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Americans Are Literally Being Worked To Death

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....

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  • 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!

  • SMASH THE CONTROL MACHINE

    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.

    http://www.cato.org/publications/commentary/is-there-right-social-security

    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.

  • SMASH THE CONTROL MACHINE
  • 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!

      • http://theeconomiccollapse disbelief

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

        • Heather Williams

          Yep!

  • 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.

  • Washington

    We Are Hungry

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2IB7NDUSBOo

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

  • http://greenfuelbooster.com stmess

    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
    http://www.alternet.org/5-countries-where-you-dont-have-work-yourself-death-make-ends-meet?paging=off

    Why I Left America And You Should Too
    http://futurebrief.wordpress.com/2012/09/18/hit-the-road-jack/#ixzz27YEPQl8b

    Off The Grid
    Live in a Van, trailer, truck, or motorhome
    by JJ Luna
    http://jjluna.com/Books/Off-The-Grid

    Travel-Trailer Homesteading Under $5,000
    http://www.amazon.com/Travel-Trailer-Homesteading-Under-5-000/dp/1559501324

    Teach english in other countries?
    http://www.eslcafe.com/joblist/

  • 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.

  • http://www.jurisdictionary.com?refercode=HB0005 RealityRose

    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.

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