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Dave Cohen

2:37 PM, EST. No comments.

I guess the poor are invisible on DOTE, too.

-- Dave

Bill McDonald

I would have posted earlier but after having a meltdown after failing to embed this video on my blog, I yanked the plug on Wordpress and will strike out on my own!

Here is my story. 58 years old and employed now part time as a bus driver after being fired from a 6 year gig driving bus for another company, now bankrupt, for violating a company policy, i.e. having a rear end accident and being deemed at fault.

I am pretty up to date on the problems people my age have finding employment, so I really did an intense search and was hired after missing 5 or 6 weeks of work. The only thing I could find was a guaranteed 32 hours a week and I took it.

It is really tough out here in socal. It isn't like during the depression when folks came out here and got work. The only way the state unemployment rate ticked down this time was due to people giving up.

More homeless, more folks picking up bottles and cans, more panhandlers- the list goes on and on, after all people have to survive somehow.

Anyway thanks for spotlighting this issue.

Mike Roberts

I just shake my head at the way the media, generally, is trying to paint a different picture of reality. Actually, I'm surprised that you managed to find two references. It's the same here in New Zealand, in terms of generally ignoring information that is different from the message given out by our culture. Even the so-called news programmes are packed with adverts (in the news stories) and irrelevant trivia.


I don't know whether the plutocracy (a.k.a. the kleptocracy) have specifically hatched and enacted a neo-Nazi cull-the-poor-and-weak program, but it certainly looks that way.

Here in the UK, government officials have already been quietly alerting welfare payment administrators to expect increasing levels of suicide among those who suddenly lose their welfare support, owing to draconian new rules that implement so-called Austerity - a strange kind of austerity that I notice has further enriched the already rich since 2007.

Why the alert? Not out of any empathy. Simply to reassure the administrators that they needn't worry about any repercussions as a result of their activities in cutting welfare support.

Those of us over 50 and out of work are on a particularly fast ride to oblivion.


5 years ago, at the age of 36, I was offered voluntary redundancy from Her Majesty's Land Registry just as the bottom fell out of the UK housing market. Upper management (i.e. the government) could see what was happening and wanted to get rid of as many liabilities/wage-earners as they could, so I took them up on their generous offer.
Many stayed and, after another less-than-the-previously-generous voluntary redundancy offer, work conditions have gradually worsened.
The next round of redundancies will probably not be voluntary, or generous at all.
The reasons that many chose to stay are numerous, ranging from fear to wage-dependence.
I used the free time and money to pay off debts and retrain in carpentry and joinery. I learned how to grow food, keep bees and chickens and, most importantly, to drastically reduce our household outgoings.
All of this has enabled myself and my partner to, subsequently, accept and work at low-paid, part-time positions and sustain a great work-life balance.
We can't afford the holidays and such things that we used to but we don't feel the need for them now.
Life is now much better on a very reduced income. We wish that we had done it earlier.

My point is that those trying to do the same thing in the future will find it much more difficult as there won't be the money available for redundancies or training courses. And, of course, everyone will be doing the same thing at the same time.
Doing something when you are forced to do so is totally different to doing it because you want to.
Being one step ahead has major advantages.

Brian M

If you judge the quality of a society by how it treats its weaker members (very young, very old, sick, poor, etc.), how is the US doing? Nuf said.

The thing is this is very likely only going to get worse. It seems to me that we are, virtually every year, living in an increasingly self-centered, I-want-it-all-and-I-want-it-now society. As the empire strains under the weight of it's terminal loss of momentum, how is such a society likely to react? If you said "poorly", you are a master of understatement. It seems to me that human nature is such that the personal survival instinct, on its own, would probably result in the easy ignoring of the neediest members of our society. Combined with the the short-sighted, self-serving, winner-take-all, losers-fail-because-they-are-weak attitude carefully cultivated within our society over the past half century, I suspect we will happily blame the weak for their weakness, detest them for their lack of "self-motivation", and label them undeserving of the little support we currently provide.

That is, of course, until enough of us join their ranks. When will that be? Who knows, but the story shows it's happening faster all the time. Is it likely to slow down much as the empire's structure crumbles from within and without? What happens then? I really don't know, but human nature being what it is, and the American "character" being what it is, it seems hard to see how that ends with smiles and laughter.

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