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The Extreme Frustration Of Unemployed Americans

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When Barack Obama visited Buffalo recently, he was greeted by a billboard advertisement with a very pointed message about unemployment.  In just a few words it summarized the frustrations of an entire region.  The billboard along I-190 had this very simple message for Obama: “Dear Mr. President, I need a freakin job. Period. Sincerely,”  As word about this billboard got out, it quickly made headlines all over the United States.  Why?  Well, the truth is that millions of hard working Americans are extremely frustrated about their lack of work right now.  When you don’t have a job and you can’t provide for your family, very little else seems to matter.  In fact, according to a recent Gallup poll, unemployment is now the second most important issue to American voters.  The number one issue is the economy.

The reality is that the American people don’t want excuses.

They want jobs.

And some are getting so desperate that they are even putting up billboards to express their frustrations.

So who sponsored the billboard in Buffalo?

Well, it was actually sponsored by a group organized by Buffalo businessman Jeff Baker.  It turns out that Baker lost his own small business 15 months ago.  His business had employed 25 people, and when he was forced to close it he described it as “the most heartbreaking situation” of his entire life.

Baker’s group, INAFJ (“I Need A Freakin Job”), says that they are not about playing politics.  What they want is only one thing.


They want someone to put the American people back to work.  Baker recently explained it this way….

“Nothing else matters unless the American people are working.”

In some areas of the United States, the situation is beyond desperate.  Detroit is a great example of this.  Not only does the city resemble a war zone at this point, but Detroit’s mayor says that the unemployment rate in his city is somewhere around 50 percent.

So how in the world is a major city supposed to function when 40 to 50 percent of the people living there can’t get the work that they need?

The sad thing is that Detroit used to be one of the most prosperous areas in the United States.  Once upon a time, the auto industry was booming and there were lots of great jobs available for blue collar workers.

But that all seems so far away now.

For decades, the politicians in Washington D.C. have allowed (or even encouraged) the offshoring of our manufacturing jobs, and now we are a nation with a dwindling manufacturing base that is rapidly bleeding cash.

In fact, the U.S. trade deficit widened for the second consecutive month in March to its highest level since December 2008.  Every single month we buy much more from the rest of the world than they buy from us.  That means that wealth is constantly flowing out of this nation, and no end to the bleeding is in sight.

The truth is that America’s twin deficits (the trade deficit and the massive U.S. government budget deficit) are absolutely destroying the financial condition of this nation.  For years and years economists have warned that these deficits would bring about a day of reckoning at some point, and now that day is here.

We are told by the media that we have entered an economic recovery, but with tens of millions of Americans not able to get the work that they need, most people are not convinced.  In fact, a new poll shows that 76 percent of Americans believe that the U.S. economy is still in a recession.

But this is nothing compared to what is coming.

The truth is that the United States is rapidly becoming a service economy.  Service jobs pay less than manufacturing jobs do, and the rapid advance of technology in recent decades has made human labor increasingly unnecessary.

That means that the “system” does not need our labor as much as it once did.

This is leading to a situation where there is a widening gap between the “haves” and the “have nots”.  In fact, the bottom 40 percent of those living in the United States now collectively own less than 1 percent of the nation’s wealth.

But not everyone has been hurting during this financial crisis.

Did you know that the number of millionaires in the United States rose 16 percent to 7.8 million in 2009?

Not only that, but an analysis of income-tax data by the Congressional Budget Office a few years ago found that the top 1% of households in the United States own nearly twice as much of the corporate wealth as they did just 15 years ago.

The elite are getting richer, while at the same time tens of millions of other Americans are finding it increasingly more difficult to survive.

That is why groups like INAFJ are becoming so popular.  They are tapping into the frustration of the growing number of Americans who are desperately trying to make it from month to month.  The following is a short video that INAFJ posted on YouTube about their organization….

So do have a story of economic frustration that you would like to share with the world?

Have you found yourself working harder and harder for less and less?

Does it seem like you come up short at the end of every month no matter how hard you try?

If you have a story, we would love to share it with our readers.  Please feel free to post your tale of economic frustration in the comments section below….

  • Dan

    step back and take another look at these advertisement and ask yourself what does it tell you?

    Its the out-picturing and ultimate result of a people who have become completely irresponsible for themselves. Trapped in an illusion that someone else has power over them. Protesting reeks of the same attitude, who are you protesting? do you think “the man” is going to step out at the end of your protest and say “ok ok, what is it you want me to do?”

    Change does not come from corporations nor a president of corporations, change comes from only one place, individuals and their sovereign choices.

    People getting frustrated over their governments is simply a lesson from the universe, that this isnt the way the game is played anymore.

  • Caitanya dasa

    Another very great article.

    Those “I Need A Freakin Job” people are freakin awesome!

    Keep up the good work!

  • Lenny Pike

    To me the people pictured on the billboard look like they’ve had about all they’re gonna take and are giving a warning that they’re starting to get steamed. Someone else does have power over them unless they can get along o.k. using only the barter system. They have every right to protest, look what has been done to manufacturing, the level of public debt, the devaluation of the currency, over 1,000,000 work visas granted per year, wide open borders to obtain cheap labor, one sided trade agreements designed for a few to make a quick buck, the intentional degradation of the morality through pop culture, the dumbing down process by public education, etc. The criminal gang that controls the United States and especially the money of the United States has a huge amount of control over everyone that isn’t a gang member. One thing that’s right though, protesting ain’t gonna get you nothing but laughed at for not understanding what the only action is that can resolve the situation. That billboard gets laughed at by these heartless bastards when they drive by it, they can’t believe nobody’s doing anything about physically forcing them to stop.

  • Dan has it. We are not babies suckling on mammas mams. Grow up. Do something. Grow a garden. Sell a tomato. Move. You are either a slave or a free man or woman. “I Need A Freakin Job” reminds me of Oliver asking for more gruel. Not a pretty picture.

  • I think Dan hit the nail on the head there pretty well. I don’t think a lot of these people really care about their liberties. Not like they used to. They’ve become so dependent on government hand-me-downs.

    I have absolutely no faith in western governments. Not like I used to. A lot of my future plans have been deliberately hinging on legal dissociation with their tax laws, under the belief that paying those taxes are in absolute vain, lining up only the big banking cartels of the world.

    I’ve been taking advantage of the market downturn myself. It’s an absolutely fantastic time to operate solo ventures, if you know what you’re doing..

  • ParLay

    Their points are correct and it all comes down to outsourcing American jobs to the cheapest bidder.

    What they need to state on their website is to buy American products. Its only when a large portion of the U.S. starts refusing to buy imports will the jobs and American economy really start turning around. Unfortunately it seems a lot of people must end up in a food line or unable to find work because this becomes apparent.

  • kolchack

    Unfortunately, these poor saps would be better off protesting the sun coming up in the morning. America has reached the point of Peak Jobs and will likely never see a return to 2007 levels of employment in absolute terms. The long term unemployed are going to get angrier and angrier and will be looking for scapegoats.

    It is not a good situation.

  • levelVboss

    In Soviet Russia, you don’t find job, job finds you….

  • Daniel Polcyn

    Regardless of the intent of the founders of, is it possible that the billboard is really just a bunch of models they told to act p**sed off so as to take a good picture?

    Also, Jeff Baker’s company — Adirondacks Blanket Works — made blankets out of recycled fiber.

    They retailed for $70. Isn’t it a bit silly to act shocked when the economy tanks and “Middle Class America” no longer feels like it can spend $70 on a blanket?

  • saysaysay

    This is the tip of the iceburg of the troubles that lie ahead.

    Deficits continue to accelerate at ridiculous levels. In order to attract buyers for this ever growing debt load a) interest rates will have to rise and/or b)more money will have to be printed. Option a)will hurt the housing markets further. It also simply means there will be more to pay back when the holders come knocking. Option b) will cause the price of goods to increase – pay more for gas, food, staples of life. Throw in the ever growing unemployment levels and we have a pretty ugly picture. Stagflation is on it’s way – recession and inflation at same time. Yet real estate prices may continue to deflate as unemployment levels continue to rise (along with foreclosures).

    The American economy (global for that matter) is really between a rock and a hard place and has no way out. Standard of living as we know it will only continue to decline for the middle and lower class.

  • Bill Bobaggins

    It’s not the government’s responsibility to get you a job…it’s YOUR responsibility. The reason why we are where we are today is because people have become too reliant or too dependent on the government for everything. People aren’t self sufficient anymore.

  • Dan

    People who talk about self responsibility and being too reliant – I often wonder what exactly it is they do. Want to bet that a good portion of them also work for some level of the government themselves?

    It is an interdependent global society and nobody is an island anymore. The lack of jobs is the result of government and corporate policies working in tandem together and is intentionally used as a hammer to put pressure on wages and working conditions for everyone.

    It is also why we still see mining disasters and off shore drilling rig blow-ups: Workers are expendable and all policies, both foreign and domestic, are subordinated to the corporate profit of the multinational banks and corporations. It is the same in every country, and the rebellion seen in Greece and Thailand is just the beginning.

    As for this not being about politics, as the organizer of the above organization states, sorry. It IS politics. The establishment politics of both major political parties in the US as well, as it is in all the major parties in the the other industrial nations as well. There, as well, all policies – policies governed by the respective governments, are subordinated to the needs of their numerically small national elites. The corporate profit needs of this tiny elite layer who control all the levers of power are overriding all other concerns. This is the crux of the problem.

    It is, fundamentally, a political problem.

  • chance

    When we were a nation of self sufficient people we had family owned farms everywhere….small businesses everywhere. They didn’t disappear because we suddenly became dependent on government. What are millions of unemployed expected to do….mow each others yards?

  • Tom

    I’m with chance up above. It’s all well and good to say to do something yourself, but what, precisely? Less than 9% of all businesses are run by self-employed people. 80% of all business startups fail within the first five years, most because of insufficient startup funds.

    Say you lose your job and there’s no job to replace it. Seriously… what kind of legal business can someone start with zero seed money that will generate income immediately? With no contacts or previous business experience? Even if you do start a business, you end up doing four or five jobs all by yourself (example: sales, bookkeeping, actual work with your product or service, administrative, etc,) for less than the salary of ONE job.

    And let’s not get into the hassles of complying with tax laws, business permits, health insurance, paperwork, advertising, and the constant hustle of trying to scare up new income sources, undercutting everyone else who’s trying to do the same thing you are.

    I tried to run a computer business years ago. It was an expensive mistake. I learned my lesson: I am not a businessman. I’d rather clean porta-potties than run my own business again. It just wasn’t worth it.

    The vast majority of Americans are not business people. We’re WORKERS, and WORK is what we do best. Unless you’re Bill Gates or Warren Buffett, you make more money working for someone else instead of yourself. Just try it and see!

  • mickey

    Three options..#1 forget about legal work and do what you can to survive..that is harsh but it is Darwinian thinking in a survival of the fittest world.. Option #2 move to another place..the American dream is dead..bury it, face the reality of now and stop living in the past..find some nice third world country that will welcome you and your skills into their land and reward you well for your work..act quickly before the rest of the third world gets smart and shuts the door to a flood of hungry American refugees who are filling their inner cities and taking their jobs.. Option #3…form a commune..get together with a number of friends..with skills you between each other on your community land..grow enough food to eat and sell a little to buy the things you cannot produce for yourselves..set your own rules within your community and just live off the taxes no rules except group social norms and thats the end of the year, since you bought fuel seeds ect but only sold a tiny fraction of your lost money..Oh No..Uncle Sam does not get to parasite off of you this year…

  • shawn

    if every american bought just one american made product a week we would be back on top! people wake up you’ve made good money for the last 30 years and bought foirgn goods. look at the tags and buy american made products , google the item and see what is made here and buy only u.s. made items. ex. sneakers : new balance . but be careful the also make forign ones for the cheep people! boots: wesco in oragon yes there not cheep but there the best you’ll ever own, or how about buying oranges from the united states and not from brizil !!! do you understand it starts with you and only you. so read the labels.

  • Douglas Pavey

    How can I obtain one of your “INAFJ” t-shirts? I have been unemployed for a year now, have sent out over 150 resumes and have heard nothing.
    I feel so frustrated, wondering if my life will ever return back to the way it was.

    Frustrated college grad from 1989
    Delray Beach, FL

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