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Fri Dec 27, 2013, 07:20 AM

50 Is the New 65: Older Americans Are Getting Booted from Their Jobs -- and Denied New Opportunities

http://www.alternet.org/economy/age-discrimination-workplace



In every corner of America, millions of people are terrified of losing their jobs and falling into financial ruin. Men and women with impressive professional achievements and credentials are being let go, nudged out and pushed aside. They are pounding the pavement and scouring the job sites, but find themselves turned away even for the most basic retail jobs. Not because they aren’t competent. Not because they lack skills. But simply because they have a gray hair or two.

This is not just a story of people in their 60s or 70s. Workers as young as 50 are shocked to find themselves suddenly tossed onto the employment rubbish heap, just when they felt on top of their game. They’re feeling stressed, angry and betrayed by a society which has benefited greatly from their contributions.

As the global population grows older, age discrimination is on the rise. It could be headed for you, much sooner than you think.

“I Got Thrown Away”

Jan, a marketing executive from southern California, is just 51, and she has already learned the heartbreak and frustration of age-related job insecurity.

187 replies, 16408 views

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Reply 50 Is the New 65: Older Americans Are Getting Booted from Their Jobs -- and Denied New Opportunities (Original post)
xchrom Dec 2013 OP
mn9driver Dec 2013 #1
truedelphi Dec 2013 #75
B Calm Dec 2013 #2
merrily Dec 2013 #5
B Calm Dec 2013 #7
madville Dec 2013 #11
merrily Dec 2013 #23
bluestate10 Dec 2013 #96
merrily Dec 2013 #141
B Calm Dec 2013 #101
Walk away Dec 2013 #128
B Calm Dec 2013 #133
Drunken Irishman Dec 2013 #136
merrily Dec 2013 #143
B Calm Dec 2013 #148
OwnedByCats Jan 2014 #165
OwnedByCats Jan 2014 #166
merrily Dec 2013 #142
Tumbulu Dec 2013 #102
SheilaT Dec 2013 #103
jtuck004 Dec 2013 #94
B Calm Dec 2013 #100
jtuck004 Dec 2013 #108
B Calm Dec 2013 #109
jtuck004 Dec 2013 #118
OwnedByCats Jan 2014 #169
jtuck004 Jan 2014 #171
OwnedByCats Jan 2014 #180
DiverDave Jan 2014 #185
Populist_Prole Dec 2013 #139
B Calm Dec 2013 #140
OwnedByCats Jan 2014 #168
steve2470 Dec 2013 #132
B Calm Dec 2013 #134
steve2470 Dec 2013 #135
B Calm Dec 2013 #137
steve2470 Dec 2013 #138
2naSalit Dec 2013 #151
adirondacker Dec 2013 #152
2naSalit Dec 2013 #154
B Calm Dec 2013 #156
2naSalit Dec 2013 #159
B Calm Dec 2013 #160
LanternWaste Jan 2014 #177
B Calm Jan 2014 #178
merrily Dec 2013 #3
Skink Dec 2013 #51
andlor Dec 2013 #4
wilt the stilt Dec 2013 #6
Gore1FL Dec 2013 #10
truedelphi Dec 2013 #76
jtuck004 Dec 2013 #91
Gore1FL Dec 2013 #93
stopbush Dec 2013 #53
wilt the stilt Dec 2013 #149
stopbush Dec 2013 #150
wilt the stilt Dec 2013 #157
kelliekat44 Dec 2013 #8
truedelphi Dec 2013 #77
area51 Dec 2013 #116
RKP5637 Dec 2013 #9
madville Dec 2013 #14
RKP5637 Dec 2013 #25
SmittynMo Dec 2013 #12
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KitSileya Dec 2013 #122
bucolic_frolic Dec 2013 #13
LiberalElite Dec 2013 #45
SheilaT Dec 2013 #104
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truedelphi Dec 2013 #78
bucolic_frolic Dec 2013 #95
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Hoyt Dec 2013 #57
truedelphi Dec 2013 #80
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snot Dec 2013 #68
The2ndWheel Dec 2013 #69
Demo_Chris Dec 2013 #79
KoKo Dec 2013 #85
truedelphi Dec 2013 #99
snot Dec 2013 #145
NRaleighLiberal Dec 2013 #22
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truebluegreen Dec 2013 #24
Dawgs Dec 2013 #26
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liberal N proud Dec 2013 #28
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FreakinDJ Dec 2013 #30
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Bennyboy Dec 2013 #32
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haele Dec 2013 #71
leftyladyfrommo Jan 2014 #161
haele Jan 2014 #164
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Egalitarian Thug Dec 2013 #72
Buns_of_Fire Dec 2013 #34
leftyladyfrommo Dec 2013 #35
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RKP5637 Dec 2013 #38
LiberalElite Dec 2013 #46
KurtNYC Dec 2013 #48
SheilaT Dec 2013 #106
LiberalElite Dec 2013 #113
RKP5637 Dec 2013 #54
PasadenaTrudy Dec 2013 #40
philosslayer Dec 2013 #42
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haele Jan 2014 #170
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haele Jan 2014 #187
SmittynMo Dec 2013 #61
llmart Dec 2013 #131
marybourg Dec 2013 #155
lumberjack_jeff Dec 2013 #39
Le Taz Hot Dec 2013 #47
PasadenaTrudy Dec 2013 #59
PasadenaTrudy Dec 2013 #62
stopbush Dec 2013 #49
2naSalit Dec 2013 #153
Nikia Dec 2013 #55
SmittynMo Dec 2013 #60
truedelphi Dec 2013 #146
TeamPooka Dec 2013 #63
Egalitarian Thug Dec 2013 #74
Puglover Dec 2013 #64
Turbineguy Dec 2013 #65
leftyladyfrommo Dec 2013 #115
Turbineguy Dec 2013 #144
leftyladyfrommo Jan 2014 #163
Turbineguy Jan 2014 #172
glinda Dec 2013 #66
mcar Dec 2013 #67
RebelOne Dec 2013 #73
Boomerproud Dec 2013 #81
GoCubsGo Dec 2013 #84
madrchsod Dec 2013 #86
Warpy Dec 2013 #105
SheilaT Dec 2013 #107
B Calm Dec 2013 #111
trumad Dec 2013 #110
bucolic_frolic Dec 2013 #114
truedelphi Dec 2013 #120
BobUp Dec 2013 #124
BobUp Dec 2013 #119
bucolic_frolic Dec 2013 #121
BobUp Dec 2013 #123
leftyladyfrommo Jan 2014 #174
BobUp Jan 2014 #175
enlightenment Dec 2013 #129
leftyladyfrommo Jan 2014 #173
BobUp Jan 2014 #176
leftyladyfrommo Jan 2014 #181
BobUp Jan 2014 #182
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steve2470 Dec 2013 #125
Abq_Sarah Dec 2013 #126
steve2470 Dec 2013 #127
leftyladyfrommo Jan 2014 #162
aikoaiko Dec 2013 #130
area51 Dec 2013 #147
PCIntern Dec 2013 #158
Loge23 Jan 2014 #179

Response to xchrom (Original post)

Fri Dec 27, 2013, 08:00 AM

1. I see it happening to friends and family all around me.

I'm very glad I belong to a union which prevents this.

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Response to mn9driver (Reply #1)

Fri Dec 27, 2013, 06:36 PM

75. Yep unions and the union health insurance are a big factor in avoiding this.

If we had Universal Single Payer HC Insurance for All, this would not be happening.

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Response to xchrom (Original post)

Fri Dec 27, 2013, 08:07 AM

2. I was tossed out in my late 40s. I had a son in college

 

and I always promised him that I would give him a college education. So I learned how to drive an 18 wheel truck and made a good living.

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Response to B Calm (Reply #2)

Fri Dec 27, 2013, 08:19 AM

5. Congratulations. However, driving an 18 wheeler is no guaranty of a job these days, especially

for people over 50.

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Response to merrily (Reply #5)

Fri Dec 27, 2013, 08:59 AM

7. If you can drive a truck you can find work

 

anywhere regardless of your age! I had three job offers in one day and they were all local driving jobs too.

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Response to B Calm (Reply #7)

Fri Dec 27, 2013, 09:19 AM

11. Same here

If you can pass a physical and don't have a bad DUI/drug history you're opportunities are pretty solid. Some drivers I know do get pushed aside, mainly because of physical limitations (mostly obesity related) or DUI/drugs.

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Response to B Calm (Reply #7)

Fri Dec 27, 2013, 10:57 AM

23. So the unemployed are just obstinate and/or lazy?

Somehow, I don't think that's correct.

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Response to merrily (Reply #23)

Fri Dec 27, 2013, 11:21 PM

96. That isn't what the poster wrote. nt

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Response to bluestate10 (Reply #96)

Sun Dec 29, 2013, 09:23 PM

141. It's a very fair inference from "If you can drive a truck, you

can find work," which the poster did say.

If all it takes is learning to drive a truck, we should have much fewer who are unemployed involuntarily.

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Response to merrily (Reply #23)

Sat Dec 28, 2013, 01:44 AM

101. Is that what you think?

 

The only one who is saying that is YOU!

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Response to B Calm (Reply #101)

Sun Dec 29, 2013, 04:30 PM

128. Well, according to you, anyone who can pass a physical can have 3 jobs.

I just don't understand why, if there are three trucks for everyone without a job, we even have unemployment insurance.

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Response to Walk away (Reply #128)

Sun Dec 29, 2013, 06:30 PM

133. I'm sorry now I posted a POSITIVE story about myself.

 

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Response to B Calm (Reply #133)

Sun Dec 29, 2013, 06:54 PM

136. Don't listen to the haters...

It's great you found a job! My dad was a trucker for a long time. My brother does it now. And don't forget Large Marge from Pee-wee's Big Adventure.

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Response to B Calm (Reply #133)

Sun Dec 29, 2013, 09:29 PM

143. That is not all you did though.

You did not simply say, "I was lucky enough to find work driving a truck." You said anyone could do the same. That implies that people who are not working are unemployed only because they don't bother to learn to drive a truck (except for those who are unable to learn, for one reason or another, like very poor vision).

Sorry, but I have seen that kind of truck comment from too many RW posters. It's just not true.

(Edited because the comments I have seen were actually comments following news articles about workers striking for higher wages.)

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Response to merrily (Reply #143)

Mon Dec 30, 2013, 07:43 AM

148. WTF, I never said anybody could do the same! It's a skilled trade

 

that takes years to learn. All I posted was what I did when I lost my job.

Myself, I have always worked around heavy equipment. I drove payloaders, bulldozers, and dump trucks so picking up the trade just seemed natural to me. I quickly learned that it wasn't easy as I thought.

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Response to merrily (Reply #143)

Thu Jan 2, 2014, 03:26 PM

165. Actually what he said was if you can drive a truck,

as in those that have learned and are licensed, can find work. He didn't say anyone can do it. Just those who can.

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Response to Walk away (Reply #128)

Thu Jan 2, 2014, 03:30 PM

166. I think if all the unemployed had the skill and the license

to drive a truck, then I doubt jobs would still be plentiful.

He did NOT say ANYONE can drive a truck. He meant anyone who has the skill and license to drive a truck. Come on, it's not that hard to understand what he meant.

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Response to B Calm (Reply #101)

Sun Dec 29, 2013, 09:25 PM

142. No. It's what you implied. See Reply 141.

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Response to merrily (Reply #23)

Sat Dec 28, 2013, 01:51 AM

102. That is not what the poster wrote

I could not drive a truck, I have back and night vision issues. But do have a cousin who had similar troubles with his old job and is now driving a truck.

Every truck driver I know says there are not enough drivers. But one has to be physically able to do the work, which requires strength and decent eye sight, or at least correctable eyesight.

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Response to Tumbulu (Reply #102)

Sat Dec 28, 2013, 01:58 AM

103. Personally, I would not want to drive a truck.

 

I have always driven small cars, and while I don't get those who have big cars or SUVs, I have long been in awe at those who drive giant trucks, or busses, or garbage trucks, or anything like that.

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Response to B Calm (Reply #7)

Fri Dec 27, 2013, 09:13 PM

94. Because trucking companies are just DYING to get millions of 50+ year old people behind the wheel

 

of an 80.000 lb truck.

I see ads for it all the time. Heck, trucking schools are putting up signs at the retirement centers, offering free walkers with steps to help them get into the cab...

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Response to jtuck004 (Reply #94)

Sat Dec 28, 2013, 01:41 AM

100. There is a huge shortage of drivers, so yes they are

 

more than willing to hire people in their 50s and even 60s!


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Response to B Calm (Reply #100)

Sat Dec 28, 2013, 05:03 AM

108. Well, Werner said they had 100 openings. With 26 million unemployed, that's .0003846% taken

 

care of right there...and they are one of the biggies. But, of course, they wouldn't fill all those jobs, certainly not permanently, with people who are the most unlikely candidates for being longer-term employees, people who wouldn't take kindly to working a job where they might well be screwed out of any sort of decent retirement, or have to deal with lowball health insuranced.

While a trucking co will hire someone in their 50's, and even 60's, the percentage that have vision or health issues, or simply aren't up to the physical demands of tossing the straps over or unloading and loading, especially if they have worked in an office for 20 or more years, is significantly higher than the younger crowd. And with some experience in this, I can attest to the fact that the liability and health insurance rates reflect this. And there is no employer that is in this for the amount of money they can make for insurance cos, so when and if they can get someone cheaper to drive that load, one will be out the door again.

Of course there are a few that would get on. But in a time when tens of millions of people are out of work, or working jobs that pay so little they have to be on food stamps, are unable to use their minds for more creative purposes, that a few thousands of truck-driving jobs (despite the training schools that like to lie and tell us there are hundreds of thousands of opportunities - - they same lying assholes that tell us that we should be going to college to fill the hundreds of thousands of STEM jobs, which are being filled by lower paid workers on H1B visas when the jobs do exist, and in a time when 50% of college students aren't finding jobs for up to 4 years) for which one only needs a high school diploma and a, what, $10,000 school, is probably not going to be anything close to the answer.

Yes, there are some decent jobs if one wants to move to North Dakota and work pumping sludge out of the ground, or getting in a truck and driving crap around the country (it's very possible to be gone 6 weeks at a time). Some people like that. But for millions of people that means significant changes in their lives such as, perhaps, getting rid of their home, not being able to care for a spouse, all sorts of issues that older folks deal with. Along with millions of others, I have real trouble seeing the 50+ woman in the OP above in the cab of a Peterbilt.

The problem is not that a few tens of thousands of the 26 million unemployed and underemployed can't rip up their lives, leave everything they know and love, perhaps destroy their family, and survive. It's that even then our government policies have been supporting the wealthy as they take as much as they can from workers for the past 4 decades, and selling the assets to the lowest bidder while the inequality this drives is getting worse with each passing day.

Sending 26 million people to trucking school instead of fixing those policies isn't the solution.

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Response to jtuck004 (Reply #108)

Sat Dec 28, 2013, 08:43 AM

109. Why anybody would want to drive for Werner is beyond me. That

 

said, if your willing to drive for them, they will hire you regardless of age. Werner is a starter company where one works for a few months just to gain experience. They probably have on average a 100 drivers quit their job every week!

I never said anybody can drive a damn truck and I don't think it's a good idea for 26 million to go to truck driving school. So quit spouting things I never said. All I posted was what I personally did to stay employed after I lost my job. Sorry I upset you!

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Response to B Calm (Reply #109)

Sat Dec 28, 2013, 03:15 PM

118. Didn't upset me at all, lol. There was an article about millions of people being unemployed and

 

Last edited Sat Dec 28, 2013, 04:12 PM - Edit history (1)

you posted "If you can drive a truck you can find work". which implies that there are jobs which they are not pursuing - I just pointed out some of the realities and shortfalls in such a position. If it bothers someone to have their ideas discussed, maybe they should come up with better ideas.








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Response to jtuck004 (Reply #118)

Thu Jan 2, 2014, 03:38 PM

169. All he did was explain what he did when he found himself out of a job

He never insinuated EVERYBODY should or can do the same and if they don't they're lazy.





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Response to OwnedByCats (Reply #169)

Thu Jan 2, 2014, 04:59 PM

171. " If you can drive a truck you can find work" < You missed a few lines...

 


And he, or she, didn't write that as an op - it came in response to an article which detailed the fact that millions of people are now unemployed, and perhaps the only common thing they share is their age.

Given the new statistics which show suicides among that age group have risen for the first time, having now increased to beat out auto accidents as a cause of death, perhaps because depression has replaced hope, to glibly say if they would just go hop in the cab of a Kenworth their trouble would be over is far from just explaining what someone did when they found themselves out of a job.

What fucking good will it do the woman who the story was about, or the millions like her? And even if she could drive, the truck driving schools say there are hundreds of thousands of openings, yet Werner, one of the largest, recently had 100 openings, or .0003% of the need, presuming everyone in the group can do that. But they can't. To suggest that such a solution is more than it is minimizes the plight of everyone.

One might also point out, also falsely, that if you can say "Do you want fries with that" you can find work too. Not enough of even those jobs, and that completely ignores the fact that even with such a job those people may not be able to feed their children adequately, may go bankrupt, and that this works to the advantage of thieving corporations who want to take advantage of people.

The idea that there are jobs out there if people would just go get them, given that we have 26 million people unemployed and a JOLTS survey that says there are only 3.6 million jobs available seems to indicate such remarks are nothing more than a re-write of Reagan's mythical "welfare cadillac" story.

They are the jobs that will make our nation weaker, our people powerless, and would add to the between 50 and 100 million people here who already live in or near poverty, or must have assistance simply for food, in a country that throws away so much we have to bring trucks in to get rid of it.

Such answers are not only false, they are tasteless, and perhaps more than a little cruel.


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Response to jtuck004 (Reply #171)

Sat Jan 4, 2014, 12:46 AM

180. Whatever

I didn't take his response to mean "anybody can drive a truck, so stop being lazy and just do that!".

We will have to agree to disagree.

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Response to OwnedByCats (Reply #180)

Mon Jan 6, 2014, 12:33 PM

185. Don't know where you got that.

I never saw it said here.
I just got released from a shoulder injury and I drive.
I am VERY concerned that I may not pass a physical, the weight carrying portion, that is.
I could go with a smaller company that doesn't care about that. but that has it's own problems.
Not enough spent on maintenance, used tires, bounced checks.
I had all those problems, and more, with a small operator.
But I'm too young not to work and I have 19 years of no ticket, no accident driving.
All that being said, if you qualify and can get training, driving is a good payer.

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Response to jtuck004 (Reply #108)

Sun Dec 29, 2013, 07:12 PM

139. What I don't get is if drivers are in such demand, why is the pay so low?

I've had family members and friends that drove over the road trucks, and while they can make decent money, if you compare that to time spent on the road, it's really kinda' lousy.

I thought all this free market "supply & demand" BS would mean a shortage of drivers = higher pay.

Sounds to me like "the man" doesn't think the working class deserves to make good money. It's just class based bias IMO.

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Response to Populist_Prole (Reply #139)

Sun Dec 29, 2013, 07:24 PM

140. My last job before retiring I was home every night and grossed

 

around 60,000 a year. I have friends who drive for Auto Zone who might spend one night out a week and are home the other nights that make around 80,000 a year. I have another friend who drives for McLain that grossed 92,000 in 2012.

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Response to jtuck004 (Reply #94)

Thu Jan 2, 2014, 03:34 PM

168. I've seen plenty of over 50's driving trucks

Good grief

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Response to B Calm (Reply #7)

Sun Dec 29, 2013, 06:28 PM

132. What are the qualifications ?

Physical exam ? CDL ? Serious question. Thanks.

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Response to steve2470 (Reply #132)

Sun Dec 29, 2013, 06:48 PM

134. You have to pass a DOT physical at the least every two years

 

Last edited Mon Dec 30, 2013, 08:00 AM - Edit history (1)

or if you have high blood pressure, etc etc they may make your physical good for only one year. Employers normally pay for your DOT physical. That said, the physical is a joke and just about anybody can pass it.

Getting your CDL license is a little harder. You have to pass your written exams before getting your CDL learners permit. You'll need to take the following written tests, CDL Combination Vehicle, CDL General Knowledge, CDL Air Brake, CDL Hazardous Materials (Haz Mat if you want more job offers). After a period of time with a trainer you go back to the license branch and take your driving exam. When you pass the driving exam they will give you your CDL.

If you happen to live in a rural area, the best way to get a CDL is by working as a farm hand. By driving local grain trucks, you don't have to be 21 and you don't need a CDL. The pay will be lower, but Wide Open Spaces is a great place to learn.

If you are really serious about learning to drive an 18 wheeler, I can send you practice tests that will help you ace the written exams.

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Response to B Calm (Reply #134)

Sun Dec 29, 2013, 06:51 PM

135. I was asking in case my son needs work in the future

I don't want you to waste your time (since my son is not even in the job market yet), but thank you so much for the offer !

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Response to steve2470 (Reply #135)

Sun Dec 29, 2013, 06:56 PM

137. I don't mind helping your son and it wouldn't be a waste of my time

 

if he ever needs my help.

You have to be at least 21 years old to get a CDL class A license.

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Response to B Calm (Reply #137)

Sun Dec 29, 2013, 06:59 PM

138. thank you, he has 3 more years to go to reach 21

If you're still here in 3 years, I may need your help ! Thank you again !

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Response to B Calm (Reply #7)

Tue Dec 31, 2013, 12:15 AM

151. Tell you what

right here is where you said it, "...if you can drive a truck you can find work anywhere regardless of your age!"

This is not so, I can drive a truck, did it for fifteen years, supported two different sisters after their divorces w/children in tow... and what do I have to show for it? I have a bad back and shoulder, went to college to get a new trade and what did I get? Indebtedness til death, a bad back and shoulder that pretty much make it impossible for me to resume that career, I'm poor, my UI benefits just ended this week - oh yeah, I've been working in restaurants and grocery stores since graduating from college, I'm almost 60, can't get on SSI because I have a graduate degree (supposedly that means I can get some office job somewhere so don't need to be on SSI)... but I can drive a truck like nobody's business but I can't hang on to the steering wheel for more than an hour and I sure as hell can't throw 44K lbs of freight in a day anymore...

So, I call you out on that one. It's nice you found a job and have had offers for others but as soon as you get hurt, and it's bound to happen, you're toast. Been there done that and it's not the answer for most of us regardless of how many jobs there seem to be... and just how many of them are up in the Bakken Oil Fields?

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Response to 2naSalit (Reply #151)

Tue Dec 31, 2013, 12:39 AM

152. +1000.

Know the feeling, physically and mentally.

I may have some good news in the next week or so. I'll PM ya with further details as soon as I know. Cheers from -10 and falling...I'm having to wake up every 4 hours to feed the wood stove.

Best of New Years wishes for you.

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Response to adirondacker (Reply #152)

Tue Dec 31, 2013, 12:47 AM

154. the same!

It's actually relatively warm up here at 7K ft, but we're getting dumped on with an expected foot of snow... not a bad thing really. We need to have the snow for water downhill later next summer, or we'll all burn down.

Looking forward to the PM.

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Response to 2naSalit (Reply #151)

Tue Dec 31, 2013, 07:03 AM

156. So what your saying to me, if you were not disabled you could find a job!

 

Having disabilities can make it impossible to find work in any profession, not just truck driving!

When I posted if you can drive a truck, you can find a job, I wasn't talking about people with disabilities! Where did I say that?

I still say if you can drive a truck, you can find a job!

But, not everybody can drive a truck! It does take a lot of skill. The problem I was seeing before I retired, there are a lot of people with CDL's that lacked having the common sense to drive

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Response to B Calm (Reply #156)

Tue Dec 31, 2013, 11:08 AM

159. I was saying a lot more than that

but whatever.

It was trucking that gave me disabilities and yes, I know quite well that there are many who can't drive a truck, I also was a licensed CDL driving instructor for a couple years. there are far more who shouldn't be driving, period.

But your point about getting work driving semis is poorly thought-out at best. Nice it worked for you, not the answer for far more than you seem to fathom. I get your enthusiasm but it's not as simple as you would like to think.

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Response to 2naSalit (Reply #159)

Tue Dec 31, 2013, 11:17 AM

160. Let's get one thing straight! I never said it was

 

the answer for everybody who is unemployed. All I did was give a positive story about myself after losing my job and the fucking haters piled on! Hell one even called me (in so many words) a right winger.

It shouldn't be any wonder why people are getting fed up with GD!

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Response to B Calm (Reply #160)

Fri Jan 3, 2014, 02:04 PM

177. Could be the implications of Horatio Alger crap are among the reasons.

"It shouldn't be any wonder why people are getting fed up with GD!"

Could be the implications of Horatio Alger crap are among the reasons, too-- even the ones which innocently profess to be nothing more than anecdotes...

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Response to LanternWaste (Reply #177)

Fri Jan 3, 2014, 02:33 PM

178. I don't know why I am being personally attacked, but I'm getting fed up with it!

 

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Response to xchrom (Original post)

Fri Dec 27, 2013, 08:17 AM

3. Lousy economy = desperate workers = employers able to pick and choose.

Some even say that is one of the purposes of a lousy economy--to give employers all the bargaining power in the job market.


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Response to merrily (Reply #3)

Fri Dec 27, 2013, 01:24 PM

51. corporate America has a great economy

the working poor don't

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Response to xchrom (Original post)

Fri Dec 27, 2013, 08:18 AM

4. I was 64.

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Response to xchrom (Original post)

Fri Dec 27, 2013, 08:35 AM

6. This month I am starting to preapre my son for a life in enterprise software sales

 

I am in enterprise software sales and it is about the only way you can insure a job. If you produce revenue business will keep you on until you want to retire. Business schools graduate so many marketing majors. No one tells business students that unless you produce revenue you will be out in your fifties.

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Response to wilt the stilt (Reply #6)

Fri Dec 27, 2013, 09:11 AM

10. Until BYOD becomes the trend, at least.

Then there won't be Enterprises, as such.

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Response to Gore1FL (Reply #10)

Fri Dec 27, 2013, 06:37 PM

76. What is BYOD?

Being of the Sixties generation, I thought Maybe "Bring your Own Drugs?"

But usually drug use is discouraged in a sales force.

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Response to truedelphi (Reply #76)

Fri Dec 27, 2013, 08:54 PM

91. Bring Your Own Device. About half of all workers report using their personal cell phone

 

or other devices for work, at work.

Lots of potential for security issues, but given that it is a reality, the IT folks have to find a way to make it happen, because their competitors are, and it lowers costs.

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Response to truedelphi (Reply #76)

Fri Dec 27, 2013, 09:04 PM

93. "Bring your own device"

A lot of places are offering either a centralized server for remote apps with the expectation that some people will bring their own or a provided laptop, tablet, phone, etc.

I deploy Windows in an Enterprise environment. I don't know how it's going transform into that model, but I'm watching it happen before my eyes.

There will always be systems and networks to administrate, so I am not particularly worried. Make no mistake, thought, the technology leaps (and blunders) we'll see in the next decade are going to be as transformitive as the the last 3 decades combined.

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Response to wilt the stilt (Reply #6)

Fri Dec 27, 2013, 01:34 PM

53. Producing is no guarantee of job security these days.

Trust me.

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Response to stopbush (Reply #53)

Mon Dec 30, 2013, 11:47 AM

149. sales is not arbitrary

 

you either produce millions in revenue or you don't. If you produce millions you will be employed.

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Response to wilt the stilt (Reply #149)

Mon Dec 30, 2013, 11:56 PM

150. A friend of mine woks in the recorded music/video biz.

He's worked at all the big companies - WEA, Universal, etc.

He took over a video division at WEA that was doing nothing in sales. He put up double-digit increases each year over 4 years - tens of millions of dollars in revenue. He was let go in one of their downsizings despite the fact that he turned bumpkis into a major profit center.

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Response to stopbush (Reply #150)

Tue Dec 31, 2013, 09:08 AM

157. very rare

 

99% of the companies keep you if you are a good performer.. ask any sales person.

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Response to xchrom (Original post)

Fri Dec 27, 2013, 09:06 AM

8. This is what happens when you have a Congress dead set against creating jobs!!! nt

 

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Response to kelliekat44 (Reply #8)

Fri Dec 27, 2013, 06:41 PM

77. It also relates to how employers will not pay for the high ins. premiums of

Last edited Sat Dec 28, 2013, 01:36 PM - Edit history (1)

Older workers.

The trend was already being set in the mid-aughts. But I held out hope that after 2008 elections, someone in Congress would say, "Unless we have Single Payer Universal HC for all, we are continuing to create lives of misery and desperation for those in their fifties and early sixties."

But during the summer of 2009, Congress people were too busy trying to help out Big Insurers and Big Pharma, during the discussions about Health Care Reform.

And you can't blame Republicans - there was a clear Democratic majority.

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Response to truedelphi (Reply #77)

Sat Dec 28, 2013, 12:41 PM

116. +1

I think the expense of health insurance premiums is the biggest reason for not hiring anyone over a certain age -- and the absolute stupidity of keeping our current health care system of tying access to health care to having a job. And as another poster said downthread, the retirement age needs to be lowered to 50 or 55.

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Response to xchrom (Original post)

Fri Dec 27, 2013, 09:09 AM

9. The way our economy works is obsolete for the 21st century, it can not possibly serve

"we the people." It needs to be rethought in an intelligent and calm manner, the problem is those holding great wealth and power have wormed their way into many levels of government and will halt progress to balance the equation. And democrats do not all wear white hats. When it comes to $$$$$, often R=D=I. None want the equation balanced for truly shared wealth and equality, rather, generally, they protect their $$$$$ turf. ... not all, but most.

Eventually, 45 will be the new cutoff. In the 21st century, hopefully, it will be recognized that with increased productivity an inflection point is reached wherein jobs in the traditional sense, the carrot and stick, simply can not be created. Hopefully, logic and intelligence will prevail to remedy the situation without backward violence.

On top of this, we have limited resources on a finite planet.


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Response to RKP5637 (Reply #9)

Fri Dec 27, 2013, 09:35 AM

14. Technology has certainly changed the landscape

Technician/trade type jobs seem to still be around but many of the office/support type positions have vanished. Things like inventory, payroll, HR, etc are either a software program or third party.

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Response to madville (Reply #14)

Fri Dec 27, 2013, 11:24 AM

25. There are a lot of really smart economists in the US, certainly they must recognize

the problems as we move into the future. In my ECON classes years ago we discussed this, that at some point years into the future the economic models would fail as worker productivity increased ... etc.

Yes, exactly as you say, and even in software development, for example, many routines are modules that are called, so, in essence, we see similar ... of sorts.

I think going across almost all occupations this will be happening to some extent. And certainly, of course, with factory automation this was seen, and then to top that we allowed the ruthless off shoring of labor.

We are being hit on all levels by a failing economic model for the future, but most politicians won't really touch it, because of the stranglehold big money has on the current government.

Sadly, big money and greed rule this country, and that does not always work out very well for the majority of us.

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Response to xchrom (Original post)

Fri Dec 27, 2013, 09:20 AM

12. They're putting us out to pasture.

I am 59, currently unemployed, and cant wait for retirement. The rat race I am witnessing is unbelievable. The job market is so screwed up right now, you can't buy a job. This even applies for jobs, I am totally overqualified for. I have been in IT my entire career, and can't find a job. What ever happened to hiring well qualified, experienced employees? And what about retaining your older experienced employees?

I could tell you about ALL of the experiences I've had over the past 10 years of seeking employment, but it would take pages. I will, however tell you about an interview I had about 3 years ago. I applied for a job in IT, one that seemed like a very good fit for me. Let me say, that prior to this incident, I have never been on an interview that was less than an hour. I was dressed with a suit and tie. I finally was asked to speak with the interviewer. His first question was, "So tell me what did you do on your last job"? I gave my 5-10 minute presentation. I was interrupted and told. "Well, this is not what we are looking for". The interview was over. I was shocked, to say the least. I went down to my car and just sat there, asking myself, "What the hell just happened"? Was it my resume? Did they not read it? No, or I would not have been interviewed. Was it my appearance, or presentation. No. I have been on many interviews in my lifetime, and I thought the presentation and my appearance were fine.
My conclusion was that I was too old and they wanted to see for themselves. It was confirmed by an ex co-worker, about my age, that also interviewed for the same position a week later. He was given the same treatment. 5 minutes and out the door. Did I have a legal case here? Some say yes. I decided against it, as it was not work my time or legal fees just to prove a point.

So let me tell you, age discrimination DOES exist!!!! So here I sit, still unemployed, trying to find a job. For every job I apply to, there are 200 or more candidates. The economy is still in the tank and I don't see it getting any better, anytime soon. And the GOP now wants to cut 1.3M people out of extended UE benefits? WTF is going on in this country? It's quite sad.

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Response to SmittynMo (Reply #12)

Fri Dec 27, 2013, 11:41 AM

31. Exactly! "... age discrimination DOES exist!!!!" Any not seeing that have their head up

their butt. It definitely exists, but sometimes hard to prove. It is a cruel joke that we supposedly have age discrimination laws.

We use to be told in the very high-flying very successful companies I worked with that "Employees are our biggest asset." Then, over the years, I saw that change to, "Employees are our biggest liability!" And greed increased and increased in the corporate empires. More and more employees got screwed and more and more older employees were cleverly shown the door.

And the rhetoric became, not what you have done for me, not all of your incredible experience and knowledge, but what have you done for me in the last 5 minutes, and masked in that was your age.

We have some very serious issues going on in the US and they are just being band-aided over.

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Response to SmittynMo (Reply #12)

Sun Dec 29, 2013, 02:43 PM

122. Indeed, age discrimination does exist.

As long as the US doesn't have decent worker's rights, employers can get rid of the most expensive employees, and in this economy, get someone for half the price who will do the work half as well, but that won't matter as the company will be sold or divided up before that has an impact on the revenue stream. I can't see that it will ever change unless there's a fundamental shift in American thinking about working life, and that will necessitate a fundamental shift in American culture.

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Response to xchrom (Original post)

Fri Dec 27, 2013, 09:34 AM

13. Time for 50 Somethings to Unionize

Economics always teaches us "land, labor, capital".

We humans are just an input to businesses. Expendable.
You only need so much yeast to make a pizza.

Business are acting rationally to them: in a maximize profit manner.

I still blame computerization, and now the internet. Productivity is
way up. That's a simple measure of more output for fewer workers.
Fewer and fewer.

Many functions are handled by computers. Secretary? Learn to use
MS Office Suite. Accountant? Get a QuickBooks temp. I know a CPA
who got a part time accounting position, and is delighted with it. If
a CPA can't land a full time job .... who can?

As jobs melt away, we're left in the lurch. I have little hope. I work
for myself, and will probably do so until I'm demented or blind. There
is nothing else. It's frugal to say the least.

And I will not spend one thin DIME at any of these employers that
rejected me, or constructed an application that won't accept the
self-employed, or who said they'd get back to me and didn't.

That includes companies from Minnesota!

Older Workers of America, UNITE!

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Response to bucolic_frolic (Reply #13)

Fri Dec 27, 2013, 12:38 PM

45. As one of those secretaries -

I have reason to believe I'll be out of a job in a year or two. They just don't need us so much anymore because of computers. I'm trying to get my little economic dinghy in shape for when I'm voted off the island. I'm just grateful (!!) I made it to 62 still employed so I can get some Social Security which will be half my income, sooner rather than later.

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Response to LiberalElite (Reply #45)

Sat Dec 28, 2013, 02:01 AM

104. Secretary? in 2013?

 

I'm genuinely astonished. That job started disappearing about thirty years ago. Part of it transformed into administrative assistant, but still the same thing.

My now ex, who entered the workforce in the mid-70's more than once talked about seeing the position of secretary almost totally disappear in his first ten years of employment out of college.

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Response to SheilaT (Reply #104)

Sat Dec 28, 2013, 10:26 AM

112. Strange but true -

in fact, I got this job in 1987. I'm not even the only one left. Why the astonishment?

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Response to LiberalElite (Reply #112)

Sat Dec 28, 2013, 01:14 PM

117. I'm astonished because

 

what I'm picturing as a traditional secretary isn't really around these days. Probably more to the point I thought that job title had disappeared, if not all of the functions of the job. My ignorance at work here.

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Response to bucolic_frolic (Reply #13)

Fri Dec 27, 2013, 06:42 PM

78. Where do I sign up? n/t

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Response to truedelphi (Reply #78)

Fri Dec 27, 2013, 11:15 PM

95. 50 Something Class Action

I'm seeing articles all over the web now about being over 50 and
unable to find work, blocked, booted out, in effect prevented from filling
out employment applications after long periods of unemployment.

How many times do you see the Code Words for "younger workers wanted"?

That is ..... "recent grads"
"career opportunity"


It's age discrimination.

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Response to bucolic_frolic (Reply #95)

Fri Dec 27, 2013, 11:28 PM

97. And in large part it comes about on account of employers not

Wanting to pay for the higher Health Insurance Premiums that employing older workers entails.

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Response to bucolic_frolic (Reply #13)

Fri Dec 27, 2013, 09:04 PM

92. Oh, please. What are they gonna do, join up with the others marching in front of empty factories?

 


Unions were ok up until the business unions took over in about 1935, and that spelled the beginning of the end for that stragtegy. They are a waste of time today, or worse. Today unions are like the Starvation Army of the 1910-20s, promising pie in the sky if you just work hard like a good little employee. Until they want to toss you in the trash.

If one thinks joining a union is going to overcome the effects of NAFTA and TPP, and the corporate control of our political system they are delusional

The unions, especially those in a position to profit from other unions workers, will disagree with me, while they are agreeing that new workers should take on $15/hr jobs which won't feed a family, send a kid to school, or provide for retirement. Works great, especially since they get to keep their own

You own the place, make the decisions, or die.

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Response to xchrom (Original post)

Fri Dec 27, 2013, 09:36 AM

15. fact is, companies can pay younger workers less

 

and while "age discrimination" is against the law, who has the resources to pursue that. I and 5 others were laid off in swell swoop 3 months ago and I was the youngest at 60....we don't resources to pursue a lawsuit..

So I'm biding my time until Im 62

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Response to beachbum bob (Reply #15)

Fri Dec 27, 2013, 09:52 AM

16. Tell me about it

I'm pretty much in the same boat. If it weren't for my wife's income, I'd be on the street with the millions of others. Once we both hit 62, I'm getting out for good. I might pursue a part time job, but don't count on it. This country is going downhill at an alarming rate, and no one is doing anything about it.

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Response to xchrom (Original post)

Fri Dec 27, 2013, 09:53 AM

17. Here is the triple whammy aspect

Traditionally in America our peak earning years were our 50's and early 60's. That's when we rose to the top of our professions, that's when we experienced the relatively high compensation that accumulated pay raises over the years provided us. Thus, that was when we were able to save most for retirement. For breadwinners with families, there's a good chance the kids were finally on their own and (mostly at least) supporting themselves by the time you turned 55, or 60 at the latest.

Now that has all been turned on its head as experienced workers are forced out of jobs to lower payroll costs. Instead of saving money for retirement in your 50's and 60's increasingly people are forced to spend their retirement savings early.

By the time many make it to age 62 they have no choice but to start collecting Social Security early - they need those checks just to survive. But anyone who starts collecting S.S. at 62 is locking in significantly lower monthly earnings for the rest of their lives.

And then there is that matter of how social security earnings are calculated in the first place. It is based on a formula that averages out your peak earning years. For future retirees, whether retirement comes at age 62 or 66 or higher, those previously high incomes they were racking up between 50 and 85 will be swapped out for far lower incomes, with long periods of unemployment cutting into earning figures and high paying jobs being replaced by any job they can still find for older workers in the current market. The result? People will not only have to face retirement without a nest egg to ease the transition, they will receive smaller Social Security checks when they do finally qualify for Social Security benefits.

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Response to Tom Rinaldo (Reply #17)

Fri Dec 27, 2013, 12:25 PM

41. Yes....that's the other dark side of it.. eom.

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Response to Tom Rinaldo (Reply #17)

Fri Dec 27, 2013, 11:34 PM

98. Those are all very good points.

Ones I don't like thinking about, but I doubt that what you are saying is wrong.

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Response to xchrom (Original post)

Fri Dec 27, 2013, 09:53 AM

18. It's a total disaster out there

 

I know several awesome, talented people in their 50s who are just #%^*ed.

It's awful.

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Response to xchrom (Original post)

Fri Dec 27, 2013, 09:54 AM

19. Meanwhile, they want to raise the retirement age for SS benefits

America aches for populist leadership, even if half the country doesn't know it.

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Response to Martin Eden (Reply #19)

Fri Dec 27, 2013, 12:03 PM

37. I know DU will kick my butt for saying this, but in many ways Obama has kept up the SOS. n/t

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Response to xchrom (Original post)

Fri Dec 27, 2013, 10:00 AM

20. I am approaching 40 and am beginning to panic

what if my employer decides to replace me with a younger person with half my salary ?

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Response to srican69 (Reply #20)

Fri Dec 27, 2013, 01:31 PM

52. I know how you feel. I'm 44 and I've been watching LOTS of people around me taking early retirement

They're mainly in their 50's and have seen the writing on the wall, and know they have no choice but to take the package. However, I have no idea what they're going to do about another job.

I saw my Dad get screwed over multiple times in the 80's/90's, and it's always in the back of my mind. If I lose my job anytime in the next 10 years, my family is pretty much f**ked.

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Response to kysrsoze (Reply #52)

Fri Dec 27, 2013, 01:55 PM

56. It's coming

Those that were fortunate enough to get out with some cash out of the deal, great. However, most don't get that luxury. They just boot their ass out the door, job elimination. My advice? To those in their 40's, look out, as you time is coming. Save, Save, Save. It's the only way to make it after you've lost your job. And believe me, you will most likely settle for something way below your standards. It sucks getting old!!!

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Response to xchrom (Original post)

Fri Dec 27, 2013, 10:31 AM

21. Yeah, it's bad all around, and there really are no easy solutions...

 

Politically or practically.

These kinds of issues are inevitable with technology, and the computer revolution was guaranteed to be a brutal one for workers regardless of any policies out of Washington. For example, many people today are unaware that at one point every piece of signage and lettering that wasn't typeset was hand drawn. All of it. I am including here things like magazines and movie posters and even company fliers and brochures. This was beginning to change when I was in my twenties, technology was making things easier, but it still required an artist to make it happen. There were hundreds of thousands, or perhaps even millions, employed doing nothing but this. The same happened in every field. House painters used to use these things called brushes, they were little handles with hair on them and you dip them in paint and slather it on a wall. Then they invented paint rollers, the unions hated them because they put painters out a job, but they caught on anyway, until those were replaced by paint sprayers, and suddenly anyone could blast out a house using unskilled labor.

That's just progress, it happened in every field, and there is nothing you can do to stop it. Innovation and invention will ALWAYS and INEVITABLY reduce the need for labor -- that's the point of it. As a nation, you can only hope to keep up by replacing the jobs destroyed with new (and hopefully better) jobs in new fields, perhaps providing that innovation. It can work, but only so long as you have trade policies that protect the citizens of a nation.

And that's what we didn't do. Instead, OUR party decided to fight for free trade and against securing our borders. This is not a slap at any one the wonderful people around the world who now manufacture the products we once made, or the wonderful people who have fled here willing to work at any price in order to feed their families, but rather a simple statement of fact: there are only so many jobs, and when the supply of labor exceeds the demand the cost of that labor will fall. Our leaders in Washington, working for their owners in the private sector, have ensured that the supply of labor drowns the supply of jobs, thus ensuring that the only people making anything out of all this are the people who own the companies.

A changing in the minimum wage doesn't solve this -- there will still be dozens of people for every job and more coming here every day -- and it might even make it worse as it increases the labor costs for any start up and for the companies that cannot afford to outsource their production. In the new global economy, basically no one is safe. The only jobs that cannot be outsourced are those which absolutely must be done here, servant class jobs for example, and even there they can and will continue to import the labor to meet their cost objectives. The wealthy don't want workers, they want slaves.

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Response to Demo_Chris (Reply #21)

Fri Dec 27, 2013, 12:32 PM

43. Many jobs have gone to outsourcing.

and that would be one way to increase employment. Stop exporting tech, billing and collections and medical jobs to low wage countries like India and even Ireland.

Our local newspaper had a report that even some dentists are sending their crown, bridge and restoration work over to China rather than using local dental labs. Radiologists in India are now reading x-rays over the internet to save costs for hospitals.

There's probably more outsourcing than we are even aware of going on. This should be stopped. There are many jobs in clerical, billing, banking that could be restored without using data centers in low tax or low wage countries.

You made good points about jobs that are gone and not coming back but that isn't the whole story if we are outsourcing jobs which can be done here, but the corporations don't want to pay the workers a decent wage because the Ceo's, CFA's and Boards of Directors want to keep the big bucks and perks going to themselves.

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Response to KoKo (Reply #43)

Fri Dec 27, 2013, 01:19 PM

50. It goes hand in hand, but at this point what can you do?

 

Neither party is interested in unraveling Free Trade, they both want more of it. And at this point it's probably too late anyway, the horse is out of the barn. And as you pointed out, this is doubly true for 'service' type jobs that do not have to be performed here. It is now EASY to employ professionals from, for example, India. I was looking into this for my own business in fact. There are companies who will do it all for you, you just tell them what you want, and they employ the people to make it happen.

The company I was looking into had video interviews with their workers. One in particular stood out as typical. The woman had some kind of Masters -- in math if I recall -- and she was thrilled to be working for this company, saying that the fourteen an hour she earned was enough to purchase a home for herself and her family. And this company will arrange for whatever type of employees you need, for as many or as few hours as needed, plus help ensure that they understand what it is you want and that it's getting done. And they just collect a cut of the pay. So if you needed someone for data entry, or online research, or whatever, why go through the hassle of employing an American -- the minimum wage, unemployment insurance, worker's comp, all the rest? Particularly if you only really need someone for maybe twenty hours a week. Just hire someone from India.

I just looked it up, the median income in India is about $90 per MONTH.

How in the hell is an American going to compete with that? Answer: they can't, and soon enough every job in America that can be outsourced WILL be outsourced. And the employer won't have to figure out how to do it, these outsourcing companies will come to them, they'll knock on that American employer's door and offer to save him a bloody fortune.

I don't know what the solution is though. The only sane and easy answer was to stay out of that race to zero in the first place and say hell no to free trade. Kinda late for that now though.

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Response to Demo_Chris (Reply #50)

Fri Dec 27, 2013, 07:17 PM

82. It's not too late to STOP the TPP, though....

and then to work on revising NAFTA/GATT and the other trade agreements to make them "Fair Trade" and not "Free Trade." Obama did say in his campaign he was going to do that...but so far ...he hasn't.

I refuse to be as discouraged as you are about this. There is much that is being done to stop the TPP and we should not give up on this.

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Response to KoKo (Reply #82)

Fri Dec 27, 2013, 07:37 PM

87. I hope you are right. nt

 

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Response to KoKo (Reply #43)

Fri Dec 27, 2013, 01:58 PM

57. I too wish it were that simple. Problem is, as the economy deteriorates, folks can only afford


cheaper goods available from China, India, etc.

I don't have the answer, but I agree with poster above that we better start doing something. As it is, we are on a path to fighting among our selves to survive.

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Response to Hoyt (Reply #57)

Fri Dec 27, 2013, 07:01 PM

80. But it is not just about cheaper goods.

If we had a Congress that was resolute about keeping Americans productive, the problem could be easily solved.

Why for instance, are there few Americans working at jobs for Sallie Mae, the agency handling student loans? (a private agency, although most folks don't realize it.)

When someone is setting up how to pay their student debt, the only option they have is a foreigner in some third world country with rudimentary English speaking skills. Yet the discussion should be focusing on a variety of programs, most of which have complex legal realities. Yet the people that are doing this "service" can barely speak English, let alone handle a legal discussion.

An American young person is expected to go to college, get a degree, and only after they do that, do they find out how few jobs there are out there. And then the job they could probably handle from their home, that of collecting the debts of other students is denied them.


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Response to Hoyt (Reply #57)

Fri Dec 27, 2013, 07:21 PM

83. Sadly..the reason all we can afford is cheap goods from China, etc...is

is Exactly because of failure of our Trade Agreements and the Outsourcing that American companies did because they didn't want the expense of modernizing their plants to deal with the Pollution Control Regulations. So they blamed American restrictions on Pollution and Union Wages and got the hell out of here. The owners made money as they sold off the companies or just moved them Off Shore and continued on.

They felt they were too restricted (so they said) but opening China to the West really was a two edged sword that meant that low priced goods would come in with the anticipation of the job loss. So, imho, it was CALCULATED by REAGAN ERA Thinkers and continued by everyone who was elected since. Now...we've reached the "tipping crisis."

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Response to Demo_Chris (Reply #21)

Fri Dec 27, 2013, 03:19 PM

68. This is the common analysis; but it leaves out one HUGE consideration.

Granted, yes, a lot of jobs have been obsolesced because they've been replaced or streamlined by technologies that yield the same or greater productivity while using less human labor.

But THERE IS NO GOOD REASON WHY ALL OF THE WEALTH BEING CREATED HAS TO GO TO THE 1%.

If humanity as a whole has become vastly more efficient and productive while using less labor, why shouldn't it be possible for ALL humans to share in some of the wealth created? For all of us to work some, but a lot less than the 50, 60, 70+ hours now demanded merely to hang onto a job; and for all of us still to enjoy a higher standard of living?

The funnelling of so much of the wealth to the 1% is happening for a lot of reasons, and fixing it would not be a simple process. But it is NOT impossible.

I find it very frustrating that this basic fact is almost universally ignored.

E.g., the problem is NOT so much job off-shoring; the problem is that humans around the world are creating more wealth than ever before in the history of the planet, but we're allowing the 1% to pit us 99%-er's against one another, instead of against the 1%.

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Response to snot (Reply #68)

Fri Dec 27, 2013, 03:51 PM

69. Humanity as a whole hasn't done that

The same way humans still can't fly, or move at 60mph. It's the plane that flies. It's the car that goes 60mph.

Humans haven't become more efficient and productive. Our technology has. The money gets funneled to those that come up with or own that technology.

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Response to snot (Reply #68)

Fri Dec 27, 2013, 06:54 PM

79. Okay, so who then gets the "wealth," plus how and why?

 

Note that I am not challenging the contention, but details matter. If the work is happening in Vietnam, and they are earning pennies a day, why would some American worker feel entitled to a share? Does this not simply place him into that same class of 1% owners, only in this case an owner by right of birth, with no obligation but to collect the wealth generated by offshore slave labor.

I will say again, there are no easy answers.

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Response to snot (Reply #68)

Fri Dec 27, 2013, 07:24 PM

85. Indeed...we could change this with tighter Financial Regulations on Companies &

restrictions on Outsourcing. Declare a "National Emergency" and do sweeping changes to offshoring tax advantages to Wall Street and US Corporations hiding money Off Shore and put a moratorium on Outsourcing of Jobs that involve work that can be done by American Workers here at home.

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Response to snot (Reply #68)

Fri Dec 27, 2013, 11:56 PM

99. It is not totally ignored.

But the problem is, to understand the complexities that have been created by the type of Capitalism that has run amok since the early 1990's, an individual needs to devote 50 to 100 hours and really listen to the valuable critics of modern day economic theory.

They can be found over at NakedCapitalism.com, or a person can listen to the many Max Keiser videos over at YouTube, or by doing a google search for William Black, and a host of many others.

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Response to truedelphi (Reply #99)

Mon Dec 30, 2013, 02:25 AM

145. Thanks, yes.

Last edited Mon Dec 30, 2013, 11:47 AM - Edit history (2)

Sure, it's a bit complicated; but it's not impossible. E.g., some socialist democracies do a much better job than we do at discouraging extreme concentrations of income and capital in the hands of the 1%; and their people seem better off for it.

The solution involves a lot of changes: busting up elites' control of news media, busting up elites' control of our banking system, restoring laws protecting organized labor, enforcing anti-trust laws and limiting the size of conglomerates, restoring laws protecting organized labor, and rolling back elites' take-over of education, for starters. Cf. http://www.democraticunderground.com/10024245161 ; see also http://www.democraticunderground.com/10024240114 .

The sooner we get started, the better.

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Response to xchrom (Original post)

Fri Dec 27, 2013, 10:33 AM

22. I actually made it to age 52, and a coworker to 53....

We were "replaced" with late 20 somethings. Part of an internal change mgt/consulting group in big Pharma. I was lucky; had enough years to be "vested" (lifetime health benefits, full year severance) - and they brought me back to do 1.5 years of consulting - my friend ( a very talented woman) never did find anything in the field, and remains unemployed. So as of age 55, I was done - the period of consulting allowed me to sock pretty much most of what I made away in a money market acct, which we've been living off of, but is nearly gone. Again - lucky - in 1.5 years we can start to tap into our 401K plan (which we contributed to heavily while I was working).

But the point is that once I was out, in my prime, I was considered pretty much "aged out". Hence my transition to becoming a garden writer (far far far less money, but far more pleasure!)

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Response to NRaleighLiberal (Reply #22)

Fri Dec 27, 2013, 07:45 PM

88. The first sweep of what you are talking about was in early 90's

when there was huge movement to get rid of "Middle Management" (considered useless) but the result was the CEO's and the "Underclass" who didn't have a go between.

I could give our experience. But, I don't want it out here on DU. But, there are articles about it on the Way Back Machine...elsewhere. We lived through it.

Consulting was the way we survived...and we were Pharma..also...so know the deal. You got the next wave.....but, the first was early '91. POLICY! (by the F**ing Think Tanks and Clueless people calling themselves Economists because of a Ph.D)...

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Response to KoKo (Reply #88)

Fri Dec 27, 2013, 07:47 PM

89. what was amazing was the brain drain - those of us in our 50s were not only good at what we did,

but we had tons of institutional knowledge. Then they replaced us with shiny very young business school suit types with great resumes, but far more interested in climbing up as fast as possible, far less about teamwork, effectiveness, follow through.

I am just so happy to be done with all of that!

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Response to NRaleighLiberal (Reply #89)

Fri Dec 27, 2013, 08:30 PM

90. We are earlier than you...but, yes...

what you say. It took us awhile to catch on to what it was. But, it's what you say...and it's not stopped. Even in "consulting"...who one deals with is much different from the values that we might have been raised with...that somehow were no longer valid after Reagan.
Yep...been there....

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Response to xchrom (Original post)

Fri Dec 27, 2013, 11:16 AM

24. Lower the retirement age to 50, or 55.

 

Unemployment disappears, labor becomes scarce and therefore more valuable, the kids get jobs, the old folks get a break, tax revenues go up.

So do costs, but we are not a poor country. We can afford what we want.

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Response to truebluegreen (Reply #24)

Fri Dec 27, 2013, 11:24 AM

26. Yep. This is why Joe Lieberman will always be my least favorite politician.

 

We had a chance to lower Medicare to 55 in 09' and he said NO.

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Response to Dawgs (Reply #26)

Fri Dec 27, 2013, 11:30 AM

27. I remember.

 

He was OK with it until he realized how popular the proposal was among actual Democrats.

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Response to truebluegreen (Reply #24)

Fri Dec 27, 2013, 04:01 PM

70. i think this must happen

i am 55. and a skilled Accountant with over 25 years experience. i am making less than i was 10 years ago. i'd gladly hang it up and let the younger people work.

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Response to xchrom (Original post)

Fri Dec 27, 2013, 11:30 AM

28. Lost many long-time coworkers this year

Just wondering how much longer I have before they show me the door as well.

Employers want a throw-away workforce, the younger people are being told they can expect to work 2 - 5 years max at any one job. 2 - 5 years is not enough time to make a real difference. But employers want to be able to use people and get rid of them and then hire new workers when they have a new project or venture.

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Response to xchrom (Original post)

Fri Dec 27, 2013, 11:39 AM

29. I worry for a friend

She's Korean, English is good. At this point she has been in community college for like 7 yrs. polishing her English and trying to figure out what to do. She wants to study fashion design, she is 37. I just wonder what her chances are. She doesn't have much work experience, just struck by the old American Dream. She's here in L.A., no car, in a place where you do need a car! Her husband is 52, being supported by a brother while he cares f/t for mom with Alzheimer's at home. Jeez After mom dies I'm not sure what he will do. For several years he was working with a guy installing dance floors all over the country. His back and knees cannot handle it anymore. He has no college or specialized training, and doesn't have the brain for starting a business ( or the $$$ ). I wish I knew what advice to offer them.

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Response to xchrom (Original post)

Fri Dec 27, 2013, 11:41 AM

30. They won't hire me at 56 but pay me 2x more as a contractor

 

That policy of age discrimination is paying off well

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Response to FreakinDJ (Reply #30)

Fri Dec 27, 2013, 01:59 PM

58. I did the contractor thing for 5 years

Most of my contractor work was W-9. Good pay, but no benefits, and you have to pay taxes at around 45%. And as a contractor, the bar is set very high. Your first little mistake, and you're gone. In my field, it's dog eat dog out there. Over 200 applicants for every job. I'm sick and tired of it all. It sucks.

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Response to xchrom (Original post)

Fri Dec 27, 2013, 11:44 AM

32. at 58, I been at it now for 8+ years....

 

I have 40 different types or resumes on my computer right now. From cashier at a gas station to advertising manager. I've sent out thousands, for every kind of job imaginable. I've received maybe 10 responses. 4 interviews. One job offer, but that guy was a crook and never paid me after working for him for three weeks...One non job offer.

Of course my long term self employment has worked against me as well....

In the other interviews, both in my trade and something I have done long term before, I've been told that I was too old by the employers. Flat out. Then they told me why. that I was too expensive to hire, even at starting wages. That people over 50... men especially, file the most comp claims, have more on the job injuries and are more costly when it comes to medical insurance. They take more time off for parental care and are usually unhappy workers due to the change in status. they also come into a job with 'preexisting conditions" medically that might cause a comp claim, time off, or poor performance.

Further, in my case, being a business owner, manager most of my life all employers automatically think I (you) are going after their jobs or will be tough to train in the company ways.

So, I became a care giver. First for my parents and now for a friend. Pay is shit but it is a roof and no bills other than my insurance and food, so not bad. I decided to drop out of consumerism a long time ago, so money is not a huge need for me right now. I ahve other clients and people lined up in the future so I will be able to do this for a while anyway.

I have a non profit that allows me festival passes so I don't really have that, so I can do what I like to do without it really costing much.....

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Response to xchrom (Original post)

Fri Dec 27, 2013, 11:44 AM

33. You have to go into business for yourself.

Maybe not a big business but something that will bring in a little extra income over and above your SS.

Age discrimination is so awful. There is really no way to fight it and it affects every race and gender the same way.

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Response to leftyladyfrommo (Reply #33)

Fri Dec 27, 2013, 04:12 PM

71. Unfortunately, not everyone is suited to being in business themselves.

There are quite a few people who psychologically cannot handle working for themselves, they need to have hierarchy and structure in place for them to operate within - even though they may seem to be competitive, they still need to be part of a herd, and they are not (no matter how much they want to say they are) "Alpha Dogs". Require they start a business by themselves, no matter how skilled they are in any particular field, or how good they are about "getting the job done", they don't have the personal management and financial skills to be able to be a boss as well as a worker-bee.

Not only that, too many people realize they have to strike out on their own too late. They've been unemployed too long, run through their severance or savings while they were out looking for the new job, and have little to nothing left when they decide to start their own business.
The problem is that unless they already have the infrastructure set up (as in, they already had a side business or hobby where they have the tools, set-up, and an idea of the market on hand), they're just not going to make it, even if they manage to get something out there initially as a start.
The investment needed to start one's own business, no matter how small the requirements to run the business are, is is massive; you need to understand that you have to have the operating costs, the price to access the market for the business you are going into and your expected "profit" for that business already in hand before you start.
A "consultant" job in a field where people know you already - one that only requires a cell phone, a car, a home printer and laptop set-up will still require at least six month's expected salary set aside to be able to get off the ground before it even begins to see a little net revenue. If you expect to be making $2K a month, you need to have $12K in the bank.
Without the necessary tools (equipment, raw materials and property) for your business, advertising/marketing and a significant nest-egg to begin with, you will be bankrupt within nine months.

The rent-mate who started her own business was very lucky when she got laid off in the 1990's - she had been selling jewelry on the side already, had the tools and equipment and I let her have access to the workbench/storage area in my over-large garage (thank you previous owners!). She had gotten a small inheritance that paid for her start-up costs and stock, she had a part-time job (evening shift at a 24 hr. gas station/convenience store), and she didn't have to actually pay rent when she was staying with me; just her half of the utilities and trade (cleaning, pet-sitting, use of her car when mine broke down). She lived with me for two and a half years while she got her business up and running enough to start making a profit; there for a while, it looked as if she would fail miserably.
She's still going, but her business is not doing as well as it used to, and she's back to working shift - at least she has her own house free and clear, so all she needs to worry about is taxes and insurance. She'll be able to start to collect her Social Security in two years - but she'll still probably be working shift.

Anyway, if something happened to my job right now, I'll need at least an additional $75K if I wanted to start my own consulting business and be able to get it going well enough to survive off that income and my husband's disability until I start collecting my military pension in 5 years (retired reservist) and then Social Security in 14.
Otherwise, I'd be living off my savings (which took a hit during the bust) and sending out resumes, standing in line at the Kelly's or Apple One executive help hire waiting on whatever temp or day labor job I could get, like everyone else. Or working the midnight shift at the AM/PM for the next five years, like my former rent-mate is doing.

This is no country for old men or women who don't have sufficient wealth to "just retire" on. Not if you don't have a job, or don't have the strength and stamina of Jack LaLane when you're in your 50's.

Haele

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Response to haele (Reply #71)

Thu Jan 2, 2014, 11:55 AM

161. I just do petsitting on the side.

My only expenses are gas and advertising. I don't make a lot but it's enough to help cover the bills. I also get SS.

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Response to leftyladyfrommo (Reply #161)


Response to leftyladyfrommo (Reply #161)

Thu Jan 2, 2014, 03:33 PM

167. I oopsed. (sign of age...)

When I retire, I'll probably have to do something like that myself - Etsy crafts (I do softwood plane carving) and writing/illustration work to keep my husband and me comfortable. We will have our combined SS and my military pension from the reserves. Getting old is far more expensive than most people think, and it's worse when there's someone with a disablity involved and you've got roots and your home is in a high cost of living area.

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Response to leftyladyfrommo (Reply #33)

Fri Dec 27, 2013, 04:27 PM

72. Unfortunately being able to generate enough income this way for 15 or more years,

 

until SS kicks in, is simply not a viable alternative for most people in this position.

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Response to xchrom (Original post)

Fri Dec 27, 2013, 11:45 AM

34. Once the Y2K remediation projects were over, so was my career.

Unfortunately, that was about 15 years too early. So I moved here to take care of my mother, scraped up bits and pieces of work until I turned 62, and now have enough coming in to at least keep a roof over my head. Not much more, though.

I've thought about entering politics. It seems to be the only employment area left where age isn't necessarily a detriment, and Lord Knows it doesn't seem to require any marketable skills, other than an ability to suppress your gag reflex.

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Response to Buns_of_Fire (Reply #34)

Fri Dec 27, 2013, 11:50 AM

35. Well, you have to have absolutely no morals.

And be really good at raising money and manipulating everybody.

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Response to xchrom (Original post)

Fri Dec 27, 2013, 11:52 AM

36. This whole topic is really disturbing to me.

And I don't have any feeling that anyone even cares about it until they hit that wall.

No one ever seems to see it coming. You are good at your job, you make good money. All is right with your world. And then wham! You are out the door simply because of your age and the fact that you make good money.

It's really hard to go from having enough money to having next to none. And it is happening to just about everyone as they get older.

It sucks.

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Response to leftyladyfrommo (Reply #36)

Fri Dec 27, 2013, 12:10 PM

38. Most often think they are somehow special, that it's the other guy that gets hit, and

then suddenly, one day, they find they are that other guy that gets hit. And it's a giant WTF to them. Most employees in the new America are fucked, most Americans don't seem to get that.

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Response to RKP5637 (Reply #38)

Fri Dec 27, 2013, 12:50 PM

46. I've been worried

for years - ever since I attended a political meeting at Columbia Law School and saw that (this is a little hard to describe) at each student's seat was a 3-pronged outlet for a laptop. Then I understood that my longtime job as a legal secretary was in jeopardy. There's no "division of labor" as regards typing anymore. It used to be generally that bosses didn't type - the clerks and secretaries did. Now everyone's typing from grade school on.

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Response to LiberalElite (Reply #46)

Fri Dec 27, 2013, 01:04 PM

48. Lawyers don't type their filings and contracts (or do they ?)

There are many professions that still use typing and proofreading for large documents. The formatting and redlining and all that. Calendaring, pleadings, depo's -- some one has to transcribe that stuff. And don't courtrooms still use that 22-key thing?

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Response to KurtNYC (Reply #48)

Sat Dec 28, 2013, 02:13 AM

106. A surprising number do.

 

When I first entered the workforce (and I'm 65) no men knew how to type. That was a hugely important reason why secretaries existed.

In 1982 I had a temp job typing up hand-written documents at a firm. I was, even then, astonished that those people didn't type up their rough draft, make corrections, then hand them to someone like me to type.

A few years later, many of the men in the workforce could type. The job of secretary more or less disappeared, renamed administrative assistant.

I've been a paralegal. First job the attorney did all of his own briefs. He was very good at it, by the way. I also did transcription work for him and for an attorney in my second job. Third job was simply legal secretary, and I honestly was not very good at being a secretary. I wound up getting fired from the job, and never tried for another such job again.

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Response to KurtNYC (Reply #48)

Sat Dec 28, 2013, 10:44 AM

113. To paraphrase from "The Graduate"

One word - "outsourcing". Google work-at-home transcription jobs. See all that piecemeal paid by the line, independent contracting work? It represents what were once decent-paying jobs. I work in a large law firm with a couple dozen offices across the country. They have been steadily reducing the number of secretaries by using the associates to do what we used to do. They also use a handful of their own independent contractors for remote dictation who were once secretaries at the same firm. A couple days ago I was handed a motion for serving - all done already by an associate just needed photocopies and couple of exhibit tabs. What they used to hand write they're now typing. There are always exceptions, it's a big country - but please don't try to tell me what my reality is when I'm living it.

P.S.: That "22-key thing" is used by court reporters, requires specialized training to operate and is not secretarial or administrative work.

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Response to LiberalElite (Reply #46)

Fri Dec 27, 2013, 01:35 PM

54. Yep, we see similar in many industries. Efficiency is a good thing, but in our economic

models we have not in an organized manner dealt with how to handle the displaced labor. Just tossing people on the streets in a civilized country (or any country) is not a solution ... but in essence that is what occurs in the US.

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Response to leftyladyfrommo (Reply #36)

Fri Dec 27, 2013, 12:16 PM

40. It is scary

My brother is a plumber with a school district. He is 57 and always worried. They keep laying off people in his dept. He had a pay cut and furlough days added. My bf is 51 and still working two teaching jobs, college and HS levels. Not much hope of finding a f/t gig ever at this point

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Response to PasadenaTrudy (Reply #40)

Fri Dec 27, 2013, 12:30 PM

42. A plumber would have difficulty finding work?

 

I would think thats one of the skilled trades that will always be in demand. And age I think would be an asset in that particular profession. Its not recession proof, but close, and can't be outsourced.

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Response to philosslayer (Reply #42)

Fri Dec 27, 2013, 12:37 PM

44. True

His hands are shot though, from 30 yrs of twisting wrenches. May need surgery. Body gets worn down from physical work!

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Response to philosslayer (Reply #42)

Thu Jan 2, 2014, 04:26 PM

170. Plumber and auto mechanic are good jobs until they're the only jobs left.

I don't remember who said it, but I heard on NPR that the way the job market is going with more privatization of services and the shrinking of available skilled labor work, only reliable economies left for the average workforce that doesn't already have a lot of money to begin with over the next ten years is to be handling each other's purchases - no matter what skills or training one has already.

With increased competition of workers trying to gain non-outsourcable, stable, or necessary-for-the-public-good jobs that are now being privatized, the normally high skilled, experienced, or specialty labor fields that do facilitation, repair, installation, or fabrication will see their "good" wages will drop to the level of entry-level, low or non-skilled just above minimum wage jobs such as security guard, cashier or stocker.

It's getting worse in non-tangible jobs where you'd want a dedicated, trained person doing the job and production cannot be easily measured in dollar signs on monthly spreadsheets - caretakers and lower-level professionals have seen their median wages fall a good 40% (to 70% in some areas) over the past 40 years as their work gets weighed against quarterly profit margins.

I'm the only person with a regular in my immediate family; spouse is disabled and on SSDI, 20-year-old step-daughter is still working through PTSD and can't stick to school or keep a job, grandchild is only 2. If something happened to my job over the next five years before my pension kicks in, everyone who depends on my paycheck would be royally f**'d. At 55 and not already being in one of the few very senior manager, program manger, or engineer positions available, it will be years before anyone would consider hiring me full time with the current number of job availabilities to applicants at anywhere within half my current salary (which isn't great for my experience and skills anyway). I'm good at what I do, and am reliable and dependable when it comes to skills and getting the job done right, but I'm not "spectacular" and I haven't been particularly ambitious when it comes to wanting to give up my personal life to be in a position of power. If I were able to make a go at being an independent contractor, I'd still be lucky to get two or three months worth of work a year at $15 - $20 an hour with no benefits through my networks - there are that many people looking for work, and it's a big ol' employer's discount store out there.

If I lost my job next week, without unemployment insurance, we'd be bankrupt within the next six months and/or verging on homeless within a year after that. But if I lost it after 5 years from now, we'd still be f**'d, but at least not royally.
I consider myself better off than many of my contemporaries, who have many of the same issues and prospects ahead of them.

Haele

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Response to haele (Reply #170)

Mon Jan 6, 2014, 12:04 PM

184. My PTSD

was resolved for good through EMDR therapy. See if you can find a qualified therapist who uses this method. All the talking in the world didn't help me. It sounds weird but I got relief after years suffering the affects of trauma. Good luck to you all!

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Response to PasadenaTrudy (Reply #184)

Mon Jan 6, 2014, 01:37 PM

187. Thanks.

She still hasn't quite gotten to the point she wants to face it (her current coping mechinism is still to run away from the issues of the past and her memories, but at least she's stopped trying to deny anything traumatic happened to her in the past and that those fears and emotions are still controlling her actions).

EMDR had been recommended to us by several of the very qualified adolescent therapists she "fired" when she was in denial a few years back, and my current employer's insurance covers EMDR.

But, she's still in charge of her own mental health choices and for the time being, she's depending on only on her medical marijuana and couch-locking her rage and fear to be able to function enough for part-time retail or day labor work. Unfortunately, the ACA and employer pharmacy plans don't cover MM dispenseries...her entire paycheck pretty much goes to her "meds".

We're hoping that over the next four years she's still able to be under my current employer's insurance, she will come around and want to work it out - if not only to save her some serious money and free up a lot of the time she currently spends avoiding her trauma.

Haele

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Response to leftyladyfrommo (Reply #36)

Fri Dec 27, 2013, 02:12 PM

61. I'm one of them n/t

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Response to leftyladyfrommo (Reply #36)

Sun Dec 29, 2013, 06:25 PM

131. You summed it up perfectly.

Yes, most Americans who are younger really do have that "it won't happen to me because I'm blah, blah, blah" you fill in the blanks. They don't actually come out and say they're indispensable but that's what is implied. Boy, are they in for a real shock when they hit 50! It's true that you can go from living reasonably comfortably to living frugally.

I'm almost 65. I've been fortunate that at 60 I was able to find a full time job with benefits but at low pay. I took it. I've never been too proud to take a lesser salary just to bring in some money. I don't agree with what's happened in this country, but you just have to set aside your pride sometimes to get by. I found a part time job at 63 that supplements my Social Security. I have friends my age who always tell me I won't be able to get a job, but I always ignore them and keep trying.

I would give my advise to those who are 50 to start learning to live frugally so that when it does happen to you, you're prepared. Don't ever think it can't happen to you and don't wait until it does to figure out what to do.

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Response to leftyladyfrommo (Reply #36)

Tue Dec 31, 2013, 12:54 AM

155. This has happened many times in human history.

But there used to be a certain amount of preparation for this eventuality. It was encapsulated by the saying: "Save for a rainy day". Somewhere, somehow, we became so affluent, so confident that we forgot that prescription. When was the last time you (you the reader, not necessarily the previous poster) advised someone to "save for a rainy day? Did we forget that "rainy days" come, every so often? Or did we forget the concept of "save"?

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Response to xchrom (Original post)

Fri Dec 27, 2013, 12:13 PM

39. I tell my kids to max out their 401k

 

If I hadn't saved 20% of my working salary, we'd be fucked.

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Response to xchrom (Original post)

Fri Dec 27, 2013, 01:03 PM

47. There may be a part-time job available for all, including older workers,

with the U.S. Census bureau. Yes, they count everyone every 10 years but in between they conduct surveys. Both private and public entities rely on the Census Bureau to conduct various surveys because they already have the staff in place. When you read labor statistics, health care statistics, income statistics, all of those, and MUCH more comes from the Census Bureau.

ANYWAY, the Census bureau is often looking for survey takers (called Field Representatives). It's only part-time and there's no benefits (of course), but it's money and when you're living on the edge, ever $ helps. The pay scale is dependent on your area but it should run between about $13.00 and $20.00 an hour.

The reason I'm posting this in this thread is that they don't discriminate, including and especially on the basis of age. I would say most Field Representatives are over the age of 50.

It may take from a few months to a few years but you can start the application process now. Here's the address:

http://www.census.gov/hrd/www/

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Response to Le Taz Hot (Reply #47)

Fri Dec 27, 2013, 02:06 PM

59. Cool, thanks! n/t

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Response to Le Taz Hot (Reply #47)

Fri Dec 27, 2013, 02:15 PM

62. I think I will apply

to the Los Angeles bureau. Not in a hurry for work and the extra cash would help. Sounds interesting!

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Response to xchrom (Original post)

Fri Dec 27, 2013, 01:12 PM

49. An excellent article that hits all of the salient points.

I'm 59 and have been out of work for 3 years. I still get plenty of phone interviews, Skype interviews and face-to-face interviews for good-paying jobs, even at my age. I have to believe that's based on the strength of my resume.

What I've noticed is that the phone interviews go great, but when it comes to face-to-face encounters, things go downhill quickly. Why? Could it be that it's because I'm bald, and what hair I have is tinged with gray? I'm in excellent physical shape - not overweight, no physical "quirks" or anything else that says "he's too old." But I don't have the head of hair I had into my early 40s.

Yes, ageism is alive and well in the workplace.

People who see my resume see that I went to college in the 1970s. They know that I am not a 30-something. They see that I have experience at a number of very large internationally based companies where I held pretty important positions. I get the feeling that employers see my experience, realize that I'm older, but hold out the hope that "maybe we'll get lucky and he looks like George Clooney." When George Clooney doesn't walk through their door, the interview process ends.

And it's true that it's almost impossible for an older worker to even get an interview for a McJob these days. My resume gets NO play at all from the Costcos and Barnes & Nobles of the world. Not a peep, even during the Xmas hiring season. I'm "overqualified." They're all afraid that they'll hire you, spend time training you, and that you'll quit within a few months because you "found something better." The fact that you haven't been able to find ANYTHING in three years doesn't seem to figure into their calculations about how quickly you'll be able to leave them for greener pastures.

Hate to say it, but the government is going to have to come up with something quick, or this country is going to sink back into the morass and poverty that afflicted seniors before SS and Medicare came around. At least in the pre-SS days, you worked into your 60s, maybe got a pension and had some assets to live off once you retired. Life expectancy wasn't what it is today. People like me are going through their assets just to stay alive!! And I'm not even 60. I may be forced to take SS at age 62, simply because I'll have no other source of income and will have gone through our retirement savings.

Where is the government plan for dealing with a work force that increasingly sees their careers - and any chance for meaningful employment - ending in their 50s, with their life expectancy heading into their 80s? Are we as a country prepared to support a growing subset of Americans for the final 30+ years of their lives? Or, do we just leave our seniors to poverty, starvation and an earlier death than they should suffer? Because that's what's brewing right now for people once they hit 50 in this country.

Logan's Run, anybody?

Not exactly a rosy scenario, especially when most people don't even know the problem exists, with the few people who do see the problem believe the problem lies with the older workers themselves, not with rampant ageism.

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Response to stopbush (Reply #49)

Tue Dec 31, 2013, 12:44 AM

153. I think

to add to your thoughts, that it's part of the coporatocracy program. If the majority of us are broke and starving, we'll take anything to get food and shelter of diminishing quality in order to keep from being out on the streets. It would appear that turning the US into a third-world nation is the goal, that way we won't be so costly and they can get more for their buck. Those who can't handle the workloads will die off and that will make the population even out for the benefit of the overlords of commerce.

Looks like where we're headed and those who don't see this coming at them like an errant meteor in the face are probably too busy staring at their iphones being mesmerized by the glow.

Capitalism, it's not our friend after all.

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Response to xchrom (Original post)

Fri Dec 27, 2013, 01:53 PM

55. Is health insurance concerns possibly one source of job discrimination?

Fear that older workers and their spouses will use more health care and increase the cost of the health insurance policy? I know that at one of my previous companies where there were 60 employees, a few heart attacks and costly chronic conditions kept our health insurance costs higher.
My father got good employment reviews and raises every year until he got prostate cancer in his early fifties. Despite having surgery to remove it all and coming back to work at full strength, management's opinion of him had changed. He ended up taking a significant demotion that was probably designed to encourage him to quit the company altogether. He continues to work there because of his accumulated vacation. They continue to employ him in his new role because he does well, while many of his coworkers don't.

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Response to Nikia (Reply #55)

Fri Dec 27, 2013, 02:10 PM

60. Your father is a lucky man

A lot of companies are doing this to let the employee make the move to quit. It's the easiest way to assist companies in terminations. You quit, you're on your own. No law suits, hassles, etc..

I hope he sticks it out. In the long run, it's worth putting up with all the BS.

It's really sad as to what is going on in this country. Do you think any of the major news stations would ever cover this? Hell no!!!!

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Response to Nikia (Reply #55)

Mon Dec 30, 2013, 02:36 AM

146. This is one key reason why as a nation, we have to go to Universal Single Payer.

Until we do, the older workers carry with them the cost of a higher premium. And often the worker has a higher premium even if no cancer or other serious illness hits them - the premium formula is age based, so once you are over 40, you cost more. I have had many friends who would get annual ten percent pay increases, but then when they hit forty, they wouldn't get any more annual increases, as the employer will explain those monies are now needed to keep the insurance in force.

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Response to xchrom (Original post)

Fri Dec 27, 2013, 02:19 PM

63. this is about eliminating the high salaries of workers at their peak of their careers. nt

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Response to TeamPooka (Reply #63)

Fri Dec 27, 2013, 04:35 PM

74. Look more closely, it goes much further than that.

 

We have an entire population set on a treadmill of lifelong servitude. You come out of school carrying a debt load roughly equivalent to that of a starter house, but with no equity of course. Then just about the time that debt is gone, you find yourself coming into the situation this post describes, high expenses, a heavy debt load and suddenly no income nor any way to generate it.

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Response to xchrom (Original post)

Fri Dec 27, 2013, 02:27 PM

64. I retired at 55.

When my company merged with another. I could have remained but would have had to relocate. So I took my meager pension and we became a one income house hold.

Luckily we had money in the bank and two pensions. We took the money, built a home in Ecuador and in a years time will sell the place up here and amscray. I really look forward to seeing this place in my rear view mirror. And feel horrible for folks that aren't as fortunate as we are.

For many of it's citizens the US is a cold cruel place to live. It really is terribly sad.

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Response to xchrom (Original post)

Fri Dec 27, 2013, 02:32 PM

65. Strangely enough

it means there's a huge pool of talent out there that could run circles around the cannibals who got rid of them.

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Response to Turbineguy (Reply #65)

Sat Dec 28, 2013, 11:31 AM

115. I don't think talent has much to do with anything anymore.

The corporate workplace is just so strange. No one should have to work under such awful conditions. No one should have to spend their lives being a corporate drone.

And I keep reading that people now really are on the clock 24/7. No real downtime at all.

We are going to end up with a lot of crazy people. More than we even have now.

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Response to leftyladyfrommo (Reply #115)

Sun Dec 29, 2013, 09:29 PM

144. All these corporate idiots do not understand

that it's what an employee costs that counts, not so much what you pay them.

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Response to Turbineguy (Reply #144)

Thu Jan 2, 2014, 12:02 PM

163. Employees are simply units that produce a certain amount of product.

When the cost of employing someone is higher than the value of the product they produce they are out the door. With no pension. And if you are 40 or over no real prospect of finding another job that pays anywhere near what you were making.

It's a pretty cruel world out there right now. And getting worse, I think.

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Response to leftyladyfrommo (Reply #163)

Thu Jan 2, 2014, 09:41 PM

172. I'm reading a new book

"Eyes Wide Open" by Noreena Hertz. She goes into the "quant" mentality and its shortcomings. Some things just can't be precisely calculated or measured.

I once took an expensive technical course in Switzerland. As a result I made a number of much better decisions than I otherwise would have. Since history was changed, we have no way of determining exactly what the return on investment was. That's how it works.

There simply are not that many jobs where experience doesn't count. The important thing is that many MBA's making the decision to rid themselves of "expensive" employees do not know what these jobs entail. And since they got rid of their talent and cannot be seen as being wrong, they have to double down on the stupid and increase turnover at ever lower pay to compensate.

I suspect that the world is beginning to see where this is leading. In any case, the sooner the better.

In my management courses I talk about an "ideal organizational efficiency" which is not 100%, but things run smoothly and people are fairly happy. "In Class, On Schedule and Under Budget" as we used to describe it (in this context "In Class" means that the classification society, such as Lloyds of London, ABS or DNV has no negative issues with you).

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Response to xchrom (Original post)

Fri Dec 27, 2013, 02:44 PM

66. Been there done that gave up. Now I stay at home and

try to figure out how to make our one retiree budget work better. That and sell personal belongings when I get them sorted.

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Response to xchrom (Original post)

Fri Dec 27, 2013, 02:55 PM

67. I got laid off in June at age 54

No jobs in my field in commuting distance and no one will even consider a telecommuting gig like my old job. SO has 5 more years to retirement so we're stuck here.

Not that anyone is particularly interested anyway. I've had two interviews in 6 months. One for a job that would have been a 90 minute commute each way. I never got a call back after the second interview anyway.

30 years of experience and I know that once I put my college graduation year in the online applications (required by just about all employers), I'm not even going to be looked at by a human.

My sister is an HR director. She steadfastly refuses to use the online application systems because of the way they filter out good candidates. Says if a job description wants 5-7 years experience and you have 10, the system bumps you from consideration. How stupid is that? Some of the best people I've hired were not technically qualified for the job.

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Response to xchrom (Original post)

Fri Dec 27, 2013, 04:33 PM

73. I was 71 when I was laid off my job,

but it was not because of my age. Three other co-workers were all let go also, and they were all much younger me. I worked as a copy editor for a large company that published outdoors magazines nationwide. Because the economy dipped, the company was losing money in ad revenue, so they downsized the staff.

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Response to xchrom (Original post)

Fri Dec 27, 2013, 07:13 PM

81. I'm 57 and scared to death.

I've been working temp jobs for 2 1/2 years (with no benefits) after being downsized from a steady job. I WAS middle-class and took care of myself-but now I'm in real trouble and the phrase "hang in there" is getting to sound very shallow. I need some luck, and fast.

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Response to xchrom (Original post)

Fri Dec 27, 2013, 07:22 PM

84. Yep. Am there. Doing that.

Got laid off so long ago, I can't bear to think about it. The temp and contract jobs have dried up. I don't expect to ever be employed again. Too young to get to any of my retirement funds without paying huge penalties. I will be 53 next month. I am fucked.

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Response to xchrom (Original post)

Fri Dec 27, 2013, 07:37 PM

86. happened to me in 2003

i did find work but it was about 3/4 of what i made

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Response to xchrom (Original post)

Sat Dec 28, 2013, 02:07 AM

105. The Corporate Expiration Age used to be 55. It's being moved back

and I see nothing stopping it from being 40 for women and 45 for men.

Corporate managers who managed to live modestly and invest heavily will be in a position to start their own competing businesses. I hope many of them will hire older workers in the same boat, but I'm not terribly optimistic.

This is why it makes more sense to lower the Social Security eligibility age rather than continuing to jack it up because Congressmen over 70 don't feel a day over 30 since they haven't done any physical work since they left college.

Being kicked out of work 10 years ahead of schedule was bad enough. Being kicked out of work 25 years before retirement kicks in is unconscionable and might provoke the very real revolution this country needs so badly.

Let's hope for a peaceful one.

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Response to xchrom (Original post)

Sat Dec 28, 2013, 02:32 AM

107. I think an awful lot depends on what field you were in to begin with.

 

I never had a career or profession, just some jobs, none of which I liked. For ten years I was an airline ticket agent at Washington National Airport (GREAT travel benefits, especially back then) but left, got married, worked at various temp things, then had my first child and became a stay at home mom for 25 years.

The actual good thing about that job history is that I'd never had a profession, and so when I returned to the world of work, I was entry level. I also had returned to school and gotten a paralegal degree, and had a couple of paralegal jobs I liked. Then a divorce happened, I moved 800 miles to a new city for a new life and started again.

Even though I was now 60 years old, I honestly do not think my age has been held against me. I like to think I look younger than I am, but I certainly do not look 22 or even 42. I got plenty of interviews, and almost always made it to a second interview, and when I didn't get the job it turned out that the one hired had some skill that I did not have. Darn.

On the advice of a cousin who is a nurse, I applied at the local hospital, and got a job registering outpatient procedures. Entry level, yes. But the benefits are quite good. And as I may have mentioned, I didn't have a profession or a career in place.

If I were even ten years younger, meaning if I were only 55, I'd look carefully into programs at my local junior college. I'd probably think about something medical related, such as coding. That's not a job that's going to go away any time in the near future. Or something else. I'd talk to them at the junior college and find out what programs they readily place students from. Every school has some sort of career placement office, and those people should know for sure what is actually out there.

I would also cheerfully lie about certain aspects of my job history. Two jobs that I got fired from have simply disappeared. When I fill out a job application the first job I list, even though they always say they want a chronological listing, is the job I had for the longest. Sometimes you just have to be a bit creative.

The other underlying issue is that those who have had a career, a profession, have come to depend on the salary they've earned. It's easy for someone like me to think, Oh, you shouldn't have spend so much, should have saved more. But the reality is when you have a good job with a good income you of course spend that income. Doesn't mean you've gone into serious debt. But you do depend on that income. And when it goes away, it's a huge shock. It's very difficult to scale back significantly. And now, not only is your income zero, but the chances of replacing that income are not good. THAT'S the problem. Not that people have lived beyond their means. No. They've lived at their means. They've believed the American Dream that things will always get better. And now, they've been shafted. It simply is not right.

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Response to SheilaT (Reply #107)

Sat Dec 28, 2013, 09:55 AM

111. +1

 

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Response to xchrom (Original post)

Sat Dec 28, 2013, 09:14 AM

110. I work for an Israeli company...

 

They could care less about your age.

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Response to xchrom (Original post)

Sat Dec 28, 2013, 11:18 AM

114. 50 Somethings should Boycott All Businesses

who discriminate

That would draw attention to our cause

Tired of reading "must be 18 years old"
Must have "7 years recent experience in similar position"

Saw an ad like that 2 minutes ago

I just want to tell them WHY I will NEVER buy
their product

NEVER

There is power in numbers

Public awareness and PR can change policies

When they realize it's hurting their bottom line

they will change

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Response to bucolic_frolic (Reply #114)

Sat Dec 28, 2013, 04:07 PM

120. Unfortunately the Biggest of The Big Businesses out there would

Not Care. They are expanding to generate and take on new markets in the Far East.

Who needs the grumpy older person's money when there are two to four billion people in the Far East who will buy the product?

signed, Grumpy Older Person.

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Response to bucolic_frolic (Reply #114)

Sun Dec 29, 2013, 03:31 PM

124. Would that help?

Boycotting? I mean even after the Lilly Ledbetter Act was passed, corporate America probably still discriminates against women, it's just that they found ways around the law to circumvent paying women equal wages.

Occasionally, I browse companies satisfaction ratings at glass door dot come, and find many retailers like dollar store female employees still feel they're underpaid compared to men. Plus, they'll hire a male to fill a assistant or managers position over a female, my wife experienced this first hand at a dollar store in New mexico.

Also, people who are looking for work should never ever have facebook or twitter accounts and if they do, they shouldn't be writing detrimental things about the places they work at, or have worked at in the past, because corporations will hold that against you as an employee.

At the nursing facility where my wife works now, employees are instructed by management not to discuss the amount of wages they're paid, and not to discuss management procedures. It's kind of like working for communists.

http://www.glassdoor.com/Reviews/Dollar-General-Reviews-E1342.htm

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Response to xchrom (Original post)

Sat Dec 28, 2013, 03:28 PM

119. Lower age

I believe this began long ago in the American workplace. They used to say if you had a steady job at the age of 40, you'd better hang onto it because nobody will hire you if you're over the hill.

This 50 is the new 65 probably means the people who have had professional careers, you know, those with masters degrees working for places like Chase, Citibank, and so forth.

I had a relative who worked for Navistar and after she reached a certain age, I believe she was 48, they found a reason to eliminate her job, waited for about 6 months, then reopened to position. She applied for the new opening, but was turned down. It was either age discrimination or gender discrimination, and that would have been hard to prove.

My advice, get some hair coloring, don't show any gray, stay well groomed and try to do something about the age wrinkles, try to look as young as you possibly can.

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Response to BobUp (Reply #119)

Sun Dec 29, 2013, 02:25 PM

121. You can't Fudge the age of your degree

You're over 50. You've been unemployed for awhile. Your references
are thin, your chronology unclear, you've been self-employed. You
will never work for an employer again.

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Response to bucolic_frolic (Reply #121)

Sun Dec 29, 2013, 03:07 PM

123. True

and the only option for you is to do freelance work on your own, with maybe a helper, of sorts. Corporations seem to love young blood.

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Response to BobUp (Reply #123)

Fri Jan 3, 2014, 11:39 AM

174. Younger people are a whole lot easier to manipulate.

Last edited Sat Jan 4, 2014, 11:18 AM - Edit history (1)

They just assume they are being hired because of their education and references and work history. It never occurs to them that there are some serious alternative reasons for being hired.

So many times a corporation will bring in a 20 year old to quietly get rid of the older employees. Just make their jobs so awful they can't stand to stay.

Young employees don't see that they are simply pieces in a much larger chess game.

Scary, scary stuff out there right now.

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Response to leftyladyfrommo (Reply #174)

Fri Jan 3, 2014, 01:47 PM

175. My

wifey is going through something similar to this process, except, the corporation she works for requires background checks and drug screenings for new hires, and very few people they want to hire pass either, LOL.

In a new thread, you should go over there, about legalization of marijuana in Colorado, I'm going to add 2 more cents there soon, how will potential employers, especially trucking companies handle employees or new hires? And, what if other states follow with legalization? How will potential employers react to that? Already, some corporations won't even hire a person if they're cigarette smokers, or if the prospective employee is married or in the same household as a cigarette smoker.

@ my wife's place of employment, even visitors are not allowed to smoke on corp. property, even if they remain in their vehicles. It's getting more and more ridiculous by the day.

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Response to bucolic_frolic (Reply #121)

Sun Dec 29, 2013, 05:21 PM

129. And the tougher things get

the worse your damned credit score looks - and that's another thing they check these days.

Things like that should be flat illegal. Employers should not be allowed to run a credit check or kick your application out of the mix based on when you graduated from college or refuse to hire you because you're "over-qualified" (what the hell does that even mean?)

They get away with so much these days and a lot of it is illegal - but the government doesn't care.

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Response to BobUp (Reply #119)

Fri Jan 3, 2014, 11:35 AM

173. They can get your age in about 2 seconds.

All you have to do is Google and the person's age comes up.

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Response to leftyladyfrommo (Reply #173)

Fri Jan 3, 2014, 01:56 PM

176. I believe you

because I typed in my neighbor's name in a Google search, his arrest record came up along with his age.

The end of privacy was ????

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Response to BobUp (Reply #176)

Sat Jan 4, 2014, 11:22 AM

181. Privacy went out the window with the internet.

I hate the lack of privacy that we live with anymore.

I just can't believe the personal stuff that people put out there. I like to have a private life. And I am always careful what I put in e-mail and what I talk about on the cell phone. Anybody can hack in. And not just the NSA.

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Response to leftyladyfrommo (Reply #181)

Sat Jan 4, 2014, 06:19 PM

182. Speaking of

privacy, I worked for a courier service and the company issued us Motorola 2 way radios so we could be dispatched to make pickups. This was during when cell phones first became very popular. Whilst sitting at a traffic light one day, I switched off the PL on the radio, and turned the squelch back and viola, I was listening in on someone's cellular telephone conversation from a motorist next to me. I was shocked at how insecure wireless devices could be. Amazing.

I agree with you, people who put their information out there know very little of how or where it might be gleaned for information.

I believe privacy went out way before the internet though, just think back to the days of the 1960's when our government was wiretapping political groups, and even wiretapped MLK looking for dirt on him. Scary stuff, ain't it?

Nowadays, the company you might work for can find your facebook page, and if you've written anything criticizing the company, you can be fired for, even though what was written was done off the clock.

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Response to BobUp (Reply #182)

Mon Jan 6, 2014, 11:57 AM

183. I don't do Facebook or any of those sites.

And I sure wouldn't put pictures of myself drinking or stoned out there. I can't believe what people do put on their websites or Facebook. What on earth are they thinking?

And those same people are complaining about NSA?

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Response to leftyladyfrommo (Reply #183)

Mon Jan 6, 2014, 12:41 PM

186. Good upbringing

helped me, my mom would tell me if I didn't have anything nice to say about someone, don't say anything at all, unless they're a republican. True.

Somewhere there's a lesson to all of this, a message, but only the intelligent people have the ability to recognize it.

I first found out about privacy through a document I acquired using the FOIA, when I applied for a security clearance. In that document I obtained, it had all, yes, all previous addresses, previous employers, previous friends, credit reports, police record, everything about me from the age of 18 forward. Not only that, but my friends, landlords, and people who lived next door to me were interviewed, and it had the context of what they said about me. That was from 1970 ahead in time.

These days, there's even less privacy. People are naive.

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Response to xchrom (Original post)

Sun Dec 29, 2013, 03:46 PM

125. I told my son about this article and got a wtf response....

He said (paraphrasing) "At least it's good the younger workers get a chance". WTF. He's 17 and hopefully won't be on the brutal end of this phase when he's older. I'll chalk up his comment to youth and a contrarian streak.

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Response to steve2470 (Reply #125)

Sun Dec 29, 2013, 03:55 PM

126. Most 17 year old kids

Would view 50 as being "old" and ready to shuffle off to the retirement home. He'll change his tune as he gets older.

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Response to Abq_Sarah (Reply #126)

Sun Dec 29, 2013, 03:57 PM

127. I agree

He knows most people have to work until their 60's. I think he was trying to pick an argument with me. I think he'll regret that comment when he looks back.

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Response to steve2470 (Reply #125)

Thu Jan 2, 2014, 11:59 AM

162. Kids don't get it.

They are always self involved when they are that young. Has he noticed that the young people can't find any work, either?

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Response to xchrom (Original post)

Sun Dec 29, 2013, 05:28 PM

130. I'm so grateful I have tenure.


In fact I recently turned down a job with a very decent increase in pay because it wouldn't come with tenure

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Response to xchrom (Original post)

Mon Dec 30, 2013, 06:47 AM

147. Kick. n/t

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Response to xchrom (Original post)

Tue Dec 31, 2013, 09:25 AM

158. It happens to be EXACTLY why I became a dentist with my own practice...

I saw this coming when I was a kid: my dad used to tell me that no one would be safe in the post-post WWII world - that educated young people who would work for less would be a dime a dozen and corporate has NO allegiance to its experienced workers. He told me to get a Civil Service job (protected in those days, now not so much) or become a self-sustaining professional of some sort. He preferred medical or legal, but would have taken plumber or electrician (both professions which I actually have and had an aptitude for and was successful in my youth).

I watch all these middle-aged folk in my practice being squeezed out and nowhere to go. Sad.

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Response to xchrom (Original post)

Fri Jan 3, 2014, 03:39 PM

179. Age trumps ability & accomplishments

I made it to 58, and had the dubious duty of walking out 2/3 of my workforce during the depression years ('07-'10) before my turn came. An MBA only seemed to hasten things ("we can't afford you anymore!"!
Of course, I was replaced by two of my former reports - think two for one.
Recently, I was playing golf with a former, younger, associate who apparently was mulling over making me an offer, which I wouldn't have accepted anyway at this point. I told him, anecdotally, that I was about to turn 60. He hesitated for a moment, obviously surprised (I look younger), and said: "that screws up my plans!" I didn't ask what plans he was thinking of nor do I care.
Believe me, age discrimination is rampant out there right now.
I still work, as a FT consultant, for 1/3 of what I used to make. Isn't that the whole point?!

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