Do you know any people who have really suffered during the economic hardship?
Who went from upper or middle class to working class, for example, or who became homeless?
I know me. In 2005 I was making over 100k a year. Job got sent overseas. I've had 5 jobs since then. 3 of those jobs were sent overseas. Each job paid progressively lower than the one before. I'm totally downwardly unmobile.
Have no health insurance. Am 70k in debt with medical bills. My house is underwater. Currently unemployed.
I just want it all to be over.
Quite the opposite with me actually. I have positively thrived in every aspect of my life. I only wish everyone could say the same. I hope everyone will prosper soon.
I had to start flying economy sometimes.
I had to stop purchasing Chanel handbags and start buying Coach instead
Yes, I know several. One friend of mine didn't work for two years, and another hasn't been able to find a job in five years. She helped her sister out, who was facing foreclosure, and as a result cleaned out her retirement account. Of course her sister never paid her back a dime. Eventually my friend lost her apartment and had to move in with her sister and her family.
Another friend of mine never could find a job after being laid off - I have to point out that these are people over 40 and 50, and this particular woman lives in Los Angeles. If you're over 40 they toss your resume. Anyway, she gets assistance from some fund in California that you can get 9 months out of the year, and a friend of hers gave up his place to move in with her and support her.
I have another friend who, when we were driving to a restaurant (my treat), I suggested another one, and she said she didn't have enough gas to get there and get home. I said please for God's sake let me put gas in your car.
I have another friend who makes $40 too much on social security to get a rent reduction, so her entire check goes to her rent.
We could only buy one new house instead of two.
I was making 100K+ in 2008. Got laid off because of the economic meltdown and at 52 years old (at the time) was unable to find similar work.
I now make about 42K/year.
I haven't had health care in almost five years. Luckily, I've been healthy. I had already pared down my expenses and down-sized my life. I had no credit card debt or auto loans an had just bought a condo the year before. So I drive a beater and have a partner who helps with some expenses.
Life goes on.
I used to work part-time and short contracts until 2008. It became very hard to find work after that, but then I started to lower my expectations and since 2011 I've been fully employed and can afford to go on short trips three times a year.
However, work conditions, pressure from management, terrible relationships between co-workers have made office hours increasibly horrible and unbearable.
In short, working now is far worse than it was in 2004.
I live close to a Job Centre here in the UK, and have a friend who works there. She has told me that, basically, the amount of people who have been dismissed from their jobs and will face a lifetime of deprivation and hardship is enormous. She has also told me that, once you turn 40, you're basically done. The likelihood of you working at anything other than stocking shelves in a supermarket, is beyond low (and that only if you're lucky, because there are thousands of young, unemployed people competing for those same jobs).
The very few good jobs that there are, all require either lots of experience or contacts - which means that the privileged will get them. The future is rather dark for many of us, sadly.
Lots of homes lost, marriages failing. Lots of folks unemployed for 5+ years. A few friends who are disabled who have fallen into the trap of getting on disability and learning how fucked they are now.
I watched a realtor friend of mine go from living large on $150k a year (high-rise condo, new car every 6 mos, convinced the money would never stop flowing) to driving a jalopy & living in a studio apartment on "disability" payments. This, my friends, is why you must save.
This is why we need labor unions.
I used to make 40K, so far this year I have earned just above 13K.
I'm back on my feet now, making less than I was pre-2009, lowered my expenses, but also burned through my savings to get back on my feet (relocated for a job, paid cash for a used car so no car payment, paid off all credit cards). I'm getting by but am not able to save anything, and unexpected expenses throw me for a loop. I had to repair my furnace recently ($2k) and that destroyed what little cushion I had.
The biggest impact was more than financial - that basically, I'm fucked in the long run. I'm in my 40's, supposedly my prime earning years, and there is no way I can save for retirement. I'm fearful of getting laid off again, so much that any email from my boss throws me into a paranoid frenzy.
Yes. Me. Unemployed 2+ years. Almost homeless. In debt to both lenders and friends in ways I will never recover from, even if I find work. About a month from sticking a gun in my mouth.
R15, that's terrible. Don't you have any family to turn to? I know that my saying this won't help you (and I really wish that I could do more than write a message here) but please, do not do anything dangerous... I am sure that there's someone who can help you.
Please, do take care.
So many lives ruined as a result of all this.
yes, I do, OP
R16, glossing over these situations by saying "surely you must have family" is just twisting the knife. I have family, they just don't give a shit what happens to me. At. All. When I run out of savings I'll be homeless, and they will look down their snoots and feel superior. I'm over 50.
The Koch brothers appear to have weathered the storm, however.
r20 I don't believe in an afterlife, but, I'm gonna' start, just so I can feel confident that the Koch boys, and their ilk, are burning for all eternity in hellfire.
R19, I really didn't want to be insensitive or offend anyone in any way. My mother has been unemployed for the last three years; she is also in her 50s. I am aware of how difficult your situation is. But I just cannot believe that a family would turn their backs on a relative who is down on their luck in a moment like this... I am so sorry. I truly didn't want to be cruel. I do apologize if I have inadvertently been unkind.
R22 as somebody down on their luck depending on family, both my brothers have extreme money stresses of their own.
I'm camping out with a dog and cat I inherited in a TV room that's 10x10. It's mine when the kids go to bed. They've been wonderful, but I am going batshit crazy.
My minimum is five applications per day (easy; there are hundreds of job postings)
Oh, and I'm traveling distance from an airport, but you can't be over 37 to apply for those TSA jobs.
This is some ugly shit.
R15, I know you mean well, but not bring able to imagine that there are thousands, if not millions, of people who don't have anyone who gives a damn about them, or don't have anyone who gives a damn who can do one single thing to help them, is exactly how we got here in the first place. It's the entire GOP platform in a nutshell.
Every Republican thinks "someone else" can pick up the slack. If you're not rich enough, or lucky enough to have "someone else," go to hell.
I'm with r19 no one in my family gives a flying fuck about me.
Uh, yeah. Me. I was out of work for 15 months, lost my house and racked up medical bills I'm still paying off 3 years later.
No one else is writing anything in this tread? Seriously?
Everyone rushes to discuss the stupidest shit imaginable, such as whatever is happening to sleazy pop starlets or how big some random actor's bulge is, but when something truly important comes up, only 26 people answer?
I think that my faith in humanity just died completely. You can all go to hell. Superficial imbeciles.
Yes. I work with the public so I work with them every day.
R27, Because it feeds the Freepers is you point out bad times, which are very rare. Obama has turned things around for 95% of the people.
I've been lucky, but I let an unemployed friend move in in January. I've chosen to support my roomie till he gets work...so I've bought him tires, medicine, food, etc. he finally got EBT two months ago and that helps a lot.
He's just now starting to work again...he gave me $200 this week.
He has no family...both parents deceased. And he's bipolar. I have no problem with helping where I can. I wish others felt the same.
Lost my job in 2009. Was unemployed till last year when I got a far lower paying job, and was promptly dismissed at the end of my probationary period due to the owner's wife taking an immediate dislike to me.
I am very lucky in that I have parents who do give a shit and I am living off a small loan from them at the moment. When that money goes, which will be before the end of the year, I have basically resided myself to the fact that I will be jerking off fat old men through Craigslist to make some money.
I live in Europe and so far okay with, I work for the city and have a good salary, but the situation in many EU countries is horrible (Greece, Italy, Spain, Portugal, Ireland) where one person in three generations might have work. In my country cities will start to fire people, too, so things are not getting better for some time.
In the past ten years alone, I have had seven jobs. Got laid off from two, worked contract for several, up and quit on three. In a nutshell, things have been shitty for me for quite a while with a perfect mixture of working at horrible places and not being able to find good work where the pay was fair and where I didn't work with sociopaths.
Today, I'm finally at a job that I really like, where I respect the people I work with, they respect me, I have achieved my highest salary in all my working life, with the opportunity to earn more once I finish my Master's Degree soon. I know what it's like to be a the cusp of ending it all and being so down on myself and depressed about my life. I do have family who has helped me and would provide me with shelter had things really gone to pot. So I can't fathom how it is for those who do not have family, or burned bridges with friends and family.
My perseverance paid off this spring and gave me a new lease on life. I'm a female in my late 40s but I look like I'm in my early-mid 30s. I'm grateful to be in the position I am in now and I believe I can actually retire from my current organization if I play my cards right with promotions and such.
I truly wish all of those who have posted in this thread their dire situations the best of luck. I ask that you don't give up, and just keep trying, even if you have to relocate somewhere else where the cost of living is lower and you can start over.
This is why we need single payer health care. The last thing you should have to worry about when you're unemployed is getting sick. Most people agree with this.
Don't listen to the discouraging people like the UK person who basically said it's over at 40. Not true at all. Might be harder to compete with 22 year olds for low paying jobs but it's not over by any means.
good luck to everyone who's looking.
I've been very lucky as have my friends and family. I really feel for those of you who've had a rough time. I'd gladly pay more taxes if the government would do more to create jobs and provide a safety net.
Since the housing collapse the rich have gotten exponentially richer. The poor have risen in numbers and the middle class just exist, no longer thriving.
If you are not getting laid off, you are working a job that has not given you a raise in 5 years and if they do does not match cost of living so you are making less that you were 5 years ago.
Companies that provide benefits are cutting them and raising co-pays on health insurance.
The current economy has been a long time coming. It's part of the plan started I don't even know how long ago to put us on par with the rest of the world in anticipation of a global currency and government. Anything protectionist was stripped away, which brought the third world up slightly and is slamming us down hard. The goal isn't to bring up the third world though, it's just to make things slightly better for the 1%. Mittens needs his garage elevator for his car collection at his oceanfront home, you know. They appease the masses from rising up against this by showing them that it means they can buy 99 cent trinkets at WalMart. For now anyway, until the masses won't even be able to do that. Elysium probably wasn't that far off about the future, just without the space station.
Downward mobility is a bitch ...
But, life is not forward motion. This is an underlying premise of our culture, based on Christianity's belief that the birth of Christ was year 1 and were are hurtling forward to the End. The industrial/scientific revolution combined this notion with material progress. So, downward mobility feels abnormal.
Life is more like the phases of the moon, waxing and waning. The dark phase is a time for rest, reflection and regrouping. To think about what you want to keep, what to jettison, what to fix and what to avenge.
As your strength returns, you begin anew - rested, you can see things clearly. If you have been hurt-consider revenge or forgiveness, if you need to make changes - be honest with yourself, if you need to start anew, - reinvent yourself, if you see value from your old life, reinvest in it.
Don't get stuck in a downward spiral, see it like a natural phase and benefit from the darker times. (Or, sterner times, per Churchill)
And, your moon will continue through its phases.
We live beneath our means so we didn't notice a difference during the financial collapse. There have been several investigative type shows that spotlight this phenomenon. It is nauseating to hear people cry over losing their ridiculously unaffordable mcmansions and pulling their kids from the best private schools in town and having all four of their gas hogging suburban assault vehicles repossessed.
There was one segment with a husband and wife sitting in the spectacular back yard pool area complaining that their dream home has been foreclosed and contemplating the horror of downsizing. No mention of overextending themselves and not planning for the future.
I LURVE you, R38.
38, how is revenge helpful? Doesn't it just prove that you are vulnerable?
I am funded by an NIH research grant in a major medical center medical school. The sequester cuts have devastated us- I am at half salary indefinitely. My research continues for as long as I choose to work at half salary or secure more funding. The GOP Tea Party of course thinks that we medical scientists who are working on treatments for diabetes and heart disease (me), cancer and and Alzheimer's are free loading evil pillars of society (Rush Limbaugh direct quote)- Rand Paul wants to abolish the NIH from whence 75% of all successful cancer treatments come from and most HIV treatment as well.
The Republican Party is as off the rails as any political party has been in American history save the Southern Democrats in the 1850s.
r41 - I don't understand, how does the desire for revenge prove you are vulnerable.
"The Republican Party is as off the rails as any political party has been in American history save the Southern Democrats in the 1850s."
Totally agree, r42. It's just like pre-Civil War Congressional politics. A caning will probably happen any minute.
It means you have to defend yourself, right?
If you need to defend yourself, then you need protection. Without protection, you are unsafe....you are vulnerable.
If I am mistaken, then please tell me the purpose of revenge. Or even to avenge.
[quote]We live beneath our means so we didn't notice a difference during the financial collapse. There have been several investigative type shows that spotlight this phenomenon. It is nauseating to hear people cry over losing their ridiculously unaffordable mcmansions and pulling their kids from the best private schools in town and having all four of their gas hogging suburban assault vehicles repossessed.
This. Not an ounce of sympathy from me! Quite the contrary.
r45 - Because this thread is about job loss, many persons experience a degree of victimization when they are released.
Some people get past it by forgiving and forgetting. Others, after they own their victimization (no one likes to think of themselves as a victim), feel a strong need to get even with those that got them into the dire straits they find themselves. Even a little revenge, releases anger and they can then get past it.
It's more of a psychological release - they finally let go of anger and move on.
That's all -- people react differently. The point is doing what you have to do to move on.
Living well is the best revenge.
R30, you are a wonderful friend and I wish there were more people like you in this world.
I agree R49, R30 is a true friend. Bless you.
To those of you who can understand French, I'd like to recommend 15 jours ailleurs.
To everyone, just listen to Didier Bourdon at 00:14:47. It's a cry for all of us.
I almost lost my apartment. I have a child and we had nowhere to go and no money to pay for the move if I could not come up with the money. I called a friend of 20 plus years (that says I'm like her sister ) to let her know what I was dealing with. Her comment " find a shelter" I never asked to move into her large home but that was the last comment I expected! Since that time she basically ended the friendship. Her business is doing well, husband is a lawyer and she has no idea what it's like to have nothing. Fortunately St Vincent DePaul helped out but it's a horrible feeling to be in that position.
R52, you find out who your friends are when things get bad. I something similar happen to me.
When I was in my 20s, I helped out a number of friends who were kicked out by parents, cut off financially etc. My sleep sofa was open to anybody who needed help. When I went through my worst times a few years ago and was down to my last $45, one of those friends who I helped out years ago told me I was too depressing to talk to and I should just walk away from everything. I wasn't asking for anything, I just wanted to talk to somebody I thought was an old friend.
I got a roommate, a shit part-time retail job, struggled for 2 years and then landed a job. A few months after I landed a job this friend called me and left a message on my voice mail saying "I heard you got a job" like nothing had ever happened. I never called him back. I've severed ties with a lot of so called friends. I unfriended them all on Facebook, I switched to a cheaper internet provider and changed my e-mail address. I also changed my phone number when I went to a pay per use cell phone.
I'm still struggling, but my eyes are wide open now.
In the end the only person you really can count on is yourself.
you are in my thoughts sweetheart.
Much love to you.
Thank you 54 xoxoxo
You are right on 53 about finding out who your friends are. It's often the people that we least expect that are willing to help when things go wrong.
R53 that is why i always snicker at dumb gay men who say ''i have good friends,herpa-derp''
lol you just wait till shit hits the fan,then you better have a man that cares about you, who you are married to.
friends are people you spend money with.
WTF is with the meltdown at R27?
I'm far better off, without a job and let me tell you why.
Stopped work in 2001 due to a disability (I was an engineer). When I worked, I tried to make double mortgage payments (I live near a major university and had grad student houseguest). I did repairs to my house myself.
Though I have no background in business, I taught myself the stock market and bond market BY GETTING A SUBSCRIPTION TO THE WALL STREET JOURNAL AND READING IT!
I invested in my IRA, Roth-IRA, and then my 401K at work. I kept investing in my mutual funds every dime I could save. They went up, they went down, they crashed but I did not panic.
I was ecstatic an eon ago when I had $40,000 in the market. Now I have close to a million. I help my nieces and nephews, enjoy a good life (thankfully I had my own private disability insurance) and look forward to ObamaCare and living well. I planned my future and did not squander on junk in my youth.
R56, you think being married to somebody is a guarantee that somebody won't walk away from somebody else when times get bad?
You are a moron as well.
so basically we arrive at
in the end you only have yourself
do you agree?
and if i hear one more time about wonderful ''friends'' i will blow chunks
I'm a federal employee who also happens to be a military reservist. Not only have I not had a full paycheck since early July (due to furloughs and then the shutdown), my unit has had to cancel previously scheduled drills (the one weekend a month obligation reservists have to fulfill). This week, for the first time since college, my bank account got down to $90. Fortunately, I'm attending school on the Post-9/11 GI Bill and my stipend was processed and deposited before the VA had to lay off a bunch of claims processors.
thank those tea party republicans for fucking up your life.
the democrats had a hand in this current fuckery too.
Only the centrist kind.
R58, hey do you recommend getting into the stock market today? I have $1000-3000 that I want to invest in. should i use fidelity, etrade or what do you recommend?
Me. Climbing slowly out of a deep dark hole.
r30 - I'm bipolar and was unemployed about 8 years ago for about a year. I have an amazing friend who let me stay with her until I got back on my feet. I got an amazing job and have been doing well ever since (no episodes, etc.).
Just want to tell you how much I appreciate people like you. When somebody has cancer people generally rush to their side with offers of help. When people are bipolar and struggling, it's hard to find the help we need. It's rare to find friends like you.
The stock market is tapped out. Only foolish money is getting in this late in the game.
I'd have to say my best friend Jeff. His folks were alcoholics who put him to work doing commercials in LA when he was a baby. He was the Carnation Baby for a while and his parents both used up the money and died before he was 18 from booze. He was farmed out to foster homes around LA which were nothing more than manual labor camps in the 70s, working in giant chicken farms, chinchilla ranches, etc. Today he's an executive in a Fortune 500 company and a real humanitarian. Set up a dog rescue operation in SF with major corporate backing, and the guy would give you the shirt off his back. Some people thrive even when life throws crap at them.
[quote]you find out who your friends are when things get bad.
I have a friend who is divorced with two kids and is one paycheck away from disaster. She is also a Rush and Fox voting republican.
I have known her since grade school but we've had an on again off again relationship. We live about 2,000 miles apart.
I have a hard time helping someone who votes republican. I am developing a huge chip on my shoulder towards them. I feel like she doesn't want to see anyone down on their luck get a dime (yet I doubt she pays anything in Federal taxes after deductions and EIC).
Am I as bad as she is?
about half the people i know OP. most of my circle are freelance creatives in one industry or another. we've lost jobs, homes, health insurance, etc, and had the resulting health problems and relationship difficulties that come from extreme stress. the upwards wealth redistribution of the downturn has been horrible to the people i know, and my heart breaks for them. it's been hell, and it's not over yet i fear.
R68---that is what they said 2 years ago. It is up 22% since then.
I became disabled a few years ago at quite a young age, and all of my "friends" very quickly disappeared on me. I'm actually disgusted that I went as long as I did in life believing those people were friends. Some went as far back as nursery school! I have such a horrific taste in my mouth for the human race now. Absolutely disgusting.
"That is what they said 2 years ago. The market is up 22% since then!"
--said the realtor in 2005.
R73, I know who you are and we never really liked you.
You are sick, R75.
Coincidentally, R67, I was just about to post about my mother who had terminal cancer and who had no one to help her except me.
I worked hard to create a life where I had no one to answer to but myself. For years I thought I was probably just a freak for "isolating" myself, and mom told me exactly that a few times.
Dad died from a lifelong illness, then just over three years later mom was diagnosed with terminal cancer. She gloated about all her friends and how she was going to get so much help during her illness and this would show me how I had "ruined my life" by not cultivating a huge group of friends like she had.
Then no one showed up. Two ladies drove mom to appointments a couple times, and a neighbor came over to visit a handful of times. Everyone else disappeared. No coworkers bothered to drop by after work, and they were all nurses and doctors.
One day she hurt so badly she needed help so she called her coworkers at the medical clinic, who scolded me for daring to be at my job for a few hours for once. Nurses screaming at me on the phone about how they were inconvenienced having to spend an hour with a terminally ill woman they had known for two decades. (Once she was dead, though, they had a ball doing cancer walkathons in her name.)
It doesn't matter how sympathetic you think someone is, a lot of people are cowards and won't give anyone help because the plight of others scares them.
R30 is exceptional and a great guy. He's also very, very rare.
I went through a very bad time in 2004. I became very ill, didn't know what was wrong, but I could no longer work. Eventually I was diagnosed. It took years to get disability. I have kids, no other family but my mother, who was also very ill, disabled & dying of cancer. I was homeless once, briefly.
Friends my ASS. Most "friends" and those at my place of worship, were no where to be found, and some had very cruel things to say. I don't see any of them anymore, but I wonder how many of them, some quite comfortable financially at the time, are screwed now? I wonder if they remember how they treated me, and the things they said.
Forget friends, you can't even count on family.
My mother is very ill. Needs oxygen 24/7, two new hips, is diabetic, has a thyroid condition, etc... She had major surgery about 2 years ago and I was asked, by my uncle to move back home with her and "help out." I took on a second job, worked a lot of OT to make ends meet plus prepare her meals, clean her up after she used the toilet, etc... It was my family that highly "suggested" I move in with her since I was single. The house belonged to my grandfather who willed it to my mom, an aunt and my uncle. My mom and aunt eventually signed their part over to my uncle since they financially couldn't afford the upkeep.
o a few months later my mom finally started to receive disability, a whopping $800/month and has to apply for medicaid every 6 months. It has been rough. I was laid off but found another job that only pays $11/hr (at least I get medical benefits). Anyway, I was living here rent free and just paying the property taxes twice a year ($900 every 6 months). Well my mom's Medicaid had lapsed while waiting for them to re-approve her for another 6 months and she needed her medications ($575) so I figured I'd pay the property taxes a month later when we were in a better financial shape. It was not like they were going to forclose on the home or anything. Well my uncle blows his top and now I have to pay $200/month plus the taxes or he is threatening to take me to court and force me to pay $900/month plus property taxes. So far I have made a little over $13K at my job since January. My uncle's annual income is over $140K.
When someone is ill or in a bad financial bind you learn who really cares about you and who really could give two shits less. I have cut off all contact with my family except for my mother and am moving out in January when my car will paid off and I can afford to live in a cheap studio apartment. I just can't handle the stress. I hate leaving my mother but I just cannot deal with the stress anymore.
Well it's comforting to know I'm not the only one who picked bad friends.
An evil boss zapped my job and I was unemployed for a year. I was so emotionally wrung out I practically needed a year to heal anyway. Went through $80,000 in savings, which was brutal. Not eligible for a penny in benefits. But for all the pain out there it seems like there are people with more money than ever before. Go into an upmarket furniture store and there's couples dropping $100k without a blink.
So many sad stories, and this is less than 0.01% of the impact the global recession has had to peoples lives around the globe. I just hope things will get better and all you guys will get your life and financials back together.
I'm an engineer and I was laid off in 2010. It was over a year before I found another job. I now work for a medical device company and there have been layoff after layoff. I have linked to many of these on LinkedIn and there are many of those who are having difficulty finding new work. Some even from 2010. Others from the 2010 layoff have had several jobs others were forced to do contract work. Some that I've talked to indicate offers are lower to even way lower than they were in the early 2000's. The economy still is pretty bad.
Whenever I watch Suze Orman on CNBC, it always seems like all of the callers are rich.
R81, How in heaven's name did you burn $80,000 in one year after getting fired!? Kinda hard to feel sorry about your sob tale tbh...
In a very lean year, I can spend about 10k euro. I get by with 13 or 14k. Happier from 18k upwards. 80k would just be luxurious! Or it could last me at least 4 or 5 years.
I knew a guy once who toldme he need to make 6000 euro a month otherwise it wasn't worth it. At the time I was living on unemployment benefits, precisely 600 euro a month. Different values I guess.
I live on a wing and a prayer too being I was put out to pasture a few years back.
At age 59 my working days seem to be behind me. I did score a part time job at low pay recently but it doesn't bring in much.
Lucky for me I live in cheap Phoenix and my place is paid off.
I had planned on working until social security at age 66 but suspect I will take it at age 62 now.
I am very happy I saved some money over the years or I would be completely fucked now.
"I live on a wing and a prayer"
My neighbor is a border patrol agent. His wife is a stay at home mom. They have a mortgage and two car payments. He has not been paid. He has to come of with the money to buy gas to get to work for starters.
R85, he had the movie channel AND HBO.
I know too many to mention. In my family and amongst my friends, neighbors, and acquaintances.
Everywhere I go I hear stories of hardship.