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Will You Be Able To Heat Your Home This Winter? Millions Of American Families Will Not

Will you have a warm house to come home to this winter?  If so, you should consider yourself to be very fortunate. With the United States experiencing the highest levels of long-term unemployment that it has seen since the Great Depression, millions of Americans families are simply out of money.  All across America this winter, families are going to be forced to make some heart breaking decisions.  For many, the choice will come down to either heating their home or putting food on the table.  According to the National Energy Assistance Directors’ Association, more than 10 million U.S. households will not be able to afford to heat their homes this winter without assistance, which would be a new all-time record.  So, if you are in a position to easily heat your home this winter, be very, very thankful.  The number of American families that cannot even afford the basics of life is growing by the day.

As I have written about previously, millions of formerly middle class families have been absolutely ripped apart by this economy.  There simply is not nearly enough jobs for everyone, and those who have been left on the outside looking in are becoming increasingly desperate.

Of course there is federal help available, but it doesn’t go nearly far enough for those who are truly in need.  For example, the Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP) assists low income households in paying their home heating bills.  However, the truth is that usually only a small fraction of heating costs are covered.  Nationally, the average benefit represents only about 8% of the average winter heating bill.

Last winter, a record number of U.S. households applied for home heating assistance.  In fact, in 17 states application requests were up more than 20% from the year before.  Due to rapidly spreading poverty, the number of Americans filing for heating assistance is expected to increase even more this winter.

If you cannot heat your home, it is a really, really big deal.  In 2009, a 93-year-old man in Bay City, Michigan actually froze to death inside his own home.

These days, many American families are finding that their budgets are stretched beyond the breaking point.  Most Americans take it for granted that they will be able to heat their homes, but for the poor, being able to have enough heat is a great blessing.  Today, the poorest 20 percent of Americans spend more than 50 percent of their after-tax income on food and energy….

So can’t the U.S. federal government just pay for everyone to have heat?

No, they cannot.

The truth is that as millions upon millions of Americans jump on to the “safety net” it is rapidly approaching the breaking point.  For example, 42 million Americans are now enrolled in the food stamp program.  That is a whole lot of hungry mouths to try to feed every month.

Not that feeding hungry people should not be a priority.  It is just that the U.S. government continues to spend way, way more money than it is bringing in and is basically bankrupt at this point.

So what about the states?  Can’t they step in and help?

No, the truth is that most U.S. states are absolute basket cases financially.  A recent article that I wrote about the state of California illustrates this point very well.

Unfortunately, most Americans families are just going to have to scrape by the best that they can.

It is hard to even describe the horrible pain that many Americans are experiencing because of this economy.  The following story from the Unemployed-Friends website is from a woman named Leetah who is desperately hoping that her family will be able to get through this upcoming winter….

The place I live in right now has no jobs and no places to live. My fiance, Lloyd, and I have been looking for anything but he lost his job from McDonald’s and the factories (the only jobs to make a living off of) consider him an insurance liability. I can’t get hired to a factory because of I was fired from our major factory for attendance (I had to miss 3 days of work because I was sick). So we are moving to the Edmond/OKC region where we are hoping to find a job and a place with running water and heating. We’ve spent the last few years without heat and running water and so having a place with water and heat would be heaven.

Winter is coming up fast and I am so afraid. Last winter we almost died from the cold and now the thought of cold makes my throat close up and my heart pound. But it isn’t just ourselves we are looking out for, we have our dog too. Our wonderful APBT Maggie who is 2-years-old and has been with us since she was 5-months-old. She’s our baby girl and we can’t lose her. We almost lost her to the cold too and it scared me so much. We are going to be living in our car soon with our dog.

I am hoping to be able to keep our food stamps in the new city so we can still eat. I have already applied for ten+ jobs and nothing yet but I am keeping my hopes up. Hopefully it will get easier to find a job once we get there. Then we just have to save up and then we can afford an apartment. Now finding an apartment with my awesome dog is another story.

Please say a prayer for those who are hurting this winter.  This economy has pushed millions of Americans to the absolute edge of despair.  Another participant on the Unemployed-Friends forum named Sanskay sounds like the hard reality of her situation has sucked almost all of the life out of her….

I met the love of my life when I was 19, and we moved in together. He had an excellent job and savings (he was several years older than me), and we decided together that I would stay home. When I was 26, he started feeling sick to his stomach a lot. By the time he was diagnosed with colon cancer (at 33!), it had already spread to his liver. We lost everything to medical bills, treatments, and medications. We fought so hard to prolong his life, and we drained his (our) savings accounts to try to cure him. Well, it did not work. He died in agony.

So then I was 26 and a widow and penniless, and I had not worked since college. I moved back in with my parents and decided to go back to school. Everyone told me that the health care fields were all in demand, so I studied to become an ultrasound tech. I excelled in my classes. It took me two years to do all of my prerequisites before I entered the program. By then, the recession had hit, but everyone at the school told me that I would have no problem landing a job as long as I was willing to move. This ended up being all lies. By that point, they knew that they were having trouble placing grads from 2007 and 2008, but that was never mentioned to me. This was a community college with a good reputation, and not some for-profit school, and I believed them.

I graduated last year (2009) and have been looking for employment as an ultrasound tech for over a year now. I have applied to over 400 jobs. I have gained three in-person interviews and seven phone interviews. None of them have amounted to anything. I am still unemployed. There are many per-diem (they’ll call you when they need you, and you have no guaranteed hours) jobs listed, but I cannot move unless I have a full-time job.

It’s awful because they are still funneling people into the program and telling them that as long as they’re willing to move out of state, they will have no trouble finding full-time work. They’re just concerned with keeping the seats full and they don’t care if their new graduates are unable to find work. I feel betrayed.

So now I’m 30 years old and still living in my parents’ basement, as I have been for years now. I feel like such a loser. My parents paid for my community college degree and my registry exams, which are all worthless now. It’s been so long that I have scanned anyone that I don’t remember what to do for some of the exams any longer, not to mention what the pathologies look like.

I haven’t applied to a job in a month. The official unemployment rate in my county is 15.6%, but the “unofficial” unemployment rate (REAL unemployment rate!) is easily double that. There is no work here, and I have no money to move, and no salable skills even if I had the money to move.

I miss my husband terribly. Suicide has definitely crossed my mind many times, but it would literally kill my mother if I did anything rash (she has a heart condition and can’t allow herself to become over-excited or her heart starts beating out of rhythm, which could cause a heart attack). It seems most days that the best years of my life are far behind me and that I have nothing to look forward to anymore.

Hopefully as you read these kinds of stories you feel your heart move.  The truth is that it could be any of us that are next.

In this economy, no jobs is secure.  In this economy, no business is secure.  There is no guarantee that the income that you are enjoying today is going to be there tomorrow.

The U.S. economic system is slowly dying.  There are many that are cheering this downfall, but the cold, hard truth is that tens of millions of us are going to experience horrible economic pain as the economy unravels.

It is not going to be a fun time.  So count your blessings while you still have them.

  • Gary2

    I have availed my self of heating assistance. Due to overwhelming need it was 1/2 of what it was last year. Roughly 400 vs. 800 last year.

    I have also benefited from the stimulus bill in that I qualify for free weatherproofing which will be done in the next month. Tax the rich and spread the wealth!

    I would rather be working in a living wage job instead of being grossly underemployed, however, the reality is that the only good jobs are gov/state jobs and they do not seem to be hiring. If ever there is an opening the line to apply is a mile long as the private sector pays so little. The private sector is a joke. The private sector is what caused this depression we are in.

    The private sector company Kohler here in Wisconsin is cutting wages in half even though they are still very profitable. This is the face of the private sector and the free market.

    The tea baggers who will not be able to heat their houses voted against their self interest by voting repubes into office. They are such low information dolts. I am embarrassed that they live in this country and are allowed to even vote. They are not smart enough to vote, hell, they can’t even brush their teeth.

  • http://www.formypeople.org Mr kuntz

    http://www.formypeople.org http://www.amazingfacts.org These websites explain what is going on and it explains the only hope we have.

  • Johnson

    “It is hard to even describe the horrible pain that many Americans are experiencing because of this economy.”
    ———
    But, but but – The stock market and Wall Street are going gang busters, right? The politicians and the MSM fall all over themselves daily reporting on the wonderful stock market that just keeps rising!

    Maybe we need to report on jobless numbers daily, just like the stock market indexes are reported on every day?

  • Concerned Reader

    Things are going to get a lot worse. We have just seen the begining of the economic turmoil and most likely starting next year we are going to see the shit hit the fan. What this article does not mention is why the heating prices are going up?

    There are a few reasons why the heating prices are going up. First, there is greater demand from developing countries (China and India) that rises the price of energy. Second, we have big business and speculaters driving up the cost because of gree and third, peak oil is starting to show its ugly face.

    If another major war were to brea out in the Middle East with Iran then energy prices would sky rocket even further. But this country is so dependant on foreign nations for energy it is not even funny.

  • http://www.planorperish.com/ Gutter Economist

    Our economic collapse will be followed by an infrastructure collapse. The US government (federal, state, and city) is currently spending less than half of what is needed for maintenance and upgrade. Communist China, however, is building enough infrastructure each week to fill the city of San Francisco.
    This is being paid for with money that used to be ours.

    http://www.planorperish.com/?p=1878
    http://www.planorperish.com/?p=2630

  • El Pollo de Oro

    It is a sad, tragic fact that some formerly middle class Americans will be freezing to death this winter. But the neo-feudalist robber barons could care less. They regard the victims as expendable, and in fact, they welcome their suffering because the more desperate people are, the more willing they will be willing to work in sweatshop conditions. This is life in a decaying Third World hellhole. This is life in The Banana Republic of America.

    There were similar conditions during the French Revolution. An insular ruling class was indifferent to the suffering and agony of formerly middle class people who became the neo-poor.

  • Terry Buckelew

    Sometimes you must take matters into your own hands:

    How To Make Improvised Mattress Shelters:

    Cold-weather survival skills should be part of everyone’s knowledge base. Knowing how to make a debris hut, snow cave, or igloo, can save your life in a winter emergency, and it is easy to find instructions for constructing these shelters in survival manuals, or on the internet.

    These types of shelter work well in the outdoors, but for urban winter survival scenarios, you can use man-made materials to construct cold-weather shelters, which I like to call mattress shelters.

    Please note that it is better to have quality equipment (such as a good arctic sleeping bag, a heavy parka, etc.) on hand as your Plan A, but knowing how to make crude improvised substitutes is a must, if your equipment is lost or stolen, or if ten or twelve ill-prepared relatives show up at your house, during a long-term crisis.

    Mattress Shelters:

    A mattress shelter is the urban equivalent of a debris hut. It is a warm shelter built indoors, using mattresses, any other bedding that is available, and similar items, such as pillows and couch cushions.

    Sadly, people die from exposure (hypothermia) every winter, during blizzards and power outages, and many of them could have used shelters like these to survive, if they knew how to make them. City-dwellers who live in large apartment buildings can’t usually heat them with wood stoves, but they can make these shelters, using materials from their apartments.

    The basic idea is to make a well-insulated shelter space where you and your family can sleep and rest, when you are in an extreme cold-weather situation where utilities are not available, and where making a fire for heat is not practical, such as in an apartment building.

    There are several types of mattress shelters, and which kind you make will depend on how many people need shelter, and how much material is available to make them with. They should all be made on top of a regular bed, to keep you above floor level, as the air at floor level will be the coldest air in the room (20 degrees colder, or more). You can also improvise a similar elevated platform, using available materials, such as planks set on crates, or doors set on chairs, etc..

    If the building you are sheltering in has broken windows, letting cold wind inside, you can block them off using doors removed from closets, or from any other unoccupied rooms.

    Mattress Pad Shelter:

    Check the beds in your building, and if you find one with a foam mattress pad, you have the simplest form of mattress shelter already available to use. You just get in between the regular mattress and the foam pad, and the extra insulation of the foam pad above you will help trap your body heat. This “foam pad” mattress shelter will keep one or two adults warm, depending on the size of the mattress. King size mattresses can hold three adults, or two adults and one or two children.

    Any available bedding can be used to add more insulation, if needed. The pad can be placed on top of normal bedding, and more than one mattress pad can be used, if available. Memory foam mattress toppers are the best, if you have a choice, but use whatever is available to get warm first, and then upgrade your gear as much as possible. (Foam pads have a number of other uses, so collect all that you can, when survival scrounging.)

    Sandwich Shelter:

    The next type of mattress shelter is made starting with one bed, and then placing a second mattress on top of it. The second mattress is elevated 18 to 24 inches (or so) above the bed, using a line of objects down each side, so that you and your family can fit between the upper and lower mattress, like the meat in a sandwich.

    The objects used to elevate the upper mattress can be anything with insulating value, such as couch cushions, pillows, rolled-up blankets, etc. You can use cardboard boxes that have been stuffed with crumpled newspapers, if nothing better is available. Dresser drawers will work, especially if they are filled with clothes or books. Blankets or pillows should be placed between the boxes or drawers and the shelter’s occupants, and the shelter should be enclosed on all four sides, leaving only a small entry and exit opening, that can be blocked off with pillows, to trap more body heat.

    A-Frame Shelter:

    The next type of mattress shelter is made starting with one bed, and then placing two more mattresses on top of it, so that they form an A-shaped shelter. The mattresses are tied in place using cordage, to keep the A shape stable. The cordage can be anything available, such as rope, or extension cords cut from appliances, or strips of bed sheets. One end of the A-shaped shelter is blocked with blankets or pillows, then you get inside, and finally the other end is blocked off as well. This mattress shelter design creates enough space that you can sit up inside.

    Blankets can be used to seal drafts in mattress shelters. Heavy wool blankets can also be made into warm improvised coats, called capotes. See the info below on improvised clothing, for instructions on making capotes.

    Don’t use air mattresses for shelters (they don’t insulate well enough) but the mattresses in sleeper sofas work ok.

    Cube Shelter:

    The next larger type of mattress shelter is made starting with one bed again, and then four more mattresses are used to enclose it on all four sides, leaving a small gap for entry and exit. Another mattress is placed on top, creating an insulated box shape, and the mattresses are tied in place with cordage. A mattress shelter of this type will hold three or four people, and the occupant’s body heat keep it comfortable, once the entry is blocked off with blankets or pillows. This design allows you to sit up, and do things (like change clothes) inside the shelter.

    If you have larger numbers of people in your group, you can make larger mattress shelters, or several of the smaller ones already described. Larger mattress shelters are made by tying several bed-frames together, placing mattresses around these beds to form walls, and then adding more mattresses on top, to roof off the shelter. Rope is used to hold the mattresses in place, and some support planks may have to be added, to hold up the mattresses on the roof. The body heat from several people may force you to leave ventilation gaps, in these larger shelters.

    If the roof of your building was damaged and is leaking, the mattress shelters can be covered with tarps or plastic sheeting (such as shower curtains), to keep the shelter area dry.

    Other items that have insulation value can be used to make mattress shelters, if actual mattresses are not available. Examples include quilted mover’s pads, and gym pads, or wrestling mats. These items can also be used to improvise cold-weather clothing, when nothing better is available.

    If you find yourself trapped in an extreme cold-weather survival situation, use whatever materials you have available to construct a mattress shelter, when building a fire is not an option. Once you have shelter, then you can make improvised cold-weather clothing, for going outside to gather food, fuel, or supplies.

  • http://brunolem.wordpress.com Brunolem

    The economy is not a closed system that can be fixed when in trouble. Economic trouble is only the manifestation of a malfunction of one or many factors contributing to the health of the economy.

    The US economy is going down for many non-economical reasons.
    Thus, economic treatments, such as prescribed by Dr. Bernanke, Krugman and co., can’t help to put it back on track.

    Here are the major problems the US is facing, for which there are no simple cures:

    Problem #1: the Administration is corrupt, from top (Supreme court) to bottom (small cities’ councils)

    Problem #2: the law doesn’t rule the country anymore.
    Who, save for Mad Bernie, has been charged for all the white collar crimes that led to the actual financial crisis?

    Problem #3: the medias have lost their independance and work hand in hand with the Administration. Therefore, information delivered by TV networks and newspapers is not reliable.

    Problem #4: the US people have lost their fighting spirit.
    Where are the huge demonstrations, the artists’ protests?
    This is certainly not the 60s and the Vietnam war, but this is MUCH worse!
    Yet, nobody moves…

    Click on my name to visit my blog

    Sent from my iPad

  • Draco

    To the Ho who married the older man for his money, you should have got of your ass and did something while he was still alive instead of living off of his hard earned savings. I don’t feel any sympathy for you.

  • http://thecivillibertarian.blogspot.com/ Something Wicked This Way Comes

    I have found a very inexpensive way to heat my home.

    I have been converting ounces of yellow metal for bundles of kindling called Federal Reserve Notes. These notes, when bundled tightly, can provide a significant amount of BTU’s.

    There appears to be no limit on their quantity and I can get about 1300 reserve notes for one oz of metal. This may double by next year. They stack very neatly in your garage.

  • William

    Well, it did not have to be this way. Americans seem to like having their government conduct STUPID foreign policy, including unnecessary wars. Americans must not know that major companies with billions in profits pay no, or little, in the way of federal taxes. Americans must not be able to see how manufacturing jobs left the US via the extremely bad trade, fiscal and monetary policies that have dominated the US since 1980. It did not have to be this way. But, this is the way Reagan, Bush Sr and Bush Jr wanted it to be. The disparity of wealth in America today will be her downfall. Thank the Republicans and the incompetent and cowardly Democrats.

  • Just Observing

    I truly DO feel sorry for people that “stepped in a hole” when it comes to medical conditions like above, or things BEYOND their control…..but……there is a WHOLE LOT OF STUPID going around in our society as well.

    “Will you have a warm house to come home to this winter? If so, you should consider yourself to be very fortunate. ”

    That makes is sound like luck….as if you won the life lottery or something. Well, guess what ? A whole lot of “luck” comes down to picking the path less chosen.

    For example, we built our own house….and I mean hammered every nail, not acted as a general contractor for subs. And we paid cash as we went, which took longer. AND we built a sensible house, with SUPER insulation.
    AND we heat with wood that I cut/split/etc…..because with the extra money we had from NOT paying a bank loan, we were able to buy a large enough piece of land to include a wood lot that will produce more than I can cut.

    Now the “average” Joe out there buys a turn key house, and pays 3 times in interest what the house costs, and sits around on his backside watching some fool sports channel and flips up the thermostat when it gets cold…..and THEN has the gall to consider me “lucky” somehow when times get tough.

    You call it “fortunate”…..I call it common sense…..which, as it turns out, is NOT so common these days.

  • Matt

    I still remember my mom’s stories about her growing up in the 30’s depression era. We are about to repeat that era over the next 10 to 15 years.

  • zack

    In Weimar Germany the people heated their homes by burning wheelbarrows full of cash. Let us hope that the fools in DC at the Fed stop devaluing our currency before it becomes more useful as fuel than as a medium of exchange.

    Our company Path to Asia http://www.pathtoasia.com/jobs/ helps Americans move to Asia for jobs and prosperity. Visit our site for details.

  • http://www.grandmasdepressionmemories.com/ Leigh Kimmel

    Also look for a sharp rise in CO-poisoning deaths as families try to keep warm with makeshift heaters. Every year a few people whose gas has been cut off die as a result of attempting to heat their homes with improperly vented wood stoves, charcoal grills, and the like. This year it could become an epidemic.

    If you have the necessary skills to safely install and properly vent wood-burning stoves and other forms of alternative heat, now might be the time to turn it into a side business. Put out feelers to neighbors who are in difficulty — even if you have to work out a barter arrangement instead of cash payment, it would be better than, as spring comes, smelling the sickly-sweet odor of decomposition wafting through the neighborhood and realizing that an entire family perished during the cold.

  • http://MICHAELKORSWATCHESWOMEN.COM Marc

    My only question is : Was this collapse planned or just the result of poor planning by politicians and the rest of us ?

  • sharonsj

    Here’s how I got through a winter without central heating:

    If you sleep in a chair, take an electric heater, the kind that uses oil in a closed system, not the kind with any exposed element wires. Drape a large blanket over the heater and then cover yourself with the other end. It will retain the heat safely and keep you warm.

    If you have a bed, get an electric heat mattress cover and attach it to a timer so that it turns on about an hour before you go to sleep. Cover yourself with several wool blankets and a few dogs and cats. You will be completely toasty all night.

    You can survive without central heating and pets help keep you warm. I also had no stove to cook on and couldn’t eat anything unless it could be microwaved. You do what you gotta do to survive; I was just lucky I still had electricity.

  • michelle

    If you listen to clif high’s latest interview on http://www.halfpasthuman.com with Mel on Veritas –

    He explains that we have all the resources we need to go to Mars next year, and rebuild our country – it’s the banking system that creates a shortage of cash to do these things.

    All we need is a new financial system and everything is fine. We have everything we need to grow and prosper.

    So let’s get rid of this Central Banking Nightmare (CBN) and move on to abundant prosperity and joyous full employment of every person willing to work.

    We are hamstrung by our dependancy on PIECES OF PAPER.

    How ridiculous is that?

    That being said, stock up on needful things with your pieces of paper while they still work and watch out for the November 14 TIPPING POINT. According to clif, you are about to become a “currency castaway” and your old life is being washed away. Get ready for the new one, and try to help your neighbors and friends and family who did not prepare as they should have. This is a critical spiritual test for everyone, and the way we conduct ourselves in the upcoming crisis will have Karmic effects, just like everything else.

    Good luck and God Bless everybody!!

  • Johnson

    Takes an awful lot to time to review the comments made here! Doesn’t exactly encourage comments.

  • H8TheFed

    This will be another cold, cruel winter for many in our country and I am sure there will be more to follow in the coming years. I live in Northern California where the winter weather is milder than in most other parts of the US, but it still gets cold and damp here. I would like to move out of California because it is so expensive to live here and this state has some of the worst financial problems of all the states in the US, but the personal accounts I have been reading and stories I have heard from people confirm how difficult it is to find employment. This forces me to seriously consider remaining in California inspite of all it’s problems as long as I have a job. My situation seems like gravy compared to the stories of so many others, yet I still feel trapped by this economy.

  • mondobeyondo

    I bought one of those little space heaters at a local retailer this weekend. Hopefully it’ll be enough to get through the upcoming winter…

  • http://WBDM Joe in JT

    During W Bush’s first term the Northeast had a wicked winter. Record snow and cold. The cost of home heating oil (unrefined sludge) was skyrocketing and people like my Dad were very cold inside their homes. Noticing the desperation was a man name Hugo Chavez, he’s the president of Venezuala. He volunteered to sell heating oil to the US for pennies on the dollar, to help out old people in New England. Texas big oil demonized Chavez because this offer would cost (BushBuddies) Texas oilmen money. So W Dubya called Chavez public enemy number one, and turned loose the CIA to pull there “dirty little tricks” on Venezuala and over throw the government. This is Republican foriegn policy at it’s finest. Screw the cold old people, oil men need their money.

  • http://www.forecastfortomorrow.com => Man With All The Answers

    It is so horrible to hear of things like this. My Grandfather passed away last year due to the heating company not allowing him gas, because they were changin over, and delays.

    With inflation coming its gunna make it harder for people to surive this winter and the next winter also.

  • whoisbiggles

    So should I feel more sorry for American’s who can’t afford to heat their home this winter, or the 1.1 billion people who according to wikipedia who today don’t have access to clean drinking water? Or the estimated 70 million people who died from famines across the world during the 20th century?

  • sonnyboy

    We are in the beginning stages of an economic depression. This has been building since the 1960’s and is rooted in the fact that the average American consumes more than he produces. Mix in the internet, globalization, the acceptance of abortion, political correctness, government entitlements, debt, debt, and more debt, and the result is the present situation. Is there a way out? A painless way out is not possible. Here are some suggestions.
    1) Reduce the size and scope of government.
    2) Increase industrial production in THIS country.
    3) Realize that not everyone can have a job which is 100% secure and does not require any physical work.
    4) Draft a new constitution which is concurrent with the 21st century. (There is nothing wrong with our present constitution. It’s simply that we don’t follow it so it has in essence little meaning.)

  • comnenus

    Evolution at work.

  • Elaine

    If things are so bad why aren’t people rioting in the streets ? Has the American people been so brainwashed that they :
    1) blame themselves for their poverty
    2) blame socialists and communist for the state they are in
    3) blame the thievery of the banks/corporations and the politicians who protect them, but refuse to do anything about it other than complain.
    4) too fat and lazy to do anything about it. Happy to end up dead and fused to their couches.

  • Johnson

    “Winter is coming up fast and I am so afraid. Last winter we almost died from the cold and now the thought of cold makes my throat close up and my heart pound. But it isn’t just ourselves we are looking out for, we have our dog too. Our wonderful APBT Maggie who is 2-years-old and has been with us since she was 5-months-old. She’s our baby girl and we can’t lose her. We almost lost her to the cold too and it scared me so much. We are going to be living in our car soon with our dog.”
    ———-
    It always boggles my mind when I see stories like this one. These people are freezing, don;t have jobs but yet will do almost anything to keep and feed their dog!

  • Bruce

    Gary a real man learns how to winterize his own home. A communist lazy wimps like you ask for a Government handout. Tea Bagger again so you are simple minded low educated Bigot. So Bigot explain the difference between Federal Debt and Federal deficit? Explain how the scam of the Federal Reserve works? Explain why Freedom loving people are bad? Oh that right Gary you are too busy crying like a baby because of all you poor life choices. Collected your food stamps too Gary we need more welfare Queens like you leaching off the system. Gary a poor excuse for man and anti American scum. Move to Cuba Gary America needs real men not wimps asking for handouts.

  • Gary2

    bruce-I am guessing that because you have a hard time stringing words together to create a coherent sentence that you are indeed one of the low information tea baggers? In my book a “real man” is someone who knows his limitations and is not afraid to ask for help. You my friend are stuck in the 1950’s. I feel sad for you.

    BTW (by the way) there is such a thing as grammar…your post says all I need to know about you. You need to go back to your double wide and learn to write. Be careful to vent your lantern or your Winnebago will get too much CO (carbon monoxide)in it. Also the fake wood circa 1970 is falling off on the side.

    Sorry to be teasing you but you tea baggers make it so easy:)

  • The Beast

    After the mess of Weimar Republic…Germany turned to Nazi and WW II followed.
    After the US has become a “Weimar Republic”, will they turned to a sort of Nazism? And will WW III take place afterward?

  • http://www.homeloanpresident.com Mark Lieberman

    To Gary2 and anyone looking for a job. You may want to consider what unemployed people in Pennsylvania have been secretly doing for the last 50 years to get a job? [“They Move To New Jersey”] New Jersey is in a recession right now, but a New Jersey recession would be “Boom Time” to most states in the mid-west. The cost of living is high in New Jersey, but most people who want a job can still get one here.

  • A Reader

    These unemployed can make some fuel for emergency cases.
    Collect old paper – of any kind. Fill in water in a bucket and add a little bit potassium permanganate to it (from the Pharmacy). Tear and soak the paper pieces into the water.
    Make a leverage press with a brick shape. Put in wet paper and sawdust in wafer and press and make briquettes. Leave them dry out on the sun.

  • http://www.praisecc.org Jeff Dahlin

    I work with a lot of people on a daily basis to provide financial support for those who are struggling. Without a doubt what amazes me are those who cannot afford food, housing, utilities, etc. and they have PETS, cigerattes, cell phones, cable, etc. One day I was delivering food to a family and when I arrived at their house, the cable man had just arrived to install their new cable. I cannot tell you how frustrated I was. I work a full-time job, my wife is a stay at home mom with six kids and we do not have any cable television because we simply cannot afford it. We live within a budget and there are many luxuries we have chosen to forgo because we simply do not have the money and do not need it and we get along just fine. When it comes to food, housing, utilities, and you have chosen to have a dog, I think you’ve made a foolish decision and the last thing you need to be spending money on is a pet. For crying out loud — grow up people and stop expecting other people to bankroll your backassward priorities!

  • GoatLady

    *Just Observing*,I hear you on the “you’re lucky” observation. For several decades we have been ahead of the curve, I have no clue why, maybe an overabundance of common sense.

    We were “flipping houses” before there was a term for it. We were foolish to be buying precious metals years ago. Boy were we dumb to build a small farm and go off grid. Became totally self sufficient idiots, though lacking college degrees. According to others, just chalk it up to “luck”.

    “The harder you work the luckier you are.”
    Chinese Proverb

  • sharonsj

    I live in a rural area and there is no TV reception without satellite. I also have a computer hooked up to my phone and I have pets. According to some of you, I should give up all this and just suffer further.

    I find ways to pay for this stuff because:

    (1) If all I had was local radio, with nothing but Rush Limbaugh and evangelical sermons, I’d want to kill myself.

    (2) I’m handicapped and stay home a lot. I need the computer to get the news, listen to radio shows with hosts with brains, and do research. Unlike many of you, I need to exercise my intellect.

    (3) My pets are my family. Next time you object to pets, I suggest you go out and shoot your sister and then get back to me.

  • http://WBDM Joe in JT

    Reply Johnson: In case you’re wondering, dogs for some people are like family members. When good owners buy their dog they know it’s a 13 year commitment of feeding, petting, playing, walking and loving their dog. Then there’s people like you, who buy a dog for Christmas for your girlfriend, use it for a while then just toss it away like unwanted garbage. Somebody once told me that people who hate dogs make lousey friends, now I know he’s right.

  • http://WBDM Joe in JT

    Reply to Jeffrey Dahmer above: So let me get your thinking straight. You buy a dog in 2003. He’s your dog, his name is Dino, he’s smart, potty trained, greets you when you come home, sit’s on your lap. You might even love your dog, at least like him. Now in 2010 times get tough financially. So let me see? I know what I’ll do, “let’s dump the dog to save money”! One large bag of dog food that lasts one month only costs 15 bucks, but who cares lets dump the dog. The dog has the intelligence of a sharp 5 year old boy but who cares lets dump the dog. The dog Dino gives you unconditional love no matter what you do, but who cares let’s dump the dog.
    And when I see you kicking your dog out of your car underneath the I-95 bridge, I’ll write down your license plate number, have you arrested and sent to jail.

  • TOM

    Only Jesus can save us now.

  • Doly

    The peculiar priorities of some poor people are easy to understand if you factor in that they have few friends. Look at the things they refuse to give up: pets, TV, cell phones, Internet connectiont… Do you see a pattern here?

  • Just Observing

    Goatlady:

    Yes Mam…..EXACTLY. You’re dumber than dirt. Me too, apparently…….

  • nmtdoc

    the fact is the us government is a sovereign nations which is the monopoly issuer of it’s own currency and as such is never revenue constrained. there is simply no excuse for the federal government not to use fiscal policy to promote the welfare of it’s citizens. a good place to start would be a basic job guarantee. any one interested in how our monetary system actually operates should spend several months educating themselves @ professor bill mitchell’s excellent blog http://bilbo.economicoutlook.net/blog/

  • John O’Neill

    The first post to this article from Mr. Kuntz clearly explains why this country is going to the crapper. All of the people out there who label themselves a liberal, tea party member, communist, socialist, conservative, right wing, left wing, democrat or republican are all missing the boat. The ruling elite of the world want a one world government and the US is currently in the cross hairs for getting the job done. We are turning into a third world nation, because this county was taken over in 1913. It doesn’t get any simpler, but no, we will always have the morons who think it’s a right wing vs. left wing issue. It’s not. Taxing the rich and spreading the wealth is nothing more than allowing the elite to gain control over everyone, so the morons fall for it every time. Guess what Mr. Kuntz – when your entitlements stop coming, then what are you going to do? I got bad news for you – your entitlement will be ending and then who are you going to blame. Wake up and grow up and realize that the US has been hijacked by offshore corporations. Real simple, eh?

  • http://www.hedgethebets.com/ Philip M.

    I think market expect political gridlock and I think it could actually be a good thing!

    President Obama pledged to work with the Republicans, but why should they want to work with him now? Paying lip service to bipartisanship has no practical implications. It certainly simplifies the blame-game if you can pin failures on the “ruling” party. President Obama will face the choice between rejecting GOP bills–which have a free pass at least in the GOP-controlled House–only to be seen as an obstructionist. Or he can sign them into law and be seen as though he betrayed his Democratic base.

    The GOP is in a far more comfortable position. The sweeping tidal wave of the midterms can be portrayed as a clear mandate to govern. The GOP will certainly pursue its vision of a much smaller government with lower spending. Whether they will retaliate by cutting Democratic pet causes or attempt a lasting reform remains to be seen.

    http://www.hedgethebets.com/latest/2010/11/markets-expect-political-gridlock-and-why-it-could-actually-be-a-good-thing/

    Most Americans who voted for then-Senator and now President Barack Obama had three wishes in mind:

    1) fixing the economy by creating an economic green energy boom (just like Bill Clinton did it with the dot.com boom in the 90′s)

    2) ending all wars overseas, not just merely shifting the war from Iraq to Afghanistan/Pakistan; for parents and families of our men and women in uniform it does not make much of a difference whether their loved ones die in Iraq or in Afghanistan, they just want them safely here back home

    3) ensuring that the U.S.A. remains the economic super power number one

    In the light of a continuing economic slump–well technically were are not in a recession because two percent growth already qualifies as recovery– Americans of all political stripes and almost all walks of life are rightly disappointed with the state of the Union.

    Former President Bill Clinton fixed the economy first. He created a sustainable recovery and a swinging boom but had to sacrifice his health care reform.

    http://www.hedgethebets.com/latest/2010/11/markets-expect-political-gridlock-and-why-it-could-actually-be-a-good-thing/#firstThingsFirst

    President Obama succeeded in what no US President has ever done: he did pass a “comprehensive health care reform”. But without money to pay for it, it is just paper and if it is enforced it will become yet another burden on the ailing economy. So, President Obama entered history books at the speed of light not only as the first President to win the Nobel Peace Price in 2009, he was also the first to sign a sweeping health care reform and a Financial Regulation bill (a.k.a FinReg or Frank-Dodd-Bill). But is he doing the job we hired him to do? You have to wonder whether ending the wars and restoring American economic greatness is anywhere on his agenda right now.

  • John O’Neill

    Ooops – regarding my last post, I should have said Gary, not Mr. Kuntz. Sorry Mr. Kuntz. Thanks for links, I’ll check them out.

  • karen

    I would like to thank this web-site for all this awesome information, I have know for some years this was going to be Americas fate, we have become a nation of vain people, only thinking of ones self. Not even caring about those whom are killed in other countries, because we are America, we are better than anyone else, I see it everywhere I go. What people say is kill them all and let God sort it out later, what kind-of mind set do these people have, ignorance, I wished I could help all those in need this winter, I wish the best for those folks that have no heat.

  • robert8888

    Thanks for sharing these stories – it’s an important thing to do. Some great comments too, sharing useful ideas for staying warm.

    Some less-than-useful ideas too, like buy your own woodlot (not everyone has access to cheap wooded land), shoot the dog (the blue collar who abandons the dog has the same mentality as the white collar who abandons 50,000 American workers), etc.

    For the off-the-grid survivalists: Isn’t the whole point of this post to feel some compassion for others, and to realize that we’re in this mess together? It’s fine that you had the good fortune of coming across all the survivalist stuff through the years, and that your lives have allowed you the opportunity to make your preparations, and no doubt those preparations have involved hard work and sacrifice. But how can you feel anything but lucky that you had this opportunity? Can you understand that others have not had that opportunity?

    Is your vision of the future destitution and poverty and violence for the masses while all 427 homesteaders mutter “told-ya-so”? Will that make you feel good, and feel smart? Do you think 350,000,000 Americans could realistically do the homesteading thing? It’s a curious attitude.

  • http://michaelkorscanada.info/ Jeff

    OK, I believe in smart cuts in the government to help bring down the deficit. But getting rid of the mortgage interest deduction is a really bad idea, at this time. Don’t we want to encourage people to buy houses to get out of this bad economy?

  • Matt

    @Doly…So you should get rid of the internt to dave money if you
    re unemployed which then leaves you unable to get a job since that is where they are posted and you’re cell phone so even if you’re able to somehow look sans internet they can’t call you. New flash Doly: the 21st century called, on my cellphone, and they want you to join! Please come it’s very nice because the mjority of us don’t want the dark ages that you and you’re ilk are peddling. Go sell crazy somewhere lese we are all stocked up here in America.

  • JoyAnn12

    G-R-E-E-D is what got us into this mess. The country is run by sociopaths. Not all greedy people are sociopaths, but ALL sociopaths are greedy. For those of you who think only a murderer or rapist can be a sociopath, the answer is NO. ALL sociopaths are people who lack a conscience, their conscience never, ever developed. They never learned empathy or compassion … never. Their IQ’s range from stupid idiot all the way to mensa genius … BUT their Emotional Quotient (EQ) is always below average. They totally lack the ability to connect behaviors and actions to consequences. They look normal and blend in quite well and they are skilled at mimicking normal people with high EQ’s. So, others do not know what they are really all about until it’s way too late. Sociopaths support and hire each other. The NYC guy who ‘made-off’ with other people’s money is a classic sociopath. The government is run by sociopaths. The Federal Reserve and other ‘alphabet agencies’ are run by sociopaths. The sociopath controlled media brainwashes people. The worst is yet to come. In other words, ‘the fox is in charge of the hen house’.

  • JoyAnn12

    Message reply to Doly … Unless you are well over the age of 70 … eeeeeeeks!!!!!!!

  • JoyAnn12

    I live in NJ … and this is a fact. Don’t tell people to move here. The State is corrupt and it is in the crapper. Newcomers will get the low paying jobs that no one else wants and with the COL, highest taxes in the nation, the Antartica winters and Amazon summers, they will struggle or die. If you don’t live in NJ, don’t comment on my post.

  • Firean

    No assistance for the poor to heat their homes and yet billions of assistance to assure that criminally fraudulent bankers can get their multi mullion $ bonuses.
    Thats a perspective from an overseas reader.

  • GoneWithTheWind

    Phillip M “fixing the economy by creating an economic green energy boom (just like Bill Clinton did it with the dot.com boom in the 90′s)”

    Two points: Do you really believe Clinton engineered the dot-com boom?? Give me a break the only idea he ever had was to drop trout.

    Have you noticed that all the so-called green energy requires substantial subsidies from us the taxpayers? There is no viable alternative. The ONLY reason these “green” industries exist is to suck money out of our treasury. There will be no “green energy boom”.

  • jack OBrien VT

    There is now TONS and billions of piles of evidence that the bailouts are part of a rigged game, The federal gov has been taken over by the BANKS. PERIOD. WE THE PEOPLE HAVE TO STAND UP TO THESE PEOPLE. we are many they are few. THE SYSTEM MUST BE CHANGED BACK TO A FREE ON INDEPENDANT REPUBLIC. ANYTHING SHORT OF THIS REVOLUTION WILL BE OF NO USE

  • http://godlessfeminist.wordpress.com/2010/10/22/harvard-and-princeton-sociologists-resurrect-the%E2%80%9Cculture-of-poverty%E2%80%9D-during-the-worst-recession-since-the-1930%E2%80%99s/ Jacqueline S. Homan

    “So can’t the US federal government just pay for everyone to have heat? No, they cannot.”

    Yes they most certainly can help Americans who have no way to provide heat for themselves this winter, if they do their friggin job and collect the UNPAID federal taxes from the deregulated utility monopolies that added those federal taxed onto their customers’ skyrocketing fuel and energy costs! These greedy energy cartels were deregulated by our government under the reign of Boy George. And on top of that, these wealthy monopolies got tax cuts on top of tax cuts over the last 20 years to the point where they don’t pay their fair share now! Instead of looking out for “we the people”, our government tricked out like a gaggle of hookers for the malefactors of great wealth who have fled the temple of our society.

    Gas and electric utility companies across the US collect BILLIONS in taxes from their customers for the utilities’ corporate taxes – which the utilities keep instead of sending in to the government. Surprisingly, this is legal in most states (including Pennsylvania).

    Minnesota Attorney General Mike Hatch explained, “Essentially, utility customers pay twice: once through the utility bill and again through the lost revenue to government. That means either higher taxes for them or less government services.”

    When desperate poor people do what they have to do to survive, they’re accused of utility service theft. But when rich utility monopolies extort tax money from customers that they don’t turn over to the government, and when they price gouge the public, it’s called “free market capitalism.” It’s time to fight the economic terrorism wielded by the criminal cabal of economic cannibals and it’s time to place human rights above the “rights” of social predators to make obscene profits from policies resulting in the deaths of the poor.

    Jacqueline S. Homan,
    author: Classism For Dimwits

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