The new poor: Baby boomers in the jobless crisis

This week, Need to Know features a special focus on jobs. We report from across the country to put faces on those stubborn jobless statistics. The Great Recession might have officially ended in June 2009, but high unemployment continues to vex the economy and flummox our politicians. New statistics paint a grim picture. Forty-one million people are now on food stamps, up 45 percent since 2008. And one in seven Americans is living in poverty — the highest in decades.

Most Americans will get back on their feet. But older unemployed Americans might not get that chance. The unemployment rate for baby boomers has doubled since the beginning of the recession. We bring you an intimate portrait of a husband and wife in Portland, Ore., in who built a life and a business, only to see their world quickly fall apart.

Related links:

Share your own stories of the recession in The Pitch Room

Interactive: Jobless rates in context

Video: The young and the jobless, an interview with The Atlantic’s Don Peck

Video: Help wanted: The recession and the unemployment picture, from Nightly Business Report

 
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Comments

  • Rebekkah

    Where can we send donations to Clay and Terry???!!!

  • emjayay

    Unemployment is nearly ten percent, and no doubt is hurting older workers the most. But Terry Crandall appears to have no teeth. Her husband has huge skin tags around his eyes and some kind of large anamoly outside his right eye. If I interviewed either one of them I would not hire them, just based on their personal appearance. What does it say about a person in modern American society who does not take care of basic obvious health/appearance issues?

    Maybe they could have spent more time on marketing their small business, or maybe other businesses have figured out how to do that service themselves. This sort of business is always a bit precarious, particularly in an economic downturn. This couple is not a very good example of the impact of the current economic problems.

  • JJ

    What it says is that they like millions and millions of us have had no health care insurance, zero access to medical, much less dental care, have believed the mythos of american exceptionalism & rugged individualism, and have lived hand to mouth in survival for the past 3 decades mode thanks especially to the cold-hearted advocates of profits over people who worship at the altar of almighty capitalism.

    Thanks for showing your lack of compassion and utter contempt for working people like all the rich and powerful, especially since the Reagan lies began.

  • tss

    Please send us the address to send donations to Clay and Terry

  • Publius

    The piece on the Crandalls mentioned they had owned their own business and earned (gross or net not sure) up to 10K per month. Then the moderator mentions they only had 2 months of savings built up…. ? The moderator then mentions the Crandalls are behind in rent and have received two eviction notices… ? The moderator mentions they are behind on their vehicle payments as well and decide to file for bankruptcy protection…. ? During the discussion afterwards with the economist and the other person NO ONE mentioned the fact that this couple was this old and did not even own their own home. NO ONE made the observation that the CRANDALL’s own earlier decisions in their life brought them to where they are now. Is it sad? Most definitely. Is it the responsibility of the people of the state or the nation to support them for their poor choices they made earlier? I don’t think so. I have far more sympathy for the thousands of Americans who DID plan for their future retirements through their investments in 401 K programs and stocks that took major hits because of the greed on Wallstreet. They at least looked ahead and had a plan for their lives. I have no idea what the Crandalls were thinking. The moderator also mentioned they were both highly educated. Evidently, not educated enough. Very, very sad. I also don’t see the relevance of the point the one guest made about the decline of organized labor. What does this point have to do with the price of beans. The real issue highlighted in this piece (to me) is simply that tooooo many Americans are not taking responsibility for their own lives and futures. This is not the domain of other Americans or the government. We cannot possibly pay for the number of persons who fail to plan. Impossible. As a nation, we are presently as broke as the Crandalls.

  • Kalindholm

    Where’s the grandchildren’s father/family?

  • Disgustedboomer

    Publius comments are typical of the boomer generation
    Individualistic and selfish. The summer of love turned into the
    Winter of mean and selfish. I guess if someone maces bad choices then they deserve to live on the street or
    Die from lack of ? Reminds me of so many boomers who seem to blame cancer victims for bad health choices. Ilness is illness and poverty is poverty no good excuses for the self boomer generations attitude. Spoiled bratt of a generation

  • Cmerlotti5466

    April 9, 2010 Christine Merlotti
    5466 NW 61st Avenue
    Coral Springs, FL 33067
    954-752-0223

    Dear Friends,

    This is my hardship letter that explains my circumstances in the last five to ten years. To start off in 2001 just before 911 in September, by October my ex husband and myself started mediation for divorce. By the last of January he was gone and by August both my daughter and myself were in therapy till the next year 2002. Even though we discussed what I would get in alimony and what my daughter would get in child support, this was not enough to run the house and he left me with $50,000 worth of debt that I had to pay and I did it in two years.

    My Mother had come to live with us in early 2001 and I had to arrange all her medical and financial things to come down here and to fix her house up in Michigan and get it sold so that she could purchase a place in Windmore (a retirement community). Which means I borrowed against our house in a line of credit to supplement what she needed to live in her new home. The bus for senior center came right by her house for her everyday. When she pasted, I had to pay more than $7,000 out for the funeral.

    After I had paid all this debt off, I ended up with an identity fraud, which my financial institutions (TRW, Equifax, & Experian) allowed a person with the name Terri Jackson to be put on my credit report as a spouse. I am good with numbers and I managed to stop it before it got too far, but every so often something happens and I have to cancel a credit card or do something to fix my situation.

    During the Hurricane Wilma storm even though others I know lost their entire town, we were lucky. But when I went to apply to my insurance, all they would give me was about $12,000 minus my deductible. By 2006 things started to happen. My ex husband lost his 20 year job in May my daughter was about to graduate from High School, my mother pasted away in late June and my ex husband told me that the alimony and child support would end on the last of December.

    By 2007 I had applied at several companies and agencies like Kelly and Account Temps to work for them or to get my toe back into the workforce. I did manage to get two nice jobs, one at a Industrial and Commercial agency that owned, sold and managed property and another in a quant little town call Lauderdale By The Sea in a Coop for a community for retired persons. I thought that I was doing well and I know a friend who recently did the same, but these people use the agency personnel just to clean up their messes not like in the 1980’s and 1990’s they used these people because they were professionals and quick to adapt to the companies needs.

    By 2008 it was time to approach a consultant Continental Public Adjusters about reopening my claim on the damage from 2005 Hurricane Wilma. My house started to leak and it wasn’t because we hadn’t taken care of all the repairs. I was obvious that the insurance should had given me a new roof and I needed help to get it from them. So most of December 2007 through 2008 was about getting the money from the insurance company, putting the new roof and hurricane shutters (Oh, yeah the inspectors told me that I needed all new shutters) and to make the repairs to all the other areas that needed it. Then again with the insurance company to get my 50% discount off my over inflated monthly bill down from almost $1000 down to less than $500.

    I realize that many people have had worst disasters where they lost their town or part of their state to hurricanes or tornadoes. But for one person to go through divorce, in debit ness, identity fraud, a hurricane, my mother dying, send my child through college and somehow come out on the better end of it. I think I’m blessed.

    Sincerely,

    Christine Merlotti

  • George

    This really hit home. I too am an older displaced worker facing the same problems as the
    Crandalls. They are a perfect example of the impact the current economic downturn is having on older Americans and they are not trying I did not know where to turn, and had no idea of how to manuever the maze of public assistance. It was humiliating and demeaning but I had to do it because unlike the Crandalls I am the single father of a teenager that I raised alone without any help from anyone. Even now the power company has threatened to cut me off and I had no idea that there was any assistance of any kind, but I am a parent and my child comes first. Yes, I have bags under my eyes also, and my skin is not as tight as it was when I was twenty five, but my mind is still as sharp and a lot wiser. Every line and gray hair is proof of my experience due to the fact that I made it this far. I am sure they are not looking to be America’s Next Top Models. They are not that narcissistic or superficial, and anyone who judges them from appearance alone is missing the point, and to deem them worthless because of how they look is the cruelest blow of all. There are times that I go without a haircut just to make ends meet, but that does not mean I choose to. Some of the most simple things I took for granted are out of reach, and what hurts me most is not being able to be there for my child. The real question is what does it say about those in modern day American society who judge a person by their appearance and not their substance. It is only evidence of how much of a shallow, heartless, uncompassionate society we have become. I saw two very decent, responsible and hard working people caught up in a overwhelming situation. Their struggle with adversity alone shows the stamina of their characters. Given a job I am sure they would excel because of their appreciation and work ethic alone. America is sleeping on a gold mine.

  • Publius

    Please Disgustedboomer!!! “Typical of the Boomer generation”? Really? Individual responsibility IS a result of the “Boomer” generation? Really? My observations were made based on the info that was presented (or was not presented) in the “Need to Know” show. Yours are apparently made based on your personal “feelings” versus logic and the info presented. I’m a spoiled brat of a generation… Really? You even take the opportunity to attack me and call me names. Interesting. I do see the sadness of their plight (I think I mentioned that). However, the Crandalls did not ask me for my advice, nor you obviously. Why don’t you allow them to move in with you?

    Tell you what… why don’t you (who feel compelled to support every bad decision any American makes with other persons money and resources) donate more of your money (in addition to the taxes that are already being taken from you for this very purpose by state and federal governments) to a central fund to help all these people who had the same opportunities as you and I but failed to avail themselves of the opportunity. Then allow the rest of us to donate and support those causes we elect to support. That would be fair, wouldn’t it?

    OBTW.. the observations I made were true (go ahead watch the video again)… and their current plight IS of their own making. The show failed to make this point during the discussion and blamed everyone in the world except for the Crandalls themselves for their plight. You can provide your opinion (and attack me and call me “really really hurtful” (NOT) names), but your comments just don’t hold water when you come off topic and start talking trash about someone you do not know. I have no video of me on this site. Have a good life and I wish you well in your endeavor to support and defend the homeless. I really do. If you listened to this video, this is not the REAL issue within the video. The REAL issue is POOR personal choices and now they have few if any options. They appear to be very pleasant persons. Poor decisions are painful. That’s the point to the show.

  • Papouyaya

    The problem with unemployment is lack of jobs, we are not producing the goods we consume
    Produce in U.S.A what we need and tax all imports, Jobs for the americans and money for Uncle
    Sam….

  • Publius

    I never had nor experienced a “summer of love”. I worked from the time I left highschool, worked through college, and served 27 years within the military. My life was not an accident. I never invested in Wallstreet. I saved and “lived below my means”. I entered service as a private, then advanced through the NCO ranks until I completed my college (through night courses) and was then commissioned and eventually retired as a Lieutenant Colonel. I’m spoiled… right.

  • Publius

    You are. You are also a survivor.

  • Sdstiwi

    I too am a 58 y/o worker who lost my job 6 months ago due to a restructuring (downsizing) at my previous employer. I was and still am in shock over being laid off. I have worked hard my entire life. I was never terminated from a job for any reason. I served honorably in the military, then went to college and graduated with the help of the GI bill. I worked full time while I was a full time student. I also had student loans which I paid in full 2 years after graduating.

    I thought I was doing everything right. Work hard, long hours, always doing extra. Be a team player, respect for my customers and my fellow workers. Strong, solid work ethic. Stupid me….I was planning to work for the next 4-6 years and then enjoy retirement.

    I have no debt, I had some savings and some money set aside in IRA’s. I live simply. My car is 11 years old but it runs good and gets terrific gas mileage. My only expenses are just the basics really, utilities, food ( I never dine out), health/car insurance etc. . I am luckier than a lot of other people, people like the Crandalls or George who posted earlier.

    If the reason for my being laid off had been a result of my poor performance, or inability to do my work, or bad attitude or anything else I could understand it. It hurts to know it was just a business decision….that who I am, what I did and did well…doesn’t matter.

    As i embark on this new adventure, my aspirations are much lower. I need to work, I want to work, I just need a job.

  • C.A.

    Clay, Terry & Rachelle *

    Wow it took me awhile to find how to reach you. I’m over 60 & have never talked to someone in this fashion before.

    I think I can help you ?

    Please call 208-769-8093

  • BC

    I cannot believe such bitter comments. This IS a land of plenty. I lost my job two years ago in the construction trades. I’ve had to go through savings, live very modestly, go back to growing a garden and canning and living very modestly to keep afloat and hospice two parents with terminal cancer. My divorced daughter who receives no child support has moved back home for good. I’ve had to retire at 55. I cannot compete with the younger generation who are more tech saavy than I. Will I stop trying? Nope. I will keep trying or open my own business. I’m down to my last pair of jeans with a hole in the pocket and two pair of shoes (one of them 99 cent thongs). We will come out of the recession eventually. Why do we not look in our past to see the future ahead? I don’t need to drive a Cadillac or live in a 11,000 sq ft. mansion with outrageous taxes. I don’t even have health insurance! And I don’t need to go to the Casino on payday. Let’s all take a deep breath and have a little compassion. Look over your shoulder and check in on your neighbor and his family. See if they are o.k. Spare a little time in the community food banks or your church. Let’s lift these people up to help themselves get back on their feet. A little from everyone goes a long way to save the family unit as a whole. If not-we had better find another planet to live on.

  • BC

    With thinking like publius, you can see now how the Communists/Socialists took over much of the east.

  • disgustedboomer

    yes, I have worked hard too- and have done what i can to help other. I have lived in several other poorer countries than the usa. living as and individual inside another culture and outside of my family obligations I would have stayed overseas. the usa is very rich but the wealth is concentrated in a few hands – Publius, I see you point, but I think that it IS a measure of our worth as a nation to pull the stupid and poor and ill and old up from the gutter and provide for them – regardless.

    This is the measure of what makes us good people and not selfish self concerned – i did it so screw you individualists. I can’t tell you how many times in my life I have seen a wretched mental ill person walking the streets and hear people tell each other to “not encourage them”…? really, like they want to be ill or they made some bad choice?
    what we do to the least you do to me? – Just saying we all need to be kinder and more forgiving and less “me first”.

  • Jat

    No one offers sympathy to the landlord who has had to deal with not getting paid the rent due; and having to file all the paperwork to initiate eviction over and over again. Why not? Why do they have a $150. phone bill? They could get a phone plan for under $40. There was a classic car shown briefly that was worth about $15,000 to $20,000. Did no one see that? Is that for sale? I saw several items that on Craigslist would bring in thousands of dollars to keep them going. Craigslist postings are free. And again, where is the father of the child mentioned? Why is he not being held responsible for the support of the child? All unanswered questions.

  • Allen

    Publius does not offer any solutions. He can only point and blame. He is a survivor in the same sense that other animals cannibalize their own kind. What the Crandalls did, or didn’t do is of no concern, except to be a lesson to others and no matter how many safeguards a person takes nothing is guaranteed. What matters is now, and not once did I see the Crandalls blame anyone for their situation. Publius wants to punish them as if what they are going through is not punishment enough. Is his solution to create debtors prisons, or have them euthanized? Or would shipping them off to some sort of penal colony be more to his liking? Is this what 27 years of serving this country has taught him? I now understand the term “ugly American” because our armed forces are also our world wide representatives.
    Good for him!! I commend him on his life and his survival capabilities, but I cannot damn the Crandells to hell for theirs. But he need not worry. We all eventually walk in the others shoes, sometime, and in some way. He is not spoiled, but he is blind to the human condition. There but for the grace of God, go I.

  • KM

    Just to let you know, they do not own the classic car shown briefly in the piece.

  • CITIZEN

    What are WE,what do WE stand for,what is OUR VISION for AMERICA,if WE systematically fail to rebuild our infrastructure,if WE fail to invest in OUR FUTURE?…30years falling short to short-term actions,thinking,profits,bubbles,.TIME FOR CHANGE.A.VRBA http://www.nytimes.com/2010/10/08/opinion/08krugman.html http://www.nytimes.com/2010/10/09/opinion/09herbert.html http://www.nytimes.com/2010/10/09/opinion/09blow.html http://www.nytimes.com/2010/10/09/your-money/mortgages/09money.html http://www.nytimes.com/2010/10/09/us/politics/09thomas.html

  • Karla Murthy, Producer

    If you’re interested in helping the Crandalls, please get in touch via e-mail (ntkonpbs@gmail.com) or snail mail (see address below), and we will put you in touch with Clay and Terry.

    They are in the process of finding a new place to live and will hopefully be moving in the next few weeks.

    Many thanks,
    Karla

    WNET/Need to Know
    Karla Murthy
    450 West 33rd St, 6th floor
    New York, NY 10001

  • Jim S

    How can you not see the relevance of the decline of organized labor?

    Under the old, post-war economy, productivity gains were shared between capital and labor – now they accrue exclusively to capital. This is no accident. A deliberately weakened labor movement is largely responsible.

    This is a major reason that we see inequality at Gilded Age levels – a new study by economist Edward Wolff found that in 2009, the top 1% of households held an astounding 37% (up from 34.6% in 2004) of the wealth in this country. I couldn’t find an update on some earlier numbers (from 2004) that indicated that the bottom 90% of households only held 28.7% of the wealth, but given the increase for the top 1%, that figure is likely to be uglier too.

    Of course, other factors are important too: globalization, automation and modern communications & transportation networks allow multinational companies to reduce their absolute need for labor, to chase cheap labor all over the globe, and to weaken domestic labor unions/movements (by threatening to move operations overseas). These developments mean that the much-touted “Law of Comparative Advantage” doesn’t work to the advantage of Labor anymore, because its societal benefits are predicated on the immobility of capital.

    In my view, without some sort of recognition of this problem, and some sort of intervention, multinational corporations (and those who own and run them) will continue to enjoy a disproportionate share of the fruits of Labor’s effort.

  • Sherry

    What happened to the “American Dream” and the “Golden Years”. All I know is the rich get richer and the poor get poorer.

  • Anonymous

    If you’re interested in helping the Crandalls, please get in touch via e-mail (ntkonpbs@gmail.com) or snail mail (see address below), and we will put you in touch with Clay and Terry.

    They are in the process of finding a new place to live and will hopefully be moving in the next few weeks.

    WNET/Need to Know
    Karla Murthy
    450 West 33rd St, 6th floor
    New York, NY 10001

  • Diane Barnet

    It’s disappointing that you didn’t provide more background information on the Crandalls. For instance, why didn’t they put away retirement money during the years their business generated $100,000 per year, how much is the father of their grandchildren contributing towards the kids and why they didn’t pay into unemployment insurance when working?

    I can sympathize, but can hardly be expected to bail out everybody who fails to take responsibility
    for their own well-being. Hello? Many Americans are tired of being hit up for others’ lack of planning and judgment. If “Need to Know” is presenting stories of people who need help, let’s get all the facts rather than a superficial emotional appeal.

  • Publius

    Won’t disagree with your thoughts. I just think the “Need to Know” staff missed the salient points of the very story they endeavored to cover. The issue with the Crandalls wasn’t illness, it really wasn’t even the economy, it was their failure to plan and their poor personal decisions. If they had built a larger nest egg… they wouldn’t have been on the show. If they could turn back time I am sure they would have made different decisions. They can’t.

    The poor will always be amongst us. I know. I have no solution to it other than neighbors helping neighbors. The government is NOT the solution. The goodwill and intent may be there in the design of the subsidy programs, but the execution is always wasteful and there is a large portion of our populace who make a living out of swindling the goods, services and monies intended for the truly needy.

  • Kathryn

    It sounds like whether or not you had more background information on the Crandalls, your response would be the same. That is, America cannot be expected to bail out everybody who fails to take responsibility for their own well-being. Hello?

    Well, may the Crandalls did put away retirement money, but they can’t/don’t want to touch it. Maybe the father of the grandchildren is paying child support to the mother. As far as not paying into unemployment insurance when working, let me ask this? Have you ever made a decision that you later regretted?

  • Publius

    George, I think you missed my original point as well. I think you too are speaking from emotion instead of reason. I think the “Need to Know” to know piece was flawed. The talking points afterwards universally missed what brought the Crandalls to where they are. You are correct. I did not hear the Crandalls blame anyone for their current woes. That’s probably because they are aware they could have made better choices. I did not say they were “bad” people. In fact, I mentioned they appear to be good persons. Being good or bad isn’t the point of the piece either and has no bearing. They could have been bank robbers… and I would still have to observe they made poor decisions because they failed to plan for their future..

    This too is way off topic, but I will address your comment. I find your comment towards the military both offensive and ignorant, but you are welcomed to it because you live here and can say what you want to say. Our military is composed of citizens from within our population. Like it our not, the policies and the “culture within our military” are the envy of the “big corporations”. Perfect? No. But I don’t know any other organizations on the economy of scale of our military that has a better reputation and is universally admired. When you are in a “fox hole” no one cares what your skin color is, where you came from, or whether you are rich or poor. It simply doesn’t matter. Hasn’t mattered for a very long time. Our kids in uniform are the best America has to offer and by and large they are led by some extremely capable leaders. As far as being “ugly Americans”… I guess beauty is within the eyes of the beholder and you are certainly welcome to your “feelings” and opinion. Our soldiers are not “ugly Americans”. They go where ever our national leaders direct them to go, usually with vague instructions and execute the missions (policy directives) they are given at great risk to themselves. Too often, fatally. Sorry, but I haven’t and I don’t see “ugly Americans” in the faces of our soldiers, sailors and airmen.

    Finally, I didn’t and don’t ask anyone to “commend me on my life or my survival capabilities”. I did what I did for a living for the same reason many people do: I simply enjoyed it. Being down doesn’t mean “you are out”. I’m apparently one of the few Americans who still believe America IS the land of opportunity. Many successful persons have been knocked down and busted but got up and hit it again and achieved success. The Crandalls have this opportunity as well. Quit thinking with your emotions and start using your brain and the reasoning it is capable of. The results are far more satisfying and realistic.

  • Kathryn

    Stop complaining. If you don’t want to deal with it, then stop being a landlord. It’s as simple as that. Stop making assumptions. Maybe they have a contract with their phone and can’t get out of it. Maybe the phone bill is one of the things they filed bankruptcy on. The classic car you saw — how do you know they weren’t trying to sell that as well? You saw all the stuff they both liked collecting and were selling. If you have so many answers for them, why don’t you take the contact info mentioned above and get in touch with the Crandalls?

  • Kathryn

    Right, and government should not be subsidizing mortgages, student loans, Social Security, and corporate welfare. What do you consider “large”? Where are you getting your data from? The execution is NOT ALWAYS wasteful. As far as swindlers and waste of subsidy programs are concerned, corporate greed tops the list, not people on welfare.

  • Kathryn

    Except for the military part, you have just told my story.

  • Publius

    Another off topic statement. Wow! That is a real deep thought you laid out there, BC. I have no idea how my observations on the Crandalls story has any bearing on “Communists/Socialists taking over much of the east”. Actually, using “emotion” and empty thought processes on persons who do not think for themselves IS how socialists would expand their control over our government. Sound familiar? They obviously have a huge audience within America. FWIW BC, NOT being reliant on “the Government” to provide for you would be more in line with our original American value system that is now slowly being replaced by a larger and larger “socialist mentality” thought process of turning to the government for everything. So stricly speaking, I’m not in favor of our government getting its nose into every issue within America. Try using that fine brain God gave you and quit talking from emotion. Your statement doesn’t make sense nor does it hold water. But thank you.

  • Publius

    Excellent points you make, Jim S. First to clarify, one of my initial points was I don’t see the relevance of the organized labor comment (within the discussion period) to the Crandalls story piece “Need to Know” produced (as I stated). To me, these were macro statements, not micro statements concerning the Crandalls and the story line.

    My thoughts on organized labor are their need is not as great in the 80′s as it was in the 30s and 40s. Employers began to behave better, safety improved as well as hours, pay and benefits provided. At some point in between organized labor declined. I personally think this was a failure of organized labor decisions COUPLED with poor management decisions. I am aware of some major decisions made by GM “executives” in the 80s which painted their decline and numbered their existence as a global corporation. The government crafted agreements to enlarge the “global market” which inevitably allowed the corporations to deport manufacturing and in the process avail themselves of cheaper labor… (not to mention greatly reduced work place safety over sight). These government decisions didn’t just “happen”. They were introduced by OUR elected representatives… no doubt at the request and prompting of several lobbyist groups of large corporations. In some circles there is the belief that future world wars could be averted simply because all the world economies would eventually be too interdependent on each other for their imports and exports. I don’t subscribe to this belief totally. The world will continue to be a very dangerous place, somewhere, all the time.

    Personally, I don’t think America was strengthened by exporting so much of our production. Coupled with our increasingly disposable product mentality the quality of the products we purchase are declining even as our technology increases to reduce production costs. In a dictatorship those with the guns make the rules. In our society it appears those with the capital make the rules. What is most disturbing to me is that most Americans aren’t even tapped into current events enough to realize this or care enough to educate themselves on the politicians they elect. Our politicians are aware of this. They even know most Americans don’t and won’t vote so they only have to convince a smaller number of citizens. Pretty slick.
    Most Americans only complain when the results impact on them, which is happening now. The simple answer is we (Americans) deserve the government we elect or fail to vote against.
    That DOESN’T mean the rest of us quit participating in trying to improve this situation though.
    Great discussion. Thank you.

  • Publius

    JJ, nothing in the story line indicated or stated the Crandalls had zero health insurance, or zero lacked access to medical care, or dental care… in the past. Do they have problems in these areas NOW, no doubt. Probably going to get worst before it gets better too. The national health care “blanket” doesn’t take affect for four more years.

    I’m not familiar with the Reagan lies, but undoubtedly you have disagreements with his ideals of America and being an American. As humans, the source of most of our problems can be viewed each morning in the bathroom mirror. The solution can be found in the same location, but only if you have the will, discipline and want to improve bad enough.

  • Publius

    George, and your solution is… what? I didn’t see a “solution” within your emotional outburst above. I made the observation that the “Need to Know” piece was flawed and the Crandalls brought their own misery upon themselves. IF they had asked me earlier, I would have made a few recommendations. Sorry, I did not know them or I would have, gladly. I did not damn the Crandells to hell. I cannot judge their souls. You sir, cannot judge mine. Here’s the solution (it was within my comments): take responsibility for your own life. Plan for your life. If you fail to plan these type things WILL happen. Even if you DO plan things CAN happen. The answer is NOT the state and federal government comes to your rescue. That type reasoning is as lame as expecting the police to show up at your door BEFORE a burglary happens. It simply is not realistic. Neighbors helping neighbors is as good as it will get. Sorry. There is no magic to it. If you expect more you will be disappointed. Better to spend your time helping people you know are in need around you. They posted an address for you to send assistance to the Crandalls now. Feel free to use it.

  • Publius

    BC Today 01:13 AM in reply to disgustedboomer
    “With thinking like publius, you can see now how the Communists/Socialists took over much of the east”

    Bitter comments?

  • Publius

    I certainly have. Many times. If they HAD put money away, where is the story? Are you suggesting the Crandalls were plying on the viewers sympathy? How does this change the situation of the Crandalls? Diane makes a valid point, whether you approve or not. I don’t understand why her point is so difficult to understand. “Need to Know” DIDN’T ask them these “tough” questions. They framed the Crandalls’ predicament to fit into the profile of their story instead of using objective journalistic questioning. It appears the “Need to Know” staff simply tailored the anguish of this couple to suit their needs. PBS rocks, but this program fell short of the quality PBS is known for and are capable of producing.

  • Fred Szczepanski

    I can empathize with tthe Crandall’s plight, since I have had at least 4 careers in my 53 years, and am looking into finding another soon. In each case of Job transition, I went into a completely unresulted field, starting at the bottom, – ie: 6:25 an hour as a Bus boy in a restaurant in 2004. I never would have thought I be a manager in the company I am in now.

    In most cases, I can see points when I should have made better choices with money I made when I was making good money. After losing everything in May 2005 and being unemployed and underemployed August 2003 until June 2006. I live much more fruagally now. A house? Do we really need the expense, if we can’t pay? Bankruptcy? What’s the shame? Donald Trump has done it more than once. I am tired of “America, the Land of the Freeloader and Whiner.” Vote in November. Get a job, any job. Learn to go to work, and find opportunity therein.

  • Jat

    I wasn’t complaining. I am not a landlord for these very reasons. I couldn’t deal with all the people who do not pay their bills. I was only asking questions that should be answered. You sure have made plenty of assumptions though! Craigslist is an answer. That sight is a great way to get rid of stuff and get way more money than a garage sale brings.

  • Jim S

    Thanks for the thoughtful and respectful reply, Publius. Too much web interaction is unhelpful name calling (although I must confess I’ve indulged in it myself at times).

    I do agree that the public needs to take responsibility for the sad state of affairs we find ourselves in, but I’m not sure the voting booth presents such a great vehicle for change. While there are certainly significant differences between the two major parties, in matters economic, both tend to serve the corporations and wealthy individuals that finance campaigns and provide cushy jobs for ex-public servants. With the Citizens United decision, this problem isn’t likely to get any better, and already has every appearance of getting worse.

    Third parties represent alternatives, but our winner-take-all electoral system doesn’t give them much of a chance.

    Our democracy is in dire straits.

  • Publius

    Well said, Fred. Regardless of age, if you are capable and willing you can succeed. If you are not capable and are not willing,.. who would want to employ you? Applications over the e-net are becoming the norm. It’s “easy” to apply on the e-net. Not highly effective unless you ARE highly qualified with the needed specialized skills. Replies to applications over the e-net are easier NOT to respond to. Yes, I realize more and more companies will only allow e-net applications. More and more there is no response, not even a “thanks for applying with us” auto message. A lot of professional etiquette has been lost in the past 10 years. However, there are other jobs that don’t have internet application processes. Find them and avail yourself of first person interviews.

  • Publius

    Kathryn, You appear to be “filling in the blanks” in the information presented (or not presented) with quite a few of your own assumptions. That’s what humans do. In the absence of facts, we presume and develop perceptions. These type questions would have been answered IF the “Need to Know” staff had actually looked into the Crandalls’ situation in depth and had asked the questions that would come to the mind of a professional journalist. My “created perception” is simply “Need to Know” wanted us to know what they “Needed and wanted us to Know”.

  • Publius

    Where are you deriving YOUR figures from, Kathryn? Take the time to actually stop by your state assistance program offices REGULARLY and actually talk to and GET TO KNOW the personnel who work within the offices. You won’t but IF you did you WILL find there are many “participants” or “clients” (which is the new socially acceptable term for persons who receive tax payer benefits) who play the system, have played the system and will continue to play the system to obtain assistance they wouldn’t need if they had the personal ethics to work like most Americans. Many of these people eat and live far better than probably even you and I. On the flip side, there are millions of Americans who don’t want the stigma of having to sign-up for government subsidies and even more whose pride will not let them. In between you have a large group who need the assistance, but through their lack of personal skill sets can’t even follow instructions or read well enough to bring in the required documentation to qualify for the assistance and therefore receive none. This is why government shouldn’t be in the business of redistributing tax payer funding to illegitimate enterprises. You are correct. Our government should NOT be in the mortgage business or student loan business either. Fanny and Fredddy are pristine examples of the results of allowing government to “intervene”. The classic Social Security program fraud would have to be the absolute best example.

    Corporate greed… ? The difference between profit and greed is mostly within the eyes of the beholder. Personally, I have always had a bit of concern with the Adam Smith thought of the invisible hand within commerce. The actual difference between the “noble” profit point and greed is an ethical question. You have your opinion as do others.

  • Publius

    Agreed. I refer to our current political system as a “football game” with the media there every step of the way to cheer or deride one side or the other. Americans unconsciously are drawn into this mentality by the elaborately contrived radio, TV and cable market. Happy news is good sellers. Bad news and blood leads and sells lots of time and space.

    One party takes over majority and runs their course while the other party throws stones and accusations and we the American public only see and hear only small sound bites, frequently taken out of context to form our “opinions and thoughts” which are really only emotional responses to partial information. Then, to make this whole system work really smoothly, there are no honest brokers within the media who take the time to ACTUALLY provide the missing facts and provide them to the (very) few Americans who pull themselves away from the Simpsons, Family Guy, NCIS (fill in the blank) to really listen and form intelligent thoughts.
    Come election time… this same tactic is kicked into over-drive and the American public is bombarded by partial facts about people they have never met and issues they don’t understand to begin with and couldn’t if they wanted to because at that time it is too late. Then the partially informed cast their vote. Wow!

    Personally, I enjoy the PBS prepared and presented “The News Hour” with Jim Lehrer. I find he consistently provides more in depth reporting and, by-in-large, attempts to remain neutral and impartial. Gwen Eifel is another respectable reporter. Syndicated columnist Mark Shields and New York Times columnist David Brooks are fairly even handed in their appraisals as well. Is the show perfect and without any bias… ? No, but the News Hour does present more information to the American public. One other significant point… The News Hour is the only news show that takes a moment to reflect on our soldiers, sailors and airmen who have been killed in our wars abroad. They actually show the pics of our sons and daughters who have died prosecuting our Nations foreign policy in a very respectful moment of silence. For this reason alone this sets them apart and above other media news, within my eyes. They acknowledge our grief at the loss of our most precious assets, us.

  • el fernnie

    u mean in the stock market that crashed?? come on it’s always easy to judge people, that is always the case. Lou at Lou Dobbs and Meg Whitman high on their horse till some one brings them out. The truth is the rich are sucking up the economy, buying back their own stock or what ever else they can do. I could only say so much before I get sick.

  • entrepreneur indiana

    They were self employed. One is usually busy investing profits back in to the business to grow and pay employees. There is no unemployment for the self-employed. No income + bills = loss. There is no safety net. 95% fail in the first five years, loosing all of their investment and that of their (former) friends. So go ahead, make self employment sound romantic like being ones “own boss”, but beware.

    Even those of us with specialized business, entrepreneurship and economic development training/education are failing. We become targets of local thieves and corrupt attorneys. When you don’t pay graft, local courts act like the mob except with a twist, they APPEAR to be trustworthy and tell people “I’m doing my job”. Legitimate NO. God I love Indiana. Home of corrupt court (judges) and lawyers who make lying an “open” competition.

  • entrepreneur indiana

    Read “Truth in Money” and “Figguring Out the Fed” to see this is a profoundly deep problem that is going to require a serious monetary change.

    But as a citizen, I no longer believe the FED is making decisions in my best interest. I don’t want the FED creating new money, I want the US Treasury making it. I want them to declare a US Treasury Dollar, equal in value to the Federal Reserve note by law.

    Put the government in charge of this new money, NOT BANKS.

  • Lmblaha1950

    It’s easy to pass judgment on the Crandalls. What is, is. Maybe some bad judgment, choices, whatever. I didn’t hear anyone asking to be ‘bailed’ out. But, no one “peeped” when we, the taxpayers “bailed out the big guys in banking”! My choice to divorce, quit my job and move led me down the path to a job that pays 1/2 what I was making, after having to move back to my hometown. Like the Crandalls, and many others out there like myself, we’re all finding ourselves in this boat. Leaving a bad marriage was my choice, consequences be damned, but I made the right one for ME. It’s tough all over across all generation, but the graying of America coming at a time when the economy is so bad, and probably will be for a long time, is a fact we all have to face, and the consequences will be far reaching. Please don’t judge, you may be there some day. Hundreds of job applications later, and few interviews, this 60 yr old is still plugging away, working minimum at Walgreen’s and for now, accepting where I am, making the best of it, and navigating my way through a system that is definitely not user friendly. Humbling to say the least, but very character building. May God Bless the Crandalls, and all be grateful for what we do have – each other.

  • Alastairprescott

    I agree Jim. We are in dire straits. We are the cheapest country in the world for buying consumer goods,( thanks to the capitalist system) but produce very few of them.Outsourcing production was a great idea for the bottom line, but left us with few real jobs.
    A service economy is all very well in times when people are spending, but when the powers that be take 50% of peoples wealth, (housing and stocks), we are left with an economy that doesn’t work.
    Personally I’d like to see aback to the land movement. We need organic food for optimum health and that takes a lot of bodies.

  • Alastairprescott

    You seem to have a firm grip on reality, and you’re right about newshour.
    thanks for the comments.

  • Alastairprescott

    You seem to have a firm grip on reality, and you’re right about newshour.
    thanks for the comments.

  • Publius

    Amen!

  • Publius

    A fellow Hoosier! I’ve tasted the “justice system” in Indiana as well. Not impressed. Really… there ought be a law against this form of justice.

  • Guest 5

    I am finding some of this discussion about the recession in America but also globally and why the recovery is so slow. It is, at least partly, because as we are frequently told in most countries the aging population is an ever increasing part of the population . Japan is often mentioned in this respect, but there are others. Why is that important?
    1) Because globally interest rates are at rock bottom QED nest egg savings incomes have dropped by 40%
    2) Those countires with national pension plans have nowhere kept up with real inflation.
    3) In America the value of 401K’s or income therefrom has reduced dramatically.
    4) Medical costs for the elderly especially in US but globally have spiralled out of control.
    Guess what happens they become less of a consumer by spending less and GDP drops and unemployment rises.
    How do I know… I am one of them anf being a CPA was I though sitting comfortably thank you becuse along time ago I said OK what are my lifetime savings targets to be comfortable and then doubled it. My wife and I made the double target.
    Bottom line all our interest income investments rates have halved and we have cut spending 20 % in 2009 and in 2010 looks like 40% less than we anticipated, out of necessity.
    Maybe level wise we are top end, but myguess is the average OAP is spending 15% less at least c/f 2008.
    Regards,
    Guest 5

  • emjayay

    The Crandalls may be wonderful, hardworking people. Yes, everyone in modern society should have medical and dental care. Our current situation in that regard is a scandal and an embarassment, and the health care bill has of course only started to work and is a halfway Rube Goldbergian solution anyway.

    But they were buying collectible Barbies etc.instead of making one appointment at the dermatologist or the dentist. They decided to start a small business, which the report stated was making ten thousand dollars a month at one point. Then one or more things happened: Maybe the market changed – maybe the technology changed and the service was no longer needed by an outside service or the inverntory tax ended, or something. Or the service was being provided at lower prices or better quality by others. Or maybe as the users of their services changed (businesses folded or changed and others started) and they failed to market to new clients. This was not questioned in the report. Everything was portrayed as happening to the Crandalls in ways that were beyond their control.

    I have been a working class person all my life and have had to buy health insurance as an individual most of the time, or did without. (Which, again, no one in a modern supposedly advanced country should have to do). At one time when I needed some major dental work, I went to a dental college and got it done for a quarter of the regular price. When I was sick I went to a medical school clinic. My current vehicle is a twenty year old minivan I bought ten years ago for $3K.

    I am not without compassion for the Crandalls or anyone else. My point is more to fault the inadequacy of the reporting, which was trying to make a point while using one perhaps faulty example while failing to question its own assumptions or the whole picture before it.

  • emjayay

    I appreciate your comments here. A couple of other thoughts in the decline of unions in the US: On the job safety, a union concern, became a government concern (OSHA etc.) as well. Companies maybe found they got lower insurance rates and happier workers if they weren’t killing and maiming them. Although events like the recent mining disaster show the continuing need for regulation (oh no, regulation!) and enforcement. Companies in many cases changed their two tier, top down, work em (not us) to the bone management styles to something more egalitarian and team oriented. Because the nature of the work changed (more white collar, more sophisticated for blue collar), and it’s more succcessful in the marketplace to manage that way. And of course Republican administrations and Congresses have been generally anti union.

    Canada is about as unionized as ever, and where have a lot of for example auto manufacturing jobs gone? Yup, Canada. Maybe that’s even a lot about health care being tax based and half the cost of here in the US.

  • emjayay

    I appreciate your comments here. A couple of other thoughts in the decline of unions in the US: On the job safety, a union concern, became a government concern (OSHA etc.) as well. Companies maybe found they got lower insurance rates and happier workers if they weren’t killing and maiming them. Although events like the recent mining disaster show the continuing need for regulation (oh no, regulation!) and enforcement. Companies in many cases changed their two tier, top down, work em (not us) to the bone management styles to something more egalitarian and team oriented. Because the nature of the work changed (more white collar, more sophisticated for blue collar), and it’s more succcessful in the marketplace to manage that way. And of course Republican administrations and Congresses have been generally anti union.

    Canada is about as unionized as ever, and where have a lot of for example auto manufacturing jobs gone? Yup, Canada. Maybe that’s even a lot about health care being tax based and half the cost of here in the US.

  • Moto5858

    We all need to stop being so judgmental. Yes, they made some bad choices and did some stupid things. Who HASN’T? Credit card debt, student loans, lack of savings, borrowing from 401K, bought a house when we shouldn’t have, etc. etc. Americans live beyond their means. But unfortunately bad things happen, too, which are out of our control. I myself have been laid off 4 times and now my current co. is laying off. There are millions of living paycheck to paycheck, one catastophic illness away from losing it all…

  • emjayay

    Sorry, but after all the outsourcing and manufacturing moving to lower wage countries, unemployment was low in the US until the near-Depression (kept from so far becoming a second Depression by the Bush TARP and Obama stimulus) crash caused by the financial sector doing what it does without effective regulation. The pain and unemployment here (before the near crash) were because of changes in the economy, not the economy as a whole or who makes what product or service in what country.

    The same sort of thing happened for example a hundred years ago: high labor content textile jobs started leaving New England for the South. Also shoes. Then both went overseas. Farming went from employing most people in the country to a small percentage. Etc.

    The real structural problem in the US is that the upper income level people have managed to corner all the increase in income and wealth in the last thirty years while the median income has stagnated. In other words, increased income produced by productivity gains, year after year, have gone exclusively to upper incomes, and the higher the income the more the gains. Forty percent of profits in the whole economy are in the financial sector! What good does that do anyone other than those high income people? Flipping money around should cost amost nothing. All the smart people go to Wall Street instead of managing and designing and innovating real stuff in the economy. The middle class thinks they deserve more stuff and bigger houses while they make as much or less than their parents.

  • emjayay

    Although I suspect I may disagree with you fundamentally in general on political issues, I do appreciate the thoughtful comments and viewpoints you have expressed here (should anyone care). The last half of your comment above is just what I’ve been trying to express. Need To Know seems to be entirely viewpoint driven – a viewpoint which I, (perhaps unlike you, Mr. Publius) probably more or less share – to the exclusion of any skeptical critical thinking and looking at and questioning the facts before them. You know, reporting. I’d like to hear PBS try to justify this stuff. Hey, PBS, you reading the comments here? Any journalism professor types out there care to comment?

  • Bitter

    How about this, I see your statements as nothing more than Libertarian zealotry promoting your own version of social Darwinism which lacks any real compassion for other human beings. I’m surprised you aren’t advocating gas chambers to be instituted for those “‘participants’ or ‘clients’” who according to you lack, “the personal ethics to work like most Americans”. But let’s be honest, from your own bitter words and derision in whatever excuse for a heart you have that’s probably how you really feel. But why bother with all that work, why not just bring wholesale slavery back? That seems to be the direction the Libertarian vision is moving towards, or maybe it was always that way.

    I’d like to have a rational conversation with someone like yourself, but seeing as you are completely disconnected from any ability to conceptualize the experience of those who are not lucky or crooked enough to be rich, well, I guess we can agree to disagree for now. Is that bitter enough for ya?

  • entrepreneur indiana

    There is. It’s called Indiana Rules of Court. But they just ignore them.

  • entrepreneur indiana

    Publius, You and I agree on most things but not this. These people took a risk starting a business. They may have used their money to purchase business property. Most start-ups borrow from friends and relatives. Untill one has launched a business, you have no idea of the true cost…and they are substantial. While they certainly are not blame-less, statistics are against every entrepreneur. Does that mean we stop creating new business?

    Today 95% of small businesses fail in the first five years. Are 95 out of 100 bad ideas and management or does it indicate a deeper problem? My experience is the latter.

    A big problem, generally not discussed, is that the entrepreneur today is failing to make tomorrows industry. Attacks come from all directions. The natzi zoning in my county is a prime example, changing my zoning three times illegally.

    My problems are usually related to someone taking my property, including local governments, without paying for it. Thieves and schemes that win in court by open fraud are now common in North Indiana. Since only 8% have college in my community, the corruption is easy to cover-up. But it’s there. Indiana high courts go along and refuse to curtail open fraud.

    It’s a cancer. It punishes failure and steals success away. I’ve had both. Fighting to keep resourses wears you down. You realise that since your not shooting up a local school, nobody cares. The net result is no new business, no new jobs.

    So if you have the opinion that these people deserve to fail, then you have never taken risk of starting a business, but instead live off of the fruit of a tree planted by someone else.

  • entrepreneur indiana

    Statistics that show 95% small business failing in the first five years tell a different story. The idea that “if your capable and willing you can succeed” is not true. 95 business failures cannot be chalked up to people that are not capable and not willing.

    Your career path is different Publius… you have simply not experienced starting and maintaining a business. No new businesses created = no jobs for our children. Creating a business and surviving is no small accomplishment. You appear to want to let them face financial and personal ruin, rather than face the fact that we (US) have not been growing business to replace those lost. Perhaps war will replace those jobs, but that’s not my choice.

    In a certain way it’s like insulting the soldier because the President attacked the wrong target. Do we appreciate your service any less?? No.

  • entrepreneur indiana

    Hope that planning works for hyper-inflation…that’s next to catch up with the massive debt. Look back over the last 100 years. Immediately after debt build up is serious inflation. This one will be incredible.

  • rhandler

    We need more articles like this. We can all benefit by listening without playing the blame game. Politics sometimes cloud the simple truth.

  • Showrespect13

    You have a lot of nerve calling us the American people whiners and freeloaders…thanks to the choices of the politicians not the people we have no jobs and what jobs are out there are taken…the business owners are taking full advantage of this situation to treat their employees like dirt…our politicians are catering to the rich, scared to make them pay their FAIR share of the taxes and bailing out the very banks responsible for a lot of our downfall, and you are picking on the PEOPLE…you may be the manager today but next week, month or year you could be back in the unemployment lines…so stop being so catty and have a heart for your fellow man…in fact, the nastier you are, the faster you will arrive in that dreaded line, then people just like you will be making jokes at your expense…

  • Showrespect13

    Speak for yourself Diane, I’m not tired of helping my fellow American…but I am tired of listening and reading hateful replies by people who haven’t had the misfortune of losing everything they have yet….believe me…it can happen in the blink of an eye, and then like I said earlier…your the one that is being looked at with hate and disrespect by those who think they have it all figured out…no one is exempt from hard times…I notice the politicians in the senate and congress aren’t hurting…they still have all the perks of their elected offices..and the rich aren’t hurting, as they have their friends in the senate making sure they don’t have to pay their share of the taxes and nothing to SS…no just the working poor are suffering and some of the middle class….when we lose our emotion for our fellow beings then that’s when we all hit rock bottom…your only so smart and only so lucky….don’t forget that..

  • Showrespect13

    Please don’t generalize and don’t paint every boomer by the same brush…not everyone who is a boomer is selfish and spoiled…although, a lot are…to be sure…but not all…The bad decisions were made by our government for the past several DECADES and we the people have been too trusting…well, we’re paying for that now, aren’t we???

  • Showrespect13

    What you are is arrogant…get over yourself…so you made some good choices…big deal…everyone’s circumstances are different…your not all that…

  • Publius

    Yes. I can plainly see you appear bitter. Can’t help you with it though because you think with your emotions in lieu of using your brain for rational thought processes. I also am not too “surprised you think I advocate gas chambers to be instituted for those “‘participants’ or ‘clients’” who according to me lack, “the personal ethics to work like most Americans”. I DO find it odd these extremely radical solutions came from YOUR mind, NOT mine. I’ve never advocated anything this extreme in any of my posts. You and a couple others did though. Yet… you paint ME with suggesting these solutions SIMPLY because I stated the OBVIOUS: too many Americans don’t plan their lives, don’t live responsibly, AND expect a safety net to be in place (provided by other Americans) to catch them when they stumble (as we ALL do). Even WITH the knowledge that our state and federal governments are absolute bumpkins and thieves when it comes to planning and administering these programs and have PROVEN this to be true hundreds of times over recent history. I never advocated these extreme solutions. You and a couple others DID and apparently share a deep paranoia over…. what? A deep seated fear that your life is out of control? That none of us can completely control our destinies? Well, we CAN’T completely control our destinies which makes it ALL the more important to PLAN our lives to the best degree we can to reduce SOME of the negative risk that ALL of us can and WILL occasionally encounter in life. FYI, don’t play the stock market if you can’t grasp the concept of risk and have no clue on how to mitigate it.

    Instead of gulags and slavery (as several of you have proposed) why not INSIST the “clients” work for their assistance. We need streets repaired, sidewalks repaired, grass in public parks cared for, curbs and crosswalks painted, etc. I KNOW many would GLADLY do so, some would refuse, and others are physically incapable of it. OBTW the truly physically impaired were the initial target audience of many of these long term programs. Those who refuse to participate could then be cut from the (tax payer supported) program/s and allow them to find their own way through life. There are some better alternatives to “gulags” so QUIT leading with your emotions and start using that wonderful brain God gave you to think and develop positive ideas instead of bashing people who state the obvious. I may well have some Libertarian ideas, but I don’t consider myself a Libertarian. Quit labeling people you have not met and do not know, That is the traits of the “ugly American” someone else mentioned on this thread. Stating the truth IS stating the truth. Facts and truth continually get in the way and frustrate persons who allow their emotions to replace reason. You are welcome.

  • Publius

    OBTW, what’s all this preoccupation with “being rich”? What is “rich” to you? Personally, I feel I am blessed to have a healthy family, two older vehicles and a REALLY old house (1000 SF) paid for. “Rich” is a state of mind. If you don’t mind NOT owning a 2500>SF home with one or two Mercedes sedans in the drive, and you have not ran your plastic card limits through the roof and are now having trouble just paying down the interest, then it is easy to feel rich. I think we Americans spend w-a-a-y too much time looking at what others have and coveting the same instead of being thankful for the blessing we DO have and enjoying every day. There is a penalty for wanting what others have. It is depression, tension, and hard feelings.

  • Publius

    Yep!!! In spades!!!

  • Publius

    I NEVER said I was “all that”, Showrespect13. All the negative comments on this thread began because I evidently hit a nerve with a lot of people by stating the obvious about the “Need to Know” piece. It IS flawed!!! There apparently are a whole bunch of people who don’t think with reason. You, in example. You call me arrogant, and we have NEVER met and therefore you cannot possibly know me. A bit presumptuous of you, don’t you think? You are one of the people on this thread who care so much about other people’s plight? I didn’t make some “good choices”. I made a lot of good choices and some bad choices. I ran risk with my life just like everyone else does. You can be the most highly trained soldier in the world and if you aren’t lucky occasionally, it avails you not. The end is the same as a poorly trained soldier. Luck plays out for all of us occasionally, but you can’t plan on it being there when you need it. That’s why you have to mitigate risk factors. NO ONE makes it through life successfully without the help, guidance, and assistance of other people. Me personally, I had some great mentorship from Sergeants, quite a few Sergeant Majors, and a few senior officers I never said (in any of my threads, if you even read them) that everything goes my way or went in my favor in life. Everything I have typed into these threads has been my truthful thoughts. I would say the same if we were all sitting in a large room. Would you? OBTW, your solutions to the macro problem of the economy is… what? Thank you.

  • Publius

    An excellent point you make, entrepreneur Indiana. A definite possibility…. I must go back to my original thread, however. IF this be the case then “Need to Know” SHOULD have included this info WITHIN their piece on the Crandalls. This would have made their current situation more understandable and eliminated much of the conjecture about WHY they fell on hard times with inadequate reserves to fall back on. My whole point in my first post is the “Need to Know” piece was flawed and not presented well. I believe they COULD have found some one who DID fit their piece and their story line they were attempting to convey by possibly selecting a person who was laid off from their employment by either downsizing because of a corporate export of the manufacturing base OR a person who was laid off because their company failed and went out of business. However, if the person had not planned and established a cushion for themselves to survive at least six months, some of my observations would remain the same. A very valid point you have made there. Thank you.

  • Publius

    OBTW, MANY years ago (30+ years) we purchased an existing small business and operated it for six years. This is NOT the same as starting a new business and I can imagine the difficulties of generating capital in this current environment.

  • Publius

    Agreed. Bad decisions within the union organizations and equally bad decisions within many of the large corporations. It always takes two to fight, tango or disagree.

  • Publius

    BINGO!!!!!

  • Publius

    And “WE” elected them too!

  • Publius

    You are correct. We are now experiencing DEFLATION, where people are attempting to obtain cash and reducing expenditures somewhat. Selling personal “things” for example, boats, cars, “stuff’. Before long people will begin to NEED “things” and start purchasing. Then the INFLATION piece will kick in. Our media and government officials aren’t talking about this (because it isn’t a popular subject anytime but especially before elections but inflation IS coming to a theater very near you, soon. Prepare. Plan. Don’t say you didn’t expect it. It won’t matter.

  • Publius

    Ummmm… the politicians were selected and placed into office by their constituents… so that would mean any decisions they made were endorsed, or at least facilitated by us, their electorate. I read Fred’s comments and I see no “catty” remarks in his statements. MAYBE, just MAYBE, more people need the truth. Sure it hurts, but it hurts a lot less to acknowledge and learn from the truth versus continuing to live in denial. IF “having a heart” alone would cure the poor and uneducated in America, and IF you throw in several hundred BILLION dollars of tax payer provided funding/subsidies over a 40 year period at the problem and the problem continues growing, then maybe the approach is wrong. Maybe? What conclusion would you draw from this?

  • Pontius Pilate

    Philippines receiving the $434-million Millennium Challenge Corporation (MCC) grant from the US government….http://www.gmanews.tv/story/201842/aquino-renews-corruption-vow-as-us-grants-434-m-aid

    WHY IS THE US GOVT GIVING MONEY AWAY WHEN WE NEED IT HOME for people like the Crandalls????

    This is mind boggling!

    http://www.gmanews.tv/story/201842/aquino-renews-corruption-vow-as-us-grants-434-m-aid

  • Publius

    You are correct, entrepreneur, I have not started a new business and therefore I do not have this experience.

  • Publius

    Thank you, emjayay. It has been the point I’ve tried to convey from the get-go. I could accept the “Need to Know” presentation IF they had used a person or couple whose position directly supported their viewpoint… AND they had utilized better journalistic practices to glean the essential info “we needed to know” about the person/s they were “reporting” on.

    As far as positional agreement/disagreements… no one agrees totally nor disagrees totally with another ALL the time, but I really do enjoy good conversation and exchanging ideas on topics and issues. I think the freedom to actually debate issues is one of the key core foundations of our republic and IF we ever reach the point where no one actually listens to what another is saying before labeling them or responding from emotion only, we will be on the brink of calamity. I think actual discussion between people is healthy IF the participants can keep the conversation on topic, use a rational thought process and not allow the discussion/debate to erode into name calling. Arguments, by pure definition, are NOT hostile but simply strong statements of position. No one has a monopoly on the “correct opinion or idea”. Disagreement on an issue should NOT be confused with anger or dislike of a person based solely on a disagreement. ANY American, regardless of their background or region of our country they hale from, have FAR more in common than they do differences.

  • GW

    Look at Wall Street. They made serious mistakes, and not even with their own money. They planned poorly and practiced bad judgement. Still they were given a leg up. A helping hand. And now look at them. They are flush with cash.

    Do you think it’s equitable to give those tax paying Americans help when they are down and out but not tax paying Americans like the Crandalls?

    It is through a healthy secure society that wealth and health are created. Don’t ignore this fact.

  • Publius

    Sadly, this is but a small drop in the bucket of the total sum of American dollars we “export” to foreign governments for a multitude of “reasons”. Some would simply make your stomach turn. I also agree we could put this money to better use within the United States… or even spend it to repay our crushing debt we have currently accumulated and now owe to foreign entities.

    Seriously, in a perfect world, I would have little problem with “throwing trillions of tax payer dollars” towards the needs of Americans, for whatever reason, as long as the fundamentals of government were addressed and met FIRST. Fundamentals such as ALL the water treatment plants in EVERY village, town, city, and megapolis with our country were state of the art and our fresh water resources were properly protected for future years. Our nation’s roads, interstates and bridges were all inspected and certified safe or repaired, our national defense remained strong, our borders were properly secured etc…. then I would be open to spending more to support American citizen’s needs (assistance)… even though I think this would only be putting a band aid on the symptom and NOT addressing the cure at all. Feeding persons fish does not teach them to fish. Some of those in need simply need to learn how to fish. We need to find more effective ways to provide assistance to those of us in need.

    The reality is, we are financially BROKE. We ALMOST owe more to foreign entities than we take in annually. Servicing the interest on this debt alone could almost fund our entire Department of Defense annually. My point is IF we actually go bust, ALL assistance, in all forms will cease. If you believe there is shortage of spending in these areas presently, you will be stunned when if all comes to an end. If you think people in need have problems under our present system (and many undoubtedly DO), give a moments thought of how much worse off all will be if no one receives any assistance. It is sobering. It truly is. What’s more sobering is the simply fact we are not far from this point as a nation. We are simply “floating” too much debt as a nation. The problem with debt is it ALWAYS comes due. Yet, somehow, we continue to spend money that we do not have and does not exist.

  • Publius

    Sadly, this is but a small drop in the bucket of the total sum of American dollars we “export” to foreign governments for a multitude of “reasons”. Some would simply make your stomach turn. I also agree we could put this money to better use within the United States… or even spend it to repay our crushing debt we have currently accumulated and now owe to foreign entities.

    Seriously, in a perfect world, I would have little problem with “throwing trillions of tax payer dollars” towards the needs of Americans, for whatever reason, as long as the fundamentals of government were addressed and met FIRST. Fundamentals such as ALL the water treatment plants in EVERY village, town, city, and megapolis with our country were state of the art and our fresh water resources were properly protected for future years. Our nation’s roads, interstates and bridges were all inspected and certified safe or repaired, our national defense remained strong, our borders were properly secured etc…. then I would be open to spending more to support American citizen’s needs (assistance)… even though I think this would only be putting a band aid on the symptom and NOT addressing the cure at all. Feeding persons fish does not teach them to fish. Some of those in need simply need to learn how to fish. We need to find more effective ways to provide assistance to those of us in need.

    The reality is, we are financially BROKE. We ALMOST owe more to foreign entities than we take in annually. Servicing the interest on this debt alone could almost fund our entire Department of Defense annually. My point is IF we actually go bust, ALL assistance, in all forms will cease. If you believe there is shortage of spending in these areas presently, you will be stunned when if all comes to an end. If you think people in need have problems under our present system (and many undoubtedly DO), give a moments thought of how much worse off all will be if no one receives any assistance. It is sobering. It truly is. What’s more sobering is the simply fact we are not far from this point as a nation. We are simply “floating” too much debt as a nation. The problem with debt is it ALWAYS comes due. Yet, somehow, we continue to spend money that we do not have and does not exist.

  • -Doug

    In 2005, I had a $45,000/yr job in beautiful Oregon (I had worked up from $25,000/yr just four years before). It was more than enough to support my wife and two high-school age children. But then I lost the job, partially due to illness. Soon I couldn’t pay the rent, and I had to give most of my stuff away because I didn’t have time to sell it.

    We moved to Wisconsin to be near my wife’s mom. The kids went on to college. For a time, I was making enough from self-employment work to support us, but then I lost my main client. Then I got ill again. In September ’09, my wife went to live with her mom; I moved in with a friend.

    I’ve been looking for work (something like 450 job applications in the last two years, but no one wants to hire a fifty-year old guy). Then my wife started divorce proceedings in February of this year. I then found out she put $15,000 in charges on our credit card. Then she broke her leg and charged another $15,000. The judge allocated $6,000 of the debt to me because of her medical expenses. Meanwhile, my son graduated in biology last year, and has been working since as a barista at a coffee shop (the same job he did in college). My daughter also works while putting herself through school. The only money I get is from a friend in Oregon who sends me small writing projects to do. Without one friend I’d be homeless; without the other, starving.

    Since high school, I’ve worked hard, paid for college and graduate school, and supported my family. I used to have excellent credit, but that’s gone now because of the debt my wife sprang on me. Now, I have a sizable negative worth, feel like a burden on my friends, and worry about my future, my kids’ future, and yes, even my ex-wife’s future. The upside is I have more time for self study and improvement through tools like the library and Internet (and W3C courses, GIMP, Kompozer, Inkscape; you get the idea). As far as our two major political parties go, one never seems to propose a program to help someone like me (I’m not eligible for unemployment, not a construction worker, not a minority, not a homeowner, and so on) while the other only cares about the rich (guess which one). Without my faith, my friends, and my family (what’s left of it), I would not be able to go on another day. May things change in this country for all the decent, hardworking people like the Crandall’s; this I pray.

  • Sheesh66

    Shouldn’t we have seen this coming with globalisation? How can moving-all-our manufacturing-jobs-abroad ever be a good thing? Now its services jobs being shifted abroad as well (my bank’s call center is in India…). I share Emjay’s concern on the wealthier echelons thriving. The rich have got richer while the rest are struggling like never before.

  • ltaylor

    For those of you who have responded in comments to this story, please contact ntk_Catherine and see what you can do to help. If we could all stop judging and do more helping, maybe this country can become great again. We’re not as bad off as the Crandalls are, but are getting there quickly, but for reasons that were and still are completely out of our control. Being 63 and 53 respectively is the death knell for finding employment. You’re too old and overqualified for Starbucks (I’ve applied) and you’re too old for professional jobs that you’ve got experience for – most employers want someone 30 years younger they think will work harder, longer hours, and that they can pay less. It’s not about money now – it’s just about finding a job. If you’ve got even five dollars to share, please think about it. There, but for the grace of God, go ALL of us.

  • entrepreneur indiana

    Publius, I don’t like these attacks on you either, but I must point out that we need to create new businesses to have any chance of making the things we consume and not being held hostage to foreign nations by the debt we have created. There is an un-recognized good to society that statistically is an “un-wise decision” but has a greater purpose than simply having ones own income.

    There are two levels to business creation. One is for personal income and maintaining ones own life style…the other is to grow and employ people. Both have been over-sold and made to look romantic like “being ones own boss” or that terrible problem of making so much money that your in the top tax bracket. Right!

    There is a need for new business and people like the Crandals trying it. What if they had hit on the new Facebook or Google or MY PEEPS social network (made that up)? Would you say that it was a bad decision? No, it’s their failure and need of help your being critical of. I think you have acknowledged in a later post that you have not created a business and risked every penny you could come up with. Entrepreneurs do that. Is it always for personal gain… NO. Statistics show your chances of success at less than 5%.

    There is a greater good that comes from those few who do have success, like the Gates. Without that risk by a few, there is no future jobs (except war). Having a certain level of compassion and understanding of a different path than your own is not a weakness, it’s an American strength.

  • Publius

    There appeared to be a lot more going on “behind the scenes” than “securing banks”. It would be easier for the average Americans to agree there was more integrity and fair handedness going on if those who were responsible for their firms (ie; the Presidents, CEOs, CFOs, and COOs) were actually held to some degree of accountability for their company’s role/part in the massive melt down. Didn’t see much of this going on. Americans were left with the obvious perception these persons were treated to a different standard than maybe someone like Bernie Madoff (with the cash).

  • Publius

    There appeared to be a lot more going on “behind the scenes” than “securing banks”. It would be easier for the average Americans to agree there was more integrity and fair handedness going on if those who were responsible for their firms (ie; the Presidents, CEOs, CFOs, and COOs) were actually held to some degree of accountability for their company’s role/part in the massive melt down. Didn’t see much of this going on. Americans were left with the obvious perception these persons were treated to a different standard than maybe someone like Bernie Madoff (with the cash).

  • Publius

    I am not being critical of entrepreneurs. I realize there are differing paths in life. I realize those who jump in with both feet in life do so at great personal (and financial) risk. It is a different breed of person. They are risk takers. It may appear to be a leap of faith, but in fact it is normally a calculated risk to some degree and certain decision points have been reached and/or satisfied. The decision points don’t guarantee success, they just provide a model to work and deviate from and hence the huge failure rate. You are never for sure where the bottom is, or IF there is a bottom, or even if you will emerge from the other side. I have sarcastically commented for the last five years or so that anyone would be hard pressed to find an American manufacturer who still possesses the plans to build even a common adjustable wrench. American made tools don’t seem to exist anymore. That is only one small example. I’m not even sure any autos are being made today completely from American sourced venders. That’s kind of the point. I’m good with the concept that we need more American businesses and more people who create them and the jobs they create to employ more Americans. I’m good with the concept and need.

    Back to the Crandalls, I was not being critical of them for simply FAILING… my anguish is they apparently had no plan B to fall back on. Risk means different things at different ages. When you are young, you can “accept” greater financial risk (in theory) because you have more expected life to recover from poor decisions, mistakes, or even market quirks. When you are older, the opposite is true. This is where I have a problem. At their ripe ages (and I am not too far behind them), they didn’t own their home, nor their cars, nor apparently did they have any reserve built up. Once again, this is info not presented fully, but I keep returning to this point. I don’t KNOW what their cash flow actually was other than a reference to 10K per month. Since they conducted inventories, I’m assuming (again wasn’t covered in the piece) that their actual start up costs would have involved some advertising, some digital counters, a couple of computers, printers, and a number of employees. office space appeared to be their home of record (again not covered). How many persons did they employ? I don’t know, the info wasn’t addressed. I realize employees are a large employer expense. Now IF they employed ten persons and after costs the Crandalls only cleared $1000 to $1500 per month net, then it would be easy to see how close of an operating budget they ran on and MIGHT explain why they had such a small cash reserve. This info wasn’t addressed. Still, not nearly as expensive as the start-up costs for say a manufacturing company. I am just boggled they risked so much with no viable recovery plans…. at their age. Then, when the report stated their income was 10K I had to question WHY they put themselves in this terrible position with none of the above secured. I am once again back to “Need to Know” left out a few key pieces of info I needed to know. The Crandalls’ misery was just the unfortunate “vehicle” NTK selected for their piece. I’m only speculating here, but I suspect I would have similar questions remaining regardless of whomever they used for their piece.

  • Publius

    The “invisible hand of commerce” and the concept of “self-interested behavior”. That’s the two principles that I was trying to recall the other night (I had brain fade). The issue with the “self interested behavior” concept is the one I was trying to recall. When DOES “self-interested behavior” become “greed”? That would be a great philosophical debate I’d love to listen to. To be fair and balanced, I think you would have to have actual business owners involved to be able to gain their insight. Without them present, the argument would be dull and the outcome one-sided and almost totally without merit.

  • Ric

    It’s easy for those of us who save to attack them for not saving – but they lived the way that the average American has for 3 decades – on debt, without savings. We’ve been told again and again that debt doesn’t matter ….
    What shocked me is $160/month for phone!!! Read Your Money Or Your Life. I spend $20/mo for phone and another $4 for long distance within the country. My income is less than what they were getting and I’m raising a family on about 1/4 of that income – the rest is savings.
    I really hope that the agencies that these people go to help them get their financial house in order – not just the debt side but the regular monthly bleeding of bills. Food can easily be <$5/day/person – I see people blow more money on a snack then my family spends per day. Our hydro, phone, utilities, gas for heating all total to less than $100/mo in a northern climate.
    Unfortunately the government is too busy bailing out those who gamed the system and got rich. The government needs to look forward – to where the country wants to be in 25 years. Is it good to continue with a debt slavery system? Wouldn't it be better to get people to work reducing energy consumption and undoing the debt based spending spree of the past 3 decades. That'll mean more people per house and people doing productive work not inane service jobs. I'd love to see a maximum wage come into effect. All of those bonuses going to the fraudsters at the financial firms is just sick.

  • Joeblo

    I agree, as a 32y/o with a couple of hundred grand in the bank I cant understand how a couple in their 50′s making $120k a year has one month of safety net and are almost homeless.. too many are making excuses as to why one is in this state. I work FT and support myself, if I lose my job I can live off my savings for years not a couple of months, I drive a 14 year old car and decided to hold ZERO debt. Its all a matter of choice folks, get responsible and quit blaming other for you Fuck ups. Have a nice day.

  • Publius

    THANK YOU!!! Besides the “Need to Know” piece was flawed in their presentation and line of information they provided, Joeblo “NAILED” my second point perfectly. 50+ aged Americans have a higher risk factor in exposing their finances to risk and they should have factored in this additional risk AND had a plan to mitigate the possibility of financial losses.

  • Tstinnette

    You obviously didn’t listen the the plight of the Crandalls. They have been looking for work for many months and have not found anything. It’s not a matter of just saying to these people get a job and stop whining. There are no jobs! My heart goes out to them. I too am unemployed and have been for four months now. I know I will find work but I am younger and do not have the expenses that they are burdened with. It’s a sad thing when this country allows our elderly to fall through the cracks. If we continue on this path of corporate greed and taking our away our rights: Life, Liberty, and the pursuit of Happiness, we as a nation will eventually end up like Mexico fighting to survive. Where’s the liberty and happiness in that? Yes VOTE, vote for a change from corporate greed and destruction..

  • Tstinnette

    When a person is down you don’t kick them and throw them in the gutter. Or do you? What kind of a society do we want for our children. Would Jesus do that? I’m not a Christian yet I do believe in lending a helping hand to all people regards of what I may or not think of their past decisions they’ve made that put them where they are in life. Humanity comes first! Let’s not forget we all in this together, and if we prove to be a society that turns their backs on the less fortunate you can be sure it will one day happen to you or your loved ones. Is that what we want for our children?

  • Subscriptionblocker

    Much in these times would have been very recognizable to our ancestors. That’s the source for many of the ancient homestead laws still embedded within state constitutions. Back then, it was recognized that all people needed a “safe space” to recover. So certain property/tools was unconditionally protected.

    Those old laws have been under attack, but they have substantially endured. here is a great need to extend them nationally – before the next wave of disaster hits.

    We also need to pick up “ancestor ethics”. Behaviors relearned during the great depression. There is *no* safe level of debt. There is no safe level of reserves. And failing health is always a life changer.

  • Subscriptionblocker

    And folks, land lines can be rented without contract for less than $25/line – anywhere in the country.
    Free circuit switched long distance is offered by Google Voice.
    A zero contract 1000min cellphone card will set you back $100.

    Our bill for landline telephone, infinite free long distance, *and* cellphone is $30/mo. No deprivation here.

    Why is this couple dropping $160/mo on their phone bill? Sounds like they’ve been had by the cellphone mafia…..

    These are hard working scrappers – but some of their behavior is baffling.

  • Doug

    The tip about Google Voice was very helpful. I knew about Skype (free calling in US from computer to another computer with Skype account) but not Google Voice (free calling in US from computer to a landline phone). Thanks so much.

  • Subscriptionblocker

    Google Voice is free calling from phone to phone. Requires that old dial string technique from the calling cards – but it still works. But if you have a laptop running near the phone – it’s even easier . Click the contact checkbox, punch the dial button – system calls you, you pickup, then dials your contact. It’s very fast.

    faq: http://www.personal.psu.edu/wzl114/SelfProject/UsefulOnline_file/Unlimited_Free_Calling_with_Google_Voice.pdf

    I don’t use the google button on gmail because that necessarily routes one through VOIP. And even if the IP network gets steadily better with time – a packet connection will never equal a true circuit switched connection. Use the proper tool for the job….

  • Subscriptionblocker

    Everyone is just one step away from your situation – even if they don’t wish to admit it. I’m trying to encourage our kids to stay mobile/flexible for the hard times I see ahead…but even if they did everything just right – much of their future is fate. They will have no control.

  • Subscriptionblocker

    Ever question the economic statistics you see on the nightly news? Ever feel “sumthin’s not right”?

    Well here is today’s unemployment numbers as they would have been reported in Nixon’s time:

    http://www.shadowstats.com/alternate_data/unemployment-charts

    Even tricky Dick would never have dared to falsify reports as they do today (watch the revisions).

    Why is this important? Well, if that 23% national unemployment figure is correct – it would explain why even water walkers can’t find work?

    I *do* think the government is doing what they can…only their effectiveness is in question. But most of this depression is rooted within a debt deflation *we* (the public) inflicted upon ourselves. The government is helpless. There is no way they can reduce the public debt. There is no way they can bring back consumer behaviors from 80 years ago – those habits were lost.

    There is a way out – but I don’t believe the public would tolerate it (tear the bandage off suddenly/quickly). So we’ll just suffer through years of the slow bandage pull until we get better.

  • SickOfit

    The new poor in America is screwed.
    The so called political ~leaders~just do not give a damn.
    THEY DO NOT CARE….even in election time…..

  • Bruceaord

    get off your behind

    they have this thing called the internet.. you can find freelance writing work on it. I should know I pay lots of americans to write for me, make ads for me. Have you looked at 99designs for design work, textbroker/ demand media for articles….. You are just a whiney old guy who thinks work should be given to you… Those boomer days are over.. everybody knows you have to find your own work… get off your but, and get to work — and stop wasting so much time in forums

  • Chris

    Health IS a life-changer. and a debt changer. Unfortunately if you have a version of disease that requires treatment that falls outside what your HMO dictates to doctors, you are essentially screwed. Slowly die without treatment you need to improve vs.debt (get better for a time, may wind up homeless and dead). The will to survive is strong which usually means personal bankruptcy is eminent.

  • Picnix4

    This is so revealing- Our great great grand parents said everything everyone of these posters have mentioned here eons ago- I remember my grandparents mentioning these exact same sentiments- We just talk a lot- That’s OK- it’s what we all do best!

  • Picnix4

    Like I said – We talk a lot. What’s getting resolved here?

  • World View

    What did they do when they were making $10,000 a month!!!!!!!!!!!!! And $150 monthly phone bill!!!!!!!!!!! 

  • World View

    What did they do when they were making $10,000 a month!!!!!!!!!!!!! And $150 monthly phone bill!!!!!!!!!!! 

  • Surprise Me

    A lot of you are perpetuating the problem even now. Life insurance is not the answer. Giving your kids every little thing they
    wanted and not teaching them to be responsible or the knowledge to earn what
    they want was the big down fall of mid 70’s to now (yuppies still alive and dying
    faster than cancer victims).

    Has anyone tracked the number of kid’s, and smart ones at
    that, who lived at home well in to 25 and 30 years of age, around 77 to 85.

    Your, poor because you
    had more kids than you could afford, (some of you made comments to those who
    had no kids or kept the number they had under two, (who’s laughing now). Some
    of you spent too much time showing off to your peers and or kids, and their
    friends. And let’s face it a lot of you
    won’t admit to it but drugs really took a lot of your cash. You were too busy being your kids friends and
    not they’re parent. So every time they
    whined you gave them a chunk of your future.

    I can’t tell you how many times I have heard the
    following. Yeah, when my parents are
    gone I’ll let a couple Hundred Thousand or at least a million. Wow the shock on such greed. Parents are broke because they kept giving
    your sad, useless tail a check every time you or your off spring wanted something. Hey the insurance policy cost money and the government
    gets a chunk when you get it, plus any outstanding bills your parent picked up
    for you and are still paying out for your sorry butt.

    So to you newly poor folks, if you have time to change your
    ways and teach something useful to your offspring now is the time. BE A PARENT, SHOW YOUR KIDS WHAT
    BEING RESPONSIABLE IS AND HOW TO LOOK OUT FOR THEMSELVES.

    If you’ve done that, anything you leave behind will be a bonus
    and much appreciated. And do the math we
    weren’t taxed more. In the late 70’s to
    mid 90’s look at what the salaries were.
    Really the bathroom floor needs to be marble?

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