Remember these days? They are gone! (pardon the whiteness)
A new Rutgers University study, No End in Sight: The Agony of Prolonged Unemployment, authors Debbie Borie-Holtz, Carl Van Horn, Ph.D. & Cliff Zukin, Ph.D. graphs out a host of statistics on the long term unemployed. Here are their key findings (h/t HuffPo):
- Eight in ten who lost jobs during the "Great Recession" still without work.
- Only 13% of August 2009 job seekers found full-time work by March 2010.
- Less than 10% of the unemployed obtained jobs at least on par with their
previous wage or salary level.
- Fully two-thirds (67%) of those jobless last August were still jobless this March, and 12% had given up looking for jobs.
- Since August, the number of job seekers searching for more than seven months rose
from 48% to 70%.
- Over half do not think they will find a new job in the near future even though 73% are willing to take a pay cut and 77% are willing to change careers in order to get a job.
- More than half borrowed money from family or friends, 45% have increased credit card debt, and 70% have used money saved for retirement.
- Four in ten went without medical care for themselves or family members and the same number report having sold personal possessions to make ends meet.
- Nearly a third are using government Food Stamps to help put meals on the table; one n five report going to a soup kitchen or food pantry.
- One in five moved in with family or friends to save money.
- Nearly 1 in 10 sought professional help to cope with stress and depression.
On seeking professional help, what help? They need a damn job, not an overpriced therapist or chemicals that don't work. On wiping out savings, that's of those who had savings. Many never recovered financially from the last recession.
The report has a lot of graphics, but bottom line, the U.S. middle class is gone, worker affluence is gone and if it is not, there is some predatory financial institution somewhere who will work on extracting your money from you. Gone is the belief U.S. businesses have a responsibility to the U.S. worker, to provide them good, stable incomes, work and security. Gone is seemingly even our Government's responsibility to enact policies which promote stable, high paying, long term careers for Americans.
This is the new American Dream and it's a nightmare. Those warm fuzzy middle class families on TV (where magically that new middle class job can afford $500k a year housing, cars, boats, college and health care), are myths, a long ago expired fantasy, only existing in your mind, manipulating you to buy products you can no longer afford.
And no one does anything
You have to hand it to the Greeks. At least when someone tries to force a shit-sandwich down their throats they are out in the streets in force.
Here we just listen to the MSM's latest propaganda piece on the "recovery" and walk around in a trance, eagerly waiting for the next trash-tv episode of America's Next Top Model or Biggest Loser. Strikes or taking to the streets is unheard of except for the lunatic fringe tea partiers. We just smile and roll over like lambs while our banks and government work together to fuck us out of our jobs, savings, and dignity.
The lack of real action by the American people
is disheartening to be sure. On the other hand, watching a nation-state potentially collapse isn't too swell.
Egypt is rumbling now. It seems they are having massive inflation to the point the poor are starving while working 3 jobs (foreshadow?).
Next Top Model or Biggest Loser, Mega Power Ball, Casinos, the uncontrolled flow of drugs, legal and unlawful have their correlate in Finanz-Kapital insanity everywhere.
No its not CT. Everything that goes down, happens with a wink and a nod, they surely do let it happen. This stuff was well analyzed 40 years ago by writers like N.O. Brown and H. Marcuse. The idea is that the incredible bummers, the disasters and even the seduction of destructive not-so-fun hedonism, is all very well tolerated.
The purpose of the tolerance is repression. The hand of repression is lightest in the First World but heavier in say, Greece and heaviest in the Third World where it is War Machine vs armed resistance.
Real liberation as discussed on the fringes of the left and the right (true libertarians are amazingly like the far left), can only promise freedom from the hand of repression. There are no promises of 1950's prosperity and all the cold wars, McCarthy scares, racism, and arms races that go along.
Economics and politics are both about choices, as Aristotle said.