The Beginning Of The End
The Beginning Of The End By Michael T. Snyder - Kindle Version

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You Will Not Believe What Some People Are Willing To Do For A Paycheck These Days

It is absolutely amazing what some people will do to make a living in this economy.  Desperate times call for desperate measures, and we have not seen this kind of desperation for jobs in America since the Great Depression of the 1930s.  What some people are willing to put up with just to bring home a paycheck these days will totally shock you.  For example, would you slaughter dogs all day long even though you are really a dog lover?  Would you personally train your replacement from China even though you knew he was about to take your job?  Would you trade sex for a job?  There are people out there actually doing all these things and worse.  Every night in America, millions upon millions of people roll around endlessly in their beds and stare at their ceilings for hours because they can’t sleep.  They are sick to their stomachs because their money is gone and nobody will hire them.  They can’t provide even the basics for their families and they feel worthless.  Unemployment can be absolutely soul crushing and it can suck the life right out of you.  Things were supposed to be better by now, but they aren’t.  The month after Barack Obama took office the unemployment rate broke the 8 percent barrier and it has stayed above it ever since.  But the truth is that the “official” unemployment number greatly understates the real amount of suffering that is going on out there.  In reality, the percentage of working age Americans that have jobs is lower today than when the last recession ended.  There are millions upon millions of Americans that are desperate for some hope, and there is no hope on the horizon.  In fact, things are going to be getting a whole lot worse for the U.S. economy.

I like personal stories because they tell us things that all of the economic statistics in the world never could.

There are millions of Americans that have had their lives totally turned upside down by this economy.  They feel abandoned and worthless, and many of them feel as though life is no longer worth living.

As you read the following stories, try to put yourself in their shoes and try to feel their pain.

Also, try to remember that these kinds of stories are going to multiply in the years ahead as the U.S. economy falls apart all around us.

A 61-Year-Old Woman Begging For A Job

A recent article posted on gawker.com included the story of a 61-year-old woman who has been through hell and back during this economic downturn….

I sent out close to 500 resumes. Most never were even acknowledged and those that were I was told I was over qualified. When you would press them they would fumble but I was sure my age was part of the “over qualified”. The thoughts of wanting life to be over were with me every day. I wanted the horror to stop. Every time I would hear of the unemployment rates I would cry-what about ME.

At one point she was so desperate she took a job where she was making the decision about what dogs to slaughter at an animal shelter.  Approximately 85 percent of the dogs at the shelter ended up being killed, and she was working about 80 hours a week doing this.  The really sad part is that she really loves dogs….

In 2008 I was able to get a job at the local shelter as a dog trainer. That turned into a job as an Operations Manager. Though I was thankful for the job we had a euthanasia rate of nearly 85%. I was the one that would be the decision maker on who lives and dies of over 10,000 animals per year and the toll mentally was hard. Being salary I was working nearly 80 hours a week due to shorthanded staff.

After she was fired for not being aggressive enough in killing off dogs, she started endlessly sending out resumes once again.  Nobody wants to hire her, and she essentially feels like an old lady begging for a job….

Since February I began sending out 3 resumes a day. As the no return answer, over qualified and now I was getting I was out of engineering too long I started to set my sights lower. I have sent in resumes to sit in the booth in gas stations, secretary and so on. Local colleges have said I am qualified to teach there but they have no openings. I am for all purposes the old lady begging for a job.

Personally Training Their Replacements

If you knew that your company was going to tear down your factory and send your job to China, would you personally train your replacement?

That is what a whole bunch of workers in Illinois are doing.

The following is from a recent article that appeared in the Guardian….

The shock of losing a precious job in a town afflicted by high unemployment is always hard. A foundation for a stable family life and secure home instantly disappears, replaced with a future filled with fears over health insurance, missed mortgage payments and the potential for a slip below the breadline.

But for Bonnie Borman – and 170 other men and women in Freeport, Illinois – there is a brutal twist to the torture. Borman, 52, and the other workers of a soon-to-be-shuttered car parts plant are personally training the Chinese workers who will replace them.

It’s a surreal experience, they say. For months they have watched their plant being dismantled and shipped to China, piece by piece, as they show teams of Chinese workers how to do the jobs they have dedicated their lives to.

Can you imagine that?

Would you be willing to do the same thing just to keep the paychecks coming in for as long as possible?

Sadly, both major political parties are obsessed with promoting unrestricted free trade even though millions of American jobs continue to go overseas.

Our top political candidates even argue about which of them love “free trade” more.

It truly is sickening.

Do you remember when U.S. taxpayers bailed out the auto industry?

Well, since the auto industry bailout approximately 70 percent of all GM vehicles have been built outside the United States.

The insanity has gotten to such a level that some Americans simply cannot take it anymore.  Just consider the following example from a recent article by Donald L. Barlett and James B. Steele….

On his last day on the job, Kevin Flanagan, after clearing out a few personal effects and putting them in boxes in the back of his Ford Ranger, left the building where he’d worked for seven years.

He settled into the front seat of his pickup truck on the lower level of the company garage, placed a 12-gauge Remington shotgun to his head, and pulled the trigger. He was 41 years old.

He was a computer programmer. He’d been a programmer his entire working life. Until, that is, his job was shipped overseas. The business of moving traditional U.S. jobs abroad-called “outsourcing”-has been one of this country’s few growth industries. It’s the ultimate short-sighted business promoted by the country’s elite because it means lower wages and fatter profits. As for the American workers eliminated along the way, they are just collateral damage.

It turns out that Kevin’s replacement was a programmer from India that he personally trained.

Trading Sex For A Job

If you were truly desperate, would you trade sex for a job?

I hope not, but that is exactly what some Americans are doing.

The following is a story from a desperate unemployed woman that was posted on gawker.com recently….

I have been very depressed since I lost my job. I go through periods where I spend most of my days in bed, and although I’ve had a few interviews those people don’t even have the decency to let you know the position is filled. Sometimes I’d call for weeks asking for updates only to get the HR persons voicemail, and they’d never return my calls. With no experience I can’t even get a job waiting tables. I apply to every job in the paper and online, whether I’m qualified or not, and have had 7 interviews total, none of which ended with a job offer. Living paycheck to paycheck would be a blessing at this point.

She has become so desperate that she is even willing to trade her body for a paycheck….

The current ‘bright side’ is that I know someone who owns a small retail clothing chain and has offered me a minimum wage job there on the condition that we become ‘close friends’. I think you & I both know what that entails, but at this time in my life it seems like a better alternative than losing the little that I have. I’d have a paycheck equal to what I am getting on unemployment with the opportunity for overtime and advancements, full benefits and a schedule that would allow me to continue schooling.

A Lot More Layoffs Coming Soon

The frightening thing is that a whole lot more layoffs are on the horizon.

Just check out this excerpt from a recent article on thehill.com….

Lockheed Martin and Pratt & Whitney are going forward with plans to issue layoff notices to thousands of employees due to looming defense cuts under sequestration, despite administration claims that such warnings are unnecessary.

So how many jobs will be lost?

Unfortunately, it is being projected that we could be looking at a million jobs lost….

Top industry officials have said publicly that automatic cut under sequestration could lead to the loss of 1 million defense-related jobs.

Industry leaders and their supporters in Congress say those job losses would hit battleground states such as Ohio, Pennsylvania, Virginia and Florida particularly hard.

Like I have written about before, we simply cannot continue to steal more than a trillion dollars from future generations every single year, but when we do make deep cuts to the federal budget the economic pain is going to be immense.

We already have more than 100 million Americans on welfare.

What is this country going to look like if things get even worse?

The good news is that if you do lose your job and your home you might have somewhere to sleep.  New York City is opening up a bunch of new homeless shelters….

New York City has opened nine new shelters in the last two months in efforts to handle the city’s rapidly growing homeless population, officials said.

The city recorded 43,731 homeless people in shelters this week, which is up 18 percent from the 37,143 at the same time last year, The New York Times reported.

So don’t get too down.

If you can’t find a job and you can’t afford a home perhaps you can at least get into one of those shiny new homeless shelters.

Seriously, I don’t actually want anyone reading this to end up in a homeless shelter.

That is why I endlessly urge people to adjust their priorities and to work as hard as they can right now to prepare for the very hard economic times that are coming.

Now is not the time to be going on expensive vacations and now is not the time to be blowing your money on all kinds of stupid stuff.

We are moving into the most difficult times that any of us have ever seen, and if you do nothing to prepare yourself you will be very sorry.

The Shocking Truth About Unemployment In America In One Chart

The mainstream media is not telling you the truth about unemployment in the United States.  The percentage of working age Americans that are employed is not increasing.  In March 2010, 58.5 percent of all working age Americans had a job.  In March 2012, 58.5 percent of all working age Americans had a job.  So if the employment rate is exactly the same as it was two years ago, then how in the world can the Obama administration claim that things have gotten significantly better since then?  According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the official unemployment rate in the United States was 9.8 percent in March 2010 and it declined to 8.2 percent in March 2012.  So how is this possible if the percentage of working age Americans that have jobs hasn’t moved?  Well, what they do is they claim that there are millions upon millions of Americans that have “left the labor force”.  In other words, they claim that there are millions upon millions of unemployed Americans that don’t want jobs anymore.  Of course that is a total farce, but the mainstream media and most Americans are buying it.  They actually believe that the unemployment rate is going down.  But the truth is that the unemployment crisis in America has not subsided.  In fact, we are pretty much exactly where we were two years ago, and things are about to get a whole lot worse.

If you want to know the shocking truth about unemployment in America, all you need to do is to look at one chart.  The chart posted below shows the change in the employment-population ratio over the past few years.  What the employment-population ratio measures is the percentage of working age Americans that actually have jobs.  As you can see, it fell dramatically during 2008 and 2009, and since then it has been hovering between 58 and 59 percent….

So there has been no employment recovery, and this is very odd because the employment-population ratio always bounces back after a recession.

The chart posted below shows how the employment-population ratio has changed since the late 1940s.  The shaded areas represent recessions.  Please take note that after every single recession (other than the current one) the employment-population ratio has always bounced back substantially.

During the most recent recession, the employment-population ratio fell farther than it had during any other recession in the post-World War II era.

If these were normal economic times, it would have been reasonable to expect a huge surge in hiring by now.

But we have not seen that.

Instead, the employment rate in the United States has been remarkably flat for more than two years.

So Barack Obama should not even begin to say anything at all about a “recovery” until the employment rate at least breaks the 59 percent barrier.

In the past I have written about how fraudulent the employment statistics put out by the federal government are.

Well, fortunately there are some folks up on Capitol Hill that are starting to take notice of this phenomenon as well.  There is a new bill in Congress that would change the way that the unemployment rate is calculated….

A Republican lawmaker is intensifying his push for legislation that would change how the government measures the unemployment rate. 

Rep. Duncan Hunter (R-Calif.) intends to press GOP leaders to move his bill to include the number of individuals who gave up looking for work in the percentage of jobless claims.

Of course there is probably not a chance that such a bill would ever get through the Senate, but at least some lawmakers are trying to get people to notice what is going on.

The sad truth of the matter is that the employment crisis in America is still about as bad as it was a couple of years ago.

Do you remember a couple of months ago when Barack Obama spoke with the wife of an unemployed engineer and asked her to send his resume to the White House?

Well, it turns out that the unemployed engineer still doesn’t have a job….

More than two months after President Barack Obama asked for Darin Wedel’s résumé, the phone is quiet, e-mails are no longer flooding in and the long-sought-after job interviews — which had begun to be scheduled — have petered out.

“Not even recruiting companies are calling anymore,” said Jennifer Wedel, the Fort Worth mother of two who chatted online this year with Obama about her out-of-work husband.

She says his job search has been hurt by a program to hire skilled foreign workers.

But Barack Obama is doing the same thing on a national level.

He is promising all of us that things are improving and that there will be lots of jobs for everyone soon, but it is all a lie.

The truth is that this period of relative stability that has been purchased by unprecedented levels of government debt will soon give way to even more economic trouble.

One of my readers recently brought to my attention a list of some of the major companies that are currently getting rid of workers….

Ford will be laying off 1,200 assembly line workers later on this month.

Pittsburgh-based paint and coating manufacturer PPG has announced that it will be laying off 2,000 workers.

J.C. Penney recently laid off 600 workers and has plans to lay off another 300 workers in July.

Lockheed Martin has announced that it will be laying off hundreds of workers.

Dow Chemical has announced that hundreds of workers are going to be laid off.

Yahoo has formally announced that it will be getting rid of about 2,000 workers.

Sony has announced plans to eliminate 10,000 jobs globally.

Even Oprah Winfrey is laying off workers.  Oprah is reducing the size of the staff at the OWN network by 20 percent.

Meanwhile, our economy continues to bleed jobs at an astounding pace.  At a time when American workers desperately need jobs, millions of them continue to be sent overseas.

In fact, even some jobs that you would think would be impossible to outsource are being given to foreigners.  Just recently, ABC News did a major report on all of the roads and bridges all over the United States that are being built by Chinese companies.  If you have not seen that report yet, you can view it online right here.

If you go into a Wal-Mart or a dollar store and you start turning over products you will find that huge numbers of them are made in China and that very few of them are made in the United States.  China is absolutely dominating us on the global economic stage.  Last year our trade deficit with China was the largest trade deficit that one nation has had with another nation in the history of the world.  Yet we continue to pursue the exact same trade policies year after year.

So how is the American economy ever supposed to recover if we continue to play to lose?

As a nation we spend far more than we make, we consume far more than we produce and our federal government implements thousands of new business-crippling regulations every single year.

If you still have a good job, you should treasure it and you should try to hold on to it for as long as you can.  Soon the next major economic downturn will be upon us and millions more Americans will lose their jobs and their homes.

Things did not have to turn out this way, but we made horribly bad decisions for decades and now the consequences are catching up with us.

You better get ready.

Go West, Young Man (To North Dakota)

Are you unemployed and out of options?  Well, if you live in most areas of the country there is not much hope for you.  But there is one state where hiring is really hot right now.  If you are desperate for a job, you just might want to check out North Dakota.  Way back in the middle of the 19th centurty, author Horace Greeley gave young Americans the following advice: “Go West, young man, go West“.  Well, we have reached another moment in U.S. history when it may be wise for many Americans to pick up and move to another part of the country in search of opportunity.  Of course traveling to North Dakota is not “going west” for all Americans, but for the majority of the population it is.  In the 19th century, many Americans traveled west because they believed those that told them that there was “gold in them thar hills”, but today a different kind of “gold” is being found in North Dakota.  The state is currently enjoying a boom of “black gold”, and all of that oil is creating a huge number of jobs.  If you are unemployed and you are desperate, you might want to check out North Dakota.  Desperate times call for desperate measures.

As I write about so frequently, unemployment is an absolute nightmare in most areas of the country right now.  But in North Dakota there are plenty of jobs and they pay really well.  Just check out what a new CNN article is saying about what is going on in the state….

Believe it or not, a place exists where companies are hiring like crazy, and you can make $15 an hour serving tacos, $25 an hour waiting tables and $80,000 a year driving trucks.

You just have to move to North Dakota. Specifically, to one of the tiny towns surrounding the oil-rich Bakken formation, estimated to hold anywhere between 4 billion and 24 billion barrels of oil.

CNBC also recently ran an article about the jobs boom up in North Dakota.  According to CNBC, there are “help wanted” signs all over the place in little towns such as Williston….

Unemployment is a national problem in the U.S., but you wouldn’t know that if you travel through North Dakota.

The state’s unemployment rate hovers around 3 percent, and “Help Wanted” signs litter the landscape of cities such as Williston in the same way “For Sale” signs populate the streets of Las Vegas.

“It’s a zoo,” said Terry Ayers, who drove into town from Spokane, Wash., slept in his truck, and found a job within hours of arrival, tripling his salary. “It’s crazy what’s going on out here.”

If you are desperate for work and you are looking for a “reboot”, North Dakota may be an option for you.  According to CNN, there are a significant number of families that have already changed their lives by heading out to North Dakota….

McMullen now works as a nanny in exchange for housing. Her husband, who worked on behavior management programs for a school system in North Carolina where he took home about $1,600 a month, found a job working in the oilfields where he makes that same amount of money in one week — adding up to an annual salary of about $77,000.

“We want to be debt-free, so we came here to play catch-up,” said McMullen. “But when I came here, I thought I was on Mars. It’s just so crazy that the rest of the country has no jobs, and here’s this one place that doesn’t have enough people to fill all the jobs.”

So is North Dakota for everyone?

Of course not.

First of all, it gets bone-chilling cold in North Dakota in the winter.

If you cannot handle really cold weather then you should not go up there.

Secondly, there is not nearly enough housing in the boom towns and the housing that is available is really expensive.

So you may either have to commute a long way or deal with accommodations that are less than stellar.

North Dakota is very flat, the geography is not very pleasant, there is not much to do there, the “boom towns” are very far from major population centers and moving there would entail major sacrifices for most people.

But there are good jobs up there.

So if you are looking for some good news, you just got some.

Look, it is better to try to do something than to sit around waiting for Barack Obama to save you.  As I have written about previously, the Obama jobs plan is a bad joke and even if it got through Congress it would do very little to create jobs.

The truth is that Barack Obama simply does not know what he is doing when it comes to jobs.  He continues to push for even more job-killing “free trade” agreements that will result in millions more American jobs being shipped overseas.

Barack Obama continues to run around the country talking about “infrastructure jobs”, but according to ABC News, thousands upon thousands of those jobs are actually going to Chinese workers….

In New York there is a $400 million renovation project on the Alexander Hamilton Bridge.

In California, there is a $7.2 billion project to rebuild the Bay Bridge connecting San Francisco and Oakland.

In Alaska, there is a proposal for a $190 million bridge project.

These projects sound like steps in the right direction, but much of the work is going to Chinese government-owned firms.

The sad truth is that the U.S. economy continues to slide even further down the tubes and the vast majority of our politicians have no idea how to fix things.

When Barack Obama first took office, the official U.S. unemployment rate was 7.6 percent.  Today it is 9.1 percent.

There are less jobs in the United States today than there were a decade ago, and the number of good paying jobs continues to shrink.

In 1980, 52 percent of all jobs in the United States were middle income jobs.  Today, only 42 percent of all jobs are middle income jobs.

So don’t sit around waiting for the economy to fix itself.  There is no reason to have blind faith in the system at this point.

We live during unconventional times, and many of us are going to have to find unconventional solutions to our problems.

There are lots of good jobs in the western part of North Dakota.

If you need a job, you might want to look into it.

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