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  •  More lucky than some of us. (20+ / 0-)

    Every point you make is correct, but...

    not having a job is worse.

    Still, I think you are on to something, though I don't quite know how to formulate it.

    The idea came to me from conversations with my mother in law, who has a great deal of trouble understanding how so many people can be out of work when there are so many open jobs.

    After I pointed out that there are about 6 out of every available jobs and that a lot of those available jobs are minimum wage, I told her about the networking groups I'm in -- just full of people with years and years of working who can't find work now.

    And then this question:

    Should we be mad at people who aren't working when there are minimum wage jobs available -- even though filling all of those jobs would still leave 3/4 of them out of work -- or should we be mad at the folks who fouled up the economy so badly that we can no longer tell our kids that success is waiting if you work hard enough and well enough?  

    That took her back a bit, because she had to agree on one thing: There is something wrong with an economy that has stopped rewarding hard work and talent.

    LG: You know what? You got spunk. MR: Well, Yes... LG: I hate spunk!

    by dinotrac on Sun Dec 02, 2012 at 07:01:05 PM PST

    •  A min wage job for a past skilled worker (14+ / 0-)

      is a living trap, waiting to fuel the descent into debt and poverty.

      That's the big thing right there. If you get a min wage job, kiss your free time goodbye. Expect to be penciled in and expected to perform with or without reliable childcare, when you are sick, etc., and so on.

      Kiss your healthcare goodbye, your dental, your vision plan, say goodbye to your savings, to everything you have built up, because you are about to use that to fund that flat spin into the ground at an alarming speed.

      That's the hesitation. That is what makes the unemployed skilled worker freeze.

      Many probably remember having those jobs in college, or in highschool, and remember the utter awfulness of it. No matter how hard you worked, you started out with pay so low, that you will never catch up in that world.

      And you are aging quicker than you are finding employment. Will you work min wage jobs until you are so old no one will hire you? When your skills are obsolete, when your networks truly are dried up and your kids have learned to settle into something that isn't even close to what you had in mind at all, simply because

      Poverty became the new normal, along with accepting abusive bosses and abusive work-atmospheres, roach motels, and discount crap, because that's all you can afford.

      Being poor sucks in so many ways, but having a memory of something better, wouldn't make it suck less. If anything that will bring the despair on in waves.

    •  This ^^ (11+ / 0-)

      Our economy has changed. When I started working, nearly every job (even menial ones) offered a pension. You always got time and a half.  Savings accounts paid 5% interest.  Your future was limited only by your work.

      That is gone.  

      Now, we have classes, and stratification.  We have incredibly wealthy plutocrats, and the menial minimum-wage worker bees that support them. There is no middle class, it is barely hanging on - and it's not upwardly mobile any more.

      I am very, very upset about this country, what they have done to it since the 1980's, concentrating all wealth available in this country only in the hands of a few.  

      "Privatize to Profitize" explains every single Republican economic, social and governing philosophy. Take every taxpayer dollar from defense, education, health care, public lands, retirement - privatize it, and profit from it.

      by mumtaznepal on Sun Dec 02, 2012 at 07:43:29 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  Your future was limited only by your work (4+ / 0-)

        I think that the single biggest problem we face in talking to many people is that they haven't seen that change -- it's still to easy to blame the victim.

        I also see that changing as people who have worked all their lives are foreclosed out of their homes and struggling just to stay alive.

        I know my MIL has struggled a lot with our problems.  She blames me, and she may be right.  She started to get a glimmer when I showed her the paycheck from one month of a contract I had worked (OK -- it was a month that included substantial overtime (not time and a half, btw), and strain on my hands and wrists that my 60 year old body cannot sustain over long periods, but it was still a month). When she realized that I would need to work nearly a year at minimum wage to earn the same money, it opened her eyes, but the clincher was a simple question: "How do I get work like this if I'm busy sweeping floors somewhere?" followed up by another:
        "How does it help the economy for me to withhold talents that are worth what people are willing to pay me (sometimes) so that I can sweep floors?"

        LG: You know what? You got spunk. MR: Well, Yes... LG: I hate spunk!

        by dinotrac on Mon Dec 03, 2012 at 04:23:40 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

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