11 votes

A Look At America’s Working Poor (video)


American political money-grubbers, together with magical money-printing banking elite – have knowingly devalued the currency and off-shored the country’s real economy and traditional job sector. It’s great if you are in government, or work for a magical firm on Wall Street, but for the rest of the nation it’s a continuous slide downwards.


As predicted by so many, the engineered gutting of America’s manufacturing infrastructure has created a chronic un- and under-employment problem in the US. When Reagan and all the traitors who followed him helped destroy US manufacturing on behalf of first the Japanese and then the Chinese and others, where did they think people were going to find work?


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One earner households

Of course it will be difficult to make it on one wage. If she was married or had a roommate, there is no issue. If not, get roommates like I did before I got married, cry me a river. I lived with roommates for over three years before I found my wife in which we doubled our income.

Thanks for that video.

I'm tired of getting called a socialist for pointing out any situation such as reflected in the video re America's poor. I'm reading something on economics recommended by someone who views me as some latter day Luddite, anti-technology. But it's not just technology I'm "afraid" of [for how it affects jobs]. Aside from other aspects of technology I won't go into, as far as just JOBS, it's the combined effect of technology and outsourcing, as noted in the above article. Add in the state of today's education system, and this country is in for a S-E-R-I-O-U-S wake-up call in the near future.

This might be off topic, but... recommended in some other post, I watched a TED talk featuring this pompous paleontologist. I'd have considered it a waste of time except it morphed into a TED talk by Mike Rowe on what he's learned from Dirty Jobs, namely, on the subject of WORK - and I thought of this post.

When we try to pick out anything by itself, we find it hitched to everything else in the Universe.
~ John Muir

we watched and appreciated--

it's good to have dirty work exonerated. :)

it's hard to be awake; it's easier to dream--

I've been accused of being a socialist, too--

and I don't want anything to do with socialism.

I believe in voluntarism, completely.

I've also been accused of being a neo-Luddite.

I think *we* jump on new technology too quickly, without knowing all the possible outcomes.

But I'm accused of being a socialist, because I am aware of the phenomenon of working poor--

I'm living it.

Spouse and I are always astounded at how much 'leisure' most of our co-workers/church members have.

it's hard to be awake; it's easier to dream--

Yes, I think we do.

You might enjoy this book - Better Off: Flipping the Switch on Technology. http://www.amazon.com/Better-Off-Flipping-Switch-Technology/...
(I like the original cover http://www.compassionatespirit.com/images/Better-Off-cover.jpg )

I'm not saying that I'd want to live in the Amish-type community the author joined for a year and a half. But something that impressed me was that they didn't, actually, shun technology; but what they did do was discuss each new innovation, weighing the pros *and cons* and considering the tangible *and intangible* consequences to the community. Imagine that! Making conscious, thoughtful decisions when making purchases - contemplating more than just the benefits, short term benefits at that.

I'd love to see a TED talk on the costs of technology, just one type of cost: the cost to the environment from millions of continually junked phones, computers, and other electronics - realized in costs paid via taxes (to clean up or ship to third world countries our toxic waste) or "just" a cost to health.

I also want no part of socialism. One trip to a communist country years ago cured me of any such tendencies. But I think it's a bona fide criticism on the part of the left that (libertarian-oriented) conservatives don't have any concrete ideas to offer to be dealing with the working poor and unemployed. I'm not any longer satisfied with *theoretic* answers built on a model without ACKNOWLEDGEMENT of the model's geographic domain. Right now, via outsourcing, capitalism seems to be doing more to redistribute the wealth than socialism!

When we try to pick out anything by itself, we find it hitched to everything else in the Universe.
~ John Muir

Me three, on the accusations of being a socialist.

Seems to be a little McCarthyism going on here at the DP. Excellent Ted Talk by Mike Rowe btw, I enjoyed it.

OK, I will get back to work.

and no, I do NOT expect that anyone actually knows what it is that I do.
what I DO know... is how much it is appreciated.

my thanks to both you and Mike Rowe.

The video appeared to be a commercial for the" Welfare State"

People having families and bitching about no making it while the baby plays with the smart phone.

It is hard to imagine a more stupid or more dangerous way of making decisions than by putting those decisions in the hands of people that pay no price for being wrong.
Thomas Sowell

It's not a "smart phone"

It's a Obama phone.
or the reporter gave it to the kid to keep her quiet so he could do the interview.

A land line would be better?

Kinda difficult to schedule interviews and appointments without a phone. And if you are working on call all the time, how much good is a landline gonna do you? And since they lack things like email, text, internet access (hello craigslist). All pretty crucial tools these days.

There is nothing strange about having a bar of soap in your right pocket, it's just what's happening.

thank you--

I'm glad this is being covered.

We would be considered working poor; always have been.

We get by with heavy physical labor--

in an area where it costs between $300 and $700/month to heat a home, we heat our home by scavenging for wood (not hard to do where we live; many people who have dead trees are thrilled to have us take them)--

it's heavy, hard work, and we're getting older--

we are sore for weeks after we haul the wood in--

but we do have children living at home who help us a lot--

and they work hard, too--

as we are doing this, we continue to do all the rest of our work, the work that brings in money.

From spring until winter we are physically working very hard. We get some rest during the winter, while someone has to stay home to keep the fire going--

so the heat doesn't come on--

we begin our plants for the garden in March--

and by April/May we are digging and working on the garden, trying to make it as productive as possible. Unfortunately, if we have a bad harvest, we are set back.

People our age who are retired with 10 to 20 times the amount of income we have (we still work)--

who go on cruises; we just can't even talk to them. Nothing to talk about. Our lives focus around keeping the garden going and making sure we get enough wood in summer and fall to keep our home warm in the winter.

Paying those extra utility bills would mean we wouldn't eat. We don't want to apply for food stamps; we have held on this long; we want to hold on as long as we can--

We've always worked hard; we both worked our way(s) through college--

but somehow we missed the prosperity train, and yet we have a roof over our heads, and that is a HUGE blessing.

a roof--

our home is old and very small, and we still have a mortgage on it (because we lost money on a house years ago)--

but right now we are managing to pay our bills (by bills I mean the bill for the computer/phone (no cells), water, electricity and gas--)

IF we had to pay for heat, we would probably lose our home--

and we both went to graduate school--

Yes, I 'get' this OP and the videos; thanks Barracuda--

this year we were hit with cold weather during our chief wood-hauling time--

since before that it's food processing (bottling, gleaning, etc.) time--

we would come in and warm our hands up before putting as many gloves/mittens on as we could to get the wood brought in--

all of us who were home at any given time (since everyone works different hours) would work together--

our young people (who live at home) really know what makes life work; they know it takes work--

they don't take heat and food for granted--

but they also know they have us as a safety net--

and we're not that safe. We've been encouraging the one who earns the most to SAVE or invest in things that can keep life going--

because if the safety net goes down . . .

I don't even want to think about what would happen.

it's hard to be awake; it's easier to dream--

Where do you live that it

Where do you live that it costs that much to heat a home? In Washington state where I live, my summer power bill (no AC needed)is $55-60, and in the winter with electric heat $100-110.

It is pretty much not worth the labor of having a wood stove, except for power outages in the winter.

ha, ha, ha--

I'm not in Wshington--


The average HIGH in our area for 3 months is far below freezing--

Our neighbors in a home better insulated than ours . . . 5 years ago--

had a $700 heating bill one month--

Their furnace was good, too--

We've never been higher than $600 for a month, and that was before our wood stove was inserted.

It probably is hard for people who don't live in this kind of cold to understand--

in our area there is a program that helps people with heat; people actually donate money through the utility, because it's important that people not freeze--

and it could happen here.

We don't want to be without heat; it's just one of those things that matters to us. But $500 a month is what we eat off--

so . . . it doesn't take a lot of thought to determine what matters--


when it's bitterly cold the heat on our thermostat rarely goes above 65--

so we're not superheating a home--

the outer reaches of the home (where laundry is done, where sleeping happens) are very frigid; we keep those rooms closed to the woodstove---

and just heat the working/heating area--

and we do dry most of our clothes by the woodstove, so--

it works.

fingers can get cold when working in unheated places in the house; some of us wear gloves with fingers free--

it's hard to be awake; it's easier to dream--

You probably told us before, 1988vote

But I'm just curious. What state do you live in?

in the . . .



I don't publish it--

I'm sure the people who run the site (Michael, too) know; our ISPs are known to them--

it's hard to be awake; it's easier to dream--

I figured it out, you are

I figured it out, you are Santa Claus? Why else would someone be so secretive about their general location?

thank you--

for having a sense of humor.

I say too much about my life; I've divulged a lot of things, so I figure if I can at least keep my location quiet I will have at least a particle of privacy.


and I realize that that is an illusion (the privacy); it really frightens me that there is no privacy left--

so why hide from people who have the same kinds of political values I have?

It's illogical, isn't it?

it's hard to be awake; it's easier to dream--

Done deal and almost no courses of action

Technology is a contributing factor as well.

It might have been imagined that people could be allowed access to federal land and learn more about self reliance but there's not enough of it in sufficient quality. Japan might be seeing population decline but the rest of the world continues to merrily populate.

Capitalism's promise fails without property and breaks without food. Governments fail when they faill to protect their people. According to Schroedinger's cat, these conditions exist right now.

The ones who see this are mostly already in position. We're picking up stragglers. I myself may have some time left to teach but I won't have to face the brunt of this.

Odd feeling. If it happened sooner I'd still have been able to do more.

There is nothing strange about having a bar of soap in your right pocket, it's just what's happening.