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Crossposted from Hillbilly Report.

We have been detailing at some length of the diminishing opportunities faces the young in this country. Not only the diary just linked, but an earlier one here.Now, as if young Americans needed it even more disturbing news is coming out about how the policies of the last several decades, some supported by both parties are killing opportunity for young workers and threatening to make them the first "Lost Generation" in our history who actually will make less and be worse off than their parents or grandparents.

The numbers bear out that young workers nowadays face a much tougher environment than even ten years ago and in fact since the end of WWII:

If you’re under age 25 and looking for a job, you’re going to have a much tougher time than your older brother or sister did in 1999. Then, 60 percent of 16-24-year-olds had a job. Today, just 48 percent do, the lowest rate of young worker employment since World War II.

Rep. George Miller (D-California) recently outlined the disasterous effects this has not only on young workers but on the future of our country as a whole:

It is clear that the drop in employment is not just the result of a sudden shock to the system, but is part of a larger trend. You cannot ignore the fact that 20 percent fewer young workers are participating in the labor market.

The consequences of reduced work opportunities among young Americans mean fewer long-term employment prospects, less earnings and decreased productivity....If these dramatic trends are not reversed, our nation faces the potential of a generation of youth disconnected from the job market.

To add to this very dismal outlook for these workers, many of them have recieved college educations, still cannot find work and now face the prospect of paying back huge debts while still be forced to work low paying service-type jobs with no benefits:

Two-thirds of students holding a bachelor’s degree graduate with more than $20,000 in debt, twice as much as a decade ago. Law and medical school graduates have it even worse, with roughly $76,000 and $155,000 of debt respectively. Approximately 23 percent of freshman borrowers drop out of school because of debt.

The average earnings of full-time workers ages 25 to 34 are lower today than they were a generation ago, except among women with college degrees. And young men without a college education are earning 29 percent less than they did in 1975....Nearly 18 percent of 18-24-year-olds are living below the official poverty line.

The reversing of this disturbing trend must start early at the high school level with planning for students that both seek higher education, and those that do not wish to go further than High School. This includes informing them on finding good jobs that do not require a college education and giving better advice on college selection and majoring in fields that will be in demand.

Some other ideas that I myself can come up with is enacting severe penalties for companies that outsource our middle-class jobs to virtual slave labor countries who pay workers pennies a day and even exploit child labor to save money. We simply must enact tariffs and taxes that makes it just as expensive for the Benedict Arnold corporations to ship their slave-made goods and products that are lower quality into our country to sell to our consumers. The days of making the American worker compete with virtual slaves in oppressed, often Communist countries simply must come to an end to create middle-class jobs for our young.

Another ideas is the immediate enacting of the Employee Free Choice Act to make it easier for workers to organize and bargain for higher wages and benefits in the service-type jobs they are now forced to work who are not hurting at all making profit, yet refuse to share the fruits of their labors with the workers who make those profits possible. We simply must change the policies that allow greed to run rampant over our young and our workers in general or our young will be faced with debt and poverty for the rest of their lives. In short, it is far past time that work is rewarded as much as wealth in this country and all Americans who work hard are rewarded with a job, and a chance to make the middle-class.

Here is some vid from the conference:

Originally posted to RDemocrat on Thu Oct 01, 2009 at 06:49 PM PDT.


What is the greatest challenge facing young workers??

20%19 votes
6%6 votes
21%20 votes
3%3 votes
25%23 votes
17%16 votes
5%5 votes

| 92 votes | Vote | Results

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Comment Preferences

    •  Poll: All of the above (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      skohayes, allep10

      In the 70's 80's and 90's it tookm me a day or two to get a job.
      Now 8 years and still looking.
      Thank the FSM for the skills I got in the last 45 years or I would be living in a box.
      Still wish I had health insurance.

      "People who see a contradiction between science and the bible don't really understand either." PvtJarHead

      by Tinfoil Hat on Thu Oct 01, 2009 at 08:16:07 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  You should add "all of the above" to the poll. (8+ / 0-)

    "Jesus Christ was black, ronald reagan was the devil, and the government is lying about 9/11." Huey Freeman

    by cee4 on Thu Oct 01, 2009 at 06:53:57 PM PDT

  •  Yeah.. (11+ / 0-)

    I'm looking for my first "real" job right now. It's very, very, very depressing. I doubt I'll ever be as financially secure as folk who are a generation older...

    The 'flexible' economy is great for the financiers and owners, but it sure sucks for those of us who just want to work hard, save up, buy a house, and provide a stable environment for our families. . .

    •  Me too.. (11+ / 0-)

      I graduated with a BS summa cum laude in May and am still working two jobs, delivering flowers and pizzas. Quite depressing. Even more depressing is my student loan payments have started without the income I expected when I took them out.

      •  Heh. My 1st job after PhD was at Burger King. n/t (8+ / 0-)

        Maxie Baucus took an axe, gave Single Payer 40 whacks. And when he saw what he had done, gave Public Option 41. (NO, Max! Bad Senator!)

        by SciMathGuy on Thu Oct 01, 2009 at 07:07:09 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  what was your major? (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:

          It would be helpful to know which fields to avoid.

          •  Way back then (1987) - pharmacology. (0+ / 0-)

            I just detested research, but found that after getting a PhD, I was "overqualified" to work in my former field (med tech).

            Nowadays, I wouldn't know what to suggest. Mainly, I'd suggest avoiding getting older, since older folks have a tougher time than even younger folks getting a job. Case in point - after that PhD, I went back to school and majored in math and computer science. In order to get a job, I had to drop my PhD from my resume, but even more importantly, I had to mask my age. I dropped my first degree (1976) from my resume and took off all references to dates except for the more recent math and CS degrees. That, combined with young clothing and assorted other, similar tricks, and voila! I was employed, albeit as a temp.

            Maxie Baucus took an axe, gave Single Payer 40 whacks. And when he saw what he had done, gave Public Option 41. (NO, Max! Bad Senator!)

            by SciMathGuy on Fri Oct 02, 2009 at 04:06:27 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

    •  Get in anywhere you can, "real job" or not (4+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Tinfoil Hat, skohayes, RDemocrat, allep10

      When I was 19, I got a job at a lock company as an assembler.  Within a couple of months, they put me in Quality Control.  Then I got a job in the tool room of the machine shop which led to a purchasing position.  Then I filled in for a lady in accounting while she went on jury duty - she got a different job and never came back, so I stayed on in A/P.  Then I moved to San Francisco and worked in the main plant as an accounting specialist.  Moved back down to the south bay, and took a different position as the human resources assistant/benefits administrator.  I spent 7 years there, got to know all aspects of the business, and left with a stellar resume and great references.

      "Life is short. Drink the good wine!" - OQ

      by OtterQueen on Thu Oct 01, 2009 at 07:49:13 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  And now they are made in effin China (4+ / 0-)

        I am 59 yrs old and every entry on my resume is bankrupt, outsourced, out of business, or dead. (except my business)

        Hell of a resume.

        "People who see a contradiction between science and the bible don't really understand either." PvtJarHead

        by Tinfoil Hat on Thu Oct 01, 2009 at 08:20:05 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  Don't I know it. (3+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Tinfoil Hat, skohayes, allep10

          Try growing up in Silicon Valley.  Between outsourcing and dotbombs, there's been a lot of turnover in office buildings around here.  I avoided electronics, so most of the companies on my resume are still around.

          I try really hard to "buy American," I don't care if it costs a bit more.  In fact, one of the main reasons I quit my last job is because they wanted me to spend millions of dollars on Chinese goods, even though I had a perfectly good local supplier with great quality and competitive pricing.  No way.  Not in my personal life, not on the job.

          "Life is short. Drink the good wine!" - OQ

          by OtterQueen on Thu Oct 01, 2009 at 08:25:29 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  Rust Belt here (2+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            Cassandra Waites, OtterQueen

            Worked for two Fortune 500 Co's
            both not in business.
            Went to work for an entrepreneur in the health care industry (auditing the bastards) and the company was bought for it's database.
            Wallmart won't hire me 'cause I am not on SSI


            It don't make any sense any more.

            "People who see a contradiction between science and the bible don't really understand either." PvtJarHead

            by Tinfoil Hat on Thu Oct 01, 2009 at 08:49:47 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

  •  Yea, I know how it is (16+ / 0-)

    you just can't survive on $8 an hour. I'm living paycheck to paycheck. I'm happy as a clam that I had $14 surplus dollars this week. But that's only after cashing my paycheck in full. I have 96 cents in my checking account.

    Live without dead time-Anoymynous Paris graffiti from 1968

    by greenpunx on Thu Oct 01, 2009 at 07:02:35 PM PDT

  •  Lack of apprenticeship (12+ / 0-)

    Apprenticeship did wonders for me in the UK.  It would greatly benefit employers too - but in this country they seem to have given up on their responsibility to train someone in their own trade.

    •  too many don't want trades anymore, I spent (5+ / 0-)

      my life in the automotive repair field. Both dealership and independent shops are always desperate for technicians. They are almost impossible to find and to even find a young person willing to learn, work hard and get dirty is very hard.

      These jobs pay good money. In the aftermarket my techs made 50k+ and when I worked for Mercedes, my techs were over 100k a year. Pay in the field is dependent on performance.

      Similar to piece work, a tech is paid on flagged hours of labor and sometimes if they're good enough, a small cut of the parts just to retain the quality ones.

      That's not bad money and honestly anymore the work has become less physically demanding as computers have taken over the field. Yet getting someone willing to work was about like pulling teeth.

      Too many of our younger generation seem to find hands on work like repair or maintenance to be beneath them. Plus they want top dollar when they're barely capable of changing a tire let alone diagnosing a ck engine light on a modern car.

      I don't know the answer but I hope someone figures it out.......

      Also this has been a problem for 10 years at least in my field. I'm sure with this current economic nightmare, there's more willing to try but I'm also sure the customer count is way down in your average shop......

      •  This is one business that might actually (5+ / 0-)

        survive as people repair instead of trading in their cars.

        I'll say this, if you find a good mechanic, be loyal. They are hard to find. So many just want to run up the bill instead of just "make it run". I always ask my mechanic if he's training any kids to take over. He says the same thing, nobody wants to do it. The good ones are dying out.

        •  It should do well again as it's always cheaper (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          allep10, Azazello

          to repair than buy new.

          I think the most I ever paid for a car was 2 grand and most were 500 or under. I usually get a quarter million plus miles with just ordinary upkeep. Just one more advantage to the business.

          Good techs make great money, Those who have any mechanical or computer/electronic background should really consider it. A great tech can name their price and is never out of work unless they want to be.

          On the scammers, they piss me off to no end and give my profession a bad name. Anyone who feels uneasy should get a second opinion. Many shops will do simple diagnostics at a low price. But rarely is a good accurate diagnosis free. Time is money to a shop and diagnostics done right take some time.

          Turn in any scammers to the police and the BBB, we as a profession would appreciate getting the hackers out of the engine bay. They just cause us good shops more time and you more money as we fix what they screwed up.

  •  I agree. (20+ / 0-)

    However, remember that it ain't so easy for older folks to get jobs, either. Ageism (age discrimination) is alive and well in America.

    Sometimes, I really do wonder WTF employers want. Too young? Screw 'em, we want maturity. Too old - forget 'em, they're too staid.  Uneducated? Can't do the job. Well educated? Fuck 'em, they'll want too much money.

    I'm beginning to suspect that they don't really want anybody American. It's ever so much cheaper and easier to send the jobs overseas where you can find employees grateful to work for a buck an hour, with their only benefit being that they have a job at all.


    Maxie Baucus took an axe, gave Single Payer 40 whacks. And when he saw what he had done, gave Public Option 41. (NO, Max! Bad Senator!)

    by SciMathGuy on Thu Oct 01, 2009 at 07:06:05 PM PDT

    •  You've figured out the plan -- (13+ / 0-)

      they don't want high-priced, educated, whiny American workers.  It's been a war against unskilled and blue collar workers for over thirty years.  Now that that battle is practically over, they're coming after the professional class -- the ones that remained silent as the working class was screwed.

      "Dulled conscience, irresponsibility, and ruthless self-interest already reappear. Such symptoms of prosperity may become portents of disaster!" FDR - 1937

      by Marie on Thu Oct 01, 2009 at 07:30:59 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Chilling...and absolutely true n/t (9+ / 0-)

        Savez-vous quelque bien qui console du regret d'un monde?

        by DawnoftheRedSun on Thu Oct 01, 2009 at 07:32:28 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

      •  Who said?? (4+ / 0-)

        Silence in betrayal. Despite his shortcomings I do not regret supporting him in the primary.

      •  Mustn't forget that working class folks (5+ / 0-)

        of a certain age actively colluded with the overlords.  The "I got mine, screw you" people.

        "Dulled conscience, irresponsibility, and ruthless self-interest already reappear. Such symptoms of prosperity may become portents of disaster!" FDR - 1937

        by Marie on Thu Oct 01, 2009 at 07:41:25 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  Don't forget the no-benefits employees, too. (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:

          People who took temp jobs ("contractors" - which sounds soooo much better) with no benefits, years ago, when they could have found permanent jobs with benefits, share in the blame, too. If nobody had been willing to take those jobs when other work was available, we wouldn't have so many folks now in benefit-free temp jobs.

          This includes me, as one of Lexmark's permanent (and benefit-free) temps. After several months of joblessness years ago, I needed a job badly enough to take anything that was offered, so when I was offered a temp job, I grabbed it. Still, I never did understand why folks who could do better, move elsewhere, get a non-temp job that had insurance, went the "contractor" route.

          This ended up costing us all - companies found that they could offer benefit-free temp jobs and nothing else, and if you didn't like it, they'd fire you and hire someone else.

          It's a lot like a modern-day Grapes of Wrath. If you don't like picking fruit for 4 cents a bushel, you'll be fired for someone hungry enough to work for 2 cents a bushel.

          Maxie Baucus took an axe, gave Single Payer 40 whacks. And when he saw what he had done, gave Public Option 41. (NO, Max! Bad Senator!)

          by SciMathGuy on Fri Oct 02, 2009 at 04:01:05 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  Disagree. Most temp workers are like you -- (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:

            accepted a temp job because that's all that businesses were willing to hire.  And since this trend started in the late '80s, the supply of permanent jobs with benefits was always lower the the supply of workers that would have liked such jobs.  As for staying a temp instead of moving on, there are trade-offs.  It's time-consuming and emotionally draining to look for a job while one is employed.  Then there's the matter of security - that temp job may be more secure than new job openings that come with benefits.

            While there may be a small percentage of workers that like being a temp, this situation was driven by businesses looking for ways to cut employee costs and avoiding the commitment to employees.

            "Dulled conscience, irresponsibility, and ruthless self-interest already reappear. Such symptoms of prosperity may become portents of disaster!" FDR - 1937

            by Marie on Fri Oct 02, 2009 at 11:46:28 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

    •  Actually, they don't want anybody, period (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      doinaheckuvanutjob, SciMathGuy

      Even overseas they have to pay something and they have to worry about quality of work/service, etc. What they much prefer is employing nobody...maximizing automation, and ideally just making money from money without the bother of having to produce goods and/or services.

      The real challenge is how to cut the financial sector down to size and start building up the productive sector--including the government. We need to reverse the anti-government trend if there is to be any hope of rebuilding the job market, and make government employment respectable again, because the private sector is going to just keep on downsizing.

      "All governments lie, but disaster lies in wait for countries whose officials smoke the same hashish they give out." --I.F. Stone

      by Alice in Florida on Thu Oct 01, 2009 at 08:31:04 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Well guess who will be blamed for this (7+ / 0-)

    OBAMA.   It's not all his fault, but he doesn't seem to have the mindset to reverse Bill Clinton's NAFTA disaster.

  •  Yeah...25 here, graduate degree and no meaningful (9+ / 0-)

    employment since last August.  The money is running out.  I figure I am down to about two and a half weeks.  The worst of it is...I'm not even getting call backs from what resumes I do send out.  I used to at least get some replies.  I really can't foresee my situation getting any better this year.

    Savez-vous quelque bien qui console du regret d'un monde?

    by DawnoftheRedSun on Thu Oct 01, 2009 at 07:07:22 PM PDT

  •  I had to get 2 Graduate Degrees (8+ / 0-)

    Before I was finally able to land a steady job paying middle class wages.  I was less successful than I ever imagined possible upon graduating and entering the job market.  Perhaps it wasn't so bad after all though, as I think a little poverty can be good for the soul.

  •  The Only Serious Answer Is Restorng Trade Tariffs (8+ / 0-)

    --not the friggin' airtight blockade all Republicans and half the Democrats insist it would be-- so that it's not worthwhile for all jobs in a sector to leave, and we can get some to start drifting back.

    (BTW I'll be watching for youth quality-of-life issues and looking to back them wherever I can.)

    More education is not going to help you as a generation. You definitely need cheaper education and I think I see Obama starting to take loans out of the private sector, which is a start. But I don't think that's going to solve your generational standard of living problem, as important as it is.

    The only quick job fix for you is to drop Medicare and Social Security age to 55. Thom Hartmann has figured that of some 70 million of us boomers, 5-8 million would be helped enough to retire early, and that's a huge job opening for you guys on short notice.

    I've done my boomer part. When my career was outsourced under the miracle economy of Bill Clinton, I turned self-employed. Of course I couldn't leave you my job, that went to India, but at least I didn't take one from you.

    But my self employment at age 45 was a 60% cut in income. If I'd take that steep a cut to work, others 10 years older would take a big cut to retire. Or maybe retire plus maybe self employ or dabble at part time work.

    Out of your way 5-10 years early, in any case.

    We are called to speak for the weak, for the voiceless, for victims of our nation and for those it calls enemy.... --ML King "Beyond Vietnam"

    by Gooserock on Thu Oct 01, 2009 at 07:14:51 PM PDT

    •  Great reply!! (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      I really do not think folks like you are the ones hurting younger folks. Congrats on becoming self-employed!!

    •  Not many of us can afford that, Gooserock (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      skohayes, RDemocrat, allep10

      I'm praying I can hang on until I'm 70 because there's such a gulf between what you get retiring at 62 and at 70. Too many of us have seen our savings shrivel and social security making up a much larger part of our retirement. And I talked to a retired auto worker tonight who pointed out that skyrocketing property taxes are eating senior alive. You see, the Republicans in our state want taxes on the wealthy and on businesses virtually eliminated. And every major, taxpayer-supporter big project, like stadiums, is tax-abated, as are all the new "luxury" townhomes. So how do we pay for services we desperately need? The average working guy pays for them. The righties here in Ohio are freaking out because our governor wants to postpone the Taft (his worthless predecessor) tax cuts to balance the budget and not have to slash education (K-12 — higher ed already went on the chopping block with tuition increases on the way).

      The Republicans won't be happy until every penny you make is going back to some rich person.

      Stop Rob "The Job Outsourcer" Portman. Jennifer Brunner for Senate

      by anastasia p on Thu Oct 01, 2009 at 07:45:29 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  It's amazing how much it has changed (6+ / 0-)

    when I left college in 1996, I had my pick of entry level jobs. I turned down a dozen before I got the one I did. It wasn't high paying, but within 5 years I was earning very good money.

    That was the way it was back then in the Silicon Valley, which is where I was. Even the so-called internet "bust" wasn't really all that bad. I was out of work for a short time, but then got an even better job, and the valley percolated along.

    But after a few years of the Bush admin, everything started sliding down hill, long before the really big housing bust hit hard.  And now it's just crap.

    I left graduate school in Canada back in the 90's to come down to the Silicon Valley to find a job. If I were up there today, I probably would never have left Canada at all. At least I could work at McDonald's and have health insurance.

    I was paid to post this comment by my cat, but he's a deadbeat.

    by decembersue on Thu Oct 01, 2009 at 07:20:28 PM PDT

  •  It's very difficult for older Americans (9+ / 0-)

    to appreciate how much the financial odds are stacked against the young today.  Have this argument often with Boomer peers.  They don't really believe that that $1.60 minimum wage in 1968 was worth almost 50% more than the current minimum wage.  That our student loans weren't as burdensome.  However, this change didn't happen overnight.  It's just that for thirty years the young and old ignored it as they borrowed their way to consumption.  

    "Dulled conscience, irresponsibility, and ruthless self-interest already reappear. Such symptoms of prosperity may become portents of disaster!" FDR - 1937

    by Marie on Thu Oct 01, 2009 at 07:21:48 PM PDT

    •  Great reply!! (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
    •  Someone in the AJC Vent today (5+ / 0-)

      called/wrote in about how he didn't see what the young adults were whining because he had raised 4 kids on $40,000 and put them through college. And then bragged all 4 have good paying jobs now.

      And as I was reading, I was thinking, "And when you were getting that $40,000 a year, what percentage of the poverty line was it? How did it compare to a full-time minimum wage job? And most of all, just what percentage of the workforce was making more than that?"

      Hoping and praying that the empty chairs and empty tables in Iran when all is said and done are as few as possible.

      by Cassandra Waites on Thu Oct 01, 2009 at 07:47:44 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  I'd love to have EVER made $40,000 (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Cassandra Waites, RDemocrat

        But as a female baby boomer, that just hwasn't ever in the cards — then or now. Despite two college degrees.

        Stop Rob "The Job Outsourcer" Portman. Jennifer Brunner for Senate

        by anastasia p on Thu Oct 01, 2009 at 07:50:57 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  Depends on geographic location. (0+ / 0-)

          By the mid-nineties it was common on the west coast for female boomers with education/experience to earn in excess of $40,000

          "Dulled conscience, irresponsibility, and ruthless self-interest already reappear. Such symptoms of prosperity may become portents of disaster!" FDR - 1937

          by Marie on Thu Oct 01, 2009 at 08:20:33 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

    •  Bullshit, Marie (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Cassandra Waites

      I'm a "boomer" and every boomer I know remembers: A. we were making $5,000 a year back then,, adequate money. Of COURSE we know that. And B. I never stop mentioning how when I went to college, most of my classmates who didn't have parents that could afford to pay their way worked in the summer and parttime during the school year — and covered everything. The "boomers" you talk about were the ones who did that, and they've seen how much it costs their kids.

      Blaming people older than you is a terrible way to work toward a solution. Remember these fat, smug "boomers" you talk about were a tiny segment of their age group too: only the white, middle-class males. And only some of them.

      Stop Rob "The Job Outsourcer" Portman. Jennifer Brunner for Senate

      by anastasia p on Thu Oct 01, 2009 at 07:49:40 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  As one of those students that (0+ / 0-)

        didn't receive any financial assistance from my parents for college, I can tell you that there was no way that a summer and part-time job during the school year "covered everything."

        $5,000 a year in the early 1970's covered no more than the basics and then only if one was very careful.  (I hate to sew, but had no choice during those years.)  The advantage we had was that we weren't in debt other than student loans on favorable terms and our governments weren't drowning in seas of debt.

        "Dulled conscience, irresponsibility, and ruthless self-interest already reappear. Such symptoms of prosperity may become portents of disaster!" FDR - 1937

        by Marie on Thu Oct 01, 2009 at 08:10:41 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

  •  You Can Thank Your Parents... (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    jkb246, kyril, RDemocrat, Gatordiet

    hate to break it to you, but your parents and grandparents have allowed the same more or less worthless, corporate ass-kissing congresspeople to remain in office for decades.. the result is the massive crisis we now face.


    that, in addition to the failure of health care reform with a strong public option, will be the next epic FAIL for the "democrats" in congress.

    when you're ready to get the corporate lackeys out of congress, let me know.

    "Less Spocky, more Rocky". Maureen Down re: Obama 9/9/09 NY Times.

    by Superpole on Thu Oct 01, 2009 at 07:22:29 PM PDT

  •  The good news (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    RDemocrat, DawnoftheRedSun

    is that if you were born in 1945, you turn 65 in 2010.

  •  A Message from the European Left (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Cassandra Waites, RDemocrat

    Fight Precarity!

    Do you like working 65 hours per week, sometimes until you reach the age of 70? Or do you wish to have a better life, a secure job and a decent salary? Right-wing and social-democratic governments, EU authorities, financial markets and multinational enterprises "offer" you the first. We are proposing to fight together for the second.

    Our present is getting tighter. What about our future? Precarious. Precariousness is not an exception, but the definition for millions of men, women, young people, who don’t see any future worth living for and are facing uncertainty at present.
    Being precarious is the result of neoliberal policies. It’s a new system of domination, based on the people’s insecurity and uncertainty for tomorrow: Work a lot and fast, only when you are called, only a few days a month. Or work all the time, day and night, fast, faster, and more. Work and be poor!

    Especially women are the first victims of precariousness, because of the characteristics of their professional life: interruption due to pregnancy and raising children, lower salaries, part-time work, difficulties to find a job after 50, and, at the end, significantly lower pensions.

    Don’t wonder if you are able to resist. Ask yourself how to overcome precariousness! Reclaim a better life!

    "99% of the battles and skirmishes that we fought in Afghanistan were won by our side." ~ Marshall Akhromeyev

    by ActivistGuy on Thu Oct 01, 2009 at 07:45:50 PM PDT

  •  In my great state of (5+ / 0-)

    California in the coming years we are going to be limiting classes in our public colleges, letting a bunch of people out of jail due to overcrowding and are going to have a ton of unemployed youth.  I have a feeling things are going to be interesting in the next few years.  In a bad way, that is.

  •  Young people won't remember (6+ / 0-)

    but there was a time when it was believed that in the future, people would work less and enjoy a better standard of living...machines would do the work, and everyone would gain the benefit. That was before people got the bright idea of bringing back 19th century capitalism, ditching unions and putting all our trust in capital...

    You know what really pisses me off--all these people unemployed, and yet whenever I call customer service I have to go through twenty layers of talking to a f***ing robot to have any chance of talking to anything like a person--and most of the time they won't even give you a proper menu, they demand that you talk in words--but only menu words, of course, and god forbid if you don't talk like a proper machine.

    "All governments lie, but disaster lies in wait for countries whose officials smoke the same hashish they give out." --I.F. Stone

    by Alice in Florida on Thu Oct 01, 2009 at 08:44:06 PM PDT

  •  even if they get a job they face (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    vet, Cassandra Waites, Gatordiet

    further cutbacks.  Look at what is happening to pensions.  Now even 401k matching is disappearing.  And health care costs are skyrocketing along with deductibles and co-pays.

  •  It's gonna get worse (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    This is how I saw it 5 months ago and I haven't changed my mind. I believe things are going to get worse, much worse. The next 15/20 yeas are going to be Hell for working Americans.

    Harry S. Truman A bureaucrat is a Democrat who holds some office that a Republican wants.

    by Rural Progressive on Thu Oct 01, 2009 at 09:11:55 PM PDT

    •  I have said it to my Republican friends (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      If they think that living in the Third World country this country has become, is to their benefit, they are crazy. What will happen to all their Newt Gingrich ideology bullshit when 50% of the population can't get healthcare, 20% are hungry, real unemployment at 20%, bank failures, IRA gone, foreclosures left and right etc. People will forcefully demand socialized answers, just like they have done everywhere else in the world. Like the alcoholic, this country will need to hit rock bottom before there is a turn around, like happened in Japan, Germany, etc.
      You are exactly correct.

      "How I hate those who are dedicated to producing conformity." William S Burroughs

      by shmuelman on Thu Oct 01, 2009 at 09:40:31 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Expand Americorps greatly, forgive student loan (0+ / 0-)

    debt, abolish student loan interest rates altogether.

    In most civilized nations, there's no such thing as student loan debt.

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