good jobs left. No more are coming. Furthermore, the companies that are hiring (call centers, retailers, service industry jobs) do not want good people. They want obedient slaves. The compensation is criminal and the demands are just as outrageous. We often see the talking heads on the tube barking about how people are lazy, or that they just don’t want to work. It is just pathetic. That said, if you really want/need to earn enough to live comfortably, you essentially MUST engage commerce on the black market. Whether running a grow house or operating off the books, the black market is the ONLY way to make it in this economy. Of course, that will mean you have to break free of the matrix.

    • El Pollo de Oro

      Superbighuge: Yes, the black market economy will grow by leaps and bounds in The Banana Republic of America. No doubt about it. For the vast majority of Americans, the options will be: (1) starve in damn streets, (2) work for slave wages in a corporate sweatshop and die young from terrible working conditions, or (3) join the black market economy. And many Americans will see #3 as their only option just as so many people in Mexico, Honduras, El Salvador, Papua New Guinea, Guatemala and the Philippines see #3 as their only option. Hungry peasants will see drug trafficking, kidnapping, murder for hire, and extortion as ways to achieve upward mobility. Desperate people do desperate things, and there will be a lot of hardcore desperation in the BRA’s violent, crime-infested future.

    • CharlesB

      Thank you superbighuge for first mentioning that about the black market. You’re exactly right about that. Oaksterdam can teach people. And I believe that focusing on cannabis for health issues is the niche market to get into.

  • K

    This is what happens when there are so few unions. No one read their history? About what it was like before unions. Company towns, private police, any of this sound familiar? Because a few unions went too far, you threw the baby out with the bath water. Now history starts to repeat itself. You have allowed the rich and powerful. To seduce you into acting against your own best interests. There were people shot dead, before the unions started to form. Must this lesson be learned the hard way again? I pray not.

    • John W.

      Sure the very same unions that caused alot of companies to go overseas. Unions exist for the union bosses and to fund the Democrat party, nothing more. They do little for the workers. There are no good jobs and no union is going to change that. They are hyenas fighting over the remains of a kill the lions made.

      • K

        It was greed that made the jobs go over seas. I am sure you and others are glad, that the middle class is dying. You do not want a fairs days pay, for a fair days work. You want the law of the jungle. Until there are more decent paying jobs, there will be no recovery. The law of the jungle many of you want, is only a short time away. Good luck, you are going to need it.

      • Gay Veteran

        because of unions we got the standard 40 hour work week, the weekend, worker safety, etc.

        • Lisa

          That’s the way unions have BECOME. They stared out good but , like politicians, have become corrupt. They need to clean themselves up, then maybe people would have more respect for them. Same for the politicians, but don’t hold your breath.

      • paul

        The East India Company existed before the Unions.

        And when you think of it, what is the difference of
        importing slaves to do cheap labor, and
        having the work done overseas and just importing the goods made by cheap labor. ?

    • ConcernedAmerican

      Anything that involves people will be flawed. However, unions that protect workers is much better than what we have now. Also, check out what the “right to work” states does to unions.

    • felicity

      Are you serious? You think we need MORE unions? Thanks but no thanks. I’ll keep my money and my right to work and vote. I need it more than some knuckle-dragging, knee-capping union thug who needs money to live in his gated community and be driven around by a chauffeur.

      • K

        Wow, how many times did you watch the movie Hoffa? That is the only union official, your description fits. He was an evil man, and he came to an evil end.

      • Gay Veteran

        felicity mistakes the union for Wall Street banksters

      • Heather Williams

        What? Do you even understand what unions fought for? Childlabor laws? Unions. The idea that companies can’t damage their workers? Unions. This whole hatred of unions just doesn’t make any sense to me, how are corporations better? What do they possibly offer workers, other than the cheapest pay they can manage to squeeze out of them?

  • Timo45

    This is the kind of stuff that happens when you have private banks controlling our money. As it keep losing value things cost more and people have to work harder and harder to pay for it. They lie about the inflation rates because our salaries dont keep up with inflation. So that means we have to work harder and harder. But if we understand the system we shouldn’t be out buying things we dont need like the Iphone 5. Many people standing in line to buy them and Micheal Jordan sneakers. Are those same people buying gold and silver or putting their money in something of good value instead of wasting it on things that will loss value. These are some questions people need to ask themselves.

    • Lisa

      Good and astute observation, Timo45! Good critical thinking!


    TIME TO PAY FICA!!AND 941S AND UNEMPLOYMENT INS AND THE LIST GOES ON !!!!!YOUR SS IS ALL THERE!!!THE Supreme Court ruling that Social Security is a tax, nothing more, (Just like OamaCare is a tax) and benefits paid out by the government are completely voluntary – there is no obligation and no one has a legal claim or expectation to receive benefits. Nor is there any “trust fund”, “lockbox” or anything of the sort – social security receipts go directly into the general fund. There is no “pool of money” that draws interest, it’s simply carried as a separate accounting entry but funds are not segregated. Surprise – we’ve all been lied to.

    From the Cato Institute:

    Many people believe that Social Security is an “earned right.” That is, they think that because they have paid Social Security taxes, they are entitled to receive Social Security benefits. The government encourages that belief by referring to Social Security taxes as “contributions,” as in the Federal Insurance Contribution Act. However, in the 1960 case of Fleming v. Nestor, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled that workers have no legally binding contractual rights to their Social Security benefits, and that those benefits can be cut or even eliminated at any time.

    Sorry folks, you’ve just been screwed. Not just now, but for the past 40 years…. DAMN MY ASS HURTS!!!AND MY BACK AND MY FEET AND MY SPIRIT !!!FORGET ABOUT THE SS!!!SOCIAL SECURITY AND WORRY ABOUT THE NEW SS!!The Schutzstaffel (German pronunciation: [ˈʃʊtsʃtafəl] ( listen), translated to Protection Squadron or defence corps, abbreviated SS—or with stylized “Armanen” sig runes) was a major paramilitary organization under Adolf Hitler and the Nazi Party (NSDAP). Built upon the Nazi ideology, the SS under Heinrich Himmler’s command was responsible for many of the crimes against humanity during World War II!!!Protection Squadron??SOUND LIKE HOMELAND SECURITY???WTH

    • mark

      You are correct and should also read Helvring vs Davis from May of 1937. You will find the holding very interesting.
      P.S. Michael you should do an article on this subject. The third rail and it will suprise many.

  • Dustin

    I haven’t been working this whole year of 2012-officially at a business or company, but I have made some change on the side doing work for family or friends, or acquaintances. Every dollar you spend today, is worth less tomorrow because of the policies of an unconstitutional and out of control federal reserve bank! This is due to buying already declining treasury bonds, on printed money requiring cost to print and operate or credit to banking institutions to continue to allow them to invest in toxic derivate schemes or “debt swaps”, inflate another housing bubble, or inflate the government bubble by allowing more stimulus money to go to unions, DOT funding and blah blah blah. Folks over the last four years, we have all become very aware of our financial system and our political system, because finally it sunk in that their official explanations didn’t make any sense and we’ve seen no overall improvement in our economy. We investigated, we networked, we searched, we questioned more, we protested, we have fought for our families and our lives! Words like cronyism, oligarchy, central banking, fascism, socialism, tyranny, are now completely understood for their own individual meanings because in our system we have absolutely all of these ideas working in concert. The United States is bankrupt and I think the QE3 announcement is basically that equivalent. That doesn’t mean some of us here in the United States are not well-intentioned, God-fearing, loving and responsible citizens! My rhetorical question is how long are people willing to work like slaves even just to get by? I know this answer-indefinitely! The American public will take the abuse by big banks and grant my specificity here-some soulless and cruel enterprises who care nothing but for profits and not for people. I’ve long withdrawn my support from most companies that do not provide for their workers or customers by banning my individual purchase of their products. I don’t use banks anymore, and I probably don’t have too long to live with the way I’m protesting these things but I always understand liberty or death! All of you are right-life is too short to be debt slaves and work slaves. If you are out there and you don’t see a change in your won life, damn it, fight for your right! We deserve better. I refuse to work as a slave in this feudalist dystopia.

  • McKinley Morganfield

    I grew up on a farm in the 1950s and early 1960s; during planting and harvesting seasons adults (men & women) worked 80-100 hour weeks, and kids, depending on age, worked 20- 40 hours over 7 days. During the summer adults worked 50-60 hour weeks and kids 20+ hours per week. WInter was the only down time, so adults worked 10-20 hour weeks and kids with chores to perform worked 5-10 hours per week. And, we were always on the edge of staying ahead on bank loans on the equipment, seeds, vet needs, etc.

    My parents worked under harsh conditions, as did I what with daily chores and the demands of planting and harvest. BTW, my parent lived into their 80s. Today’s workers don’t know what hard work is. On the farm there were lean years and fat years determined by weather and the markets, although lean years out numbered the fat years. We grew/raised most of our food. We were largely self-sufficient in that area. There were no vacations, no food stamps, no unemployment compensation, no medicare, etc. And no one I knew of growing up ever thought to ask for anything they did not produce through their own labor.

    Complaining about a 46 hour work week is laughable to me.

    • Victor

      Very well said, thank you. Way too many entitled whiners on this blog.

    • Lisa

      McKinley: Your depiction paints a rosy picture of your earlier life. But get real! Almost everyone today does not have that luxury of living a rural farm life. Yeah, it was hard, physical work. But it had psychological rewards. Today’s urban worker (yes, most people are urban or suburban these days), work under deplorable conditions. They are threatened with job loss if they don’t produce and the demands are horrendous. You just don’t know. Try living under the threat that you’ll lose your job if you can’t meet unrealistic deadlines and perform unrealistic expectations. Try working under those conditions and see how long your stress level holds out. Where I last worked, 6 co-workers in a few years’ time developed very serious stress-related illnesses based solely on work stress. Many either were fired because they couldn’t keep up (me being 1 of them, and I used to be 1 of their best workers), or had to quit due to medical problems. One of them did die on the job. So don’t be so judgmental. You don’t know what people go through. People aren’t whining; working conditions today are beyond being ridiculous; they are like slave labor used to be, except we “get to” have some money for our labor. Workers are expendable and treated like dogs. You need to talk to more people who’ve gone through what I’m telling you, then you might understand. Open up your mind to what is beyond the end of your nose!

      • Hmm, perhaps you shoud join a union which would help you fight against those conditions…..

        • Heather Williams


  • Mondobeyondo

    When Satan stabs you in the back, realize that God has your back.

    As Alice would say, “things are getting curiouser and curiouser”. May you live in interesting times…

  • mark

    I am sure to piss off a few people but how many that are living check to check today spent and borrowed money during better times instead of saving and preping for hard times? How many bought new cars in the past on credit when a good used car would have done the job. How many bought a larger house than they needed or could afford. How many could have paid extra towards the principal on their home loan. How often did you brown bag your lunch to work or your children took a bag lunch. Did you stop for a fancy coffee? Do you smoke or drink expensive drink. When I was a plumber, most of the guys had their new trucks, the wife had to have a newer fancy car and they had a boat in the driveway of a home that they could not afford. The plumber and wife both worked and they had a hard time paying their bills even though they made great money. I am afraid that many in this country find themselves in this mess. If you are making in the low six figures that to me is a lot of money. Those that are still working you need to down size your lives and prep for hard times. Back in the 1950’s people had small homes with a one car garage and one bathroom. It took a long time to save up for a fridge or a black and white TV. If they didn’t have a TV they listened to the radio. People were happy back then. Try to lead a simple life if you don’t want to work so hard. Grow a garden to save money on food and spend some time with the kids in the garden. You can do this if you just try.

    • SEAL

      Well said mark! Most Americans are where they are because of the decisions they have made in their own lives be they good or bad decisions. Elections have consequences just like every other decision we make in our lives! Most people that live from paycheck to paycheck never plan ahead and therefore are totally reactive in every aspect of life and will never get ahead. The rich get richer because they continue to do the things that made them rich and the poor get poorer because they continue to do the things that made them poor. If you don’t like your life change it.

      • Lisa

        SEAL: Your comments are unrealistic. Granted, some people feel that they “need” some luxuries when they don’t. But, haven’t you noticed that the cost of goods and services have steadily risen over he lat 3-4 decades? But the wages have nor kept up. That is why over the ’80s and ’90s, people could not get ahead, even though some did not buy into the consumerist lie that the media feeds us. People live from paycheck to paycheck because they have to, because what things cost too much. The richer get richer because THEY CAN since they have the power to do so (great connections to opportunities to make even more money), privileges that t the poor and middle class do not have. Social and economic barriers prohibit getting ahead. And now, since the 2nd Great Depression– let’s be honest here– it has become nearly impossible to be upwardly mobile unless you know someone based on connections. Welcome to the real world!

    • Victor

      Very well written. I liked everything you wrote except “people were happy back then”. Evidence does not support this. People have always complained about hard work and making sacrifices, just as they have always complained about the weather.

  • Jim

    I work 6 days a week and sometimes 2 to 3 12 hour shifts in that 6 day work period.And with gas at 3.95 a gallon i plan on finding a new job closer to our home.Yeah it’s complete insanity what’s going on.

  • Gary2

    Tax the rich and spread the wealth. Then we could have more leisure time.

    • Malcolm Reynolds

      And so will the rich. And then you’d whine like a little bitch about the rich not working their fair share.

    • Lisa

      I don’t want the wealth robe spread. I don’t want the rich’s wealth. I only want a DECENT CHANCE to get my own financial stability but the rich corporate elite capitalists won’t allow people like me to get ahead. Yet it is THEY who scream that WE, the poor and middle class, are waging class warfare. Well, ya THINK??

      • Heather Williams

        It is only class warfare when we fight back. Before that, it’s economics.

  • paul

    You are free to create those good jobs, especially the Harvard graduates. Where is entrepreneurship gone?

    I’m going to look for charities or non-profit organisations. Non-profit doesn’t mean there has to be a loss. It only means the profit cannot go to an owner or shareholder – it can be paid all to the directors!!! Hahahahaha

    • Lisa

      Yeah, Paul, and that means that the directors lord it over the workers. Same thing.

  • Tiggs

    I have to agree with this article. More and more employers are expecting employees to work 45 – 60 hours a week without extra compensation for it. They call it a “good work ethic” I call it infringing on my personal time with my family. I out and out resent it, but since economy is so bad, we do what we have to do to maintain our existance. We do have 2 cars, we both work in opposite directions and have to drive an hour to and from work, on top of the extra hours “expected”. We do our best not to get sucked into the society of want, want want. We don’t live above our means.

    It is a dog eat dog economy. I’ve been told more than once, “if you don’t like it, find somewhere else to work”. Although, my employer is good to us, they do go out of their way to make you feel like family, they also impose “family expectations” on us.

    I miss my life!

  • Ralphieboy

    I am hearing a lot of complaining, and even more blame transfer about the evil establishment of greedy corporations and central bankers – as if individuals have no responsibility for their own situations.
    I grew up a true believer in the American dream. At 62, I still am a true believer. Fact is – many people make very bad choices. Fact is – attitude is much of the problem.
    When I was 18, my parents urged me to go on to college and to seek a good career with either a large corporation or with the federal government. Such a job would provide multiple benefits – medical and life insurance, a pension, and a very predictable path of job security for the long term. Remember that this concept of a “secure career” is a relatively recent phenomenon, a post-WWII concept born with a boom in industrialization. Prior to the war, most Americans were small, independent farmers and shopkeepers, living mostly in rural areas. It all changed post war.
    I never bought into the Progressive Era concept of long term security provided by a corporation or government entity. It has always been a complete myth – a falsehood –but one that far too many Americans have been suckered into.
    For one, the concept of a hum drum predictable career, knowing what to expect 30 years down the road, was simply untenable for me personally. For me, predictability is spirit-killing concept – one that ensures a safe life of mediocrity, but helps slowly kill initiative while suffocating any sense of personal freedom.
    Secondly, the idea that all be well over a 30-year career, is, on the face of it, a ridiculous lie. Change is inevitable. Companies live and die. Governments rise and fall. Ask former employees of Kodak, Polaroid, American Motors among many thousands of companies that have come and gone.
    Frankly, I do not blame American companies for outsourcing. Unions in the USA got far too greedy. Another challenge for American companies is that the USA has the highest corporate tax rate among developed nations. In order to survive, many companies have no choice but to go offshore to survive. So while American corporations seem to be “easy targets” these days, it is nothing more than a red herring.
    So what path did I eventually seek? I wanted more than anything to work for myself and start a business. In order to earn funds to start a business, I worked many years in any job I could find. In the 1970s, times were tough – with high inflation and crazy high interest rates. So over a period of several years I was a construction laborer, frame carpenter, janitor, garbage man, and for a few years, an underground hard rock miner and highway tunnel construction worker. I also kept life simple as I saved – no Starbucks, fancy televisions, designer clothes. I drove ratty old cars that I learned to fix myself. My family thought I had lost my mind, and they were ashamed of me, often running me down to others. I was the family idiot who gave up opportunities to play it safe by working for a “safe” company or for the government. But unlike them, I was not “owned” by anyone.
    I did eventually start my business – many years of grueling 16-hour days and very little income – many years of doing without the little luxuries in life. Many times I remained awake all night scared to death, praying to God for the courage to do the right thing to support my family, to somehow make payroll, to just survive for another 24 hours.
    But I held steadfast to the American Dream, and eventually it paid off. I am proud of the fact that my business today is far more successful than I ever dreamed, and it continues to grow and thrive. I am immensely grateful to my Maker and all of my fellow workers. My employees and their families are part of my family. They do well, and I do everything I can to pay them well and help them advance. We’re all in it together, and we all truly care about and love each other. That’s the American Dream, friends. It is real, it is alive, and it works if you work it. And that’s the key – “if you work it”.
    And it is why I have little sympathy for so much of the whining we hear about how tough times have become. It is nothing new in the American experience. Our parents went through this in the Great Depression. They didn’t complain, but emerged the better for it. My generation went through it during the 1970s. Nobody ever said life would be fair, much less easy. But today I see a generation of young people who feel entitled – not just to a high paying job – but to all of the designer crap – the toys – the electronics – fancy designer coffee every day – and an expectation that the government should step in and help everyone.
    I see this in the hiring process all of the time when we interview. It is mostly gimmeee, gimmeee, gimmeee – not what they can do for us. They want big money, big benefits, nice office with a leather chair – and these people are barely out of “school”. Think I am kidding? I also see a bunch of educated idiots who have gone to schools that have taught them absolutely nothing. Whatever happened to a grammatically correct sentence, much less one with no spelling errors? What ever happened to basic math skills, like simple addition, subtraction, division and calculating a percentage? What ever happened to dressing decently, having good manners, clean language? Tattoos and nose rings? Are you kidding?
    For those of you who have made bad personal choices, like consuming drugs and alcohol, or having children out of wedlock, or are unwilling to take a job because it is “beneath” you. Forget about itl Blaming the “Man”, Wall Street, Corporations, the government et al, is a pathetic attempt to transfer blame. Look to your pathetic ungrateful self.
    For those of you who are responsible parents and responsible people, if there are no decent jobs where you live and life continues to be tough – adapt! Move to a place where there are great jobs. How about Texas or North Dakota? Get out of your rut. The jobs are there for the taking. Do what you have to do. America today is yet full of opportunity. You just have to look in the right places. Get over the idea some job is “beneath” you. Any work is noble, in my mind, and it should be in yours, too.
    In summary – America has had very tough times before – major economic downturns and collapses. We survived as a nation. You will survive too. I see these downturns offering tremendous opportunity. We get shaken from lethargy. We rise to the challenge. We turn to God and take courage. We begin to re-new basic values so much of our population has too-long forgotten. We also learn to be our brother’s keeper.

    W. Clement Stone used to say, “Got a problem? Congratulations!” It is walking through these challenges that makes us better people. Be grateful to your Maker for all of the hardships he brings your way. It is His way of forging your character, making you a better parent, brother, sister. Please, wake up people! Take your lives and your country back by embracing the God-given liberties that are our birthright. Then, get into action – knowing that to continue to chew on self-pity will get you absolutely nowhere. Hey – God made you, and God doesn’t make junk! Tap into your God-given abilities and make it happen!

    • Victor

      Very well said. Thank you for sharing your experiences and your experience.

    • Raven Cassidy

      You are clearly a sheep

  • Washington

    We Are Hungry

    High school students, elementary school students, cafeteria workers, teachers, they even got an ambulance and EMTs in the video!

  • So Michael, you did not approve my previous comment here. Why?

  • Me

    Take a vacation?

    If I do that I’ll go into bankruptcy. I had an event that made me go deeply into debt, and now a decade and a half later I’m finally poised to get out of it. At last.

    And… this is gonna be right down to the wire because my company is being sold to an equity firm and we all know what that means. Been nice knowing about 1/4 of us.

    But they owe me my back vacation pay in that event. And that will… just barely… make it for me.

    So… no vacation for me. I don’t think I’ve had one in like 4 years now.

  • Orange Jean

    Just say “NO”!

    While this solution may seem impossible to some people, I have been refusing to work overtime for most of my adult life. I do not have the stamina for it and it makes me angry and resentful and therefore less productive at work.

    I have had employers who whine and complain about it, who threaten me with “you’ll never get a promotion” (ha, they weren’t planning on promoting anyone from the inside anyway!), but I have never been fired because of it or even written up. I do have great skills (programming in SAS and writing mostly), and I let them know I will work 100% when I’m AT work and then I prove it by doing excellent work, above and beyond call of duty whenever possible. Almost all mistakes I’ve made I find myself and fix them when I’m reviewing my work. I also manage to meet deadlines (if I think they are unreasonable deadlines, I tell the boss when I’m given the assignment that I cannot promise it by that time … and tell them I don’t believe it’s possible to get it done in that time, but I let them know what I think I can get done and ask them what they prefer my priorities to be).

    I also LOOK for jobs where the corporate culture discourages overtime (including unpaid overtime) and encourages a balanced life. If offered a job (wait until the same time as I am ready to discuss salary), I ask what their normal work hours are and what their expectations are for overtime. AND, I tell them I believe it’s important to live a balanced life and that I don’t work overtime except for true dire emergencies (with it being my choice whether to do so or not). In my present job, even with the department head who is himself a workaholic… there is a policy that you cannot work more than 80 hrs. Works for me~

    • Orange Jean

      … I meant to say in that last sentence… a policy you cannot work more than 80 hrs in a 2 week period.

  • psychologist

    You advise overworked and underpaid Americans to “take a vacation”. Clearly, you do not understand their situation. Assuming they could afford one, employed workers are lucky if they have two weeks paid vacation time. This vacation is often used a day at a time for sick leave, care for sick relatives, or personal needs.

    • Heather Williams

      If you are in the wonderful position of working two jobs you never get any “vacation” at all! As you end up working part time, get no benefits, and have a 50-60 hour workweek. For my generation this is typically what we end up with.

  • CharlesB
  • CharlesB

    Oops! I forgot a few more links!

    Thank you El Pollo de Oro for writing about the black market.

    Also, has anyone considered cannabis? The tinctures, the juicing, the oil, the edibles; all without smoking and without making one high. Why does the US Government have the patent on marijuana? CBD Cannabis Tinctures help people, even 5 year old boys.

    And acupuncture would be another good skill to learn.

    5 Countries Where You Don’t Have to Work Yourself to Death to Make Ends Meet

    Why I Left America And You Should Too

    Off The Grid
    Live in a Van, trailer, truck, or motorhome
    by JJ Luna

    Travel-Trailer Homesteading Under $5,000

    Teach english in other countries?

  • kay

    I wish I could work that many hours. The job I have been working at nine years will no longer give me more than twenty hours. I don’t even make enough money to cover daycare. I’m slowly depleting everything I have saved. I have no idea what to do.

  • Sofia

    I think I had the last good job in America. I had a nice cushy corporate sales job. Most days I read The Wall Street Journal and waited for a few return calls. I got paid nearly six figures a year, pretty good for a woman, with 10 paid holidays and 2 weeks vacay a year increasing to three and then four with seniority and 100% health coverage including all dental, a matched 401k contribution up to $12k a year, expense account lunches, foreign and domestic travel pre-911 days in business class, and I lived 20 minutes from the office where I had a view, an office with a door that locked and an assistant to myself.

    I am sorry those days are over (the company closed that office in 2000 because the internet was spelling the end of many distributors or “middlemen”). I had another equally great job previously both which lasted years. I recall that a headhunter sent me to one company each time and then I received job offers and accepted. Before I reached that level no more than five to six resumes in response to ads was required before landing a job.

    Obviously these kinds of jobs are no more. Even at the end of that last cushy job I was expected to service more clients in less time, my assistant was let go and I answered my own phone (gasp) and made my own copies.

    I wish everyone could have a job like that, where you are treated with respect and courtesy, at least once. I doubt my children or their children will have that luxury.

  • Lindan

    Take a vacation???????????!!! It’s literally like quiting a job and having nothing after the vacation. NO! Vacation = more debt!

  • Ian

    What did you think would happen silly’s! Simple moral, that most of you my fellow nationalists lack, to pay back quickly what you owe somebody. Are you daft? One way to be hated almost instantaneously by a person is to borrow and linger in paying your dues. Seriously? I’ve watched documents on how you fools at colleges go to the credit booths and sign up on the spot for high debt ceilings, hundreds of thousands now are doing just that as school is beginning. Ludicrous! It would almost be funny if it wasn’t so sad for you debtors to suffer.
    As for me things are fine being poor and not in debt. Nearly off the grid really if it wasn’t for fear of internment or of their actually being some place left to get off it. Tax countdown.

  • Mondobeyondo

    Life was so much simpler before July 24, 1967.
    What happened on that date?
    Nothing in particular.

    November 22, 1963, on the other hand……

    • Mondobeyondo

      Crap. That was the day the Detroit riots were well underway. I didn’t realize that until I posted that message.

      Let’s try another date. June 26, 1964. That should work.

    • Mondobeyondo

      They say that if you lived through the 1960’s, you don’t remember them.

      I lived through the 1960’s. I don’t remember them. That’s because I was like, 2, 3 and 4 years old.

      Okay, I’m done.

  • Bon, From the Land of Babble

    Great Article!! And oh, so true.

    I haven’t had a raise in 10 years and have suffered 4 years of pay cuts. This year, there will be two weeks less pay, possibly four weeks. Meanwhile, gas where I live is over $4.00/gallon. Both of us drive cars with well over 100,000 miles on them so at least we are out from under car notes. BUT we have two children in college and UC tuition has gone up 75% in the past five years. The debt is crushing us and with taxes eating up 50% of our income we see no end in sight.

    Was hoping to retire soon but it doesn’t look likely.

  • In July of this year I lost my job of 12.5 years. From what I gather there are now two underpaid part-timers doing what I did full time for a fairly decent salary. When I was let go I was told by the management that they did not have to have a reason, only that I was no longer needed due to managerial changes and decisions!
    In 2008 I had integrated three jobs into one for that company. That allowed them to save tremendously by not having to hire when two employees retired in 2008 and 2009, and at a time when the industry slowed down tremendously. And they thanked me in 2012 by replacing me with two part-time workers who will work for the minimum rate. This is now the American way. There is no loyalty, nor concern from corporations for their employees. I will now be more discriminatory as to who and where I make my living, and if I succeed in my current goals, I will be working for myself!
    Thanks Mike for your article, it really hits home!

  • marvin nubwaxer

    what do expect when the rich have been left to run amok?

  • ITPM

    I work for a Fortune 500 company as an IT Project Manager. The team I work under is stressed out almost all the time. We easily put in anywhere between 60-to-90 hours per week just trying to keep up with the workload. Personally, I am at a “breaking point” with my employer, although the salary I get paid is fairly reasonable. But when it comes right down to dollars and cents, it almost appears I make a lot less for the number of hours I put into my job. I have been a highly dedicated employee with this organization for over 20-years now, but never would have I believed things were going to get to be this mind-boggling. I am so stressed out, I would need a six-month vacation just to recuperate.

  • Saddened

    My husband was a merchandiser for high energy sports drink. They took him to the DMV to get a class C drivers license so that he could make deliveries on a commercial size truck. Something they never even asked him if he wanted to do. He was working 8 hours a day as a merchandiser which he enjoyed. When he started driving the truck and making deliveries it became 13 hours a day! He was so stressed out and exhausted. The job was too physically demanding on him. They never gave him a physical for this new job description nor did he have a Medical Exam Certificate (DOT). He had high blood pressure. My husband made a delivery to a Jewel and shortly after complained of chest pains. An ambulance was called. He died that morning from a heart attack. On my daughters 15 birthday. He never got to say Happy Birthday to her. He started work at 5 and would return home at 7. So please don’t let this happen to you or a loved one. Don’t be worked to death.

  • Excellent info! A great well-balanced posting.

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