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Job = Just Over Broke

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Jobs - Public DomainIf you are fortunate enough to have a job in America today, the phrase “just over broke” probably describes you.  Yes, there are a handful of jobs that certainly pay very well, but most Americans that work for somebody else are just barely making it from month to month.  More than half of all working Americans are living paycheck to paycheck, and more than half of all working Americans make less than $30,000 a year.  That is an amazing statistic but it is actually true.  Once upon a time, anyone that was responsible and that was willing to work hard could get a good job in America.  But now those days are long gone.  Instead, we live at a time when good jobs are disappearing and when the middle class is getting smaller with each passing year.  In some homes, the husband and the wife are both working multiple jobs and they can still barely pay their bills.  Something has gone horribly wrong, and yet our leaders just keep telling us how wonderful our economy is.

One of the biggest things that has killed jobs in this country is the fact that the U.S. economy has been steadily merged into the emerging one world economic system over the past several decades.  They call it “free trade”, but they never told us that we would be merged into a single global labor pool where we would be competing directly for jobs with workers on the other side of the planet that live in nations where it is legal to pay slave labor wages.

According to Gallup, only about 1.3 billion people around the world work full-time for an employer at this point.

But overall there are more than 7 billion people.

That means that there are a whole lot of really poor, really desperate people that need to be employed.

This has been wonderful for the big corporations.  They can just take jobs away from American workers and give them to people who are willing to work for less than a tenth of what an American worker would make.  This has resulted in the systematic deindustrialization of the United States and horrific decline in dozens of formerly great manufacturing cities.

At the same time, we have also been losing millions of middle class jobs to technology.  At this point, robots are even starting to replace warehouse workers and fast food employees.  As robots become even more advanced and become even cheaper to produce, there will be less jobs available for the rest of us.

And what happens when robots can do everything better than us?

Because there are fewer middle class jobs available, the competition for the remaining jobs has become incredibly intense.  In recent years, millions of Americans have been forced to take just about anything that they can get.  For those Americans, “just over broke” has become “just trying to survive” as they scratch and claw their way through life.

A recent CNBC article profiled one such individual.  His name is Ken Bowman, and his job at a guitar shop just barely enables him to pay his rent and feed himself…

Ken Bowman joins the line for a free lunch in the Youngstown Salvation Army canteen, just like he does every Friday.

Looking younger than his 21 years, his hair dyed jet black and wearing big, battered boots, Bowman plays heavy metal on his cell phone. He chooses a seat at the end of a table and sits hunched over his tray, his blues eyes furtively sweeping the room. The others sit in packs, regulars who’ve formed lunchtime friendships over their burnt coffee and peppered corn, discussing the jobs they once had and the government benefits they no longer get.

Bowman is sensitive to the stigma of accepting handouts like lunch. “[It] doesn’t mean you’re homeless or poor, people have standards but they struggle,” he said, his chin jutting out, his eyes glowering.

After paying his rent, Bowman says his job in a guitar shop leaves him with $50 a month to live on — if he can get shifts. He is one of America’s “underemployed,” a group of as many as 11 million Americans struggling to survive in society’s shadows on wages that put them below the federal poverty line.

There are millions of others out there just like Bowman.  In fact, as I mentioned in a previous article, one out of every four part-time workers in America is living below the poverty line.  The “working poor” is a phrase that describes a very large segment of the U.S. population today.

And the cold, hard truth of the matter is that most of the country is steadily getting poorer.  According to a study recently discussed in the New York Times, the “typical American household” is now worth 36 percent less than it was worth a decade ago.  That is a staggering decline in just ten years.

Meanwhile, the cost of living continues to rise.  This is something that I have discussed repeatedly, but sometimes a picture can say things far better than any words can.

The photo posted below has been floating around on Twitter.  It is of a McDonald’s menu from the 1960s.  As you can see, prices have gone up a little bit since then…

Inflation - McDonald's

Most people think that I am crazy when I tell them that I can remember a cup of coffee being sold for a quarter when I was young.  But it is true.  Over the long-term, our purchasing power has been systematically destroyed by the insane polices of the Federal Reserve.

Sadly, most Americans don’t understand any of this.  They just trust that our leaders actually know what they are doing.  Meanwhile, they just keep on struggling to survive in an economic system that is stacked against them.

According to one recent study, 40 percent of all households in the United States are experiencing financial stress right now and the homeownership rate for Americans under the age of 35 is at an all-time low.

In the old days, if you got your education, worked hard and did all the right things, it was just about an automatic ticket to the middle class.

Today it doesn’t work like that.

Instead, more Americans than ever are being forced to become dependent on the government.  If you can believe it, Americans received more than 2 trillion dollars in benefits from the federal government last year alone.

So it astounds me whenever I hear anyone say that the economy is in “good shape”.

How can it be in “good shape” when one out of every three adults in the United States has an unpaid debt that is “in collections” and there are 49 million Americans that are dealing with food insecurity?

The truth is that we are in the midst of a long-term economic decline that is the result of decades of incredibly foolish decisions.

Until the American people start understanding what has happened to us, they are never going to demand real change that actually accomplishes something.

  • Guest

    Gym teacher on Long Island making 121k for 8 months of 6 hour day work with 3 of the 6 hours free is a good job

    • Pam

      Long Island on the way to look like detroit

      • John

        I wonder if America is on the way to look like Detroit.

    • Kim

      Yes and teachers are always complaining about how underpaid they are. Don’t forget Christmas Break, Spring Break and all the other holidays during the school year. WAH WAH WAH.

      Seriously 121K is ridiculous for a teachers salary. I know many complain about working after hours, grading papers, etc. But I wonder how many spend free time in the teachers lounge yakking it up, etc. Instead of doing their work.

      Americans for the most are pretty lazy. Especially those in government jobs.

      • Pete

        Couldn’t agree more. Long Island is badly corrupt. You will never hear a teacher bitch about high property taxes.

        • TheSmokeGuy

          I lived on Long Island (Nassau County) for 14 years. When i was eight, my dad’s job transferred our family to Florida…where we remained for four years. We Then moved back to Long Island. The people were nasty and had a sense of entitlement. Look what happened after Hurricane Sandy. Everybody had their hand out. What ever happened to property insurance? The county governments could not even coordinate basic emergency services. I would love to see Long Island just wash away.

        • Adrian

          Yeah, because teachers don’t live in houses and are exempt from property taxes, right? LOL…

      • Adrian

        Especially when most teachers make < $40k a year. Get off the anti-education bandwagon, it gets old listening to the clichés.

        • Kim

          Let me guess Adrian you must be a teacher or know someone who is. We can always count on people in our society to be sympathetic to friends, family and themselves and to heck with the rest of the populace.

          40K a year for 6 hours work, 8 months of the year sounds pretty darn good to me. Plus don’t forget those retirement benefits you get.

          Where the heck is my retirement plan? Where is my future? Nowhere but in the garbage. I will be lucky to die before being shuttled into a state run nursing home where I will be subjected to unspeakable conditions.

          I know let’s raise our property taxes again next year and the year after that so that teachers can all make 200K plus a year. They do after all deserve it for all their hard work and sacrifice…..well maybe one out of 1000. The rest are in it for the summer vacations and retirement benefits.

          BTW the education system is really a system created to churn our sheeple and worker bees for the corporate drones.

          • Priszilla

            If you work for someone you can always join a union. If you work for yourself you can always sell to teachers at a higher price.

          • Adrian

            I don’t understand your point. Sell to a teacher at a higher price?

          • Priszilla

            Well, they have money. So they can pay a higher price than those on Fruit Stamps.

          • Adrian

            Teachers have money?? What planet are you on? Teachers are underpaid, as I said, making < $ 40,000 a year. Look at the income stats.

          • Priszilla

            Well, then sell to policemen. Or Donald Trump, or a Senator, a congress person? They are all millionaires.

          • Adrian

            Policemen are civil servants, underpaid, like teachers. The rest of your list has money.

          • Priszilla

            Ok. Find people who have money and sell to them. Is this an easy enough instruction?

          • Lexxs

            In San Francisco a pig on the beat can make $200k/yr with their overpriced overtime scams

          • Adrian

            As Chris Hedges says, when people compare their lack of benefits to those of teachers (which are being cut yearly), and ask why do teachers get so much, that is the wrong question. The right question is, “why don’t I get this?” Fight for it. I will never understand the mentality of Americans that seeks to bring down their fellow workers to their low state instead of fighting to raise their own living standards. I always get a kick out of people who have never taught simplistically assuming teaching is an easy job. It does not good to try to explain otherwise, but without teachers, we would have no society. The last point you make about education, that is what education has become, I agree. It doesn’t mean we have to accept that paradigm, now does it?

          • Cinnamon

            still more than we make with no vacations.

        • Hammerstrike


          endoftheamericandream. c om /archives/dumb-as-a-rock-you-will-be-absolutely-amazed-at-the-things-that-u-s-high-school-students-do-not-know

          • Adrian

            And you think that’s all the fault of teachers? If you had taught you would know how teachers’ hands are tied. Believe me, I taught 12 grade, and when they got to me they couldn’t write for
            $ hit, nor thing their way out of a paper sack. I was appalled, but that sure as hell wasn’t my fault, and I tried my hardest to teach them properly. Lay off the anti-teacher, Tea Party BS. It does get old.

      • apeiron

        If teaching were a difficult job, it wouldn’t be dominated by women…which also explains the constant complaining.

        • Adrian

          I can tell you’ve never taught in your life. Like most on this site, you post about something of which you know absolutely nothing.

          • apeiron

            In my state the bulk of the ‘education’ dollars go to top heavy administration. We have a population of about 2 1/2 million with 153 school districts!! Each has a superintendent most of whom make six figure salaries, plus the pay their staff recieves. I’d love to see that money go to the class room & pay for teachers who merit it. If teacher pay were based on merit, I’d wager we’d see a lot of the ‘babysitters’ unable to hack. I can’t see how that would be a bad thing. And no, Adrian, I’ve never taught professionally; I work long, solitary hours with my hands. I’m very thankful for the dedicated teachers who served me, but we all know that many of them are just marking time.

          • Adrian

            You make some great points about the bloated salaries of administrators! Us teachers fin it appalling, and you wouldn’t believe how mediocre many of them are (maybe you would). I always busted my butt as a teacher, and over the summers I work with my hands also, as I enjoy working. I agree with you that teachers should be paid more, but that’s the question: how do you know what a good teacher is? test scores are a flawed way to measure that, for reasons I could go into at length if you like.

          • apeiron

            There was a scandal in the news recently about fudging of test scores because so many of the teachers didn’t pass muster. I also know that y’all face a very different generation than when I was in school (60’s-70’s), the result of our cultures corruption. Children from difficult, unstable homes are often too insecure & stressed to fully apply themselves or even comprehend why they should. I don’t know the metric for determining the value of a teacher, but I know there should be one. One that would be hard to ‘fake’ & difficult to manipulate. The students know who the teachers are who challenge them achieve. I have to commend you for being a man in the education system as well, Adrian. There need to be ALOT more. I’ve taken the notion in the past few years that a lot of our social pathologies are due to the fact that children are virtually the prisoners of women, a great many of whom have internalized Marxist Feminist dogma. We live in a feminized culture…and it sucks.

          • Adrian

            I agree about the generational differences. I was born in the 70s and there is a stark difference between my generation and this one. Teachers already must demonstrate competence. In addition to having a college degree (many of us have numerous degrees and graduate degrees), we must demonstrate highly qualified ability by passing exams in our field. I have no problem with that, and I passed mine with ease. Many people I think don’t realize this. Private schools do not have the same standards that public ones do, and private schools are far less rigid. The experience I had where I taught is that there was little parental involvement, kids grew up not caring and not valuing education, and they treated standardized tests as a joke. The typical comment would be for them to say out loud they were going to “Christmas tree” the answers, and they did. They didn’t care, but we took the blame for this That isn’t fair to any professional.

      • Anabelle

        As a teacher in KY with a master’s (required by the state and I had to pay for it at a cost of $12,000) I have to enter the conversation. for those of you who think teachers work 6 hours a day for 8 months, uh, not anyone that I know of. I taught science and usually had to go in at 6 AM to get my labs set up and get ready for the day. I had a 45 minute planning period (what a joke that was) and after school was required tutoring, returning phone calls, emails, dept. meetings, staff meeting, grading, entering grades and all the other required things admin would make us do that was nothing more than keeping their butts out of the fire, I would get home at about 5 PM. Take a 2 hour break to make dinner, eat, spend a little time with my kids and then spend another 2 hours a night updating curriculum documents, creating BETTER lesson plans than last year (because they change things every year). I almost got divorced because I neglected my children and husband during those years. All of this for about $40,000 WITH my master’s degree. The summer? Required professional development, continuing education hours with the local college and other things we were expected to do to “make ourselves better teachers.” If I was lucky I might get 4-6 weeks off. I was making $40,000 about 20 years ago working in the business world. You have to work at least 27 years in KY to retire (among recent hires it’s now 32 years). In the less than 10 years I taught it completely ruined my health. The older teachers are retiring as fast as possible. Most of the younger teachers don’t make it 10 years and then they quit. Why? Because of the screaming, demanding parents who get mad when the teacher take their kids cell phone because THEY were texting their kid during class. Griping because every time we try to raise the bar for their children’s learning they whine and complain that their “little princes and princesses” aren’t getting straight A’s and they KNOW the teacher is not being fair to them. No wonder our children are idiots.
        My own children know that their education has ALWAYS been the priority in our home. Not sports, not TV, not texting or playing video games. School first, always. Period. If they screw up, then they’re grounded. Period. These parents don’t want to parent their kids, just be their friends. As a society we are raising children to be spoiled, whiny brats who think it’s all about THEM. There are bad teachers, always were, always will be, but I see too many teachers giving their time and their money (I spent tons of money on things our school refused to buy – I was a high school science teacher – how do you teach science without equipment?) to give their students the best education possible.
        Now the administration, well, that’s another matter. It’s bloated and at least where I worked is a good ole boy system. You do what I say and I’ll give you a cushy job at central office.
        After a couple of years of teaching my wise husband made this observation, “You work as many hours as a person who works 40 hours a week 52 weeks a year. you just cram all of it into the school year.”
        And by the way, I’m not an elitist. I was raised poor, alcoholic father, but knew education was my ticket out of poverty. My husband’s ticket out of a divorced drug ridden parent situation was the US Navy – 20 years as an enlisted man.
        P.S. In terms of college education, I believe this – not every kid should go to college. The colleges are deliberating letting kids get into these majors where they will NEVER find a job. It’s criminal. There are high paying technical jobs in this area going unfilled ($40K-$60K) a year because there aren’t enough young people going into these area.

        • Dave Jenkins

          Thanks to you and your husband for your service to this country (such as it is). Him serving in the Navy, and you serving to teach the next generation (or trying to teach them). I would not have the patience, I have to admit.

        • john mccann

          You are spot on!!

  • Steve

    Because of huge supply of qualified workers, $120K/year executive jobs in 2007 are now paying $75K in 2014, IF you can even get those jobs. At the lower end of the scale, every waiter/waitress/CVS/Home Depot job is filled. All shifts. Glad I’m working & holding on tight on the higher end of the scale because there’s nothing available at the lower end.

    • peace angel

      THAT depends on where you live. THERE are tons of low end jobs and nobody wants them all over the country and half of those lazies under 35 don’t want to work.

      I live in Myrtle Beach, Sc and every store I go into has a help wanted sign out for the past 3 years I have lived here. Before that, I lived in Tulsa and saw the exact same thing. Job offers all over the place. GO to INDEED or Monster and see the pages and pages of jobs.

    • j lemurian

      Not sure where you live..Here in the NYC area, tons of jobs…for those willing to apply themselves. Sitting in a cubicle and expecting $90k? Those days are over.

      • Priszilla

        Same in London. Tons of jobs but not enough pay to pay the rent. So why work there?

  • Guest

    I’ll be 39 next week, and I remember when ice cream cones at McDonald’s were 25 cents. I have no idea how much they are now as I haven’t eaten there in well over 20 years.

  • K

    Once upon a time a good worker, was a valued asset. And they were treated and payed as a valued asset. Now workers are treated as an inconvenience at best, or an absolute enemy to big business’s bottom line at worse. As long as that attitude prevails, nothing will change. In the race to the bottom, everybody loses.

    • Kim

      Employees used to be a valued asset. A typical employee could work enough to generate his own wages and then some. Once he no longer generates enough value to pay for himself, he’s let go. Welcome to the era of unintended negative returns on economic and trade policy and technology.

    • anonymous1

      There was also a time that employers would pay for experience. Now, if an employee changes employers, even if the employee has 20 years experience, they are often started at the bottom, and paid minimum wage. It is impossible to get ahead in today’s world, no matter how hard one works.

      • Ian

        It’s even hard to get by, I’m not even trying to get ahead.

  • toadsticker

    look up “secular stagnation”

  • Viper

    Michael, one of my favorite verses when financial times are tough:

    Philippians 4:19 –

    “But my God shall supply all your need according to his riches in glory by Christ Jesus”

    • Don

      Just a verse to pacify the poor. After all we certainly don’t want all them peasants rising up against the rich.

    • Priszilla

      Exactly. That’s the favourite verse of the fraudsters: Don’t worry about me taking your wealth. God will supply you with everything you need.

  • King Pete

    Ironically,I am actually doing better financially since 2008 than previously.I was a Marine officer during the gulf war,then left the service in the purge of ’92.Unable to find a job in logistics,I started selling cars to support my wife and daughter.All through the 90s and until 2008 I navigated the hell that is auto sales until a lucky break allowed me to train and get licensed as a hearing aid specialist,allowing my to earn 3 times my best year selling cars.I have employer payed health insurance,401 k with a5% match,3 weeks paid vacation annually and a profit sharing deal,which is pretty good in this day and age.I paid off my home and truck, and have no credit cards or other debt beyond taxes and insurances,and have a healthy savings and 401 k.While it may be true that unskilled labor positions are going the way of the dodo,there is still plenty of good jobs for stem professionals and technical sales people.There are actually a lot of lower end jobs still available too,but many feel that they are too good to work them,and would rather subsist on public assistance.Very little is more humiliating than auto sales,but I endured it for 16 years until opportunity knocked…if more people would adopt the same attitude,then eventually things might improve for them as well.Better to work a crappy job then accept welfare.The country is definitely in poor shape these days,but we as individuals need to buck up and fight the good fight where we can and try to bootstrap ourselves to success….waiting for something good to save the day is futile.

    • JulietteofOhio

      In our area, we have more people on disability than welfare, per se. How they get on it, I don’t know as most of them seem able-bodied. (Long, possibly boring story: When I started out as a very young divorced mother, I made $1.00 an hour with no benefits working for two semi-retired lawyers. I didn’t get child support (different era) and had an apartment that cost $40 a month. I cleared apx $36 a week. Rent in a small, third floor apt was $40 a month and utilities ran about $27-$30 a month. These two costs balanced each other out. I had $36 to buy food for the month and there were no food stamp programs, which I wouldn’t have taken, anyway. That left $36.00 for gas, clothing and medicine. We about starved. Much against the will of the two elderly lawyers, I took a job as a bar maid making $2.00 a night, plus tips. It was a college bar and you didn’t get tips, but the extra $74.00 a week really helped. After my son needed tonsil surgery, I got a third job as an early morning waitress for about .75 cents an hour, plus tips. We did well until my health gave out. I then moved to the County Clerks office in another town at the Courthouse. They offered benefits which I couldn’t afford, but paid $180 a month. I shared house expenses with a friend going through what I was and we made it, rather precariously.Next job was as payroll manager for a larger business, beginning at $110.00 a week. After an initial outlay for nice clothes, we were in clover. I bought a television, a stove, a refrigerator and toys for my son. Before, I had used an electric skillet and an ice chest. I rose through the company and met a nice man with a good job and our desperate years were over. I don’t see these jobs, lousy as they were, becoming available today. We worked hard, were well-educated and put up with a LOT of crap, but we made it. I don’t know that my kids will get even this pitiful amount of work to look forward to. Our experience with the work of today is sad. During our 40s, the field in which my husband worked went through a Chainsaw Al period and he was unemployed for five years. I still worked, but couldn’t produce what he did. He finally got a call to transfer and I went with him as did the kids, and we spent the next ten years trying to recoup all of our losses, including his pension. Couldn’t do it, but our house, cars and school loans are all paid, and we are fortunate. We had good luck and God watching over us, but we feel we have no way to retire. SS will probably not be there, so we’re trying to save every penny, with no place to stash it. It was better in the 70s. All pensions are gone and we don’t trust the government. What is also gone is our trust, our strength and our youth. We are NOT going to die to please OVomit, so will continue as best we can.

      • Dave Jenkins

        Great post. I admire and respect your struggles. The 70`s were like a different world. My Dad and uncles, without finishing High School, were able to get jobs in steel factories in Ohio (coming out of wild, wonderful WV) and buy property, houses, and live solid middle class lives. Earning $15,000 a year in 1978 or 1979 as my Dad did, is like earning about $55,000 in today`s dollars, adjusted for inflation. All that with only an 8th grade education. Who can earn a living like that today without a high school diploma ?

      • djc

        Thank you for taking the time to post your story.

      • Lexxs

        What a sad story. It is a disgrace how we were fed pipe dreams of how great America was but had it turn out to be a lie.

  • Adrian

    I have posed the libertarian paradox many times before, and the libertarians are unable to address it. Here it is: their basic tenant is to have a minimal government with few or no restrictions on business. Assuming this is done as they wish, the operation of the free market will allow for some businesses to outperform others, and grow. Eventually, these few businesses will dominate the market in either oligopolistic or monopolistic fashion, owing to the minimal government. Not only does that harm quality of goods, but labor is restricted as well, producing market failures. Thus, by their own logic, liberalism is doomed to failure unless there is government involvement in the economy.
    How is this relevant to the post? That is the situation we have now, with the economy favoring the rich and big businesses, as labor power has been destroyed with the death of unions. Since the government is now in the hands of the corporate sector, expect nothing less than a continuation of the status quo, which means stagnant wages and scarce jobs.

    • Jodie Lynn Gaeta

      Government being in the hands of the corporate sector is an undesirable thing, and both libertarians and liberals would agree on that. I think the answer to this “paradox” is simply that there is no “one-size-fits-all” philosophy, and that in the real world practicality must be given preference over dogma.

      • y

        I agree. I made a similar’ish’ point on this site many times.

        • K2

          Sorry this is from me. I accidently typed y in the name field. :)

      • Adrian

        True, but I say go with what works instead of dogma. What makes capitalism work is government involvement, keeping monopolies and oligopolies from forming, establishing finance rules so a few earning some quick money doesn’t destroy the entire system, etc.

        • Priszilla

          Well, it’s the government that uses taxmoney to make arms dealers fat.

    • Mike Smithy

      As a counterpoint, I would suggest that Government is the largest monopoly in existence and market monopolies are typically maintained with assistance from the government. I believe that there is enough anecdotal evidence to suggest that large corporations in the USA favor regulation because they are able to absorb the high fixed costs associated with such restrictions. This drives smaller less capitalized entities out of business while simultaneously establishing the larger firm’s unnatural dominance over a given market. It also prevents new firms entering the market by raising the cost of entry. With very few exceptions, an actual “free market” system would tend to be better off if anti-trust regulation was scaled back.

  • Bill

    Even for people that understand what is going on it is next to impossible to get, work for, or vote for change when they live under a currupt government.

  • Day2Day

    To help put things into perspective for people about how bad the economy is…

    According to John Williams of shadow stats, the real unemployment is 23% at the broadest measurement (Which includes people who have “given up” looking for work and part-time min wage). Our population is 318 million people, now subtract 23% unemployed and you get 73 million unemployed people! Now we are left with 245 million people who have a job… Of those, 53% make LESS THAN 30k a year… That’s 130 MILLION people!

    So in other words, we have a combined total of 203 MILLION people right now in this country who are either unemployed or making poverty wages… that is an unbelievable 64% of our current population that is living in poverty…

    If this isn’t a 3rd world country I honestly don’t know what is…

    • quest

      According to the labor statistics there are 230 million americans ages 18-65, with a 57% participation rate (63.2% +6.2% unemployed) = 131,100,000 working americans.So isn’t the unemployment rate really 43%? Of the working americans 38% work for the government in one form or another. 131,100,000-49,818,000=81,282,000. Give or take a few million.

    • Hammerstrike

      318 millions, – or + the illegal immigrants?

    • lordonlow

      one of the most sinister aspects of the meltdown is the volume of lying by uncle scam. employment/unemployment is no exception. that the bls doesn’t include those who’ve given up because they have no hope and are being crushed says all you need to know about how much uncle scam cares about everyday americans. all while gangsters at banks, insurance co’s, and mortgage lenders sit atop massive piles of money and laugh at the little people and sup on filet mignon.

    • none

      President Obama has changed this statistic!
      When he flies to Martha’s Vineyard for the labor day weekend. He will employ many people in this economy!
      The free plane trip! Secret service. AND MOSTLY Civilian MARTHA STEWART for the Chief!
      He has certainly sacrificed greatly for the American people!

    • Ian

      If we’re a third world country, Africa must be a fourth world country…

  • Topodamorning

    1990- gas was about 75 cents a gallon. I remember raiding my change jar to put a few gallons into my Rambler to cruise around town. My rent was 60.00 a month with utilities. I was living in a boarding house with shared bath and kitchen. Four loaves of bread for a dollar! No cell phone, no computer dominated life. I had real relationships where you visited with each other in the home. No Facebook relationships. Some things are good and some I wish I could do without. My cell phone crashed for one day and it was as though I had died.

    • Priszilla

      This only means you are old.
      The good old times were always better.

      • Kim

        This only means you are old.

        Not necessarily. I remember when gasoline was less than a dollar a gallon, cell phones and computers weren’t a necessary, and real friendships weren’t substituted for online social media “friends” that u could simply unfriend at will. And I am not “old”. Things have changed so quickly, no wonder everyone’s gone over the edge.

        • Priszilla

          In 1990 you were old enough to buy a car. Now you are 24 years older, at least 42.
          From my perspective that’s young. From that of youths it’s old.

          In 1990 1 litre of petrol was DM 1.50, or HK $ 15.
          Just to put things in perspective.

      • Lexxs

        You must be a disrespectful dumb kid.

        • Priszilla


    • Kim

      When I’m off on one of my mountain adventures and I lose my cell connection, I feel like I’ve been literally unshackled. I don’t mind it at all. :-ppp

  • Daystrom2012

    Maybe Mr Bowman shouldn’t buy hair dye.

  • bobcat

    The right wing thinks everything is hunky dory since the poor have TV sets and cheap used cars. The left wants to keep them all on disability and prescription drugs.

    Offshoring tens of millions of high paying jobs to low wage countries has reduced us low wage status. The poor may not have those TVs much longer.

  • Priszilla

    Oh they never told you? Did you really expect a fraudster to tell you about his intentions? LOL

  • chilller

    Things changed for the worse when companies moved from having ‘personnel departments’, who viewed you as a “person”, to considering you as a “human resource”. Anyone who has had the misfortune of having to deal with these white collar Nazi’s, which are many, know what I’m talking about. Resources are expendable and disposable and should be seen and not heard. I file HR scum in the folder along with the IRS and street gangs.

  • Orange jean

    I hate to point this out, but …. if Bowman lost the cell phone he might have enough to pay for his food. I get the minimum cell phone service in my area and it cost more than he claims he has left after paying the rent. Also, is he working at a guitar shop for a low wage because it’s the best job he can get… or is he doing it because it’s the most “cool” job he could get.

    • dontblamemeborn1981

      You are probably right about the cell phone. I don’t have the newest cell phone, but even when I point out to people that I don’t have a lot of money that doesn’t get taken into account in their opinion of me. I don’t have a debt in collections because I choose not to live beyond my means. I always reject credit card offers when I get them in the mail or go to the bank as the Post Office doesn’t know if you have a job, nor does your bank. I have a job right now, but I would not be able to afford a credit card.


    It’s gonna blow and the government knows it.

    • dontblamemeborn1981

      But does the government even care that it’s going to blow?

      My experiences with the government have always been poor, and although I don’t know you, I’m guessing that yours have also been poor. I would imagine right now that all the government cares about right now is what would happen to public sector workers if it did blow, private sector workers and the unemployed and homeless be damned.


        Can’t disagree with a single word.

  • jakartaman

    tick tock tick tock tick tock

  • Cal Wayback

    Back when the space age began (1957) with Sputnik people with college degrees were sought after. Employers wanted you and they would train you. If your degree was technical you could get a marquee job. This continued for 30 years, today with a master’s degree you can’t find a decent job that pays more than the minimum wage. Government has jobs but you end up with nothing to do. Pretty sad situation. Best thing to do is start a home business and build from there. It may not pay much at first but at least no one can lay you off.

  • Wetwork

    50 cents for a coffee when I started working at $5/hr. Coffee is now $2.00 and very few are making $20 (5×4)these days.
    When I got married, after paying rent, food and car I still had $1000 in my pocket to use as I saw fit. That was in 1997. Gas is triple what it was in 1997. I now need pretty much every penny to take care of everything each month and I have a good job.

    • Priszilla

      When I studied in the eighties I got 300 in scholarship per month and paid 10 for accommodation.

  • bobbobbob

    every italian mobster; hit man; finger breaker has dental care in itay. you have nothing you are garbage without mr o you would starving! you offer the world nothing and most people around the world know this get your meth

  • dontblamemeborn1981

    I wonder what the government is going to do when the Social Security Disability Insurance trust fund runs out in 2016. The government knew in 2011 that it was going to run out in 2016 but has basically done nothing since. Nobody knows yet how the disabled will react when they learn about this and have their benefits cut or eliminated outright.

    I am disabled and I have a job, but when I point out what will happen in two years to people who work for the disabled they make it abundantly clear to me that they don’t even care. There are clearly no plans to impose a work requirement or an attempt to find work requirement as a condition of receiving disability despite what will happen in time for the next presidential elections.

  • ian

    And yet everyone has expensive iphones, ipads, bikes, going to festival after festival, buying homes, eating out every night….etc….etc…..

    • dontblamemeborn1981

      Are these the people with debts in collections as well (35.1 percent of the population)? If they NEVER get a bailout, then no complaints if they have to dig themselves out all by themselves, but if they DO get a bailout, then people who lived within their means will have to descend on Washington with torches and pitchforks. I’m disabled and I have a job but I reject every credit card offer I get and when I say I don’t have a better cellphone because I can’t afford it people still think less of me.

  • Dr. Trollington

    Thank God I’m one of those that’s mooching off of all of you dumbazz workers. SSID ftw!

  • Kim

    This is a result of the refusal to acknowledge and thus appropriately manage a failing system. Our leaders refuse to openly and honestly discuss the changes that are coming upon all of us. The ones that try are mocked and vilified.

    So we desperately hold on to an unworkable paradigm of modern life while it continually slips away with tragic, unimaginable consequences.

    Even those that know what’s coming and prepare are running against the wind of this failing system. Prepare and endure!

  • DJohn1

    In Real Estate Sales, we call those prices Finance and Appraisal. Finance and Appraisal is a course of study that every agent in the State of Ohio has to take after being in Real Estate for 5 years in order to keep their licenses intact.
    The bottom line is the American Dollar is only worth what it can buy on the open market place.
    A short cut to this value system is the price of any commodity you want to name, as to what it did cost and what it does cost today. That cost can be reflected in the price of eggs. Or the price of Milk. Or more accurately, the price of a gallon of regular gas at the pump.
    I started driving a small car in 1966. The price was 34.9 cents a gallon. Today it fluctuates about 40-50 cents a gallon and it costs almost 3 dollars and 49 cents and 9/10ths of a cent a gallon.
    For convenience sake, that is 10 times the cost of what I paid in 1966.
    You can take the prices in 1966 and cross compare them with today’s prices on any commodity out there.
    This 1 to 10 ratio is there for anyone to see.
    So since 1966, the American dollar has devalued to 1/10 of its original value.
    Wages have not kept up.
    It used to be a fair amount of people had professional negotiators in the form of a union and dues paying members. They worked under a contract with the company.
    That has declined. Most people are at the mercy of the companies that they work for today.
    To cover what I was making in 1966 as a Journeyman Printer in the Composing Room of a major city newspaper, I would have to make 1,800 dollars a week. In 1966, the wages of a pritner were approximately 180 dollars. Multiply that by 10 and you get an approximate number in value of what someone with a skilled trade would have to make to just stay even with what we were making back then.
    My trade is virtually gone. When the MACs and PCs got started, all the newspapers went to a different system where they did not have to pay those high wages.
    Plumbers, Heating and Air Conditioning Specialists, and many other trades still exist to this day. Most are service related trades.
    What I made in real money in 1966, is approximately what I make in one month on pensions in the current value of the dollar.
    This Congress and many congresses before it have destroyed the middle class of this country. It was planned over the long term and it worked.
    Republicans are the greatest offenders of destroying the rights of union workers throughout the country. The Democrats starting with Clinton are joining the anti-union movement as well.
    Now it is starting to come back to haunt them all. The entire wage base of the government in real money is based on the Income Tax. If no one out there makes money, they pay no income tax.
    The government is devaluing the money supply as we speak. It counterfeits money to make up the difference from what they are able to get from wage earners.
    WE are not blameless. We elected them. We continued to elect them even when we knew they were doing wrong.
    Part of that is the two party system where independents have no hope of getting elected.
    Believe me, there are enough dirty tricks out there by our current bunch of politicians to make Ali Baba and his 40 thieves blush with envy.
    Like a huge house of cards, they will reap what they have sown. The entire economic system is about ready to fail big time.

    • a clever peasant

      Excellent comment. I remember gasoline at those prices and even a little lower when there was a “gas war” on between the Hess station and the guys across the street. Also remember minimum wage being $1.60 / hr. in 1967 when I got my first full time job. Easy to remember because that was my pay rate. But I could buy 5 gallons of gas with one hours pay and fill my ’61 Mercury Meteor up from running on fumes for 6 bucks! Now minimum wage might buy you 2 gallons of gas. Think about that, an hour of human labor is worth only 2 gallons of gasoline. Sad. And just as your printer’s trade has been disrupted and all but replaced by technology, so it is with so many other trades and professions. Accountants, machinists, draftsmen, et al. What work can’t be reduced to automation is shipped to foreign shores. Almost every working American would agree that outsourcing jobs to overseas markets is bad for the middle class. But media and politicians have people so ginned up about unions being nothing but bastions of lazy, greedy, overpaid thugs that unions are in decline from lack of support. Don’t get me wrong. There are definitely plenty of excesses within unions that one can point to for making a case against them. What goes untold are the stories of the hundreds of millions of union workers who have, throughout past years, raised families, purchased homes, paid college tuitions and bolstered the economy as the consumers that their decent wages enabled them to be. And, of course, for every job lost to tech or outsourcing there is a loss of tax revenue and an additional demand on our already bloated entitlement spending. It’s a vicious cycle that won’t end as long as politicians and business leaders continue telling us how beneficial free trade agreements are and how wonderful every new labor eliminating technology is.

    • jo6pac

      Great comment, you nailed and yes we’re doomed with the present system in place.

  • Priszilla

    This isn’t really new.

    wikipedia: Wage_Labour_and_Capital

  • Mondobeyondo

    That photo of the McDonald’s menu… brought back some memories. Now THOSE are what you call value meals and happy meals!

    • Kim

      We used to have Burger Chef back in the day. I remember u could get a hamburger for 49¢. And no, I’m not “old”.

      • robert h siddell, jr

        Crystal Burgers were about $.05, gas .29, and eggs 3 dozen per dollar.

        • toadsticker

          12oz draft .25

    • watchmanonthetower

      Copy that on the McDonalds menu, Mondo! Secure 2 quarters (4 bits?!) cutting the grass Saturday morning, and you were eatin’ good on a carefree Saturday afternoon.

      Foster’s Freeze was around the corner, too. A large Coke and a big! box of Fries: 45 cents. And that soft Vanilla ice cream in wafer cones…dipped in milk chocolate!

      It’s like another world, now…

  • Mondobeyondo

    It’s essential to understand – the U.S. economy in 2014 is not the U.S. economy in 1974, or 1954. Many people still hold on to the fact that it’s “the same as it ever was”. Not so.

    Those who are skilled in certain career fields (i.e. IT, health care, football stars) are well rewarded. Unfortunately, a great many of us aren’t talented in such areas.

    With education, drive and determination, you CAN be. The X factor, of course is money. A university education isn’t cheap, and most people are not bathing in money. But… *sigh*

    Otherwise – you may have to settle for a career as a barista at Starbucks. Ugh…

  • geo wells

    Don’t the colonizing conquering hordes of non-white invaders get $30,000 or so out of the welfare system, that is, thru the transfer system of wealth from Whites to non-whites? That makes those who work merely Tax Serfs. Diversity is a codeword for White genocide.

    • robert h siddell, jr

      There should be an annual survey to determine the standard of living of the lowest paid workers and no one on welfare should have a higher standard of living than anyone working. I’m sure that would upset everyone on welfare and make Jesse and Al apoplectic.

  • Mike McNamara

    We need to unite as a people and stop the job bleeding overseas by eliminating NAFTA GATT, the lie of “free trade”, reintroduce tariffs again to protect American industry, end the Marxist Federal Reserve System, slash the federal budget, bring all the troops home, close down all US bases overseas, abolish the DHS the Department of Homeland Security, abolish the Department of Education, the CIA, NSA, end all foreign aid, as an example, much more could be added.

    • toadsticker

      Hey Mac,
      This is Doc. Great Post

  • Scrotie McBoogerballs

    Excellent analysis but why the need for this misleading statistic?:

    “According to Gallup, only about 1.3 billion people around the world work full-time for an employer at this point.

    But overall there are more than 7 billion people.”

    It is obvious that the figure of 7 billion, would be significantly reduced by those that are too young, too old or incapacitated, to be included in the employment pool. And what about those who are self-employed?

    Well researched and well reasoned arguments can stand on their own merits without the need to exaggerate them by resorting to statistical skullduggery.

    • philcic

      So it’s only 1.3 billion of 4 billion. Does that diminish the point?

  • Hammerstrike

    It may be an error to deem all the teachers guilty but it certainly isn´t correct to label all teachers as innocent.

    The US education system is seriousluy lagging behind other first-world countries those record aren´t exactly brilliant.

    There is plenty of evidences to point out that many remarkable idiots gets to become teachers.

    nypost. c o m /2014/06/16/school-ousts-special-needs-boy-after-incident-with-paper-toy-gun/

    • Adrian

      My friend, remarkable idiots get to become all kinds of things, from president to CEO to corporate execs, doctors, lawyers,…you name it. Teachers are not exempt and there are surely poor ones; I’ve seen plenty. Perhaps the federal gvt shouldn’t impose a top-down, one size fits all strategy and instead let the local level decide its policies with federal support?

  • brother Tim

    I just watch a video on Detroit it shows how the government gives grants to Whirlpool to keep jobs here in America. But Whirlpool still shut down factories, sent jobs overseas and put thousands of people out of work here in America. But the sad part is they still get grants from the federal government. I believe strongly this is all a set up. Its like they are getting paid to shut down and put people out of work. While people who have jobs lost 36% of their wealth, the big companies have gain that and maybe much more with the help of the government. What a racket!!!!! This is really becoming nightmarish, I’m a christian and I pray all the time in hopes that God helps those who depend in Him and those who are lost in this crazy world.

    • john mccann

      Whirlpool is almost toast LG has taken over the market with Samsung.

  • Ian

    And yet you keep coming back to this blog. Who’s the retard?

    • JJ

      For comedic relief, knuckle dragger

      • Ian

        I prefer Cro-Magnon

        • Brendan D.

          What do you mean by, “I prefer Cro-Magnon”?

          • JJ

            He means he justifies his failures by wishing for some imaginary crash so all of us successful people can be brought down to his level. Don’t worry, we’ll be successful despite your failures.

          • Ian

            You know me so well that you can answer for me. You must be a very successful mind-reader.

          • Ian

            Would you prefer Conan?
            or Barney Rubble?
            If we’re giving each other names and all.

  • chilller

    I don’t believe comparing HOA’s to Nazi’s if fair to the Nazi’s… I refuse to live in one of their concentration camps.

  • anonymous1

    “If this is going to be a Christian nation that doesn’t help the poor, either we have to pretend that Jesus was just as selfish as we are, or we’ve got to acknowledge that He commanded us to love the poor, and serve the needy without condition, and then admit that we just don’t want to do it.” – Stephen Colbert

  • anonymous1

    “History is written by the rich, and so the poor get blamed for everything.” -Jeffrey Sachs

  • anonymous1

    “In a sane, civil, intelligent, and moral society, you don’t blame poor people for being poor.” -Andrew Young

  • anonymous1

    “I don’t think people understand that being poor means you have to work from dawn until dusk just to survive through the day. I think there’s some notion that poor people lie about all day not doing anything.” -Emma Thompson

  • anonymous1

    “People don’t like other poor people, and rather than blame the people that make you all poor, you blame each other.” -John Lydon

  • King Pete

    Thanks JJ,fact is life is what you make it.Think things are bad now?Just read the history of this country and see how workers were treated back in the late 19th /early 20th century….people today have plenty of opportunity,you just have to work smart and work hard!

  • jk

    The last nail in this country’s coffin is amnesty for the illegal aliens. Go ahead cowards sit there and say nothing.

  • teabag

    “anyone that was responsible and that was willing to work hard could get a good job in america.” not really–even during boom times, like the sixties, that only applied to white males. if you were a woman or a minority, you could probably get some kind of job, but likely not a good one. i’m old enough to remember that, and i also remember when a gallon of gas or a pack of cigarettes only cost a quarter!

  • oldcoot

    This is all engineered and has been for a awhile. America is being shut down. We are one large crises away from a permanent troops-on-streets condition. I think back how Alex Jones and Infowars has been trying to warn as many people as possible for the last 20yrs. I mean the guy has made over a dozen films on this stuff. Lot’s of people are apologizing, and rightfully so, to him today.

    But people have dismissed him and others like him as “conspiracy theorists.” If anyone still denies that we are in deep, deep trouble as a people then you are truly unable to face reality and will be useless to protect yourself or your family.

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