I’ve been looking for full time work since the end of June. Even though I was eligible for about $330/week in unemployment benefits I figured sitting home collecting a check was an easy habit to get into so I started looking right away. So far I’ve found a 3 week temp job at $9.25/hr was the best offer I could find. There is plenty of work at places like Kroger, McDonalds, Home Depot, etc., that pay minimum wage for 20 hours per week with no benefits and virtually no chance of making full time with benefits. I took a job at Kroger for a while because I thought that unemployment would compensate me enough to bring it to what I would get by sitting at home but they bungled it so badly that to this day I have collected exactly 1 check. Now I’ve quit Kroger, won’t look for anything that isn’t at least temp to perm and will wait for a check because they punished me for trying.
Today on the news they made a big deal about UPS taking on thousands of new workers. What they didn’t mention is that the jobs are seasonal, paying $8.50/hr with no benefits. Again, it’s not worth passing up my unemployment check.
My wife and I are very fortunate. For years I held down a good job, enough so that we have a house that is paid for (along with everything in it and our vehicles), no debt and some savings to pay the bills. My plan now is to keep looking for work while at the same time exploring other countries with a lower cost of living that we can move to. If I can’t find anything I will sell everything we have and get the Hell out of Dodge. My American Dream is in tatters. I didn’t throw it away by overspending, or drugging and drinking myself to ruin, or not working my butt off all of my life. It just collapsed around us.
Send me your resume and I’ll send you 10 job openings a day in your area until you’re employed. I was a career counselor for about 20 years.
“My American Dream is in tatters. I didnt throw it away by overspending, or drugging and drinking myself to ruin, or not working my butt off all of my life. It just collapsed around us.”
I hope things work out; despite what some may say, for many people there was simply no way to escape this. American companies don’t want to pay wages according to supply and demand unless they get to flood the supply with cheap foreign labor; in that scenario the guy who has to bring home a certain minimum to pay for housing and children is basically screwed. He’ll always lose out to the younger, unmarried, childless person who can afford to work for less. As a result, the last generation of Americans is subsidizing the next wave of “replacement Americans”; NOBODY will risk the long-term financial investment of children or houses anymore. Auto loans now have the same “bad loan” risks as hme loans did ten years ago; there is no stability to the job market.
I think when we settled on the idea of allowing US jobs in the 1980/1990 period to go out of the country...we started a trend. Drive around southern towns (not urban areas) and look at industrial buildings that were built in the 1970s and 1980s. Half of them are shut down. If they are open...they are mostly on stagnant wage situations for a decade now.
The Fed? They added to the mess by setting the prime rate at such a goofy low point. Banks are generally in a failed point but survive because of the low prime. My dad talks of the great days when his CD accounts all paid five to six percent (not seen in fifteen years).
The real estate market in most states is stagnant. Overpriced homes bought in the 1990s....today thirty percent below the original price. No one is happy....most complain continually of the market.
The government is now believed by many to be the Jesus-figure that they’ve been waiting for....prepared to fix all problem, and always with a mythical solution of sorts.
The only weapon at our side? Eternal American optimism. Two hundred years of this stuff, and we still have it in abundance. The problem is that we are waiting for something to occur to make us feel positive that the good times will return. We’ve been waiting for a minimum of fifteen years....and yet to see this big moment.