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    More: Sad, Steep, social security, Outer Banks, Hurricane Irene, Urban Institute, executive assistant  
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14662 clicks; posted to Main » on 10 Jun 2012 at 10:09 AM (2 years ago)   |  Favorite    |   share:  Share on Twitter share via Email Share on Facebook   more»



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2012-06-10 01:29:16 PM  

attention span of a retarded fruit fly: So its above people that are over 60 to group together and get a house and help each other out? I am not moving out of my starter house and paying this off. Its not a bad size three bedrooms and that will keep my costs down. Also havingg kids at an older age helps as well. When im 60 my youngest will be 20 and we can pool together like they used to. I got the rooms and can cook and do your laundry. You pay some rent and come and go as you please. its time to go back to the ways that worked for years. Extended families are going to have to have a comeback.


Yep, that's what we did. I definitely recommend the "MIL" (mother in law) type set up. Where you have a secondary apartment in the house for one of the groups. This allows everyone their sense of privacy and then you don't have two families that suddenly have to re-adjust how they "keep house", which can be a challenge, especially if you are older.

/gotta say, it's working great for us!
//much higher standard of living than we could each accomplish alone.
 
2012-06-10 01:30:18 PM  

WhippingBoy:

In a field one summer's day a grasshopper was hopping about, chirping and singing to its heart's content. A group of ants walked by, grunting as they struggled to carry plump kernels of corn.

"Where are you going with those heavy things?" asked the grasshopper.

Without stopping, the first ant replied, "To our ant hill. This is the third kernel I've delivered today."

"Why not come and sing with me," teased the grasshopper, "instead of working so hard?"

"We are helping to store food for the winter," said the ant, "and think you should do the same."

"Winter is far away and it is a glorious day to play," sang the grasshopper.

But the ants went on their way and continued their hard work.

The weather soon turned cold. All the food lying in the field was covered with a thick white blanket of snow that even the grasshopper could not dig through. Soon the grasshopper found itself dying of hunger.

He staggered to the ants' hill and saw them handing out corn from the stores they had collected in the summer. He begged them for something to eat.

"What!" cried the ants in surprise, "haven't you stored anything away for the winter? What in the world were you doing all last summer?"

"I didn't have time to store any food," complained the grasshopper; "I was so busy playing music that before I knew it the summer was gone."

The ants shook their heads in disgust, turned their backs on the grasshopper and went on with their work.


image.legios.org

"It's just like the story of the grasshopper and the octopus. All year long the grasshopper kept burying acorns for winter while the octopus mooched off his girlfriend and watched TV. Then the winter came, and the grasshopper died, and the octopus ate all his acorns and also he got a racecar. Is any of this getting through to you?"
 
2012-06-10 01:35:11 PM  

rvesco: As much as I hate to introduce facts into what should be a purely emotional and ideological dispute


Dude, blame is ALWAYS the answer. Try to think of an instance in the course of human history that blame hasn't provided a quick, eloquent and long lasting solution to any problem that has confronted us.
 
2012-06-10 01:37:42 PM  

indarwinsshadow: So, I went and wrote my PATI, WCT, and ran my PREP. Failed the PREP, as I couldn't make the 6.5 required on the beat test. So, I trained my ass off for 12 weeks, bumped up my VO2 max, and made the grade next time round. Went and sailed through my BPAD, vision and hearing.


Are people supposed to know what those initials stand for?
 
2012-06-10 01:42:07 PM  

Hermione_Granger: Extended families are going to have to have a comeback.

You're way behind the trend.

First it was me and my ex. We moved in with my mom. But black folks are always the last hired and first fired. The black families were doubling up - adult children moving back home. We could have started a club: Black folks who got "down sized" and had to move back home.

It took another three years and the crash of 2008 before shiat really got bad for white folks and now there isn't a single family on this block, white, black or any shade in between that doesn't have a multi-generational household.

Not a single one.

I told my ex two years ago that I wanted to break up, but we couldn't afford to. We had to save up, wait for my retraining, and for both of us to get relatively stable jobs before he was finally able to get an apartment of his own last month.

I still help him out with food and gas money because times are still tough and he's just getting on his feet. In exchange, he's gonna do the same for me when I move out next year and we both help our daughter with her expenses at college and do house and yard work for my mom so she doesn't have to pay anyone.

We've had to work harder together to live apart than we ever did to stay together.

Sadly, it was my idea to work it out like this and I got the idea after reading an article about how couples who couldn't afford to break up managed during the Depression.

Better times are ahead, I hope.


CSS!
 
2012-06-10 01:46:31 PM  

Hermione_Granger: ...
Better times are ahead, I hope.


Impressed.
 
2012-06-10 01:48:32 PM  

rvesco: As much as I hate to introduce facts into what should be a purely emotional and ideological dispute, there is no empirical economic evidence that early retirement of old people frees up jobs for young people.

/ The woman in the article doesn't have a job.
// So she isn't spending much money.
/// So she isn't creating any jobs for younger people.

[occasionalpiece.files.wordpress.com image 504x360]


BUT she technically didnt early retire.
She was unemployed and started collecting early. which actually helps delay the end of socsec, because she will draw down so much less than if she had retired at 65 or 68.

I also feel no sympathy for her. She lives alone. A roommate would reduce her expenses massively. She lives in a trailer park? Does she have a car too?

meh

There are SO MANY ways to reduce costs and improve living conditions. but she is just complaining about how bad things are.

She is living on 1k a month? no pension? no 401k? what did she do the last 20-40 years?
Did no one mention to her that she would need savings for when she got old?
 
2012-06-10 01:52:39 PM  
Do you live on the border? Do you speak Spanish? Do you have a shovel and a forgetful memory?

You might be able to find work
 
2012-06-10 01:58:50 PM  

BillCo: From the headline, I immediately assumed it was about Obamacare.


Well, you do have quite the track record of being consistently wrong on just about everything. It's so uncanny that I suspect you're doing it on purpose.

In case you're not: Derp for the gold, champion!
 
2012-06-10 02:16:11 PM  

Bontesla: @NewportBarGuy: I think you're right. So, financially, I need to have approximately 2.5 million in savings and investments in order to retire on an income of $40,000 a year. . . If I want to retire at a reasonable age.


um
not picking on you. or your math. or however you got your numbers. (I have seen similar ones)
BUT
2,500,000 / 40,000 = 62.5
so you could draw 40k from 2.5M for 60 years.
so um. something is wrong with your math.

it might be that by the time you retire, the 40k adjusted for inflation ... would come to 125k

unless you are retiring at 25 .....
 
2012-06-10 02:18:52 PM  

StoneColdAtheist: Koodz: Bontesla: We're in serious trouble.

Yeah, it's a shame that we may not get rewarded for our frugality with free money any more.

In a finite world there is going to be a day when the growth stops. When that happens all our growth-based economic tricks are going to break down.

I don't know if it's a 'finite world' in the sense you use that term, but I AM fairly convinced that the economic growth the West experienced over the second half of the twentieth century, and the set of expectations that sustained growth fostered, were anomalies that are unlikely in the extreme to replicate themselves anytime soon.

So what does that mean for future generations? Simple...you're going to have to do what people outside the fortunate few have had to do since time immemorial. You're going work all your life until you physically can't anymore. You're going to have to learn to live in multi-generational homes (touched on above somewhere) where several generations pitch in money, time and chores to make ends meet. You're going to have to live within your means, however modest they may turn out to be. You're going to have to save up a rainy-day fund to tide you over the inevitable bumps in the road.

Pissing and moaning about how the Boomers farked it all up for you is both pointless as well as wrong. Their lifestyles were no more sustainable than the housing bubble of the last decade, and they're in the same boat you are in.

So work for others when you must, but think like an East Indian merchant and start your own business to build something for yourself. Hoping and praying that some employer is going to look out for your future for the next half-century is a sure prescription for disappointment.

I was able to retire in my early 50's but bagged it after several years. I was miserable and had no sense of direction or purpose. So 6 years ago started a prototyping/light manufacturing business with my son. My wife and I provided the capital and immediate labor. Our son still works full-time in silicon valley management, but supplies ideas, contacts, intellectual capitol and hardware/software support. I work full time in the business, supervising our several employees, interfacing with customers and suppliers, and making sure all the other day to day operations get done. The business has no long-term debt and has grown 50% to 100+% a year purely from retained earnings.

Our son plans to 'retire' in another 5-10 years from corporate life to take over the business. That gives him time to save up money for the transition and get his ducks in a row (he's on track for 5 years). If his plans change I have my oldest grandson to fall back on, as he will be out of college and ready to join the firm if he wishes to. If all that falls through I will just sell or close up shop when I can't do it any more.

To hell with sitting around watching TV and waiting to die.


Exactly what I was getting at. We can't all expect to live 120 years and work 30 of them. Passive income for the middle class is going away.
 
2012-06-10 02:19:30 PM  

sethstorm: Delay:
I strongly believe SS and Medicare are essential, but retirement may be one of those myths. The woman needs to do something productive. The government is paying her anyway, pay her to do something useful. If some bureaucrat can't think of something, I'll be glad to offer 40 job descriptions appropriate to her skills and that would make more sense than what is going on here. Don't call it Social Security, call it WPA or something.

Then compel businesses to register themselves with such a program so that this lady can choose the direct-hire job with the best fit & compensation package as she sees fit. Any other arrangement results in failure bad enough to not warrant trying.


I don't know whether what you suggest is the only one that works. But, let's see how yours could work here. As an example, my business constantly has more stuff to do than my folks have time to spare. We know what needs to be done, there are "shovel ready" projects, there is just not enough demand right now. We need the government to help out with the demand until the economy turns up. Let's agree, she gets money from the government, no matter what. So, "All boomers DIAF," is not an acceptable solution.

She selects to receive her decreased (age 62) benefit until age 66, however, not directly. She must work in the direct-hire program, unless she is disabled, of course. (She certainly does not look disabled to me.) She selects a company as the best fit to her skills and she is hired. The government pays the company an up to 4-year grant (based on her age) equal to her decreased SS benefit ($1082 monthly) which the company must match or exceed.

Therefore, instead of the puny $1,082 per month, she gets at least $12 per hour at a job that is of her choice. In return, the company provides standard benefits and a justification to the government that she is doing something useful - not too hard since the company is on the hook for at least half her salary.
 
2012-06-10 02:26:41 PM  

namatad: rvesco: As much as I hate to introduce facts into what should be a purely emotional and ideological dispute, there is no empirical economic evidence that early retirement of old people frees up jobs for young people.

/ The woman in the article doesn't have a job.
// So she isn't spending much money.
/// So she isn't creating any jobs for younger people.

[occasionalpiece.files.wordpress.com image 504x360]

BUT she technically didnt early retire.
She was unemployed and started collecting early. which actually helps delay the end of socsec, because she will draw down so much less than if she had retired at 65 or 68.

I also feel no sympathy for her. She lives alone. A roommate would reduce her expenses massively. She lives in a trailer park? Does she have a car too?

meh

There are SO MANY ways to reduce costs and improve living conditions. but she is just complaining about how bad things are.

She is living on 1k a month? no pension? no 401k? what did she do the last 20-40 years?
Did no one mention to her that she would need savings for when she got old?


She may have made the classic blunder of thinking her looks would keep her employable. As long as the boss perceives her as young and hot, maybe. Once the next generation is on the scene, skill set becomes paramount. Later still, networking becomes the best chance.

Older guys can still be perceived as vigorous, attractive and capable, but women, not so much. Think of the music industry. Lots of guys in their 60's, 70's or 80's (Tony Bennett) are still able to command top dollar in large arenas, but even Madonna seems to be having fewer tour dates and she's not even 60.
 
2012-06-10 02:46:53 PM  

cherryl taggart: She may have made the classic blunder of thinking her looks would keep her employable. As long as the boss perceives her as young and hot, maybe. Once the next generation is on the scene, skill set becomes paramount. Later still, networking becomes the best chance.


She is probably just an average middle skilled, middle income woman who got hit hard by circumstances. The jobs created in the "recovery" are at the top and the bottom, not a lot of middle class jobs are being created. If she wants to get a low-skill, low-pay job she has to compete with people 40 years younger.
 
2012-06-10 02:51:13 PM  

Nagle: I was just amazed at how she went through her life savings in a single year and used her entire retirement savings in a single year. I'm sure the extra 20% would have made a huge difference and allowed that money she spent in 1 year to be stretched over the 23 years.

Social Security is a retirement supplement. It's not supposed to be your primary source of income.

/If she is so hard pressed for money, why is she flying when she could take a bus for a lot less or drive herself for a lot less. FL to NC is not that far.
//She just sounds like a lady who's really bad with money.
///$1,082 - $336(rent and utilities) = $746 / month for food and everything else


thank you for the great summary of the article.
I thought that the rule was that you never touch your 401k until you retire.
She lived in CA? was her house underwater? boohooo.
She waited to move until she was completely out of money? boohoo.
She move to farkING NC????
at least she moved in with friends, but how about move somewhere with hope of finding a job?
Pick one of the top 10-20 cities by population.

Sorry that you were a secretary your whole life and lost your job and savings and and and.
YAWNNNNNNNNNNNNN

one of my sources of retirement income could/might be a reverse mortgage on my house.
or sell my house and live with a friend or or or

where is her family? her only friends were in NC or floriduh? she had no one to live with in CA?
MEH
 
2012-06-10 02:54:55 PM  

NewWorldDan: Stuipd woman still has a cellphone and satelite TV. Need a job? Here's a clue: try working at Target or Burger King. They're both regularly hiring. Pays just fine until you can find something better. Making $64k as an administrator? Biatch, you're overpaid. And how did you get to be 62, making $64k/year, and have no assets to your name? Woman is just starting to get in touch with reality.


Here's a clue: If Target's computer decides it doesn't like you you're not getting a job there.

Here's another clue: The number of unemployed vastly exceeds the number of jobs. "Get a job, any job" simply isn't an answer, there aren't enough of them to be had. There is *NOTHING* the workers can do about this, the problem will remain until the economy recovers.

You're only half right about the assets--she had some, she's been living on them. I do agree that means she didn't have enough.

No Such Agency: Probably sending it to any place that might possibly give her a job? I'm not sure what your point is here. There are no jobs, and the ones there are go to young people who will work long hours for peanuts and just be glad to have something.

The irony is of course that this lady would probably work long hours for peanuts (or more than that $1000 a month anyway) too... but the prevailing dogma is "don't hire old people".


The reality is the young person will probably produce more output in that job, of course the employers hire them. Older workers cost more (benefits, time off sick) and when it comes to a physical job they produce less.

This is another reason the get-any-job approach doesn't work--older workers simply aren't going to get hired in an area where they don't have experience.
 
2012-06-10 03:03:02 PM  

SockMonkeyHolocaust: My retirement is predicated on everyone's copies of the Death of Superman and Spawn #1 suddenly and irreversibly disappearing. Also, a CLERKS comic book #1, first printing that I wrote FIRST PRINTING, MINT across the cover in Sharpie.


So how much is Spawn #1 these days?
 
2012-06-10 03:03:12 PM  

Hermione_Granger: Better times are ahead, I hope.


Yes, but I believe it's going to get a lot worse first. I know alarmists have been saying this for decades, but this time it's for real: The robots are coming for your jobs. It took a lot longer than the experts thought, but I follow that industry and in the past 5 years we hit the point where, for a frightening variety of jobs, robots are now cheaper than human workers.

Google's self-driving cars will begin replacing taxis shortly. McDonald's already has a semi-automated restaurant that requires only 2 employees per shift opening in Europe. FoxConn last year signed a contract to buy 1 million industrial robots...because on a large order like that the price per robot was actually CHEAPER THAN CHINESE WORKERS! A high-tech chip-making factory in Texas employed 400, until it was remodeled. Now it has higher output but only employs around 40. Even the engineers who design and build the robots are being replaced.

We're all going to have to adjust to a world where having a job is no longer the primary way people live. I have no idea how that's going to work economically, but by the time unemployment hits 50% or so (20 years, maybe?), we'll have to come up with something. That many Americans aren't going to sit quietly and watch their children starve. That might work in North Korea, but we're armed and won't stand for it.

But after that painful and perhaps violent transition, yes I think life will be better.
 
2012-06-10 03:27:13 PM  
maybe it's time to stop importing a couple million people each year to do the jobs that still remain for 3rd world wages?
 
2012-06-10 03:28:26 PM  

danceswithcrows: Just Another OC Homeless Guy: wait until [...] all of the fast food and lower level service economy jobs are filled by robots.

I thought that was going to happen *just* a bit differently. (The first half of the story, before the obvious Author Tract, is kind of interesting.)


I never heard of that story before. Thank you. I find it frighteningly prophetic, for the short period until those jobs disappear entirely.
 
2012-06-10 03:31:12 PM  
As a young professional, I see more and more of my collegues supporting their parents as I am. Both of mine are unemployed and too young to collect social security. I send them money when I can but I can't get myself out of debt from school and moving around the country when I keep sending them funds. I wouldn't mind but it's affecting my ability to live as well. My student loan debt is pretty tiny compared to most people I know with the same education but it's there and needs to be taken care of.
 
2012-06-10 03:32:52 PM  
maybe it's time to admit that when you give an American job to a latin american worker an equivalent job doesn't spring up through spontaneous combustion somewhere else in this country.

maybe it is time to admit that jobs are finite resources.

maybe it is time to admit that the law of supply and demand affects the labor market like it would any other market, and that flooding the labor market with millions and millions of foreign workers from backwards nations who consequently are willing to take substantially less than American workers isn't the ticket to prosperity.
 
2012-06-10 03:42:18 PM  

Delay: sethstorm: Delay:
I strongly believe SS and Medicare are essential, but retirement may be one of those myths. The woman needs to do something productive. The government is paying her anyway, pay her to do something useful. If some bureaucrat can't think of something, I'll be glad to offer 40 job descriptions appropriate to her skills and that would make more sense than what is going on here. Don't call it Social Security, call it WPA or something.

Then compel businesses to register themselves with such a program so that this lady can choose the direct-hire job with the best fit & compensation package as she sees fit. Any other arrangement results in failure bad enough to not warrant trying.

I don't know whether what you suggest is the only one that works. But, let's see how yours could work here. As an example, my business constantly has more stuff to do than my folks have time to spare. We know what needs to be done, there are "shovel ready" projects, there is just not enough demand right now. We need the government to help out with the demand until the economy turns up. Let's agree, she gets money from the government, no matter what. So, "All boomers DIAF," is not an acceptable solution.

She selects to receive her decreased (age 62) benefit until age 66, however, not directly. She must work in the direct-hire program, unless she is disabled, of course. (She certainly does not look disabled to me.) She selects a company as the best fit to her skills and she is hired. The government pays the company an up to 4-year grant (based on her age) equal to her decreased SS benefit ($1082 monthly) which the company must match or exceed.

Therefore, instead of the puny $1,082 per month, she gets at least $12 per hour at a job that is of her choice. In return, the company provides standard benefits and a justification to the government that she is doing something useful - not too hard since the company is on the hook for at least half her salary.


Except that you could pay an older worker's whole salary, and the way the current prejudices are against age, companies would not want to "hire" an older person.

It's like dating sites and men's height. If you ask women if they'd rather date a man convicted of a violent felony or a man who's wealthy, smart, highly educated, great job, local, mid-thirties, athletic, very shapely and very attractive facial features, non-smoker, light drinker, their religion but not fanatic about it, and 5'3" --

-- the women will want to know more details about how bad the violent felony was and whether there were maybe any possible justifications for it.

The corporate perception of workers over fifty, as a concept, is that they smell funny, they're brain-addled, they get in the way, and they take up the time of otherwise productive workers undoing their mistakes and getting them out of the way. And that they whine and never shut up and play crappy music and make the workplace unpleasant. That they waste everybody's time because they're lonely and they always want to talk while everyone else is trying to get work done. Basically, that they're an all-around PITA and liability.

Employers don't want them in the workplace at any price. Older workers' worst and most unforgivable corporate sin? They're unfashionable.

It's the same reason the Chinese, in China, will hire any white guy who looks good in a suit to read reports at conferences and meetings. Having Western employees makes the company look like it has an international presence, and appearance is everything.

In Edwardian England (if Downton Abbey got it right) the footmen waited at table and not the maids--the women didn't go into the dining room at dinner, they weren't to be seen there, appearance was everything.

Corporations want to look fresh and innovative, not stagnant and obsolete. So they can't show aged faces. Appearance is everything. Oops, sorry, you're not light skinned enough to work in the house, you have to be a fiel' han'. You don't have the square jaw, squared off shoulders, and dangly bits to serve at table, you have to change the beds. You've aged--you're not young enough, or young enough looking, to serve in the IT department, you have to be a greeter at Walmart.

It's complete and utter bullshiat, and the only thing that has ever worked to stop this kind of bullshiat is outright government force coming with a big-ass sledgehammer and proactively enforcing anti-discrimination laws.

Simply passing those laws and relying on lawsuits to enforce them does nothing. It's the EEOC running around as the 800 lb gorilla that is out of the corporation's weight class that makes the difference.

Only the "we'll move jobs overseas!" threat has turned the EEOC into a bunch of pussies. There are laws that genuinely strangle business, and then there are laws that business can afford to obey, they're just breaking the laws because they're being a bunch of dicks. Age discrimination is a case where they're just being a bunch of dicks. They wouldn't have to pay the older guy with more experience more. Look at what they're prepared to offer the younger worker who's applying for the same job. Make that offer to the older worker. If he turns it down, then when you offer the job to the younger worker, your ass is covered with the EEOC, easy peasy.

I'd love to see EEOC do an affirmative action measure where they require all businesses that use H1Bs to send their positions to the AARP for the AARP to post the jobs in open job listings for a certain period, online, before and H1B visa will be considered.

I would love to see businesses have to notify AARP and EEOC with a follow-up if they applied for and got an H1B. I would love for EEOC to be able to include failure to interview qualified applicants and discriminatory impact, etc., and how an employer applies the H1B system in evaluating whether a company is in compliance with employment law.

(I don't think AARP should be able to limit perusal of the listings to members, but maybe there's a way non-members could get an email copy of the list or something from EEOC. Some way so everyone has access to the postings before a job goes H1B.)

Ideally, people should be able to get jobs in other countries and go work there, and people from other countries should be able to get jobs and come work here, and it should roughly all balance out. Unfortunately, it hasn't worked that way in real life. It's been abused. Instead, a company hires a worker on an H1B because once he's over here and settled, he's pretty much an indentured servant. He can't leave the job and work anywhere else, and he can't make waves, or he'll be deported. And a lot of employers the world over are doing that--bring in labor from other countries, use the fact that someone's out of their own country to trap them in lousy job conditions and make it very difficult for them to resist anything you want to do to them. It's going to take a series of gradual law changes to start fixing that.
 
2012-06-10 03:44:51 PM  

Coastalgrl: As a young professional, I see more and more of my collegues supporting their parents as I am. Both of mine are unemployed and too young to collect social security. I send them money when I can but I can't get myself out of debt from school and moving around the country when I keep sending them funds. I wouldn't mind but it's affecting my ability to live as well. My student loan debt is pretty tiny compared to most people I know with the same education but it's there and needs to be taken care of.


This is going to sound way too socialist for Fark, but here goes. Significant debt relief for victims of both the mortgage bubble and the student loan excess would essentially solve this depression. The US government bailed the banksters out, turn about is fair.
 
2012-06-10 03:45:36 PM  

Beowoolfie: I never heard of that story before. Thank you. I find it frighteningly prophetic


I think the author was saying, "Here's one way that the future could unfold. Do we really want stuff to happen that way?" among other things.

Also, if the robots start taking all the jobs, there are going to be a lot of unemployed unskilled people running around. Keeping those people occupied will be really important. How will we keep them occupied? Probably cheaply-produced TV shows with plenty of sex and violence. Or gladiatorial combat. Or government-subsidized MMORPGs. Or a pandemic, or a war, but those would be more disruptive than entertainment and would cause rich people to lose some of their money.

(Until somebody builds a robot that can convincingly entertain folks on a show like "Teh Real World", at which point we're probably utterly PWN3D and should let the chimpanzees have a go at civilization....)
 
2012-06-10 03:46:25 PM  

wambu: To save money, she has canceled the data plan on her BlackBerry

On Social Security and living in a trailer. Why does she need a Blackberry in the first place?


Because she's still trying to get a job, that's why.
 
2012-06-10 03:52:13 PM  

No Such Agency: etherknot:
"But after losing her job as an executive assistant at an advertising agency in 2008, she searched fruitlessly for full-time work."

While I feel a bit sad for this lady, isn't the purpose of advertising to sell something? You just spent the last four years doing what with your resume?

Probably sending it to any place that might possibly give her a job? I'm not sure what your point is here. There are no jobs, and the ones there are go to young people who will work long hours for peanuts and just be glad to have something.

The irony is of course that this lady would probably work long hours for peanuts (or more than that $1000 a month anyway) too... but the prevailing dogma is "don't hire old people".


Here's an example: I'm an engineer who was looking for work earlier this year. (I'm always looking since I do contract work.) I have mechanical engineering degrees but have worked mostly in other areas of engineering. So I started looking at entry-level mechanical engineering jobs to ease my way back into the field that I've always wanted to work in.

If you do a search for entry level engineering jobs, you frequently see the requirement that only "recent graduates" will be considered. The on-line application process will either bar completion of the application or will ask specifically what the applicant's graduation date was. It doesn't matter if the applicant would consider entry-level pay.

I know why they do it-- to clear the road for more young people to apply. And given the difficulty that new engineering grads are having in finding work the policy doesn't bother me too much. For now. But it is effectively age discrimination and prevents engineers from switching from one area of engineering to another and from applying to lower-level positions in different engineering specialty areas-- even with the correct level of experience for those positions. I imagine that other technology careers have similar issues.

A more academic example would be a fresh engineering grad that travels the world doing non-engineering work for 2-3 years after graduation. That engineer could not apply to some entry-level engineering positions. (You can find lots of examples on job boards.)

I point this out because it is popular to see statements along the lines of "just go get more training." But in engineering the training is all on-the-job. You could have 20 years of expertise in designing the highest-tech gas station bathroom novelty dispensers and still be a novice engineer in the eyes of a company that designs aircraft engines. You'd be a "senior engineer" who is qualified to be an entry-level mechanical engineer designing aircraft engines. But you would have a difficult time getting that entry-level job. You'd probably end up as a systems engineer or manager.

I bet we'll see this in the next few months when the defense industry RIFs thousands of engineers who have specialized experience. There's really nowhere for all of them to go within the engineering arena. EEs seem to be an exception.
 
2012-06-10 03:52:29 PM  
our economy only created 65,000 jobs last month, but our political leaders thought it was a good idea to let in 116,000 foreigners as LEGAL permanent residents that will need jobs. that is a LEGAL immigration rate that is higher than the rest of the world countries combined and it seriously loweres wages. Link

with these policies in place there aren't ever going to be enough jobs again, and it will always be American citizens that get passed over because they demand reasonable wage levels.

there has been a political and corporate movement to find a way to lower wages for the only jobs in American that can't be ultimately outsourced or automated and they found their allies in the democratic party's love of diversity for diversities sake.

we're all f*cked in the long term if we continue this policy of making ourselves the high labor cost alternative to a solution that has a low cost solution represented by recent immigrants.
 
2012-06-10 03:52:37 PM  

Beowoolfie: Hermione_Granger: Better times are ahead, I hope.

Yes, but I believe it's going to get a lot worse first. I know alarmists have been saying this for decades, but this time it's for real: The robots are coming for your jobs. It took a lot longer than the experts thought, but I follow that industry and in the past 5 years we hit the point where, for a frightening variety of jobs, robots are now cheaper than human workers.

Google's self-driving cars will begin replacing taxis shortly. McDonald's already has a semi-automated restaurant that requires only 2 employees per shift opening in Europe. FoxConn last year signed a contract to buy 1 million industrial robots...because on a large order like that the price per robot was actually CHEAPER THAN CHINESE WORKERS! A high-tech chip-making factory in Texas employed 400, until it was remodeled. Now it has higher output but only employs around 40. Even the engineers who design and build the robots are being replaced.

We're all going to have to adjust to a world where having a job is no longer the primary way people live. I have no idea how that's going to work economically, but by the time unemployment hits 50% or so (20 years, maybe?), we'll have to come up with something. That many Americans aren't going to sit quietly and watch their children starve. That might work in North Korea, but we're armed and won't stand for it.

But after that painful and perhaps violent transition, yes I think life will be better.



But this same argument has been made for the last 9000 years.
There are counter forces which will be coming into play in the next decade.
The biggest one is the aging, retiring population in the western world.
This will reduce unemployment in a number of ways: directly open jobs, new medical jobs, new service jobs.

We will/might see a labor migration like we saw during the great depression. people leaving their homes for jobs. Why aren't more people without jobs moving to ND????
ND has a 3% unemployment rate. GO THERE NOW. get a job.
or complain about not being able to get a job in floriduh, CA, NC, yawn.

instead, people complain ...

starving children??
ROFL
our farking kids are so fat ...
 
2012-06-10 03:54:19 PM  

Delay: Coastalgrl: As a young professional, I see more and more of my collegues supporting their parents as I am. Both of mine are unemployed and too young to collect social security. I send them money when I can but I can't get myself out of debt from school and moving around the country when I keep sending them funds. I wouldn't mind but it's affecting my ability to live as well. My student loan debt is pretty tiny compared to most people I know with the same education but it's there and needs to be taken care of.

This is going to sound way too socialist for Fark, but here goes. Significant debt relief for victims of both the mortgage bubble and the student loan excess would essentially solve this depression. The US government bailed the banksters out, turn about is fair.


Yeah, it seems like the government would have gotten waaaay more for their money if they had injected bailout money to people to pay down housing and student loan debts. Not having either at the time of the bailouts, I would have been pretty irate at not getting any of the govt. cheese though....
 
2012-06-10 03:54:20 PM  

Coastalgrl: As a young professional, I see more and more of my collegues supporting their parents as I am. Both of mine are unemployed and too young to collect social security. I send them money when I can but I can't get myself out of debt from school and moving around the country when I keep sending them funds. I wouldn't mind but it's affecting my ability to live as well. My student loan debt is pretty tiny compared to most people I know with the same education but it's there and needs to be taken care of.


I'm sure they never, EVAR, put your needs ahead of their own the whole time you were growing and getting that education that allowed you to step onto the bottom rung of the professional ladder.
 
2012-06-10 03:56:53 PM  

relcec: our economy only created 65,000 jobs last month, but our political leaders thought it was a good idea to let in 116,000 foreigners as LEGAL permanent residents that will need jobs. that is a LEGAL immigration rate that is higher than the rest of the world countries combined and it seriously loweres wages. Link

with these policies in place there aren't ever going to be enough jobs again, and it will always be American citizens that get passed over because they demand reasonable wage levels.

there has been a political and corporate movement to find a way to lower wages for the only jobs in American that can't be ultimately outsourced or automated and they found their allies in the democratic party's love of diversity for diversities sake.

we're all f*cked in the long term if we continue this policy of making ourselves the high labor cost alternative to a solution that has a low cost solution represented by recent immigrants.


what percentage of that 116k is family and children and wont be working?
what percentage of those jobs are programmers or engineers or other high tech which were legitimately hard or impossible to fill?

meh
the US has ALWAYS been a country of immigrants.
 
2012-06-10 04:04:56 PM  

Julie Cochrane: It's like dating sites and men's height. If you ask women if they'd rather date a man convicted of a violent felony or a man who's wealthy, smart, highly educated, great job, local, mid-thirties, athletic, very shapely and very attractive facial features, non-smoker, light drinker, their religion but not fanatic about it, and 5'3" --


I liked your entire response and I just quoted this bit. How did you guess my height? JK.

We don't hire based on age or height. It's a strategy that has worked out well for us. What would really help technology companies in the private sector, right now, would be an enhanced SBIR program - for actual small companies not VCs - and a WPA-type of government assistance program until unemployment improves to a pre-determined level. In my opinion, it's not rocket science.
 
2012-06-10 04:04:59 PM  

StoneColdAtheist: Coastalgrl: As a young professional, I see more and more of my collegues supporting their parents as I am. Both of mine are unemployed and too young to collect social security. I send them money when I can but I can't get myself out of debt from school and moving around the country when I keep sending them funds. I wouldn't mind but it's affecting my ability to live as well. My student loan debt is pretty tiny compared to most people I know with the same education but it's there and needs to be taken care of.

I'm sure they never, EVAR, put your needs ahead of their own the whole time you were growing and getting that education that allowed you to step onto the bottom rung of the professional ladder.


Actually, they tried to support me though college but couldn't. Whrn the stock market went in 2004-5, it took my college fund with it. Bought me a decent car with what was left and said good luck. I don't mind at all sending them money but my choices are now between food/pay debt and send them money. I've been alternating
 
2012-06-10 04:05:11 PM  

namatad:
But this same argument has been made for the last 9000 years.


Dude, if you think people have had jobs for 9000 years, I don't know what to say. People have worked for all our species' life, obviously, but "jobs" are a recent invention.

Maybe I misunderstood you?
 
2012-06-10 04:06:46 PM  

DrewCurtisJr: darwin


If you can't be bothered to look it up, I can't be bothered to care if you do.
 
2012-06-10 04:07:25 PM  

Delay: Coastalgrl: As a young professional, I see more and more of my collegues supporting their parents as I am. Both of mine are unemployed and too young to collect social security. I send them money when I can but I can't get myself out of debt from school and moving around the country when I keep sending them funds. I wouldn't mind but it's affecting my ability to live as well. My student loan debt is pretty tiny compared to most people I know with the same education but it's there and needs to be taken care of.

This is going to sound way too socialist for Fark, but here goes. Significant debt relief for victims of both the mortgage bubble and the student loan excess would essentially solve this depression. The US government bailed the banksters out, turn about is fair.


The housing bubble really screwed us too. The value of the rents house shot up so high, I didn't qualify for most student aid. Since its included on the FAFSA forms. They eventually sold that house before they lost it. Couldn't afford the taxes, family was in that place for 3 generations.
 
2012-06-10 04:11:55 PM  

Coastalgrl: Actually, they tried to support me though college but couldn't. Whrn the stock market went in 2004-5, it took my college fund with it. Bought me a decent car with what was left and said good luck. I don't mind at all sending them money but my choices are now between food/pay debt and send them money. I've been alternating


Fair enough. I guess your Boobies same off as just a bit shallow is all.

Good luck to you and your parents.
 
2012-06-10 04:12:45 PM  

Brontes: Yeah, it seems like the government would have gotten waaaay more for their money if they had injected bailout money to people to pay down housing and student loan debts. Not having either at the time of the bailouts, I would have been pretty irate at not getting any of the govt. cheese though....


Yep. Moral hazard too.

There are ways to address both of these. First, there would need to be an agreement on debt relief. Although, I'm not sure that agreement would address your irritation. Would flogging in a public square work?
 
2012-06-10 04:15:17 PM  

indarwinsshadow: If you can't be bothered to look it up, I can't be bothered to care if you do.


That's why nobody wanted you in IT.
 
2012-06-10 04:27:22 PM  
Realistically, I figure things are only going to get worse in my lifetime. I figure there will probably be a few swings of marginally better, maybe a couple of years at a time, within an overall trend of worse.

You can blame people, you can say you have no sympathy for them, you can Monday morning quarterback everything they did or didn't do.

I took the required economics class in high school.

In college, I took macro economics, micro economics, and national income analysis. Georgia Tech's a pretty decent school. I'm pretty damned smart--my test scores say so, anyway.

I've been a political junkie. I've been a member of both parties, each time convinced that party was "right." I've listened to both parties explain why their view of how to run a national and world economy is "right." Or "best," if you will.
I've read Fortune and Forbes. Read Hayek and Austrians. Read Keynesians. Watched business reports. Owned stock. Bought into an IPO, made a 900% profit and got out before the dot.bomb. Held a DRIP. And more.

And you know what? Economics is "magic" to me. I really don't understand why the economy at home stopped working, and I don't understand why it doesn't just start back up. Oh, I have heard many of the various reasons and rationalizations for how and why people say it stopped working and how and why they say it's not starting back and what they're projecting and why they say they're projecting it.

None of their projections and economic theories account for the fact that people systematically steal on a large scale and get away with it. Nobody's economic theories account for it. Nobody's economic theories that I've seen account for geopolitical thumbs that are on the scale for non-economic reasons. Nobody's economic theories that I've seen account for large scale deception--the interests of people moving large amounts of money and goods in wanting what they want, and getting what they want, but giving the public appearance of wanting and doing something entirely different.

I have a friend who's a for real rocket scientist who's writing a textbook on rocket science, and his goal for this textbook is to include the real world things that just about all the existing textbooks neglect, but that you do have to engineer for--like the way fuel sloshes within the rocket when something or other happens. Apparently there are a bunch of these things, and there are just enough known (known to the people on the job) aspects of the real world that have accumulated that more systematic (okay, updated) documentation of issues in the textbooks is (at least in his opinion) an idea whose time has come.

Anyway.

I think things are going to get worse because nobody has any really good answers on how to deal with economics, and I don't think there necessarily are any good answers.

I think perhaps the key is that capitalism breaks down when ordinary people doing ordinary labor are not protected from having their savings or investments systematically stolen by con men.

Con men are not clever businessmen, they're not job creators, they're not successful competitors in capitalism. They're just sociopathic thieves. It doesn't matter if they're sociopathic thieves who hire minions---only a complete idiot would classify hiring a minion as creating a job. Or shall we sing praises to the latest Don of the Gambini family when he expands the business by hiring a new hit man?

Right now, nobody in the system has anyplace in the world to put your money that the aristocrats of old money or the Machiavellis of New Money can't get to it to steal it from you. No matter who you are. There is no such thing as financial security. There's nowhere to go.

And that's disastrous for investment.

Historically, when that happens, people stock up on food that keeps for a long time, plant backyard gardens, stuff cash and coin under their mattresses, try to keep their roofs from leaking too bad, and try to block the drafts coming in under the door. And they huddle up, and they den up, and they hide---and they just hope they don't get noticed.

And if you'll look, that's exactly what people are doing. You have people staying holed up in their basements and leaving their houses as little as possible. Cash is king. People are raising farking chickens in the suburbs. People are moving in together with roommates or family members--usually out of necessity, but they're tending to stay huddled together. They're not chafing at being all huddled together like they would have before times turned bad.

I'm seeing more and more people with mental health problems who not only won't leave their house or apartment, maybe they won't hardly leave their couch. More and more cases of hoarding. People are trying to burrow into a little hole and pull the hole in after them. "Don't notice me. If they notice the other guy and not me, maybe I'll be okay."

Sure, there are still plenty of attention whores. But there are a lot of the opposite. And a lot of paradoxically anonymous attention whores. "Hey! Look at me! Look at me! (But don't know who I am.)"
 
2012-06-10 04:31:16 PM  

StoneColdAtheist: Fair enough. I guess your Boobies same off as just a bit shallow is all.


The weirdest filter-pawns are the best filter pawns! ;^)
 
2012-06-10 04:35:46 PM  
I thought it was the present that's out of the work.
 
2012-06-10 04:45:17 PM  
This is where Rush Limbaugh gets it all wrong on capitalism, by the way. He thinks capitalism is doing fine if go-getters can get rich. He's dead wrong.

Capitalism is deathly ill when ordinary people can't save money over the years without having it stolen by con men.

Capitalism isn't about Joe Talent being born poor and through hard work and boot straps getting rich like Mitt Romney.

Capitalism is about Jane Average being born average and through average work and average prudence, Jane invests in a broad portfolio of average risk stocks all her life, gets an average rate of return, has an average amount of ownership in a portfolio that averaged out with dollar cost averaging when she retires and lives an average retirement. Capitalism is about Jane Average plays by the rules and diversifies and playing by the rules works to get an average rate of return.

The whole point of capitalism is that the average person can survive modestly by being average---he doesn't lose horribly and go down in flames.

And you can't just look at all those people who got robbed of their savings by bad corporate choices and say, "Well, that's capitalism, there's always risk in investing, that's the way the system works, if you don't understand that you shouldn't buy stock." You can't just look at those people and say, "Too bad, so sad, buh-bye."

Because a fundamentally broken system, and making it so Jane Average cannot afford to put her retirement savings in any equities ever, ever, again, or in any bonds, or anywhere pretty much---there is noplace Jane can put her money--is a disaster for capitalism as a whole. It is an unmitigated disaster for the system as a whole to take a, "Too bad, you lose" attitude towards Jane Average.

But that's exactly what we've done. And I don't see the market economy system recovering from that betrayal in my lifetime.
 
2012-06-10 04:49:15 PM  

Julie Cochrane: Realistically, I figure things are only going to get worse in my lifetime

[a great deal of snippage]

Dammit. Quit being rational and intelligent and coming up with ideas that are probably reasonably close to how stuff is going to happen! I mean, I'm trying to be optimistic here, because everybody seems to hate pessimists, even if they end up being right. And it's getting harder and harder to maintain optimism in the face of continual stupid from the captains of industry and the Senators/Representatives in the various legislatures.

But anyway:
crow202.org
 
2012-06-10 04:54:42 PM  

SockMonkeyHolocaust: After Ron Paul gets into office every American will get the only stimulus package they need- a copy of Atlas Shrugged along with a link for digital download.


I never was motivated by that book. I agreed (at the time) only because I saw myself as special. Then I left alaska and the small town that I lived in and realized that I'm not that good at much. I will always be beaten by someone else. Then I remembered the pirate from the book. I realized that if all else fails and you have no chance of making it according to the rules, then f-it let's go kill people and take their shiat!

Is that wrong? Should I have not learned that?
 
2012-06-10 04:56:30 PM  

Julie Cochrane: The whole point of capitalism is that the average person can survive modestly by being average---he doesn't lose horribly and go down in flames.


Capitalism doesn't have a point.
 
2012-06-10 05:02:25 PM  

DrewCurtisJr: Julie Cochrane: The whole point of capitalism is that the average person can survive modestly by being average---he doesn't lose horribly and go down in flames.

Capitalism doesn't have a point.


Good point.
 
2012-06-10 05:21:47 PM  

NewportBarGuy: We're all going to have to compromise on whatever strongly held principles we have on taxes, spending, welfare and all of that.


Not ever going to happen. Not in this country. Not ever.

Oh, everybody will absolutely claim they will, certainly: "you go first, then I'll back off".


This whole do nothing congress sh*t has got to stop.

They have zero reason to do anything other than what they're doing. They will keep getting re-elected no matter what they do. No matter how crappy the economic or social outlook is, all they need to do is point a finger at the local hot-button issue ("ABORTION!" or "IMMIGRATION!" or "TERRIRISTS!" or "THE CHIIIIIIIILDREN!") and the sheep will reflexively push the voting button in response.


I'm not very optimistic, but I've not given up hope.

I have. This country is long since past permanently farked. Here's the problem summed up better than I ever could. There's no way out of that.

My "retirement" plan is to live as long as I can with my loved ones, and then when I can no longer sustain a useful life because I'm no longer allowed to work and cannot get medical care, to end my life in a reasonably not-messy way before I become a burden on my better half.
 
2012-06-10 05:35:27 PM  

over_and_done: My "retirement" plan is to live as long as I can with my loved ones, and then when I can no longer sustain a useful life because I'm no longer allowed to work and cannot get medical care, to end my life in a reasonably not-messy way before I become a burden on my better half.


I know Americans are adverse to saving... but jeez...
 
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