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I'm thankful that I'm not fresh out of high school or college looking for a job today. I might not have ever survived this long. The middle-class in America was already coming to a peak about the time I was a senior in high school and when I got my first full-time job in 1973.

I was laid off when 8.7 million other Americans were laid off from 2007 to 2009 (the unemployment rate had peaked in October 2009); and an equitable share of highly skilled workers and college graduates were also laid off --- but only 5+ million jobs have been created since that time. That's not even how many high school and college graduates we've had since that time.

Still today, 12 million Americans are reported unemployed. Of those, 5.3 million still receive unemployment benefits. Including those working part-time (but want full-time jobs), the U-6 unemployment is 14.3% (not 7.7%). Now add the original 8.7 million people who were originally laid off and are who no longer counted anymore. It's dismal.

Of the 8.7 million who lost their jobs, most of them (minus those who either opted for an early Social Security retirement if they were old enough, or were eligible for disability) are still unemployed. Many may be working part-time, but all of them have already exhausted all their UI benefits. As I said, millions are no longer being counted by the Bureau of Labor Statistics.

While college will increase your chances of finding work, it's not as guaranteed as it once was 40 years ago. And teenagers today with only a high school diploma will most likely have a life-time of menial and low-paying jobs to look forward to (if they get work at all). When I was 18 years old, my generation had more choices. We could either join the military or work in a union factory; and we could still make a decent living wage.

Not these days. What are your choices? Wal-Mart, McDonald's, Staples, Dominos Pizza, etc. If you're lucky, and have a college degree, you can work for the local government in a Democratic state (there may be less layoffs than in a Republican-led state). Maybe if the economy picks up, you can work here in Las Vegas. Most of the casinos are union (bartenders, food servers, housekeeper, etc.) --- and they still offer healthcare and pension plans.

Back in my early days, if one chose to go back to school, college was not near as expensive as is it today. A part-time job could pay the tuition --- but not any more (unless you live with mom and dad). Or unless one comes from a well-to-do family (which most people don't). If not, you'll be burdened with college debt for years, if not decades --- unless of course, you're really smart, and win a scholarship.

Now high school and college graduates also have to compete with an ever growing number of foreign guestworkers, and those who are here on H-1B VISAs. The job market is saturated, especially for the better paying jobs; and corporations are still outsourcing for cheaper labor.

And if you're 18 years old, unless the rich kick in more money, you'll be burdened with a lifetime of debt to pay for Social Security and Medicare for retirees (for your parents and grand-parents).

As of 2011, some 55 million Americans received some form of Social Security benefits (retirement, death, disability). But again, unless the "cap" on Social Security is lifted on the wealthy, you won't have Social Security like your parents do after you've busted your ass for 50 long years at your low-paying and back-breaking job. Good luck if you ever want to retire --- or if the Republicans have their way, make you work until you're either 70 years old, or until you finally drop dead on the floor of Wal-Mart (although, that might be a relief).

I pity the younger generation --- the teenagers and young adults today. My generation got screwed by old fools in Congress, and now you're stuck for their policies that were made in their pursuit of greed and lust for power --- those who kowtowed to the interests of corporate lobbyists.

People in my age bracket, if they were laid off during the recession, only have about a 9% of ever finding work again, let alone find a job that pays a living wage. Young college graduates will fare better, but not like they once did when I was still in high school. The top 1% hires their friends and their kids for the better jobs --- because as is usually the case, it's not what you know, but who you know. But college helps a lot.

Now we have a whole bunch of new fools in Congress, with old ideas and stale beliefs, who are trying to make things even worse --- for all of us. Good luck to you, you'll need it.

The median household income in the U.S. is $50,054 --- meaning 50% of all households earn this or less --- and 50% of all wage earners had an income of only $26,965 or less a year. Prices (as always) will keep going up, but wages have been stuck in neutral for the past 40 years, and might be for anther 40 years --- unless you Occupy Wall Street.

Over 315 million Americans live in 117.5 million "households".

My generation became dependent on two-income households. You and your friends might need to triple or quadruple that to pay your rent. Forget about a new car or a boat.

More people are forced to share now --- 41.2 million adults live in a household in which they were neither the householder, the householder's spouse nor the householder's cohabiting partner --- 30.1 percent of all adults resided in a shared household as of 2010.

According to Bureau of Labor Statistics data from 2010, for married couples with children, 67% of households had two working parents (but more than 80% of all households have two incomes or more).

14.9 million "households" -- or 13 percent -- received food stamps (SNAP). The last I checked, the official poverty rate was 15.0 percent with 46.2 million people living in poverty --- and with just as many individuals relying on food stamps.

And don't ever get sick or get hurt at work. Individuals with disabilities were less likely to be employed than individuals without disabilities. Individuals without disabilities were about three times more likely to be employed than individuals with disabilities. Overall, individuals with disabilities accounted for 9.4 million, or 6% of the 155.9 million civilian labor force.

And when you vote, always vote for a Democrat (preferably, a Progressive Democratt). The GOP is the party of very large corporations and the ultra-rich. (Even a "bad" Democrat is much better than a "good" Republican.)

Just a note: The acting Secretary of Labor Seth Harris says the SKILLS Act is the wrong way to approach workforce investment reform. Also, maybe you should learn to read and write Chinese...that might help.

And finally, if you're a high school drop out --- forgetaboutit! You might be better off robbing banks instead of bailing them out.


Originally posted to Bud Meyers on Sun Mar 24, 2013 at 01:18 PM PDT.

Also republished by In Support of Labor and Unions, American Legislative Transparency Project, and Community Spotlight.

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Comment Preferences

  •  I agree, especially with this: (16+ / 0-)
    Even a "bad" Democrat is much better than a "good" Republican.

    Shop Liberally this holiday season at Kos Katalog

    by JamieG from Md on Sun Mar 24, 2013 at 01:30:36 PM PDT

  •  Another reason kids never seemed like a good idea (14+ / 0-)

    to me. Serving as guide for someone else's best trail forward is definitely not one of my strong suits. A lot of people who are counting on their kids being there for them when they are old and feeble are in for a harsh dose of reality when they find out their kids are financially sunk and are in no position to help them. Harsh realities are ahead. No doubts about that.

  •  At an age when no one would hire me, I have told (8+ / 0-)

    friends that I'm glad to be at this end of the life span rather than starting out.  You give an excellent summary of the situation!

  •  My husband and I are "boomerang children" (24+ / 0-)

    we both lost our jobs within a few months of each other, and even with roommates could no longer afford to live in the house we were renting, so we were forced to move into my mother-in-law's garage.  There is nothing more embarrassing then being in your late 20's (me)/early 30's (my hubby) and being forced to move home.  My husband found a job, since he's got 10 years experience in our field, but since I don't even have two years no one is willing to even give me an interview.  I gave up and decided to go back to school.  I'm not sure if we're ever going to be able to afford to move out- we live in Southern California and rent is exorbitant- we certainly don't make the three-times the rent income that most places require.  Our credit is terrible, thanks to being unemployed.  We're also not eligible for any government programs because we don't have any children- and don't plan on having any until we're financially stable (and at the rate things are going, I'll be too old to safely conceive if we get there).  I honestly feel like a failure as an adult.  

    It's a nasty cycle that many of my peers are stuck in right now- they can't get jobs because they don't have the experience, but can't get the experience because they don't have a job, and then are forced to take whatever part-time minimum wage job they can find just to pay the bills.  

    •  Yet the press says we are in "recovery." (12+ / 0-)

      You must be "slackers" :) I'm sure you brought this problem on yourself. Maybe you're "too choosy" about jobs you'll take (as a family member accuses me of being).

      OK, I'd really like to know who is getting these jobs that are supposedly out there...

      It's here they got the range/ and the machinery for change/ and it's here they got the spiritual thirst. --Leonard Cohen

      by karmsy on Sun Mar 24, 2013 at 05:17:00 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  H1Bs. This has been another installment of "Easy (7+ / 0-)

        Answers to Obvious Questions."


        •  Yeah, 50k people manage to take 8 mln jobs. (3+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Roadbed Guy, karmsy, Ian H

          They must be superhuman.

          •  Sure, methinks a reasonable (2+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            karmsy, FG

            argument that these workers are not needed - however, OTOH, they really are a tempest in a teapot - if the economy were strong, they'd not even be noticed.

            •  All I know is that I'm in direct competition with (8+ / 0-)

              the H1Bs, since my clearance is useless without DOD positions for me. Every damn team lead I seem to speak to is Indian. And worst of all, American companies give away jobs to foreigners, then turn around and tell us, "You need to accept huge pay cuts so we can be globally competitive." Against the very jobs they've given away. I'm sure Congress will ride to the rescue any second now.

              •  Foreigners can get security clearances (3+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                karmsy, Ian H, tikkun

                for defense work?


                •  Not yet, they can't, which is why DOD work would (5+ / 0-)
                  Recommended by:
                  zinger99, karmsy, ScienceMom, Ian H, tikkun

                  reduce the pool of competition for me. The day foreign nationals are allowed to work on defense, I'll be toast. And since money trumps EVERYTHING, that day is coming.

                  •  On a personal level for you that sucks (2+ / 0-)
                    Recommended by:
                    karmsy, Ian H

                    but more broadly, welcome to the world that most all of the rest of us (with the possible additional exceptions of MDs and lawyers) live in!

                    •  [Snaps gum] Chawmed, Oi'm shoo-uh. (2+ / 0-)
                      Recommended by:
                      karmsy, Ian H

                      I'm lucky, in a way, in that I can survive on my savings for a while, barring illness or whatever. I have a friend who's a few years older and has been out of work for a year. He says he's applied to numerous positions that were a perfect match, only to be passed over. If he can't find work near home, he will have to look elsewhere and send money home.

                    •  Pretty severe lawyer glut (5+ / 0-)

                      these days, and that's persisted for decades. I clearly remember picking up a magazine article in the 80s (I was in high school or college) about how lawyers, with the exception of graduates of top schools, with top gpa's, were basically a dime a dozen. That hasn't improved.

                      Sure, you can be lucky, and connected, and end up with a reasonable lawyer job.

                      More likely, these days, you'll just graduate from law school penniless, in debt, and your degree will be worthless.

                      It's here they got the range/ and the machinery for change/ and it's here they got the spiritual thirst. --Leonard Cohen

                      by karmsy on Mon Mar 25, 2013 at 09:45:23 AM PDT

                      [ Parent ]

                      •  that's extremely sad! (1+ / 0-)
                        Recommended by:
                      •  More substantially, yeah I've heard that (2+ / 0-)
                        Recommended by:
                        karmsy, Ian H

                        this is actually more of a software "problem" than an outsourcing issue, however.

                        In that services that previously required a live lawyer can now be substititued by a $19.95 DVD that you pick up at Walmart.

                        Oh the humanity.

                        •  A few years ago, (3+ / 0-)
                          Recommended by:
                          Roadbed Guy, Ian H, Bright

                          a friend of mine lost her job as a corporate attorney. In the long months she was unemployed, she considered signing on with an organization she heard about that was "a hybrid between a law firm and a temp agency." They pimp you out by the hour, to clients who need it, in other words.

                          I fear this is the new standard.

                          It's here they got the range/ and the machinery for change/ and it's here they got the spiritual thirst. --Leonard Cohen

                          by karmsy on Mon Mar 25, 2013 at 11:46:10 AM PDT

                          [ Parent ]

                          •  Yeah, that sucks (3+ / 0-)
                            Recommended by:
                            karmsy, Ian H, FG

                            I actually know several lawyers, they are my wife's friend/acquaintances.

                            And quite frankly, having come to know them, they are not totally evil

                            OTOH, I don't see how they get off being totally miffed if they don't make $100K with "only" 19 years of education.

                            the context being that in science, with 22 years of education (e.g., the average length to a PhD) the salary for a post-doc is something like $37K what with the flooding of the country with foreign post-docs.

                            Of course, with the meager NIH support for science these days, the entire enterprise would be shut down w/o this source of cheap labor . ..

                          •  Time was, (4+ / 0-)
                            Recommended by:
                            Roadbed Guy, Ian H, AoT, freesia

                            you were told to "take lots of math courses in school and become an engineer, or go into the sciences." This was supposed to "make your degree worth more" when you graduated. Hah!

                            What nobody wants to discuss, in the aftermath of the most recent recession, is that the job market has been getting steadily sicker for a long time. Decades. Following every "recovery" we've seen since 1980, there are significantly fewer living-wage jobs than existed before the downturn.

                            It's here they got the range/ and the machinery for change/ and it's here they got the spiritual thirst. --Leonard Cohen

                            by karmsy on Mon Mar 25, 2013 at 01:04:40 PM PDT

                            [ Parent ]

                          •  Perhaps ironically, the most best paying (1+ / 0-)
                            Recommended by:

                            jobs these days are in the trades.

                            For example, I have a cousin-thrice-removed (if I'm getting the relationship correct) who quit school in the ninth grade and now works in environmental oil remediation (whatever that means) and makes something like $180K a year in the Bakken oil fields.

                          •  My Lawyers Are Always (1+ / 0-)
                            Recommended by:

                            independent contractors.  They maintain their own offices and staff.  They don't make a fortune but they make more than most people in the town and they are respected members of the community.  I don't use software because I find most real legal work requires skill, close attention to detail and actual work.

                            Newt 2012. Sociopath, adulterer, hypocrite, Republican.

                            by tikkun on Mon Mar 25, 2013 at 05:39:20 PM PDT

                            [ Parent ]

                      •  At least in VT, there's a path to the Bar (3+ / 0-)
                        Recommended by:
                        Roadbed Guy, karmsy, Ian H

                        ... that doesn't require law school. Too bad other states don't have that option.

                    •  Lawyers have some of the highest unemployment (0+ / 0-)

                      rates in the entire country and also have the highest student loans.

                      Which seems like it should be a very bad combination for people supporting the status quo. Lot's of lawyers with nothing to do and a reason to fight.

                    •  The skilled trades make money (0+ / 0-)

                      and the skilled trades can't easily be shipped abroad.  Unfortunately most locals in my area have almost no training in the skilled trades.  Those who put out their shingles frequently don't bother to show up for the bidding process.  A first rate master plasterer, electrician, or stone mason can get full time work in our area with the ability to demand premium rates.  But to demand such money you have to be damn good at what you do and better than the competition, and you have to show up.

                      Newt 2012. Sociopath, adulterer, hypocrite, Republican.

                      by tikkun on Mon Mar 25, 2013 at 05:34:04 PM PDT

                      [ Parent ]

            •  That's basically my point. There are pretty (2+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              Roadbed Guy, Ian H

              significant abuses in the program but it's a very small program that primarily applies to IT.

              •  That's kinda a tough one (2+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                FG, Ian H

                since these types of jobs tend to be entirely outsourced rather easily (although not entirely wisely).

                So, if one looks at the over impact on the economy, it is probably better to have these jobs in the USA rather than overseas (you know, there needs to be a janitor to clean the building, or whatever  . .. . .who probably is NOT on a H1 visa).

                OTOH, I can see how the IT/computer types being mightily annoyed about all this since it impacts them disproportionately.

                •  If we deal with the abuses of the program by (1+ / 0-)
                  Recommended by:

                  the likes of Wipro and add a real requirement to first recruit in US, it can be a useful program. Right now it's mostly a mess.
                  Outsourcing is a much bigger problem for IT. There are shortages of highly qualified people in some areas that can be filled thru H1B or a similar program. Every country in the world has some sort of work visa program and anyone suggesting that US shouldn't have one is simply not serious.

                  •  I tipped your comment, (2+ / 0-)
                    Recommended by:
                    FG, Ian H

                    not because I necessarily agree with it, but because you spur needed discussion.

                    What about these "labor shortages in IT"? Is the lack of well-trained American-born talent for real, or is it just that employers don't want to pay a living wage, so they recruit H1Bs to come on board cheaper?

                    I'm pretty open-minded/ill-informed, myself. Fascinating arguments to be made either way, I'm sure. But, as ill-informed as I am, I confess to being more swayed by the arguments about the general hostility of American employers to labor. Of course they want to get the maximum bang for their buck, to the great cost of our society.

                    It's here they got the range/ and the machinery for change/ and it's here they got the spiritual thirst. --Leonard Cohen

                    by karmsy on Mon Mar 25, 2013 at 09:55:48 AM PDT

                    [ Parent ]

                    •  Both. And it's not always IT. H1B is also used in (3+ / 0-)
                      Recommended by:
                      karmsy, Ian H, AoT

                      academia and in other industries (pharma, biotech). In some cases you need a person with very specific qualifications and US citizens with these qualifications are simply not available. It's almost never the case with IT but it happens in other fields. More often the company needs a person with a specific set of skills and they are not willing to spend a long time training someone. And of course there are cases where it's simply used to hire cheaper labor. And the interesting thing is that H1B law is written in a way that if there were labor unions in the workplace they would have a first crack at any job. But of course there are no unions in IT.

                    •  REPLY: (2+ / 0-)
                      Recommended by:
                      Ian H, tikkun

                      Four years ago during the Great Recession, representatives of many of the nation’s most powerful corporations attended the 2009 Strategic Outsourcing Conference to talk about how to send more American jobs overseas.

                      Conference organizers polled the more than 70 senior executives who attended the conference about the behavior of their companies in response to the recession. The majority said their companies increased outsourcing.


                      READ: America: The Next "Emerging Market"?

        •  all you folks who thought you were safe because (10+ / 0-)

          "they can't move MY job to China"---you're not safe. If the CEOs can't move your job to the Chinese wages, then they'll simply move the Chinese wages here to your job. Makes no difference to the CEOs.  (shrug)

      •  The kids of the 1% are getting the plum jobs.nt (5+ / 0-)

        "The object of persecution is persecution. The object of torture is torture. The object of power is power. Now do you begin to understand me?" ~Orwell, "1984"

        by Lily O Lady on Sun Mar 24, 2013 at 06:01:56 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

      •  I hope you're including this site in "The Press" (6+ / 0-)

        I heard on MSNBC this past week, or maybe Current, that 50% of all the jobs in this country pay less than 20K per year, and that almost 95% pay less than 50K.

        If that's true, I doubt I would shoulder 50K or more in student loans for a degree that probably won't land me a job that will allow me to pay the debt off within 7 years.  

        MB does a good job on crunching the jobs numbers that come out weekly from the BLS, but I like to see I real breakdown of what these jobs are that have been created in the past 4 years.  

        How many hours per week?  Any benefits?  What's the average salary?  The fact that 175,000 jobs are created in a month is relatively meaningless on face value.

        What are these jobs??????

        _"Love is the rosebud of an hour; Friendship the everlasting flower."_ Brook Boothby

        by Keith930 on Sun Mar 24, 2013 at 07:50:29 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  Here are the numbers... (0+ / 0-)

          50 percent of all wage earners had a net compensation (less than or equal to the median wage) estimated to be $26,965 --- from employers who report wages on a W-4 form.

          Source: Social Security Administration

    •  Heh. That's practically the new normal. (10+ / 0-)

      Try being in your 40s and having to move home.

      It wasn't embarrassing, at least.  My mother and I have a pretty good relationship.  Nontheless my move in was strained - she was hammered by the horrible economy as bad as I was, and then I was denied unemployment.

      Looked for a little while like we'd both end up on the street together.  But then I got my Congressman (Chris Van Hollen!) involved, and his staffers managed to get the Maryland Department of Labor to reverse their unemployment decision.  It saved us both.

      •  Van Hollen is good people. (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        ScienceMom, Ian H, ArchTeryx

        His office was always responsive to me when I lived in his district.  I'm glad he came through for you.

        "Give to every other human being every right that you claim for yourself." - Robert G. Ingersoll

        by Apost8 on Mon Mar 25, 2013 at 06:56:26 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  I wasn't even living in his district! (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:

          I HAD lived in his district, though, and was a staunch supporter.  Did some volunteer work for him, to help him survive the 2010 midterms.

          The place I moved to had Dave Camp as my congressman.  Guy who wanted to just eliminate unemployment altogether - and I mentioned that to Van Hollen's staffers.  To this day, I wonder if it played a part in his taking my case.

    •  As someone who is in a very similar (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      tikkun, Bright

      position, it might not mean much but you aren't a failure as an adult. You haven't succeeded in the mythical american way, and society does everything it can to make you feel bad about that.

  •  asdf (8+ / 0-)
    Back in my early days, if one chose to go back to school, college was not near as expensive as is it today. A part-time job could pay the tuition --- but not any more (unless you live with mom and dad).
    Even if you live with mom and dad, in-state public tuition averages about $8000/year nationwide.  If you work a minimum-wage McJob 20 hours a week, you won't cover the tuition cost.

    That being said, you could easily cover $8000/year with a part-time McJob if you include Pell grants and a small subsidized Stafford loan.

    Taking jokes seriously is the exact mirror activity of laughing if someone says they have cancer. --jbou

    by Caj on Sun Mar 24, 2013 at 05:31:37 PM PDT

    •  Working 20 hours a week (8+ / 0-)

      doesn't pay of my tuition. It actually is slightly less than my living costs.

      Governments care only as much as their citizens force them to care. Nothing changes unless we change -- George Monbiot.

      by Nulwee on Sun Mar 24, 2013 at 05:37:15 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Nowadays, loans and grants are unavoidable (7+ / 0-)

        The trick is to work anyway, and only borrow whatever you can't cover through work and grants.  This can make the difference between a $72K loan and a $32K loan.

        I know that sounds obvious, but I've advised some undergrads who put everything on loan---not just tuition but four years of living expenses---without so much as a summer McJob.

        Taking jokes seriously is the exact mirror activity of laughing if someone says they have cancer. --jbou

        by Caj on Sun Mar 24, 2013 at 06:22:56 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  I couldn't find a summer job (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:

          Unfortunately, I had to take loans because in San Francisco I couldn't find a part time job that would hire me just for the summer or while I was in school. I'd bet that the scheduling problems are likely a part of what inhibits people from getting jobs.

        •  Why Is It That Everyone Thinks College (0+ / 0-)

          must be finished in 4 years?  My father went to college during the depression and used the in-between semesters to learn a trade as well as to earn money for another semester.  The college loan system is a monkey on the backs of those who accept them.  You are manacled the minute you accept them to staying in school even when your best interest may be to take time off to earn money.

          Newt 2012. Sociopath, adulterer, hypocrite, Republican.

          by tikkun on Mon Mar 25, 2013 at 05:47:07 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

        •  This, this, and so much this. (0+ / 0-)

          I had a job as a shelver for the city library when I was in college.

          Everyone I knew had a job, too, either sacking groceries or slinging pizza.  It's not like either of these jobs have dried up, either.

          The real issue is that today's university students feel they're too good to work.  The culture among my community college students is radically different--most of them are like me and my friends, working through college and paying it off as they go.  Twenty years from now, they're going to be considered "lucky" by people with $300,000 in student loans.

  •  I and a friend are software engineers. He has a (11+ / 0-)

    theory that when American businesses decided to replace American workers with H1Bs, thus driving down wages, a lot of software engineers disgustedly found other work. Not sure whether that's true or not, but as I enter my third month of unemployment, it does seem that every team lead I speak to is Indian, as is whoever else is on the line for the phone screen. Friend went on to say that perhaps American businesses are starting to realize their folly, but if so, I've yet to see it.

    At 53, I don't see much good in retooling myself, thus ending up at the bottom of the heap once again. Because of our fucking politicians and their fucking sequester, there seems to be no DOD work to be had. That means my TS clearance is worthless, since without it, I'm in direct competition with H1Bs, who'd otherwise be disqualified to work on DOD projects. Spoke to a Republican friend yesterday and mentioned the sequester. "I didn't vote for him," he said. Oh, yeah, it's Obama's direct doing. So on top of my fury at being shat on by our pols, I want to kick friend's gonads out through his throat.

  •  Social Security Will Be Fine For People Under 40 (7+ / 0-)

     By 2050 almost the whole Baby Boom will dead

    By 2050 the youngest Boomers will be 85 years old (2050-1965=85) and, according to Social Security survival curves, half of even the youngest boomers will be dead.

    The oldest boomers will be 104 years old (2050-1946=104) and the number still living will be statistically insignificant.

    But the GOP tries to panic people with the Big Lie:

    Social Security won't be there for people under 40 !!!!!!!  So cut it now!!!!
    But why is that?  People under 40 should be in great shape to get Social Security as the Baby Boom heads for the big dirt nap.

    And, seriously, you need to correct this in the diary rather than carrying water for Rush Limbaugh.

    There’s always free cheddar in a mousetrap, baby

    by bernardpliers on Sun Mar 24, 2013 at 05:53:19 PM PDT

  •  I saw this begin in the "70's when company (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    dfarrah, greengemini, Ian H, tikkun

    owners started letting men go.  Then those same companies would hire women at half the wages.  Then they just started cutting back on total employment and required women to work even harder.  Then the owners just kept all productivity gains.
    Eg. Men used to be managers of bank branches.  From the late seventies to now it's almost impossible to find a man managing a bank branch. Then women were hired to do so at half the wages. Then they were required to manage several branches at a time.  Around that time ATM (automated teller machines) were installed w/the owners of the banks telling customers they would be more convenient and employees were told their jobs would be secure. Ha.

    "I freed a thousand slaves, I could have freed a thousand more if only they knew they were slaves" Harriet Tubman

    by BrianParker14 on Sun Mar 24, 2013 at 08:12:51 PM PDT

  •  Bud - this statement isn't true (5+ / 0-)

    "million are no longer being counted by the Bureau of Labor Statistics".

    The unemployment numbers are determined by a monthly telephone survey which the BLS has been conducting every month for many decades. In that telephone survey they ask a lot of questions such as:

    How many working age adults live in the home?
    How many work full time?
    How many work part-time?
    Of those who are part-time would they prefer to be full time?
    Of those not working how many are actively seeking work?
    Of those not working how many have stopped looking for work?
    Of those not looking for work how many would start looking if the job market improved?

    From these questions, and many others, the BLS generates the data that gives us U1-U6. U3 is the "official" unemployment number but all the others slice the data in various ways. Note that NONE of the questions relate to unemployment benefits or compensation. The data on how many people are receiving benefits is a completely different survey and is not linked to the unemployment numbers U1-U6. So there is NEVER any time period when someone is unemployed that they would not be counted by the BLS.

    "let's talk about that"

    by VClib on Sun Mar 24, 2013 at 10:12:26 PM PDT

    •  Actually, if I understand the method(s) (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Ian H

      correctly, the survey lasts over several months:

      The unemployment numbers are determined by a monthly telephone survey
      plus, the numbers are fairly robust - about 60K people (or about 50x more than the average "good" political poll . . .)
    •  Help me... (0+ / 0-)

      For the past 4 years I have networked with a large group of unemployed people (we call ourselves the 99ers). Not one person, nor anyone they know, nor anyone THEY know, knows of one single person who took this (CPS) survey. One would think that if the Labor Department really sampled 50,000 different households every month, we would have heard from somebody after 4 years.

      •  Bud - it's a sample (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Throw The Bums Out

        And we have tens of millions of households. The survey has been done in the same manner for decades which is one of the reason the data is well regarded. The sample sizes are much larger than any normal survey done for the media, so the margin of error is small. The important point is that no one "drops off" the unemployment data and "isn't counted". The three primary data sources on employment and unemployment, the BLS data, the payroll data, and the unemployment compensation data are all independent of each other and economists use them all to look at different pieces of the employment/unemployment situation.

        The fact that you don't know anyone who has been part of the survey is anecdotal, its not data.  

        "let's talk about that"

        by VClib on Mon Mar 25, 2013 at 01:24:12 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  I have personal been included in survey. (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:

          The most important way to protect the environment is not to have more than one child.

          by nextstep on Mon Mar 25, 2013 at 02:15:19 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

        •  However, if you look at all the reports you will (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:

          notice that they have stopped using unemployment statistics pretty much altogether and have switched to first time unemployment claims as the thing they look at.  Just ask Meteor Blades if you don't believe me.

          You have watched Faux News, now lose 2d10 SAN.

          by Throw The Bums Out on Mon Mar 25, 2013 at 04:25:57 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  Throw - Bud wrote that some people (0+ / 0-)

            "stop being counted". I just wanted to make the point that the unemployment data collected and published by the BLS, and the reports on unemployment compensation, such as first time claims, are independent of each other. Many seem to feel that when your extended unemployment benefits run out you are no longer counted as unemployed and that's not correct. The two data sources are independent.

            "let's talk about that"

            by VClib on Mon Mar 25, 2013 at 06:04:08 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

    •  And how many of the people doing the (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      surveys will mark you down as not "actively seeking work" because in their view if you haven't found work in 99/79 weeks then you aren't really looking?

      You have watched Faux News, now lose 2d10 SAN.

      by Throw The Bums Out on Mon Mar 25, 2013 at 04:23:29 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Throw - the survery takes the answers given (0+ / 0-)

        While a survey that asks an individual household member to speak on behalf of all the adults in the home can have mistakes of judgement, I would think that you know if people you are living with are actively seeking work, or not, regardless of their long term unemployment status. The fact that someone has been unemployed for a long time is not viewed by the BLS as a de facto admission they have stopped looking. If the adult on the phone interview states that they are actively looking, they are counted as unemployed.

        "let's talk about that"

        by VClib on Mon Mar 25, 2013 at 06:10:49 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

  •  Don't extrapolate from the past into (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Panurge, Ian H, tikkun

    the future. You are a boomer: your experience is not a guide to someone graduating high school now.

    Over the next decade or so most of the boomers will retire and need someone to take care of them. That will sop up much of the low-end unemployment. At the same time there will be a shortage of highly-trained professionals.

    This is already happening in Japan and will hit Western Europe soon and China a little later.

  •  Older people aren't retiring (5+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Apost8, Icicle68, Ian H, el dorado gal, tikkun
     (minus those who either opted for an early Social Security retirement if they were old enough, or were eligible for disability)
    The labor force participation rate for those over 60 is higher than ever. They can't retire because they have no savings and their home values crashed.
       Thus the dramatic fall in labor force participation (i.e. millions of people) comes from young and middle-aged people.

    ¡Cállate o despertarás la izquierda! - protest sign in Spain

    by gjohnsit on Mon Mar 25, 2013 at 06:19:24 AM PDT

    •  Which is why we should be LOWERING the age (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      rat racer, Ian H, freesia

      for Social Security.  Instead, the talking heads are all nodding their puppet-like heads in agreement that we should raise it.  Idiots.

      "Give to every other human being every right that you claim for yourself." - Robert G. Ingersoll

      by Apost8 on Mon Mar 25, 2013 at 06:58:33 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  AND they can't retire (0+ / 0-)

      because they don't have health insurance until Medicare kicks in, and even then they have to pay through the nose for a supplemental policy. It makes more sense to work til you're 70 (and possibly die at your desk ...) and have a few more dollars in the bank when you do hang it up. But you'll be too worn out to enjoy the money.

  •  There are great jobs that require no college (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    bluegrass50, ClapClapSnap, Panurge, Ian H

    and if I was graduating HS today, I would pursue them. What jobs? Welding. There is a chronic shortage of welders in the Northeast. Machinists wages are rising. Plumbers. There are always jobs for plumbers. Heavy diesel mechanics. I have never met an unemployed heavy diesel mechanic in my whole life. One of the wealthiest guys I know started as a diesel mechanic. I think we have done a disservice by preaching college versus honorable jobs where you get your hands dirty. These are jobs that require long apprenticeships but the skills are portable and kids don't need to incur a mountain of debt to pursue them.

  •  Yup, it's complete bullshit. (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Ian H

    Here in 'Merica, if you're a skilled or educated worker, you're fucked ten ways from Sunday as far as trying to find employment is concerned. It's worse when you add disabilities to the mix.

    Sure, we might have employment agencies, but a lot of the time that just makes people like me a target for workplace abuses.

    It's for those reasons I count myself among those who will never have children, or at the very least, do everything I can to avoid having them. It's far more compassionate than trying to bring them up in an environment with no possible opportunities in the future.

    I write a series called 'My Life as an Aspie', documenting my experiences before and after my A.S. diagnosis as a way to help fellow Aspies and parents of Aspies and spread awareness. If I help just one person by doing this, then I've served a purpose.

    by Homer177 on Mon Mar 25, 2013 at 10:25:36 AM PDT

  •  HS kids should sell drugs in rich neighborhoods (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Ian H

    Yes, bad advice, I know.

    And the rich kids already get as much of the 'good stuff' as they want.

    A pox on them!  Somehow...

    The Fail will continue until actual torches and pitchforks are set in motion. -

    by No one gets out alive on Mon Mar 25, 2013 at 12:07:03 PM PDT

  •  UPDATE (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    Over 1.18 million people signed a petition supporting the Student Loan Forgiveness Act that was introduced by Rep. Hansen Clarke --- but Congress failed to act and, as such, the bill (H.R. 4170) died.

    Now Rep. Karen Bass of California has just re-introduced a combination of The Student Loan Forgiveness Act with her own Graduate Success Act, calling it The Student Loan Fairness Act (H.R. 1330).

  •  So sick of this sh*t... (0+ / 0-)

    I'm so tired of being youngish and screwed over.  This is my fourth year of unemployment with a Master's degree.  Benefits ended forever ago, but there's still no place to go to find work, settle down and have a productive life.  You know what, if it can't ever get better, just please tell me now.  I don't want to spend anymore time on this plane of existence if it's just going to be like this the whole time.

  • have to rethink something (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    When you really get tired of this shit..YOU and others like you will be standing in the streets screaming to the top of your lungs demanding a job..a chance..a better way of government.  A movement of think tanks...a movement of action...a movement to take your education and place in society..a society you planned on.
    There are more of you than the rich.  It was class warfare a long time ago and Moses is not coming to get you out of bondage.  You must decide how to do that.

    We the People have to make a difference and the Change.....Just do it ! Be part of helping us build a veteran community online. United Veterans of America

    by Vetwife on Mon Mar 25, 2013 at 04:48:34 PM PDT

    •  Tried that... (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      ...Didn't work.  One of the Occupiers in this video was me.

      We walked to DC on foot.  We screamed and yelled and demanded jobs and chances and bank regulations and for the rich to pay their fair share.  What we all got for our troubles was our camps evicted, plus arrests, beatings, pepper-sprayings, media slanderings, and blisters and pneumonia.  What did it accomplish?  Well, now people are talking about inequality-- great.  They still aren't DOING anything about it.  The Congress heard the marchers were coming that week and bailed before we got there.  Neither party cared about what happened to us.  In my Occupy camp of origin, the only politician who had any representation there at all was actually Ron Paul, so go figure.

      Bottom line: WE NEED MORE HELP.  It can't just be a youth movement, it has to be everybody.  This isn't the 1960s anymore. "The Man" is now extremely sophisticated.  If you saw the helicopters and armored Dept. of Homeland Security buses that followed us around, or the flood of security personnel they somehow assembled out of nowhere to take out the camps, you'd realize, the people in power are NOT joking around about keeping it for themselves and not sharing it with anyone else.

      •  I hear you Bright, but this is the reality (0+ / 0-)

        that the frail cannot do this.   They are sick and many hungry.  Many elders can march but we are not talking occupy because that won't work.   YOU are correct on keeping it for themselves.   A movement will come about but people will have to be willing to die for it.   Many will die.  Everyday we have more despair.  Where do you think this will all end up? We are not going to wake up one morning and all be well.  We either roll over or rise up.  That is the short and not so sweet of the matter.

        thank you for your trying in occupy.

        We the People have to make a difference and the Change.....Just do it ! Be part of helping us build a veteran community online. United Veterans of America

        by Vetwife on Mon Mar 25, 2013 at 07:25:24 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  Sorry to burst your bubble... (0+ / 0-)

          But no young people are going to be convinced to DIE in a class war.  The whole point of protesting peacefully at Occupy was supposed to be to get things fixed ("redress of grievances," etc.) so we could all go home with a "New Deal" or new jobs and get our lives back on track.  
          Why would anyone who's young take up a cause where they were pretty much guaranteed to NOT get what they wanted afterwards?  Occupiers didn't want beatings and police records messing up our lives for years to come, we wanted normal productive lives, jobs, reasonable amounts of debt, responsible and responsive government, less corruption, families of our own, houses with white picket fences-- the good stuff our elders got to enjoy for so many years.  And for people who actually WANT to die, there are LOTS of nicer ways to check yourself out early from this hellhole life than getting tortured to death by your own government in Gitmo or hanging yourself with a bed sheet in jail.  Plus, if you encourage lots of young people to actually go die for this, you'll have nobody to pay into your SS or schlep your bedpans at the old folks' home later on.  Which is not to say that everyone can and should go on a 250-mile march, but just about everyone, even disabled people, can spend a few hours going and sitting somewhere in public and holding up a protest sign on an issues like student loans, long-term unemployment, foreclosure, war protest, Bradley Manning, etc.  So there's no excuse for old people to stand by and let society eat its young.  If you've got something to try that you don't think the young whippersnappers will think of, YOU go try it.  Everyone needs to help in some way, otherwise it's never going to work.

          •  I have not enjoyed any of those things.. (0+ / 0-)

            I just qualified for social security retirement all 500 bucks that I paid in.   I worked for 30 or more years and still work more now without pay than I ever did with pay.
            A far as dying for the change.. I do not advocate that but
            occupy needed a leader IMO.   They had a great idea and then they were infiltrated.   I feel the Homeland and cop bunch infiltrated.  The Change young people are looking for will not come easy.   You are right about everyone being involved.   I have been advocating for better living and justice for over 40 years.   I am out of ideas short of Arab Spring.   We can't vote them out or in because they gerrymander elections and hold us up at the polls.    We cannot get anything through congress and  We can't occupy because they pepper sprayand beat folks,   I really don't know. 3 things.....I know EVERYONE has to rise up for change to come and that is in the street yelling.  Continue to be happy as possible with things as is or move to another country and some of us just can't do that.  That is the whole ball of wax.
            Do you see any other alternatives?  The government can out gun people and violence never solved anything anyway....Hope for sanity to return......I think forgetting the 90's because they are gone....we have to adjust to either living in solitude or taking a chance everyday on what means or lack of that is present in our lives.

            We the People have to make a difference and the Change.....Just do it ! Be part of helping us build a veteran community online. United Veterans of America

            by Vetwife on Tue Mar 26, 2013 at 03:31:43 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  The alternative I see (0+ / 0-)

              Is that we ALL have to say "no" to the parts of the system that are destructive.

              That means, nobody can sign up for the military, or Homeland Security, or the police.  Nobody can be willing to pick up a gun and shoot their fellow Americans or shoot or bomb folks in other countries who haven't done them any wrong.  When there's nobody willing to do the dirty work for the establishment left, it will lose its power.

              The terrible secret is, WE are somehow choosing to empower them.  We're voting for them, we're spending our money in their stores, we're watching their TV and letting them control our minds.

              Occupy CANNOT have a leader, because that defeats the point of the movement.  The movement isn't about one person standing up in public (and most likely getting assassinated for their troubles.)  It's about ALL of us leading together, by searching for and finding ways to live our lives that don't empower what's evil, unjust, and unfair.  Each of us are the leaders.  Each of us are the followers.  Each of us are here to help each other, because the truth is, we're all in it together.  And when we finally start ACTING like we're all in it together, the badness will stop.  

              It's only when somebody says to themselves, "I have to pepper spray this person because it's my job and I want to get paid so my family can eat," that he or she sells out his or her membership in the larger group of "humanity" in service to a smaller group of people whose welfare he or she has placed above that of everyone else.  We don't generally think of this as selfish, but it is.  People need to know that if you are willing to hurt somebody for pay, you're consenting to live in a world where other people can and will hurt you for the same reason.  We need people to understand this.  We need people to stop this behavior.  And we need to be able to HELP them stop, the same way we help addicts stop their behaviors, by finding a way to provide safety and a means of living for people who want to opt out of a destructive system.  Meaning, if a college grad wants a good job but doesn't want to be a debt slave, there has to be another way for him or her to get that education without joining the military or signing his or her life away to banks or the government.  We have to find a way to make that kind of  life possible for that young person.

              It's not about leaders.  It's about changing the culture.  When one of us is gone, more will come, so long as the cause is just and right.  That's why I think violence and force won't win the day, because deep down, we all know those are wrong, and that they will change our lives in ways we can't ever come back from.   That's the opposite of the goal.  Another world is possible.  But we need some new kinds of thinking to create some new methods for how to get there.

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