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Attitudes about recovery
The Great Recession, as calculated by the recognized talliers of such matters, has been over for 51 months. But the latest survey of Americans by the Pew Research Center finds that 54 percent say household incomes have “hardly recovered at all.” According to 52 percent, the job situation has barely recovered. A majority, 63 percent, say the economy "is no more secure today than it was before the 2008 market crash."

This should be no surprise at a time when the top 10 percent of Americans are taking home more than half the nation's total income, more skewed than at any time in the century that records of such matters have been kept.

Even for many Americans who managed to find a job paying comparable wages after the economy started its tepid expansion in mid-2009, their investment and savings accounts are still empty from having to draw down their reserves to survive the recession. Others are still suffering the after-effects of foreclosures. And, of course, quite a few who have gotten jobs, or kept theirs during the recession, are working fewer hours, sometimes for less compensation, far less in many instances. And, although they may not know the details of the statistics, they know from talking to family and friends that the economic situation has simply not been restored to where it was when the crash struck.

More analysis below the fold.

The way people describe their personal financial situation is telling. A third (33 percent) say the recession had a major impact and their finances have still not recovered. Twenty-eight percent say it had a major impact and their finances have mostly recovered. And 37 percent say it did not have a major impact on their own personal financial situation.

It's also unsurprising that lower-income Americans are more likely to say they were hurt by the Great Recession and their finances haven't recovered than those in higher income tiers. Forty-four percent of respondents with household incomes below $30,000 a year say their finances have not recovered from the recession, with 22 percent of those with incomes of $75,000 or above saying so.

There also is substantial disagreement between Republicans and Democrats over whether the government has gone too far or not far enough in regulating markets and financial institutions.

Attitudes about the recovery,
By two-to-one, more Republicans say government regulations have gone too far making it harder for the economy to grow (64%), than say they have not gone far enough leaving the country at risk of another financial crisis (32%). Opinion among Democrats is the reverse: just 26% say the government regulations of financial institutions and markets have gone too far, while 62% say they have not gone far enough. Independents are divided: 51% say regulations have not gone far enough, 41% say they have gone too far. [...]

The beneficiaries of these policies, in the public’s view, are large banks and financial institutions, large corporations and wealthy people: Sizable majorities say government policies have helped all three at least a fair amount—69% say that about large banks and financial institutions, 67% large corporations and 59% wealthy people.

That perception ought to provide some fodder for the progressive agenda that doesn't have anything to do with austerity.

Originally posted to Daily Kos Economics on Thu Sep 12, 2013 at 01:41 PM PDT.

Also republished by Daily Kos.

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Comment Preferences

  •  Until household incomes go up, there is (9+ / 0-)

    no "recovery" in my perception.

    Until per capita wages rise, there is no recovery.

    I don't care about the stock market or capitalization of Goldman-Sachs.

    Government metrics are skewed to focus on the wrong things and that ends up allowing "policy" -- what little we're able to squeeze from a neo-liberal administration and a deadlocked Congress -- to be directed at all the wrong things.

    We haven't been making the appropriate efforts to focus on the real engine of our economy: household incomes and per capita wages.

    One part would be establishing more progressive taxes, rather than less progressive. Far too much wealth is being concentrated at far too high a level.

    Well, that's not everything, but that's a start.

    "The law is meant to be my servant and not my master, still less my torturer and my murderer." -- James Baldwin. July 11, 1966.

    by YucatanMan on Thu Sep 12, 2013 at 01:53:19 PM PDT

    •  What households? (6+ / 0-)

      So many people are no longer living in homes, but are scraping by with relatives, or renting. The term households is slipping from it's meaning. Families are being broken up as they sometimes can't find jobs even in the same area of the country.

      Hell, I haven't seen my wife and kids in two years! My grandkid was born and all I got were pictures because I can't afford to fly home! This is not a household anymore. We are tearing apart the family unit that protects our children. What are they learning from all this as they grow up?

      "I think it's the duty of the comedian to find out where the line is drawn and cross it deliberately." -- George Carlin, Satirical Comic,(1937-2008)

      by Wynter on Thu Sep 12, 2013 at 02:45:19 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Also, more and more people are single (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        YucatanMan

        and trying to support themselves, and they MIGHT like to live on their own but are forced to move in (hopefully temporarily) with relatives. Is it fair to count that as a "household"?

        I know I haven't recovered AT ALL. And thanks to our governor Taxin' John Kasich, and his disastrous cuts to local governments and public schools, which have been forced to pass levy after levy after levy, my property taxes may increase by almost $600 in a mere two years, while our governor brags about his income tax cuts that net people with incomes under $50,000 less than $10 on average. Virtually ALL the benefits go to rich people.

        Oh, and he increased the state sales tax, the most regressive of all taxes.

        My finances are already in ruins. This is going to be the coup de grace.

        Ed FitzGerald for governor Of Ohio. Women's lives depend on it. http://www.edfitzgeraldforohio.com/

        by anastasia p on Thu Sep 12, 2013 at 06:47:13 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  Same is happening in Kansas under the disastrous (0+ / 0-)

          leadership of Sam Brownback. (Locals call it Brownbackistan now).

          Huge cuts to the income taxes of the rich have lead to increases in property taxes everywhere.  So, the lower end of the income scales are actually paying MORE in taxes.  The sooner the middle and lower classes understand that Republicans knife them in the back every time, maybe the sooner they'll permanently turn away from Republicans.

          Of course, there are still too many corporate Democrats willing to knife the middle and lower classes in the front.....

          "The law is meant to be my servant and not my master, still less my torturer and my murderer." -- James Baldwin. July 11, 1966.

          by YucatanMan on Thu Sep 12, 2013 at 09:13:01 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

  •  we're still in a Hardly Recovery. What"Austerity"? (3+ / 0-)
    It's also unsurprising that lower-income Americans are more likely to say they were hurt by the Great Recession and their finances haven't recovered than those in higher income tiers. Forty-four percent of respondents with household incomes below $30,000 a year say their finances have not recovered from the recession, with 22 percent of those with incomes of $75,000 or above saying so.

    Warning - some snark may be above‽ (-9.50; -7.03)‽ eState4Column5©2013 "I’m not the strapping young Muslim socialist that I used to be" - Barack Obama 04/27/2013

    by annieli on Thu Sep 12, 2013 at 01:53:19 PM PDT

  •  Sometimes when I talk to my neighbors (10+ / 0-)

    here in southern Nevada, the tension is palpable.

    People who have been in the shit, or living on the edge of being in the shit,  for years now, are seething.

    It's hard to put into words how big a bullet we may have dodged as a party thanks to the GOP not being willing to take 'yes' for an answer on the Grand Bargain front over the last few years.

    'Rewarded' is not the word that comes to mind when I imagine the blowback.

     

    I am a Loco-Foco. I am from the Elizabeth Warren wing of the Democratic Party.

    by LeftHandedMan on Thu Sep 12, 2013 at 01:55:32 PM PDT

  •  According to my poll of me, there's been (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Meteor Blades, ladybug53

    little recovery; but I'm keeping my fingers crossed!

  •  Agree with Article -- No real recovery (4+ / 0-)

    I find it strange that this does not draw more attention and possible outrage.
    I was one of the more fortunate ones who kept their job during this time; however, there was many painful moments with that job retention … 1) Automatic 10% reduction in salary for all employees (which it has never returned) 2)  More hours required to meet the job requirements; since there were fewer workers.  3)  More threats of loss of job, if actions A, B, or C not followed  4)  Higher costs for less health care benefits 5)  Loss of pension plan….
    From personal experience – Yes, it was great to still have a Job.  But, even those who still have a job are not doing as well as a few years ago.

    •  There's no outrage (4+ / 0-)

      Because people in the working classes know damned well that there's nobody that holds any power that is in their corner for anything other than lip-service. That the system is structured not to allow anything else.  People have simply given up, because being good Americans, we've been taught that to organize for our own self-interests makes us bad people.  Of course, our top elite don't believe that for a second.  There's never been a class on earth as class-conscious and self-organized and self-realizing as today's American ruling class.

      Clap On, Clap Off, The Clapper!

      by ActivistGuy on Thu Sep 12, 2013 at 02:12:40 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Lazy moochers! (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    GrindtheHills, Meteor Blades, NancyWH

    Clearly JELLUS of all the money the rich are making!  Maybe if they WORKED HARDER they could become rich too!

    /sarcasm

  •  By all the metrix listed, I've supposedly (5+ / 0-)

    recovered from the 2008 crash.  Technically, I probably have.  But, I sure as hell don't feel like I have.  I think about how much more money would be in my bank account than what it is (even though it's still pretty nice now by a lot of people's standards) if I hadn't been unemployed for 22 month in 2010 and 2011.  I think of what other things I might have spent that money on instead of 'basics' (like a big extra check to bring down the mortgage principle).

    If I'm feeling insure about the economy.... there's an awful lot of people that are in worse shape than I am, financially, that must be scared witless of what the future may hold.

  •  I am pleased as punch (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    JimFoxDavis

    that the House Republicans are working on meaningful jobs and stopped wasting time and money by having another vote against the ACA.

    "We can either have democracy in this country or we can have great wealth concentrated in the hands of a few, but we can't have both." Louis Brandeis

    by wxorknot on Thu Sep 12, 2013 at 01:59:33 PM PDT

  •  definitely... (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    ActivistGuy, Meteor Blades, ladybug53

    Bad news is I'm down to living paycheck to paycheck.  Good news is that I have my credit card bill knocked down to a point where the interest rate isn't eating up the payment.

    I see you drivin' 'round town with the girl I love / And I'm like / Please proceed, Governor. - Dave Itzkoff

    by Jensequitur on Thu Sep 12, 2013 at 02:02:30 PM PDT

  •  Of course people have doubts (6+ / 0-)

    Nothing has changed, fundamentally or structurally.  All government policy continues to cater to corporate interest and wealth.  This is best represented to people by the top being blown off Wall Street while we still haven't restored even the number of jobs that existed in 2008.  What employment there is continues to deterikorate into a fever swamp of precarity, part-time, temporary, low-paid, consignment and contingent work, devoid of benefits.  Millions exhausted the 401(k)s that were supposed to be their retirement funds just to survive the economic downturn.  Never since the Depression have so many 40- and 50-somethings been among the unemployed, not just their jobs but their lifetime career fields at an end.  And still all that lawmakers and judges care about are the interests of the "investor class".  It's not only time to recognize that the largest, most diverse and universal class ikn the US is the working class, and to bring back the words of the old Industrial Workers of the World, "The working class and the employing class have nothing in common."  Example #1:  the working class has been "giving back", "cutting back" "for the common good" for 40 years.  Have we seen a single minute where the employing class has set aside its own goal of self-enrichment and devil take the hindmost?  As I said, as the Wobblies said, "The working class and the employing class have nothing in common."

    Clap On, Clap Off, The Clapper!

    by ActivistGuy on Thu Sep 12, 2013 at 02:03:00 PM PDT

  •  OK, so in the first two years of the "recovery" (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    ActivistGuy, Meteor Blades, 3goldens

    net worth for the bottom 93% actually declined.

    When were the fortunes of the bottom 93% supposed to have "recovered"?

    "Exxon’s CEO was recently quoted as saying, ‘What good is it to save the planet if humanity suffers?’, as if the future of humanity could be separated from the ecosystems on which we depend." -- Charlotte Wilson

    by Cassiodorus on Thu Sep 12, 2013 at 02:08:01 PM PDT

    •  Very modest recovery for them since 2011. ... (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Vetwife

      ...with the big problem being that savings, home equity (and investments if they had them) fell sharply.

      Don't tell me what you believe, show me what you do and I will tell you what you believe.

      by Meteor Blades on Thu Sep 12, 2013 at 02:26:20 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Source? (nmi) (0+ / 0-)

        "Exxon’s CEO was recently quoted as saying, ‘What good is it to save the planet if humanity suffers?’, as if the future of humanity could be separated from the ecosystems on which we depend." -- Charlotte Wilson

        by Cassiodorus on Thu Sep 12, 2013 at 02:33:36 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  Sure... (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          ladybug53

          ...The two charts below the fold in my diary yesterday about the 10% collecting half the income in 2012 show it. And there is this bit of copy from the NYT to go with it:

          Mr. Piketty and Mr. Saez show that the incomes of [the 99%] stagnated between 2009 and 2011. In 2012, they started growing again—if only by about 1 percent. But the total income of the top 1 percent surged nearly 20 percent that year. The incomes of the very richest, the 0.01 percent, shot up more than 32 percent.

          Don't tell me what you believe, show me what you do and I will tell you what you believe.

          by Meteor Blades on Thu Sep 12, 2013 at 02:39:19 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  I have to wonder though -- (0+ / 0-)

            about rental costs, and whether or not they've gone up since 2011 with the revival of the housing bubble...

            "Exxon’s CEO was recently quoted as saying, ‘What good is it to save the planet if humanity suffers?’, as if the future of humanity could be separated from the ecosystems on which we depend." -- Charlotte Wilson

            by Cassiodorus on Thu Sep 12, 2013 at 02:43:41 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

  •  i have a friend makes 300K in DC (0+ / 0-)

    has a handful of kids, stay at home wife,
    but the kids all go to a religious school,
    and he says with all truth, "I hang on by my fingernails".

    Between health insurance, tuition and tithing, he is driving a
    15 year old car.

    Now he has savings, and no debt, but, the system is just brutal even for people near the top.

    To be very comfortable, you need to be the 1% of the 1%.

    •  Budgeting: he's not doing it right. n/t (0+ / 0-)

      "Lone catch of the moon, the roots of the sigh of an idea there will be the outcome may be why?"--from a spam diary entitled "The Vast World."

      by bryduck on Thu Sep 12, 2013 at 03:07:45 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  uhh, no (0+ / 0-)

      being able to have a stay at home spouse, sending kids to private school, giving money to charity (church), having no debt, etc  is not "brutal".  

      it's the farthest thing from "brutal".

      the median wage is something like $25,000 and that person is complaining about only making $300,000?  it takes the average person 12 years to make that.

      •  lose the job (0+ / 0-)

        and it all unwinds fast.

        •  sure (0+ / 0-)

          but that's probably the case for ANYBODY, no matter how much they make, if they spend virtually all of it, like the guy mentioned in the comment.

          •  which is what's the problem (0+ / 0-)

            lose a Job at the top can take 2 years to get another.
            Lose a job at the bottom and 2 weeks later you are on the street.

            •  by your definition (0+ / 0-)

              anybody is not rich or well off if they just spend all their money.

              If Larry Ellison from Oracle buys enough Hawaiian islands, then he's just a lost job away from ruin as well.

              But this was not your original point that I responded to.  

              •  chris rock once said (0+ / 0-)

                "Many rich people are just a minor coke habit away from
                disaster, but Wealthy people can never spend all their money".

                To use your point, Ellison could buy all the islands in Hawaii and he'd not have a lot of cash, until the rent checks start rolling in on all those apartment buildings, or
                plantations and golf courses, etc...

                Back in the day, Millionaire meant you were worth a million,
                then it became you made a million/ year, now it means
                you make a million a year from passive income.

                •  We will have to agree to disagree then (0+ / 0-)

                  I think that your definition of rich is absurd though. If have no debt and  you make a ton of money but spend it all every year on luxuries, you dont get to cry poor in my opinion.

                  •  maybe you should watch Liz Warren (0+ / 0-)

                    http://www.youtube.com/...

                    Things that used to be free now cost money. A lot of it.

                    If you send 7 kids to a religious school, that adds up.
                    Medical expenses for a big family, food.

                    Look I realize to someone who makes $16/hour, its kind of laughable to say, it's hard to make it on $150/hour,
                    i'll just say, that even at that level, the wheels come off of your life much faster then you can imagine.

                    •  If somebody chooses to spend their money (0+ / 0-)

                      that way, that doesn't mean they ate not rich. Its how they chiose to spend their very large income.  Again, if you spend your large income on stuff that other people can not afford, that doesn's mean that you get to cry poor. It just means you are spending a lot of money on luxury items.

                      •  education isn't a luxury. (0+ / 0-)

                        it's a fundamental for getting ahead.

                        Putting 6-7 kids through school and then college,
                        is an easy 3 million.

                        •  fancy private schools (0+ / 0-)

                          ARE a luxury.

                          And they are something that most people can't afford to send 7 kids too - and those kids don't die.

                          It's not a necessity, and it is something that most people can't afford = it's a luxury.

                          •  Catholic or Episcopal schools aren't a luxury (0+ / 0-)

                            They are a statement by people who are devout in their faith that they wish their children to be educated by people in their faith.

                            http://site.adw.org/...

                            Let's look at Tuition in the Archdiocese of Washington,
                            it's $9K and change per kid at the elementary level.

                            Add a couple grand for fees, etc,  

                            Take a look at the Local Catholic HS,  $12K.-20K

                            Now if you have 7 kids, and you believe it's an article of faith to educate them that way, you can be looking at 120-140K in education costs, right up the stack. Plus feeding them, etc..

                            That's a pretty healthy stack, even, if they are making great money.

                            http://www.tcsfairfax.org/...

                            My Niece went to this school, because her mother wanted her educated "In the way".  My brother makes good coin, he's smart, he's got a good education, he works like a dog,
                            but lifting that stack for 13 years, well, lets say his balance sheet sucks.

                            Back in the 70's a Steel worker could send 4 kids to catholic schools with a union job, now even in the 1% it's a lift.
                            College is worse.

                          •  It's still a luxury (0+ / 0-)

                            That most people can't afford.  

                            Again, you don't get to make choices to spend all your money on something that many other people would like to buy, and then claim that you are not rich despite a giant income.

  •  In today's paper here in Jacksonville, FL (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Meteor Blades, ladybug53, i dunno

    Food pantries reflecting evidence of increase in poverty

    According to findings published in “State of Working Florida,” an annual report compiled by Florida International University’s Research Institute on Social and Economic Policy, the real household median income of Floridians shrank by nearly $6,000 between 2000 and 2011.

    It gets worse.

    Among other things, poverty increased by nearly 50 percent between 2007 and 2011 as transportation and housing costs grew by 40 and 30 percent, respectively.

    On top of that, jobs that pay wages at or below minimum wage grew by 6.68 percent annually between 2002 and 2012, ranking Florida second among the states for having the most workers with earnings at or below the federal minimum wage.

    The Pew survey is like holding up a mirror to the State of Working Florida report.  
    “It’s mind-blowing troubling, but I’m not surprised,” [Jeffrey] Will [University of North Florida] told me. “I almost wish it was shocking.

    As we express our gratitude, we must never forget that the highest appreciation is not to utter words, but to live by them. John F. Kennedy

    by JaxDem on Thu Sep 12, 2013 at 02:20:38 PM PDT

  •  I remember living through the recession of (3+ / 0-)

    the late 70's-early 80's and thinking it would never end.  But this one just feels lots worse.

  •  Post Recession? Huh? (5+ / 0-)

    We are frozen at the edge of hell right now. The recession may have gone away by some accountant's ledger formula, but for the most of us we are being held hostage by this economy with a knife at our throats. We have no where to go thanks to the status quo.

    Personally, I am disgusted to be where I am today. I could rail on Congress's stupidity or the Wall Street markets obscuring reality. But I can only point out my own reality to prove this true. I like many others am only one paycheck or a few hours undercutting that check from destruction. Before this recession hit we all were tight and in a balancing act between what we could spend and what we could save. And it felt awful then. But now is much worse. Having lost our home, our dignity, and our jobs for what felt like an eternity we are still underemployed and for no good reason except that the jobs aren't out there! And what jobs are there the companies are enjoying slashing their hours and pay beyond the bone using the recession and ACA as an excuse while their parent company makes millions in profits.

    The overall balance between labor and corporations has shifted dramatically in our economy to the point where we have fallen back into our dark history. Currently, I am dealing with companies that either won't hire me because like many I have been "out of the job" for two years or that they don't want to pay or want you to have skills that aren't reasonable. Right to work has killed Labor slowly and now in this remaining recession it is an axe which is keeping us downtrodden.

    We need jobs. We need job protection. We need new regulations for the job markets. Mostly so those at the bottom are protected from having to hold out their hand to the government just to feed their families. Corporations and the Wall Street stock market should be forced to fund this effort. They got their recovery on the promise that it would correct the economy and we all would thrive. We if they won't do it on their own then we will force them to compensate the rest of the country while they live high on the hog thanks to the government.

    "I think it's the duty of the comedian to find out where the line is drawn and cross it deliberately." -- George Carlin, Satirical Comic,(1937-2008)

    by Wynter on Thu Sep 12, 2013 at 02:36:25 PM PDT

  •  And the opinion of Tyler Cowen... (0+ / 0-)

    When you are right you cannot be too radical; when you are wrong, you cannot be too conservative. --Martin Luther King Jr.

    by Egalitare on Thu Sep 12, 2013 at 02:38:03 PM PDT

  •  Mine certaily hasn't. (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    ladybug53

    We no longer expect it to.  It's the new normal for us.  No dinners out, no new clothes just because we want them, no trips out of town, home renovations on permanent hold.  My income as well as my partners are about 40% less than they were five years ago.  Our savings is wiped out and we have no way to replenish it any time soon...

    Ironically, you know what is back where it was before the crash?  My 401k.  My own little piece of the 1%...

  •  I am hurting worse this year (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    ladybug53

    than ever !!!!  We lost income when our daughter turned 18.  It is horrendous !!!!!

    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 Thu Sep 12, 2013 at 03:24:22 PM PDT

  •  At my house we have not recovered, not at all. (0+ / 0-)

    At my job I am now furloughed 10 days this year -- the furloughed days have been increasing each year, while cost of insurance went up. And the insurance covers less and less and the deductible goes up and up.
    The mister, whose job depends on state government, has seen his business go down with their belt tightening.
    Our twenty-something daughter still can't find a job, is unhappy to be still at home, with nothing to give her hope for anything on the horizon.
    We are waiting for things to improve!

  •  we are in a Depression (0+ / 0-)

    and I'm not sure how we are going to come out of it.

  •  No shit, Sherlock. (0+ / 0-)

    Good to see the polling confirming what the sentient know from their own experience.

    The GOP can't win on ideas. They can only win by lying, cheating, and stealing. So they do.

    by psnyder on Thu Sep 12, 2013 at 07:40:22 PM PDT

  •  Recovery? What Recovery (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    KNOT2, ladybug53

    In 2008, before the meltdown, I was making $63K a year +bonuses between $8-12K a year. I got no raises and bonuses of about $4K in 2009-10, while our CEO got million-dollar bonuses.

    In addition, I received about $1k a month from VA disability compensation.

    In 2010, I moved from the Los Angeles area to Kentucky, to be with my fiancee (now my wife). I was -supposed- to be transitioning to a job that paid a bit less, but that didn't trouble me; cost of living here was less.

    Well, the job didn't materialize, because the company wasn't doing well. I scrambled to make ends meet as a freelancer, but it wasn't real successful.

    At the same time, my wife's income took a sharp hit because the publishing firm she'd done business with as a freelance artist for 15 years, and from whom she'd garnered most of her income, collapsed in 2012.

    My biggest freelance client left me in the lurch about the same time.

    At least, last fall, the VA increased my disability to 100%, which gives us a bit under $3k a month. Her only income is the weekly editorial cartoon for the local paper, which nets her $100 a month.

    I'm nearly 60 years old; despite all my experience, no one wants to hire me, because my age and physical limitations make me an insurance risk (I'm in great physical condition, but nerve damage in my legs and numbness in my feet make balance and lengthy walking a challenge).

    Freelance work for either of us is miniscule, and the pay is pathetic.

    When I heard the President wanted to change the method of determining our annual increase to the "Chained CPI", I got furious, because even the current CPI doesn't account for all of our expenses. When I found out he cut the proposed 1.8% increase for next year to 1%, I REALLY got annoyed.

    My food and fuel bills have risen much more than 1% in the past year, and I can prove it. What is he thinking?

  •  Not yet (0+ / 0-)

    As an unemployed person, I can agree.  I have an MBA was happy in my job for over 20 years, making a decent wage, and have now been unemployed for over 18 months, with zero unemployment available, so I have lived off savings, I have given up nearly all my luxuries, cable, wireless phone, Internet, ( thank you public library) and neighbors WiFi.  Eating out, health insurance.. etc,  you get the picture.  My children think it is cool that daddy is home all day at this point I am about to get a job at Home Depot of some job lik I for $8 an hour just to get som self worth back.  Bu thank GOD I am healthy and my family is too.  

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