Advanced Skilled American Engineers Forced to Declare Bankruptcy

Now this should come as no surprise. Anyone involved with anything scientific knows the U.S. Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics Professionals have been getting the financial and career shaft for years now.

The San Jose Mercury New is reporting an alarming increase in career long technical professionals are being forced into bankruptcy.

A growing number of high-tech professionals are filing for bankruptcy, joining real estate, finance and construction workers who were in the first wave of bankruptcies last year.

Overall filings were up 50 percent to 2,399 in the first three months of this year over the first quarter of 2008, according to records of the U.S. Bankruptcy Court in San Jose. The court covers Santa Clara, Monterey, San Benito and Santa Cruz counties.

As local tech workers enter bankruptcy, their plight is becoming intertwined with the foreclosure crisis, though in a different way than homeowners who bought houses they couldn't really afford. Hit by layoffs, furloughs and pay cuts, some of these tech professionals are losing homes. They've lived in for years, their lawyers say.

"It's not just Realtors and mortgage brokers" who are seeing their incomes shrink, said San Jose bankruptcy lawyer James Shulman. "We're seeing cutbacks in electronics and at Sun, Yahoo — large numbers of people are having their income cut, and for many it's making their house unaffordable," he said.

Charles B. Green, a San Jose bankruptcy lawyer for 36 years, said he's seeing more high-tech professionals, "people in their mid-50s, formerly with Hewlett-Packard, Cisco Systems, Intel and Applied Materials."

"They've been with these employers, in some cases, for decades. They are engineers, highly skilled people, and now they're being laid off.

Oh yeah, that's the innovation of the future, guarantee anyone who excels in these fields, who happens to be over the age of 35 and a U.S. citizen will end up with nothing in the end. That's a motivator. Add $100k of debt from the get go too while trying to get the required advanced education and skills to even work in the field.

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Intended or unintended

American Capitalism leads to two class system: workers and corporate elite. "American Dream" is similar to religion - demanding "blind faith". Don't question the exists of the "American Dream". Just follow it and get it. Sure, get a higher education, take on a mortgage, buy that car, pump money into that 401k, sign-up for company stock purchase program, accept stock option. But it is all illusory.

In the end, American Capitalism, means that most people, particularly middle class, will end up on the losing end because with American Capitalism that has to be winners and losers. The winners will always be the ones that are controlling policy and capital. In American capitalism, middle class doesn't fit - either working class or corporate elite. Organized labor is the thorn in the side of American capitalism. It is the one force that can help maintain a middle class. But those controlling policy and capital will fight to the death to prevent the growth of organized labor.

American capitalism depends on higher profits and higher return for corporations. American capitalism, through globalization, will always find cheaper sources of labor it needs it to survive. What is left in its wake doesn't matter! Millions of uninsured, millions underemployed, millions in debt. American capitalism will continue to lead to the destruction of the middle class - intended or unintended.

But there is a better way.

Middle class

"What we've done with the American middle class, we've exchanged paying them money with loaning them money."


re: Not to worry, Robert

The article points out that these are middle-aged people - you know, worthless. They can just wander off to die in a ditch somewhere, no harm done. Little Tommy Friedman says we can fix everything by importing millions more younger Chinese and Indians to buy the homes these expendable people can't afford anymore, and he's the smartest man in the world. Gosh, Americans are so spoiled and have such a ridiculous sense of entitlement, to think that they deserve to be able to earn a living for more than ten or so years after sinking $100K+ in training. Sheesh, we really need to expedite getting those "assisted suicide" laws passed in more states. Maybe if we paid for assisted-suicide services for this deadwood they'd stop whining and clear out, eh? Then the productive people who matter can get back to the important business of selling out the country for fun and profit.

hi Rohan

I hope you create an account (upper right) and log in.

Well, I just wish all of the advanced skilled, seriously educated people out there realize what is happening here and finally start protesting and organizing.

Good god, what a bunch of sheep! (although corporations like that quality!)

We the Sheeple!!!!

Nope, they don't realize it and let us remember that the only people who SERIOUSLY protested the Iraqi war with a day of protest was the Longshoremen's Union (at least on the West Coast).

I tried, over a several year period, to get a local union (which included IT types) to do more than hold signs and protest occasionally, but it was a complete lost cause.

Since I've been actively protesting against the offshoring of jobs - dating back to 1979 or thereabouts - since Congress passed the legislation giving corporations tax breaks for laying off American workers and shipping their jobs overseas - I've personally given up.

I recall just prior to Reagan being elected, I addressed a PATCO meeting (air traffic controllers union) and warned them if they supported Reagan (which they did!) they would soon be losing their jobs....little did I realize how soon I would be proven right!

Americans had a chance, back in 2000, to right things by electing Ralph Nader. It would have meant several years of pain, while the Plutocrats waged economic war against the rest of us, but then things would have gotten back on track and been grand!

Instead, things will be getting ever more terrible for many decades to come because --- remember, they still haven't put in place any financial regulation to halt this ongoing meltdown (re: continued transfer of wealth to the super-rich). Speculation on derivatives, anyone???

All the rhetoric about not

All the rhetoric about not graduating enough scientists and engineers is...well, pure rubbish.;-)