Skip to comments.The End of Wishful Thinking
Posted on 07/20/2010 12:53:45 AM PDT by GOP_Raider
I am sixty-five now. I have lived through many recessions. The first one I remember clearly was in 1958 and the worst one, by far, until now, was the one in the late 1970s stretching into the early 1980s, when we had double-digit inflation and double-digit unemployment simultaneously. That should have been impossible, but thanks to union Cost of Living Adjustment contracts and skyrocketing oil prices, it was indeed possible.
But the current recession, which really started with some very tense days in late 2007 and began in deadly earnest when Hank Paulson, possibly the most incompetent Treasury Secretary of all time, allowed Lehman Brothers to fail, has been the most upsetting for several reasons.
For one, it has hit the people closest to me the hardest. Until now, I never had a friend who was truly in financial extremis from a recession. When recessions happened, they happened to people in Ohio or Illinois or Michigan. Now, they have hit hard in California and in the law field where so many of my friends work and in Washington, D.C. (yes, even in D.C.) where I am from. I never had a friend lose his house until this recession and now I am sad to say I have many pals who have either lost their homes or are in process of losing their homes.
(Excerpt) Read more at spectator.org ...
So there you have it. The economic meltdown is only bad when it hits liberal-land.
That has historically been the case but it is no longer true. Good people who have worked all their lives are unable to find work. People who were the star employees have been let go.
The people who still have jobs are government employees who do little or no useful work. Political correctness and quotas in the workplace keep good employees from succeeding.
Ben Stein also says people who are financially prudent have done well. Yes and no. People who have been prudent but have lost their jobs and face big college expenses for their children have been devastated. People who lost their health coverage for their families are truly struggling.
People in their late 40’s and 50’s who worked hard all their lives are finding it exceptionally hard to find work. I know one man who had been a successful manager in a large firm. He is now working in the fast food industry to support his family.
So, how does that effect a person when the whole branch is closed? or the whole factory? or the whole company?
You are late 40 or 50 and have expertise in a particular product and industry which has all but completely relocated overseas? How, does your ‘personality’ help you then?
A Liberal is a person who has not yet been mugged or raped.
A ‘they could find work if they wanted to’ person is someone who has not yet been through a layoff in this economic environment.
They do not know what they are talking about.
I hope they never get to know, in real terms, what they are talking about.
Ben Stein and his ilk laughed off those people who told him this was coming to all his super genius friends who knew finance, law, and real estate better than the rest of us. Now he is upset that real people are being hit by this recession as opposed to flyover country people.
What a joke. Was I the only one who was raised with the “neither a borrower nor a lender be” sentiment in mind?
2. The people who have been laid off and cannot find work are generally people with poor work habits and poor personalities. I say generally because there are exceptions. But in general, as I survey the ranks of those who are unemployed, I see people who have overbearing and unpleasant personalities and/or who do not know how to do a days work. They are people who create either little utility or negative utility on the job. Again, there are powerful exceptions and I know some, but when employers are looking to lay off, they lay off the least productive or the most negative. To assure that a worker is not one of them, he should learn how to work and how to get along -- not always easy.
I think there is much truth to this. As a manager who has been involved in several layoffs over the years, I can honestly say that is is NEVER the higher paid, productive workers with good attitudes that get laid off. Those people are golden, untouchable even, as those people are much harder to find. When it is time for layoffs, it is the "high maintenance" people who are first to go. These would be the complainers, the shirkers, the ones that always seem to call in sick on a nice day, the ones that poison the working atmosphere with their bad attitudes. Or it could just be the incompetents, the ones that lean on their co-workers to bail them out because they are unable to do the job properly on their own. The bottom line is that the notion that employers use layoffs to get rid of their "highest-paid" top employees is an urban myth. It would be corporate suicide to dump your best employees so that you can hire more low-paid people to take their place. The only company I know of stupid enough to try this was Circuit City and we know what happened to them.
I agree that it is very tough for one that is laid off to find another job. This is because employers generally don't want to take a risk on somebody that another employer kicked to the curb, for they must not have been a very good employee. I know that many will find it unfair and even despicable, but employers tend to regard prospective employees who were recently laid off as "damaged goods." Far better to take a lower paying job (even in the fast-food or retail industry) and build on making good current references before going for another job in your chosen career (after having been laid off).
I am 62 and have experienced 2 of the three events you mentioned. Closed Branch & Closed Company. (in a span of 8 years) Worked for the Closed Company for about 20 years (in 2 stints). It was a 106 year old privately held company. These are not "normal" times.
"As a Manager." hmmmm. I understand that term, wore that title most of my life. (am 62) Worked for 2 privately held companies for 35+ years.
Found myself unemployed at 55 when the division I worked for closed because the company lost a "house account". Then I took a 1/3 pay cut to go back to work for a company I left in 1988 (after an ownership change). The new owners in 1988 gave me a VP title about 8 months before I left (not fired). That 106 year old company is closing, and I find myself again unemployed for the 2nd time.
These are not "normal" times. And job hunting with an extensive resume is not fun.
I respect what you say but my experience was different.
Was in a big 500 company a noticed that once an employee went over 15 years, they became very nervous. Between 15 to 20 was prime layoff territory.
Eventually, two thirds of the company was laid off except for the overseas units. In my shop, just before my turn came, two thirds of the employees were H-1B and they absolutely laid off high salaries to hire 3 H-1Bs instead. It is not a myth.
Also, the ones who were ‘golden’ during this time were usually related to each other in some way by birth or marriage or even church. I saw a lot of excellent guys let go to save a VPs second cousin or son in law. Performance had nothing to do with it.
Maybe I was in a crappy immature company. As I said, I respect your experiences but you should respect mine. Whatever company you are with, stay there! They are not like that. And those ‘rumors’ and ‘stories’ that you heard are not myth.
We can scream, “It doesn’t make sense!” “Why would anyone be foolish enough to do that?”, all day long and it will not matter. They do it for several reasons. Many execs are just coddled children wearing a suit. And then of course there is always the new exec who want to shake things up or the efficiency expert who wants to justify his pay or a buy out or any number of things.
As I said, stay where you are because it sounds like you are with a sound and rational company.
Liberal government is at the bottom of all of our problems.
My friend, Rich, 65, worked all his life; went through the ordeals of raising several daughters and finally retired with his mortgage paid off. The State then came in and wanted his home for part of a “right of way”. They seized his land and paid him less than it was worth. Rich then used the money to put down against a new home and also pay moving expenses. He also had to come out of retirement, take a new job to make his mortgage payments. Last week Rich was laid off from the job he’s held now for the past 2 years. And, by the way, the state project fell by the wayside due to budget shortfalls and Rich’s former land (the house is gone) lies idle.
So all banks should survive no matter how much they screw up? Or was the problem that this was just a warning to all banks that they had better be as politically "connected" as Goldman Sachs if they want to get on the government gravy train?