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How Can We Live, Without Our Lives?

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How Can We Live, Without Our Lives?

Post by Daveparts on Mon Aug 06, 2012 11:47 am

How Can We Live, Without Our Lives?
By David Glenn Cox


It is the first Friday of the month, the day when the bureau of Labor Statistics releases its monthly job report. I hurried along heading for the coffee shop and as I stepped out into the crosswalk an armored truck was heading right for me, would he stop in time? I closed my eyes fearing the worst and thought…Hit Me! Hit Me! Hit Me! The truck managed to stop and I continued on my way unmolested, but that pretty well sums up this months job report. About the only way for a regular folks to get ahead in this economy is to be hit by an armored truck, a lottery ticket or a drunken doctor in a Ferrari.

The media headlines will proclaim, 163,000 new jobs and unemployment unchanged at 8.3 %

I weary of this tale, they, your government aren't reporting on the reality of the situation here, they are creating their own reality of the situation. If they officially declare unemployment at 8.3 percent, then officially unemployment stands at 8.3 percent. Officially, there are close to thirteen million Americans unemployed. Officially, that excludes those working part time and those workers considered discouraged workers. Unofficially, there is another category, those of the disappeared. Millions of Americans disappeared from the economy no longer receiving benefits, no longer considered to be in the workforce.

The media headlines will not tell you the following and officially, the word “recovery" has been pulled from the media lexicon, replaced by the word “economy.”

Civilian non institutional population up 199,000 while the civilian labor force is down by a 150,000 or the population is growing, while the working population is shrinking. The participation rate in the economy stood at 64 percent last July and twelve months later, it stands at 63.7 percent, recovery anyone? Remember that headline, the one I was telling you about, the one with the 163,000 new jobs? The actual number of Americans employed this month fell by 195,000 and the employment – population ratio, fell as well. The number of those officially unemployed, rose by 45,000 and the number of workers considered “no longer in the labor force, rose by 348,000.

Imagine, a city the size of Saint Louis, Tampa or Anaheim just disappearing from the map with a new city disappearing nearly every month. The number of workers unemployed over 27 weeks dropped by an astounding 185,000. They are being pushed over the cliff into the valley of the shadow of expended benefits while new entrants to the workforce fell by 20,000. Part time for economic reasons, up by 37,000, could only find part time work, up by 62,000. If 62,000 out of thirteen million unemployed could only find part time work, how many out of those thirteen million, could find none?

The other day as I walked to the coffee shop where I ensconce myself, a young man approached me walking and talking into a cell phone, coming from the other direction as he past by I heard, “Well no, I don’t have to get paid everyday, but just the first couple.” It was a “Grapes of Wrath” moment, of workers needing to get paid each day just to get along, just to make one more day.

When I hear politicians speaking about the economy they tend to speak about it euphemistically, pretending a recovery is well under way and we only need to hold on, seeking shelter as if its just a thunder shower passing over us on a summer day, but its not, its real and its hard. The signs are all around us, men needing to get paid everyday. People who can’t pay their rent because there is no work for them, Mitt Romney uses the economy only to bash Obama, Romney’s solution is to repeat all the same mistakes made in the past. It isn’t even credible platform really, it’s a mishmash of tax cuts and candy store give aways. Obama points his finger and cries “Out Sourcer” at Romney but the truth is, Obama’s never met a trade deal he didn’t like.

Obama’s program if you can call it a program, isn’t much different than Mitt Romney’s plan, give corporations tax cuts to hire workers. So if you give a $30,000 tax cut for a $25,000 job where does the other $5,000 go? The trade deals put the sweetheart deals beyond the reach of elected officials The Colombian free trade agreement gives Caterpillar $100,000 tax advantage over its Asian competitors. It means Caterpillar has a $100,000 pricing advantage in minerally rich Colombia. It also means Cat doesn’t have to set up a locally owned distributorship in the country. Cat can keep those profits in house and the locals, who are hired, work for Americans not Columbians. Free trade anyone?

There is what has come to be known as the Wal-Mart phenomenon, as food stamp recipients begin to gather shopping before midnight, waiting for their benefits to post when the clock rolls over at midnight. They fill their carts with milk, bread and baby food. They aren’t there for fun or avoiding the traffic, they are there because they’re hungry.

“How can we live without our lives? How will we know it's us without our past?”
- John Steinbeck,

Millions upon millions of Americans who find themselves lost in this milieu, these are the days of their lives. This invisible army knows the truth, as officially, wages rose only two cents per hour this month. At the current rate of employment good times will return to us sometime late in the month of never! I feel for the young people growing up in this, never knowing any different, with lowered dreams and lowered expectations. There was a time when going to college meant something and not going meant something as well. It meant that you learned a trade and there was still a possibility for a prosperous lifestyle.

Yet today, all college means is debt, those without college hardly have a chance to climb any sort of ladder to a better life. Only 30 percent of our children will ever have a job in high school because those jobs are filled with people my age. I told this story once, I was sitting in a burger joint and the manager was interviewing a woman in her forties. He asked, “It says here you can’t work Sundays.”

“Yes, she answered, “I go to church on Sundays.”

“Well, we really need someone on Sundays. Could you work maybe a couple of Sundays a month, or say after twelve?”

If she wanted this job, she would have to cast her religion aside and in this economy Jesus would never forgive her for not doing it. These are the 62,000 who seek part time work because full time isn’t available. These are the people who used to teach your kids, down to the public school. These are the contractors, car salesmen, Real Estate agents and secretaries forced into these jobs which suck ass, but they’re glad to get them still because it is an, or else situation. They’re the lucky ones still employable on some level, those who didn’t lose homes or with ruined their credit who will never be hired again at any level.

The junior colleges under an Obama program partner with corporations such as the Gap, Banana Republic and McDonalds to train managers in exchange for student debt.

U-6 Total unemployed, plus all persons marginally attached to the labor force, plus total employed part time for economic reasons, as a percent of the civilian labor force plus all persons marginally attached to the labor force, July 2011, 16.3%.

U-6 unemployment for July 2012, 15.5 officially, so what choice do they have?

BUSINESS EMPLOYMENT DYNAMICS: FOURTH QUARTER 2011

From September to December 2011 gross job gains from opening and
expanding private sector establishments were 6.9 million, a decrease
of 204,000 from the previous quarter, the U.S. Bureau of Labor
Statistics reported today. Over this period, gross job losses from
closing and contracting private sector establishments were 6.5 million,
an increase of 181,000 from the previous quarter.

The difference between the number of gross job gains and the number
of gross job losses yielded a net employment change of 368,000 jobs
in the private sector during the fourth quarter of 2011. – BLS

When it is all said and done, this says it all, less than a 100,000 new jobs per month for an unemployed population of over 13,000,000 with near lottery ticket odds of being hired. The BLS reported last month that temporary and contract employment accounted for over 20 percent of the new jobs, as the sound of gears gnashing and of fat ladies singing can clearly be heard in the distance. And if you listen closely, you can almost hear the economy crashing and the sound of the gears grinding to a halt

Right now, in millions of American homes, good people scratch and dig, they sell their gold, their mother’s heirlooms, anything, trying to make it just one more month. Every empty store front is the end of a dream and every foreclosed home is the beginning of a nightmare. Losing a home isn’t the end; it’s just the beginning of a new existence. They won’t leave off at just taking your house they must hound you and put the squeeze on you as well. Your credit ruined because the economy collapsed who can you turn to, to make them whole again? Where is the road out for these people?

“But you can't start over
only a boy can start over
You and me
Why, we're all that's been”- John Steinbeck

This is their life, and they don’t get to be twenty or thirty or forty ever again, this is it. It’s not a thunderstorm, it’s a hurricane. The economy isn’t getting any better because they aren’t trying to make it any better, cause it don’t affect them none.

“Let me say,
at the risk of seeming ridiculous,
that the true revolutionary
is guided by great feelings of love.”- Ernesto Che Guevara

Daveparts
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Re: How Can We Live, Without Our Lives?

Post by invisiblecitizen on Mon Aug 06, 2012 12:55 pm

You certainly have a "way" with words. A very very good "way" with words. You have expressed here exactly what I have felt. I have felt it many times but could not put it to words, because those words, that truth, would be too painful and unthinkable. Your last paragraph is very powerful. Thanks (I won't gush, but I could). We were caught completely off guard, then robbed and manipulated into this desperate position with promises of "things will get better soon," just use your savings and everything else to keep paying those bills so you won't fall too far behind. Yes, recovery is just around that corner. Now that we have spent all our money keeping up our bills, we discover that there is no plan for what is happening to millions of Americans. After being told that we just needed to relearn how to look for a job so keep paying the bills because. Now, there is no recovery and millions are destitute. There is not one lick of remorse for what has been done to us. , in this "recovery" a job is just around the corner. prior warning, and no alternative(s). If we want change for the better, or at least be given a fighting chance, we are going to have to find a way to put pressure on our elected officials so that they will "care" enough to make things better.

Your new fan.

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Re: How Can We Live, Without Our Lives?

Post by invisiblecitizen on Mon Aug 06, 2012 1:01 pm

Sorry for that mish mash, I hit the wrong button at the wrong time. I was in the process of deleting the words after "done to us." and "If we want change." I sincerely apologize. We really are trying to live in a nightmare situation.



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Re: How Can We Live, Without Our Lives?

Post by Jobless_in_Ma on Mon Aug 06, 2012 1:44 pm

Excellent post Daveparts! You are spot on. Have you considered freelance writing? I apologize if this is yiur background and it's slipped my mind. We have a lot of members.

_________________
Thanks to all members for participating in the discussions.

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Re: How Can We Live, Without Our Lives?

Post by MarilynL on Mon Aug 06, 2012 3:28 pm

WOW!...Daveparts, I too am your new fan!....Can I copy your post , and copy it to everyone I know, and print them out as flyers...joking! It is scarey, sad, depressing, and very debilitating...I have often hoped that the Mayan Calendar is right, then I won't have to suffer anymore.

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Re: How Can We Live, Without Our Lives?

Post by Daveparts on Mon Aug 06, 2012 3:53 pm

of course you can

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Re: How Can We Live, Without Our Lives?

Post by MarilynL on Mon Aug 06, 2012 4:16 pm

Thank you my friend!

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Re: How Can We Live, Without Our Lives?

Post by Sad American on Mon Aug 06, 2012 8:57 pm

Thank you, David...
I never log in anymore, but I read everything. I logged in to say, "Well done!"

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Re: How Can We Live, Without Our Lives?

Post by need_a_break on Tue Aug 07, 2012 2:02 pm

Daveparts, you are speaking the truth. I would tell you to post your letter on congress.org's soapbox on their website but they had gotten rid of that feature. Too much truth for all to see.

As an analogy of what we have gone through I think of the viral video of the woman who caught a fish on her line in South Carolina only to have it taken by a shark. You think you are secure in a job with your middle class existance until it is taken away.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Um47RcatUJk&feature=youtube_gdata_player

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Re: How Can We Live, Without Our Lives?

Post by Daveparts on Tue Aug 07, 2012 3:24 pm

I have been unemployed and homeless for a while now, I see the world with new eyes. I write for money, but I won't be told what to write because I write for people like you an me and I'm going to keep on writing until they kill me or they do something about this.

Everytime I think about what is going on I see something different, some memory from the past and this time it was watching the crowd form waiting for the Salvation Army to open up for supper in downtown Minneapolis. It is something to see; an experience you will never forget. As hundreds of people of all ages and races crowd the doors. In the middle of this crowd, I saw a young man maybe twenty, he was lost. His eyes blank, his face looking near tears of rage. Just a snap shot from a crowd scene

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Re: How Can We Live, Without Our Lives?

Post by invisiblecitizen on Tue Aug 07, 2012 3:48 pm

That's what my tears are; tears of rage. My family, that I helped for many years, has gone extremely selfish. Now I am looking outside of my family for a roommate to share expenses. I just hope they never experience what I have gone through for the past 3-1/2 years. My relatives will ask for my help again, but next time I won't be in any sort of position to help.

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Re: How Can We Live, Without Our Lives?

Post by carlch on Wed Aug 08, 2012 8:31 pm

I'm not homeless yet only because I'm robbing what little I have left of my paltry 401 to pay the mortgage. Media and news reports indicate we are in a slowdown -- wonder if the high unemployment (meaning the millions of folks without money to pump into the economy) has anything to do with it. Doesn't take a rocket scientist to figure this one out. Let's not forget the underemployed that are working for peanuts.

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Re: How Can We Live, Without Our Lives?

Post by invisiblecitizen on Thu Aug 09, 2012 5:36 am

My biggest fear is that this is going to get a lot worse before it gets better. Our government is acting like this will all blow over soon. In the meantime, we are sinking and the leaks in the boat are getting bigger.

It makes me angry to see our government going after seniors on social security and forcing them to pay back educational loans for their children and grandchildren while letting the banks get away with everything they want to do.

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Re: How Can We Live, Without Our Lives?

Post by Guest on Thu Aug 09, 2012 7:33 am

Bloomberg reporting that foreclosure starts are up again. In other words, another round of foreclosures is coming our way now that the banks paid up their fines and stopped the very "helpful" programs. PA/NJ to be hardest hit this go round. When I find that link, I will post.

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Re: How Can We Live, Without Our Lives?

Post by invisiblecitizen on Thu Aug 09, 2012 9:29 am

Yes, my home of 18 years is going on the auction block today. But I have started over before, so I am looking at this as a new chapter in my life. I have learned that having pride in being a "good, responsible and hard-working" citizen means being a stooge? I won't make that mistake again.

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Re: How Can We Live, Without Our Lives?

Post by Springflowers on Fri Aug 10, 2012 4:57 pm

Do you publish on a blog, Id like to share it elsewhere.

I think about how my young life was destroyed leading me into early disability due to poverty and I at least had the money for the ramen noodles and milk crates and rented room but today's young people aren't even getting that.

Imagine all those in the HAVE class that stare down on those who aren't and ask where are your years of experience.

I always have been an outcast due to being poor, so understand your sentiments.

They are MASSIVELY underreporting the unemployment rate, probably really at 22%, [see Zero Hedge] and if you add in all the underemployed, freelances and others doing piecemeal work far far higher.

I really like your writing.

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Re: How Can We Live, Without Our Lives?

Post by carlch on Fri Aug 10, 2012 6:30 pm

I agree that the unemployment figures are skewed and inaccurate.

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Re: How Can We Live, Without Our Lives?

Post by Springflowers on Sat Aug 11, 2012 8:12 am

Thanks. We are definitely being lied to

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Re: How Can We Live, Without Our Lives?

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