What Losing a Job Does to People

It's fairly sad that such an article even needs to be written. But in this day and age of people as disposable commodities, something to trade like baseball cards, the first to zero in on to reduce costs, I guess the obvious needs to be said.

There’s the executive assistant who says she’s read 20 novels in the past month. The administrator who admits she sometimes stays in her pajamas until 3 p.m. And the business analyst who found himself in a months-long video game stupor, rarely leaving the couch.

The recently unemployed are discovering that layoffs mean more than lost income: they strip away routines and social structures, leaving many people feeling trapped at home and in a rut.

Career counselors call it hitting the wall. The people who have reached that point say it can feel more like a black hole.

For Andrew Adams, a 44-year-old technology consultant who was laid off last August, the first few weeks of unemployment felt like a vacation — the first he’d had in a long time. He spent time with his infant son. He took a role in a community theater production. He caught up on movies he’d missed while working late hours.

But as the economy worsened and job prospects dwindled, the shine wore off his newfound freedom. Leisure time turned to lethargy, and each day felt worse than the last. Unemployment became a barrage of daily frustrations and disappointments.

“It’s the intangibles that no one ever talks about,” Adams said. “It’s an assault on your soul.”

Anyone else old enough to remember those high school jobs that one could just walk in, apply and get? How about those internships? Anyone remember when someone at work had a family situation they were given a break, as in a huge break?

Anyone old enough to remember when one got sick they were not fired for it?

If there is one thing that needs to be rescued in this country it is the concept work is a right. It is a right of being a citizen of this country. I didn't invent this moral imperative. FDR did and said as such.

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It Makes You Feel Useless

In the IT field, I have all the training and skills to be on the bleeding edge. However, my government and elected officials have decided that I make so much and that we will open the floodgates for cheap foreign labor. Since January there has been no jobs out there. Obama has never made a difference still no jobs.

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until they deal with global labor arbitrage

which from what I see, especially with people like Summers around isn't going to happen anytime soon, people will still be treated like disposable commodities.

I really think U.S. workers need to organize and that is not necessarily joining the AFL-CIO, but more creation of guilds, of startups, very similar to how you have black business funds and Korean business funds, i.e. these ethnicity based funds....to jump start their own businesses. I'm just looking at what works for there is no doubt U.S. citizen workers, especially those over the age of 35 have been thrown to the dogs. It is a complete waste of ability and talent but folks could put something together if they organized as well as got the funding.

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Completely Agree

In a few months it will become obvious that no million jobs will be created by Obama's speeches. Hopefully unemployed Americans will start to organize and show the evils of free trade and the World Trade Organization. The WTO has treated Americans like cattle that can be disposed of for cheaper labor.

I wish for major items that affect Americans there should be a national vote: for example: (a) Illegal alien amnesty (b) Guest Worker Visas (c) Free Trade. These affect us all and should not be left for Congress, Senate and the President to decide.

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I don't view these issues in black and white

really into the details so I don't have a black and white response.....although considering some of the special interests and their demands, I can really understand those who do come up with a black and white policy response because we cannot get policy based on those details that are needing the real change. i.e. China, one minor thing is their truck tariff schedule. Just that would go a long way. On guest workers, one thing, prove that guest worker did not displace a US worker and make it "loophole free" that alone would wipe out so many jobs lost...

can't get those basic changes that are common sense.

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another "jobless" recovery too

25 year high unemployment, economists predicting (my summation) jobless recovery.

So, of course they refuse, absolutely refuse to mention global labor arbitrage in all of this.

Time for some more posts on just how many jobs have been offshore outsourced and insourced.

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The theory of full employment

is about to be put through the wringer. All their belief in the Keynesian theory of the "natural rate of unemployment" and government intervention is a load of hooey.
The Great Recession as reported by Bloomberg will leave the US at a higher rate of full employment.

This restructuring -- in what former Federal Reserve Chairman Paul Volcker calls “the Great Recession” -- is causing some economists to reconsider what might be the “natural” rate of unemployment: a level that neither accelerates nor decelerates inflation. This state of equilibrium is often described as “full” employment.

Fallout from the recession implies a “markedly higher” natural rate of unemployment, says Edmund Phelps, a professor at Columbia University in New York and winner of the 2006 Nobel Prize in economics. “It was 5.5 percent; maybe it will be 6.5 percent, maybe 7 percent.”

Each time we have gone through these things there become more and more of our fellow citizens that are left behind. There is a great swath in the midwest were towns once had thriving industries are now reduced to boarded empty shells. The jobs have never returned.
If government policy cannot reduce the unemployment rate what the hell are they doing following a disproved theory. They have not smoothed out the recession one bit.

It has always been about class warfare.

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should be called the middle class wipe out

That is just purely unacceptable. I read these reports too and I'm sorry, to these asshats: put U.S. citizens preferred, first for jobs. that's tackling offshore outsourcing, use of guest workers/immigration system to displace US workers, repress wages and stop the use of illegal labor.

Period! They won't do it because their corporate puppet masters come out and whine and threaten.

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Wages falling in America

Krugan has an article on falling wages in the United States and how it actually can cause the entire economy to stay in recession.

Of course he never mentions offshore outsourcing, insourcing ....those are like dirty words sacrilege of some secret religion.

But the article is a fairly well done, in layman's terms (no mathematics) on what happens to an economy with across the board falling wages.

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What Amerika gets is ...

More highly educated WalMart greeters.

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The new American labor force.

The new American labor force is going to make everyone free lance.

What I don't get is why in the hell the unions aren't taking him on. He has no intentions of passing EFCA; and even if he did, so what.

Largest American Axle plant will close

The company plans to send the work to its plant in Mexico and lay off at least 500 workers.
The move comes a year after workers at the Detroit-based auto supplier accepted wage and benefit cuts in a contract that followed a bitter 3-month strike.

Until somebody stops the de-industrialization of this country, there will be nothing but minimum wage jobs and mandated healthcare insurance.

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Almost off topic for this blog

But I've got to put in the three things that helped ME (Laid off 2001-2003, in government for the next 5 years until they realized my internet addiction wasn't "within policy" even though I had been up front about it all along and tried to keep it within transportation and government and IT websites, then six months later finding a job that fit):

1. Volunteering- in general. More specific for me was church and Knights of Columbus. But ideally something that gets you out of the house.
2. Parenthood- my son was born and I got to be a stay at home daddy for the last six months of my first big 2 year layoff.
3. Government work. Just because it doesn't work for me, doesn't mean it can't work for you. There's something to be said about having your paycheck "guaranteed by law"- even if that doesn't mean as much as it once did (my stepmother-in-law, cue dark helmet jokes, is having her job as a high school athletics administrator cut down to a part time job after 15 years- foreclosed houses don't pay property tax). Still, this is where the stimulus money is.
Executive compensation is inversely proportional to morality and ethics.

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Maximum jobs, not maximum profits.