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Phoebe Loosinhouse Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Jul-08-10 06:28 AM
Original message
Too Old For A Job, Too Young For Medicare Or Social Security

http://www.dailykos.com/storyonly/2010/7/7/882399/-Too-...

Too Old For A Job, Too Young For Medicare Or Social Security
by davej
Wed Jul 07, 2010 at 11:59:37 AM PDT

skip
One Person's Story

I ran into a friend this weekend who I hadn't seen for a couple of years. He had been a computer engineer who had been making 6 figures in the dot-com years. Laid off in the 2000 crash, he moved in with his parents back in the Midwest and worked in a bakery. He came back out here when things picked up a bit and worked in one "contract" job after another. (Contracting is just a scam to get around employment laws--but the government doesn't enforce the rules.) But now he just can't find anything. He managed to get unemployment but now that is running out. He has no health insurance. He can't afford a place to live; he "house sits" for people or visits friends, and doesn't know what he is going to do even two days from now.

What is he going to do? Can you tell me? He has gotten a few interviews, and when they are computer-related is always told he is way overqualified, doesn't seem energetic, probably won't be willing to work 20 hours a day, doesn't look like he is up to date on things that are happening with computers, etc. (How many ways can you say "too old?") He's about 45. If things pick up he will get another job. But people just a few years older will not.


Age discrimination in employment is a fact. We have lost millions of jobs permanently. That is also a fact. We have been running a jobs deficit for years. (It takes approx. 200K jobs each month to just keep up with new employees entering the workforce - high school and college graduates, etc.) That is also a fact.

Other facts:

Unemployed people often have no insurance.
Unemployed older people are offered healthcare policies at multiples of what someone younger would be offered.
Older people have more illnesses

One reason the older are discriminated against is because employers fear that taking on older workers will cause their group policies to go up since underwriting is based on claims history. You do not have to be a genius to figure that one out. (Just one more problem single payer or non-employer based healthcare would solve)

Older unemployed workers are living on their savings and former 401Ks, etc. They essentially are left with nothing or very little while they wait for the lifelines of Social Security and Medicare.

Given the circumstances of our current economy - RAISING the ages of either SS or Medicare is unconscionable. If anything, they should be lowered. If any attempt is made, there are millions and millions of angry older people with a lot of time on their hands who could and should make life miserable for any politician who would attempt to lower deficits on the backs of the sick, unemployed and older population. Let them bring soldiers home from unwinnable, wasteful, STUPID wars, tax the wealthy and reduce corporate welfare.





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DCBob Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Jul-08-10 06:31 AM
Response to Original message
1. That's me.. that's why I am working as a consultant now..
and I am not sure how long that can last. I dont want to retire. I want to work but most companies throw my resume in the trash.. too old, over qualified, too expensive.
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CountAllVotes Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Jul-08-10 06:51 AM
Response to Reply #1
5. more like a Working Class Hero it seems to me
we are in this boat together.

So much for those two college degrees.

When you are in your 50's, no one wants you it seems.

Sad isn't it?

We likely have far more knowledge and education than most folks out there, but no one values these sorts of things any longer in this high tech world. Things like reading, writing and arithmetic have become almost irrelevant.

Lower case writing without any punctuation is the new norm. We are out of touch and out of work.

Best of luck to you and yes it really does suck. :(

Here is a hug for you anyway! :hug:

:kick:

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DCBob Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Jul-08-10 06:56 AM
Response to Reply #5
8. Thanks for the hug.. we all need a little comfort these days..
I think we will make it.. just never give up... somehow things seem to work out.. eventually.

Hug back..

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Grinchie Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Jul-09-10 04:35 AM
Response to Reply #1
66. You are not expensive, you are the victim of inflation.
People just don't get it that money is actually worth less these days, that's why the Housing Bubble was able to get as far as it did with the help of Credit policies that were out of whack.

Most companies can't afford anyone right now because everyone is risk averse. Small businesses see reduction in police services, COunty enforcement, and a Judicial system that runs away whenever they see the possibility of enforcing the laws.

It's only natural that businesses don't want to hire.. It's because they see the writing on the wall, and that is the collapse of the Ponzi scheme.

People want safe, functional infrastructure, a legal system that doesn't take graft and payola to get working for you, and rules and regulations that apply to everyone equally. Until that returns, America is going to be a refuse pit, slightly more overbuilt than afganistan.

I would love to start some big projects, but all the evidence I see says hold off, sleep on it, the big crash is coming..

The Plunge Protection Team can't prop up the Stock Market forever, not in the current climate.

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wisteria Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Jul-09-10 06:55 AM
Response to Reply #1
74. How do they determine your age just from a resume?
I just put my most recent employment and leave off dates when possible. I will note that I was with a company for a certain number of years. That at least gets me interviews. The rest is selling my abilities and presenting myself as enthusiastic.
Now, there are some job fields where being older could be detrimental, perhaps that is the field you are pursuing work in now. Have you though about a change of career or learning a new trade. I went back to school with the help of my local Career link and they helped me pay for my tuition. I am getting ready to graduate at the end of this month.

I wish you luck, I believe that by the end of the year things will look better on the employment front.
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CountAllVotes Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Jul-08-10 06:44 AM
Response to Original message
2. Nobody Loves You (When You're Down and Out)
Nobody loves you when you're down and out
Nobody sees you when you're on cloud nine
Everybody's hustlin' for a buck and a dime
I'll scratch your back and you scratch mine

I've been across to the other side
I've shown you everything, I got nothing to hide
And still you ask me do I love you, what it is, what it is
All I can tell you is it's all show biz
All I can tell you is it's all show biz

Nobody loves you when you're down and out
Nobody knows you when you're on cloud nine
Everybody's hustlin' for a buck and a dime
I'll scratch your back and you knife mine

I've been across the water now so many times
I've seen the one eyed witchdoctor leading the blind
And still you ask me do I love you, what you say, what you say
Every time I put my finger on it, it slips away
Every time I put my finger on it, it slips away

Well I get up in the morning and I'm looking in the mirror to see, ooo wee!
Then I'm lying in the darkness and I know I can't get to sleep, ooo wee!

Nobody loves you when you're old and grey
Nobody needs you when you're upside down
Everybody's hollerin' 'bout their own birthday
Everybody loves you when you're six foot in the ground

-- John Lennon

********

Isn't it a pity. Isn't this the truth. :(

:kick:

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DCBob Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Jul-08-10 06:50 AM
Response to Reply #2
4. Here's another.. Nobody Knows You When You're Down And Out"
Title: Eric Clapton - Nobody Knows You When You're Down And Out lyrics
Artist: Eric Clapton Lyrics
Song writer/composer(s): Jimmie Cox

Once I lived the life of a millionaire,
Spent all my money, I just did not care.
Took all my friends out for a good time,
Bought bootleg whisky, champagne and wine.

Then I began to fall so low,
Lost all my good friends, I did not have nowhere to go.
I get my hands on a dollar again,
I'm gonna hang on to it till that eagle grins.

'Cause no, no, nobody knows you
When you're down and out.
In your pocket, not one penny,
And as for friends, you don't have any.

When you finally get back up on your feet again,
Everybody wants to be your old long-lost friend.
Said it's mighty strange, without a doubt,
Nobody knows you when you're down and out.

When you finally get back upon your feet again,
Everybody wants to be your good old long-lost friend.
Said it's mighty strange,
Nobody knows you,
Nobody knows you,
Nobody knows you when you're down and out.

=======

One of my fav Clapton. :)

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Hannah Bell Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Jul-08-10 07:01 AM
Response to Reply #4
9. that song was written by jimmie cox in 1923 & was originally recorded by bessie smith.
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DCBob Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Jul-08-10 07:03 AM
Response to Reply #9
11. Yeah, I did not realize that wasnt a Clapton original..
until I searched for the lyrics online. I never heard the Bessie Smith version.. thanks for sending!
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devilgrrl Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Jul-08-10 10:19 PM
Response to Reply #11
61. Nothing Clapton has done has ever been original
The greatest HACK in rock & roll.
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meowomon Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Jul-09-10 03:16 AM
Response to Reply #61
65. The GREATEST hack?
Hyperbole much?
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devilgrrl Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Jul-09-10 10:56 AM
Response to Reply #65
83. The most overrated guitarist ever.
eom
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Tailormyst Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Jul-08-10 06:48 AM
Response to Original message
3. I will most likely be unemployed by the end of the summer
My small company, owned and operated by a liberal progressive, just cannot weather the economic downturn. I have very good references and am an excellent employee, but I know finding a job will be incredibly hard. When I walk in all they will see in a 40 year old obese woman. I am really worried about finding employment again. I also doubt I will be able to earn the money I do now ( and that is not alot). I've seen jobs requiring a bachelors starting at 10 bucks an hour....around BOSTON. It's insane.

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dana_b Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Jul-08-10 01:00 PM
Response to Reply #3
32. me too, tailormyst
I am a 45 y.o.with a disability and it looks like my department may be cut this fall. They have threatened it many times but we heard that the organization is cutting over 500 jobs and we are pretty sure our time will be up.

Who the hell will want to hire me with this disability? Sigh...
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glinda Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Jul-08-10 11:46 PM
Response to Reply #32
63. Can you get on disability?
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mntleo2 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Jul-09-10 04:48 AM
Response to Reply #63
67. Been working on that for over 5 years ...
Edited on Fri Jul-09-10 05:20 AM by mntleo2
...after I applied for disability on early SSD that I paid 15% of my Mcjob income into for over 35 years, but who will reject you in a heartbeat (if you have one left, which they hope by the time they are through with you, you won't have a heartbeat). The docs are getting pressured not to allow it by refusing any of their diagnosis and questioning everything ~ and it takes over 2 years to even get a hearing. Meanwhile you are forced to live on GAU (welfare for people without kids) that also has a 3 month limit ~ or in my state they are imposing a 2 year lifetime limit. GAU is less than $350 a month. GAU carries Medicaid, but if you are cut off from that after losing it, you have no way to get the medical to back you up for the disability.

Recently a friend found a sick older man lying in the street still in one of those hospital gowns with a catheter hanging out of his arm. He had been dumped there by a public hospital. When he asked the man if he had any help with medical, the man told him, he had none because his GAU had "run out" and since he was not sick enough to be in the hospital any longer, they just put him in a wheelchair, took him outside, took him out of the wheelchair, and left him. He tried to make it to a shelter, but had collapsed where my friend found him. He had a Phd in English.

But those of us without that kind of education have suffered this for years, since the "booming" 1990's, which "boomed" for younger people, but older people over 40 without degrees were relegated to the McJobs that had no insurance, no retirement, no benefits. When we went back to school and got those degrees, it was too late. Most of these were women. Women lose on the average of a work lifetime $500,000 in lost wages because first they care for children, then they care for elder parents, then their disabled spouses, and by the time they need it, they are laid off from their jobs and have nothing.

I am not saying men also do not suffer these age discrimination consequences too, I am just saying it is even worse for older women who take time out for care giving they will never receive themselves because, thanks to Welfare Reform, care giving is not "work" worthy of any support, and was codified into law under The Personal Responsibility Act, written and enacted by elitist Heritage Foundation rich white men, (Welfare Reform) that Clinton signed into law saying this work is "doing nothing". Now it affects men as well as women and it is not going away unless we speak up for a better safety net.

The truth is whites and men are beginning to suffer much like has been imposed on our brothers and sisters of color have for centuries. Classim rules nowadays and being white makes little difference for the poor, although people of color still suffer more, often enduring racism, ageism, AND sexism. Classim is often an excuse to pretend it does not involve racism and sexism since now, "Look. See? It is no longer racist or sexistor ageist because now everybody poor is suffering when it used to be just women and people of color who had that privilege ..." In fact at the passing of that act, more whites were on welfare than people of color, because welfare in the media and politics, even on DSHS brochures, poverty was always given a FACE of color. This was done in order to appeal to middle income's racist and classist snobbery and call attention away from the billions being given to the rich. This way, for all the government costs, everyone could blame the one who were least able to defend themselves; a low income mother, when in fact even then, welfare was less than 4% of the budget. Now it is less than 2%. At that time the military in "peace" times were 1/2 the budget and corporations paid less than 8% of the revenue coming in.

Disability is a scam that makes people think they have something to fall back on, when in fact they do not. Like all insurances, this insurance will take your mandated payments out of your paycheck for years and years, but do everything in their power to *not* to cover the reasons you are insured.

"Have I mentioned today how much I hate these people?" (Mike Malloy, older worker who get it, and my hero).

Cat in Seattle
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glinda Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Jul-09-10 04:25 PM
Response to Reply #67
87. Wow. That is all I can say....
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corpseratemedia Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Jul-08-10 06:52 AM
Response to Original message
6. imo why we must have nationalized health care
"One reason the older are discriminated against is because employers fear that taking on older workers will cause their group policies to go up "

and get rid of this evil republican catfood commission or the Dems will suffer payback in Nov.
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area51 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Jul-08-10 01:19 PM
Response to Reply #6
38. +1
This is what feeds into companies not wanting to hire anyone over 40. Our current system of access to health care via companies' largess (though of course they're folding the cost of it into lower salaries), is causing people to be shunned once they reach 40.

Each day, 273 people die due to lack of health care in the U.S.

We need single-payer health care, not a welfare bailout for the serial-killer insurance agencies.


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old mark Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Jul-08-10 06:53 AM
Response to Original message
7. I lived on myh investment money for several years till I started Social Security at 62...
but I did it on purpose - I retired at 59 with a small pension and no benefits after two (at least) heart attacks, bypass surgery and a pacemaker. I worked till I was just barely qualified for a pension, then retired. We have a limited income, but we have never been happier and have limited the number of assholes in our lives to the absolute minimum.


mark
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hobbit709 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Jul-08-10 07:09 AM
Response to Reply #7
12. I'll be 60 in a week
Trying to get a job with my age and health problems is damn near impossible. I'm in the middle of the process of trying to get on disability(denied once so far). The only reason I have any money in the bank is from Donna's passing last summer-she was the primary wage earner in our house since 2001 when I got laid off from my tech job. I figured out that I have enough money to get me through the next two years until I can go on SS if there aren't any major expenses. At least I get my medical coverage through the VA.
I make maybe $500/mo and this summer has been dismal.
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old mark Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Jul-08-10 12:50 PM
Response to Reply #12
30. My medical coverage went from $229 a month to $629 with almost no warning...
Fortunately, the state will be picking up most of that in a few more weeks - we hope...the length of time till PA picked it up was 18 months, then 2 years...I had 2 years on June 20th, but they tell me it is in "batches" and the next batch will be "soon", but they won't say if I am in it or when that will be...

I am just glad to be out of the stock market right now...maybe later will be better.


mark
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dixiegrrrrl Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Jul-08-10 11:01 AM
Response to Reply #7
27. We did the same thing, seeing what was coming.
Jobs were disappearing in Ca. as early as 05.
The housing bubble seemed close to popping then too.

So we sold out in Ca. in late 05 and moved to rural Ala.
Lived on savings and some retirement money, then I went on Soc. Sec. at age 62.
Mr. D. got disability on his first application to SSDI.

What I did not see coming was the freezing of COLA raises for Soc. Sec.
Seems the Soc. Sec. COLA is largely based on price of oil, and with no inflation in this depression, no COLA.
However, what we saved in living and job expenses offsets the lowered income.
Housing and other costs are much much lower here.

If the Gov. cuts off current Soc. Sec. payments, we are screwed.
I don't see that happening unless the whole country goes into default/bankruptcy.
We can be pretty self sufficient where we are.

There is no doubt that there WILL be an end to Soc. Sec. as a program, they will set a date or age
and say that is it. Those currently collecting should be ok, because the insurance/Pharma industry needs the money from the growing Boomer bubble.

I tried to talk my 2 sons into becoming plumbers or electricians.
At least around here, demand is high, rates are expensive.
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old mark Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Jul-08-10 01:36 PM
Response to Reply #27
39. It is always a good idea to have the ability to make a living without relying
on a company to do it...being a electrician or plumber is very good living, and you can take your skills anywhere and into a lot of different situations. Hard to beat these days, certainly better than a college degree in many cases.


mark
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Fumesucker Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Jul-08-10 07:01 AM
Response to Original message
10. Jethro Tull was prophetic, eh?
Too old to rock 'n roll, too young to die..

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RdfPER5Cgm8
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dana_b Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Jul-08-10 01:01 PM
Response to Reply #10
33. hell no
We can still rock 'n roll, we just can't find jobs! lol
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pipoman Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Jul-08-10 07:10 AM
Response to Original message
13. I have always
spent time developing skills which allow me to earn at least some money on my own in a pinch. Freelance photography, antiquing, etc. I play at it now. If I lost my job tomorrow, I would be in the estate sale/auction/flea market/photography/etal businesses tomorrow night. I encourage my boys to have diverse plans for earning money if their chosen field drys up. Reliance on .gov programs isn't realistic anymore...unless of coarse you are a Fortune 500 company, then you can count on them to help you out of a jam.
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CrispyQ Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Jul-08-10 07:38 AM
Response to Reply #13
16. I started my own business this year.
Yes, in this economy!

I was laid off from two IT jobs. The last one, a California company bought the company I was working for & I would have had to apply for my old position & if I got the job, I would have had to move to CA! People tell me, "You can't count on a steady paycheck when you own your own business." I respond with, "I couldn't count on that with a corporate job either!"

You are a wise parent to encourage diversity of skills in your children!!

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MineralMan Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Jul-08-10 08:31 AM
Response to Reply #13
21. A very good idea for everyone. Encouraging kids to develop multiple
interests and a love of learning will always help them weather instability in the job market.
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donco6 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Jul-08-10 07:11 AM
Response to Original message
14. People who want to raise the retirement age are myopic.
This scenario will be repeated over and over and over again. It will become The Gap. And we'll all bemoan it, conservatives will say the churches should pick up the slack. But if the Catfood Commission gets its way (which it will), we're going to see an army of folks in this situation.
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CrispyQ Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Jul-08-10 07:32 AM
Response to Original message
15. Ahhh, another donut hole for the People!
Our government is becoming quite adept at making donut holes, although I don't see the Pentagon doing stretches of time without their 'entitlement' programs. :eyes:

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Jkid Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Jul-08-10 07:39 AM
Response to Original message
17. And their represenatives and their pundits expect them to do the following
Move where the jobs are
These are senior citizens, they can't afford to move.

Just get any job
Any job if they can get one would be a minimum wage job where they can't find to afford basic needs.

Screw them, they're going to die anyway
No, screw you and your political career. You've conviently forgetten this: "Respect and care for your elders" Their assholish attitude these pundits have basically tells us that they got their jobs and the rest of their lives easy.
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dana_b Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Jul-08-10 01:03 PM
Response to Reply #17
34. Elders?! yes some of them but
like the guy in the artcle (45 y.o.) some are just middle aged!
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Liberal In Texas Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Jul-08-10 08:06 AM
Response to Original message
18. K&R. I saw the handwritiing on the wall several years ago when the company I was working for started
"messing" with me, finding fault with everything I did, trying to pin things on me done by other people, making things up during my annual review. I hired a lawyer (who for some reason never sent me a bill) who is an expert in employment law for the field I was in and he sent some letters to the management. The overt harassment came to a screeching halt and I started to retrain myself in another but related field. I got a certification and bought the expensive equipment I would need one piece at a time. I hung on working the rotten shift they'd put me on (I had to get up at 2:30 a.m. 5 days a week) until I reached 55 and could take early retirement.

The pension isn't a lot and they deduct my health insurance premiums from it, but at least my wife and I will have the insurance no matter what and I'm not slowly killing myself getting up in the middle of the night 5 days a week. The company gave me a buy-out and I used it to live on until I could make some contacts in my new field and bought the rest of the equipment I needed.

Now I freelance, but with the *Bush economy the number of jobs starting late in 2008 has fallen to the lowest anyone in the field has ever seen. My wife has a full-time job with bennys and without that we'd be in trouble.

All in all, I feel lucky. I am relatively healthy at 61 and because of my 30+ years experience in my former life, I do a superior job compared to my younger peers in my new vocation. I'm the go-to guy when a tricky job comes up that they don't trust more inexperienced guys to do. But is anybody ever going to offer a full-time position? I seriously doubt it.

The OP and my experience are a cautionary tales to those in their late 30s and early 40s who think they're fireproof. It isn't a case of it may happen, it's almost is a given that it will.


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dana_b Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Jul-08-10 01:07 PM
Response to Reply #18
36. this touched a nerve
"finding fault with everything I did, trying to pin things on me done by other people, making things up during my annual review." That is EXACTLY what our boss has been doing to 4 out of 5 of us in our department. All within the last 7-8 months. We see the writing on the wall - they want to get rid of our department and it's easier to do if they have us documented as incompetent. We've gone to HR but they seem to be more concerned with protecting the managers. We may need a lawyer too.
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Liberal In Texas Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Jul-08-10 02:02 PM
Response to Reply #36
41. Not only do they want to build a case for incompetence,
they're hoping you'll get teed off and quit. Have you also noticed a lot of micro-management? They do that when the don't know how to really manage.

HR probably isn't your friend, they're supervisory/managerial level too and they don't want to cross their buddies who sit in the weekly department head/organizational/goals meetings; the people they have lunch/team building retreats/motivational dinners with. You guys aren't in their airy environment. You are adversaries.

Unions are good, but for a lot of reasons, one of which is the amount of time and effort it takes to organize, may not be practical. Lawyers are good, but they're usually very expensive.

Sorry I can't give you any better advice.

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dana_b Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Jul-08-10 10:04 PM
Response to Reply #41
60. that's okay - I appreciate commiserating
Our manager micro manages us to death!! We have to include her on ALL of our e-mails, she "shadows" us to see what we do minute-by-minute, she wants to see all of our work before we send it to anyone else, etc. We hate it but we won't quit. We're not that stupid.
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pattmarty Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Jul-09-10 06:49 AM
Response to Reply #36
73. Yours and other posts on this topic are the reason we need to ..........
..........make it VERY easy to organize. I know we won't get the so called EFCA now, but hopefully now and the last ten years will educate working people (and yes, even higher educated people) that it is in their best interest to organize. I wish you luck.
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Liberal In Texas Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Jul-09-10 07:34 AM
Response to Reply #73
78. I agree. But the general attutide about unions needs to be changed as well.
Edited on Fri Jul-09-10 08:00 AM by Liberal In Texas
Even after you manage to get a union in place it's hard to convince many of the people covered that it is in their best interest to join and pay their dues. New hires are particularly reluctant to join. They are 1) The new fair-haired children hired by a manager who likes people to be beholden to him/her. 2) They don't want to jeopardize their new job by looking like they are "anti-company" 3) They don't see any reason to pay the dues since they get the same benefits whether they belong or not. For this reason alone I am in favor of closed-shop rules.

Also the union organizers, even though now protected by the union, get singled out for special treatment in many subtle ways. Believe me I know after testifying for the union in the Federal 5th Circuit. (The decision we won is still part of case law benefiting workers everywhere today.)

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pattmarty Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Jul-09-10 07:50 AM
Response to Reply #78
81. It just would help a hell of a lot if we just had labor laws that actually......
.....helped and protected the "laborers". I think part of what you're referring to is the "right to work" laws. In my state of Ar we have that and I'm pretty sure in Tx you do to. It is just another "legal" way of discouraging people to join the union. By the way, what decision was that?
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Liberal In Texas Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Jul-09-10 08:09 AM
Response to Reply #81
82. Yes, "right to work" is more correct terminology.
Edited on Fri Jul-09-10 08:11 AM by Liberal In Texas
And yes, Texas is a "right to work" state. (Or as we like to say, a "right-not-to-get-paid" state.)

Well, it was back in the 80s and it was the NLRB v. (the company). It was in the 5th Circuit (I got it wrong earlier and corrected it.) Sorry, I don't want to get more specific on a public board, it would be to easy to figure out who I am and there are too many crazies out there. PM me if you have a burning desire for details.

A few months ago I ran into one of the lawyers who represented the union and she said that it was still being cited in other cases today.

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dana_b Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Jul-09-10 01:43 PM
Response to Reply #73
84. thank you
I have written to my legislators however I would love to become more involved with union building and general support of issues that are important to working people. It is in all of our best interests, as you said, and in the interests of the younger generations for us to get busy with this.
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pink-o Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Jul-08-10 06:57 PM
Response to Reply #18
57. Many of us are having the same experience.
I've been at my job for almost 20 years and suddenly I'm being called to the carpet for doing stuff no one cared about in 2008. When I challenged the fact that my bosses are moving the goal post without good communication, it's implied that maybe I'm too old to assimilate all the changes quickly enough. The threat of disciplinary action is always being held over our heads, and they know we can't exactly walk out and expect to get a better job tomorrow. Many of us never got college degrees--for those who're being told they're "overqualified" I don't even have a chance of getting work in any field other than customer service (I have a certificate in Tourism and Travel, not exactly PhD territory).

Even worse, my friend lost her job at WaMu, just when her son was entering his third year at UC Santa Cruz and his student loans were going through the roof. She and her husband are still paying off their mortgage, so she searched desperately and was finally hired by Kaiser Permanente--who dump more and more work on her, letting her know that she better not complain or she can be replaced.

People, this sucks! Just at the point in our lives when we need to be winding down and lightening our workload, this extra-added stress and work is overwhelming us and taking over our lives. I don't know what the solution is, but putting up with more and more until we break down doesn't sound like a very good methodology!
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Liberal In Texas Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Jul-09-10 07:43 AM
Response to Reply #57
79. Yes, I was also accused of not liking change when some new hot-shot
manager started to "fix" things that weren't broken and changed things for the sake of change. You see, these managers have to come up with some reason to justify their existence to their masters and rearranging the deck chairs happens a lot.

And almost all companies are trying to up the productivity by piling work on which usually happens when somebody leaves and they don't replace them so those left have to pick up the slack. It makes the bottom line look better but they don't realize that the cost in the long run will be detrimental.

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mmonk Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Jul-08-10 08:14 AM
Response to Original message
19. Did someone call me?
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Yo_Mama Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Jul-08-10 08:22 AM
Response to Original message
20. This is a real problem
I don't know what the solution is, because we can't afford to lower retirement ages.

But there has to be SOMETHING out there for these people. It's possible that many smaller employers will just dump health insurance entirely and send all their workers to the exchanges. With a 4:1 age ratio, older workers then might be able to get more jobs, but would end up netting far less than their younger coworkers out of those jobs.

I don't think we have thought this through, and I am very worried about the current deficit commission. We are not going to move toward prosperity by cutting real incomes for so many people.

I am writing this as an economist, and a voter. I no longer know how to vote to get what I think is a reasonable outcome. I just don't see the realism anywhere in national politics.
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mmonk Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Jul-08-10 08:49 AM
Response to Reply #20
23. I guess they can all become real estate agents like me.
No pensions, pay for your own high cost health insurance, and look forward to no social safety net as one ages out of the Reaganomics eat cake based society.
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Lost4words Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Jul-08-10 08:45 AM
Response to Original message
22. I know this story all too well,........ K&R
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Coyote_Bandit Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Jul-08-10 10:12 AM
Response to Original message
24. I've given up ever again finding a real fucking job
Edited on Thu Jul-08-10 10:16 AM by Coyote_Bandit
I do what I can to eliminate and reduce expenses and to bring in a few bucks here and there.

I'm single, female, older, well-educated with a responsible work history and apparently overqualified or "not a good fit" for every available job. I quit counting a couple of years ago when the number of rejection letters I had received topped a thousand. Nothing has improved in the time since. Unemployment insurance? The 12 or 16 weeks of unemployment I received have long since been depleted. And because I do have some assets and a limited income I do not qualify for any kind of assistance.

Haven't a clue what I'm going to do.

I'd leave this country in a heartbeat for opportunity elsewhere but I help care for some aging family members.

I've been trying to acquire new skills and even went back to school. Unfortunately that school program (at the largest tech school in the state) was terminated before I had an opportunity to complete the program. Paid my tuition and invested the time, effort and travel and got screwed. Apparently a perfectly legal scam.

I've considered self-employment but lack the capital and access to healthcare to make that work. Although I may be forced to risk everything I have on this option.

I've considered trying to earn a livelihood writing on various topics of public interest. But there are long odds against doing so. Something more mundane with better odds would seem to be a better place to focus my efforts.

I've considered moving to the middle of frickin nowhere buying an acreage and the necessary animals, and equipment to become a subsistence farmer. That is what the generations before me did. At least then I wouldn't have to look for a job I'll never find. Healthcare shouldn't be an issue. After all, you can't lose something you don't have - and I haven't seen a fucking doctor in over 15 years.

I am one of our nation's throwaways. Any future success I have will be in spite of my government - a government that permits discrimination in hiring against unemployed folks, a government that favors corporations over flesh and blood citizens, a government that rewards businesses that send jobs offshore, a government that refuses to maintain the infrastructure necessary for a strong economy, a government that is completely and utterly out of touch with the needs of Main Street folks.
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Pooka Fey Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Jul-08-10 04:50 PM
Response to Reply #24
51. (((((((((((((( HUGS )))))))))))))))
I believe in 3 months I'm going to be walking in your shoes, except I'm not a writer. We have a lot in common. :hug:
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Coyote_Bandit Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Jul-09-10 04:45 PM
Response to Reply #51
88. (((((((((((((( HUGS )))))))))))))))
Thank you.

I hope your experience is better than mine.

I wish you well.
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SheilaT Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Jul-08-10 10:18 AM
Response to Original message
25. I think it was about twenty years ago
that I started reading stuff extolling the virtues of employees not being in one job or staying at one company for their entire working life. There was this abrupt switch from the idea that changing jobs too often (more than, say two jobs in five years) was "job-hopping" and would hurt your employment/advancement potential, to a wholehearted embracing of the idea that you re-invented yourself every couple of years or so.

What's going on now is the logical outcome of all that.

Meanwhile, wherever possible, it's not a bad idea to get some new skills, be willing to work at almost anything, just to survive.

And I'm living proof that those over 60 can start new careers and new lives. I've done it both by taking whatever I can get, and with new training.
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jody Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Jul-08-10 10:38 AM
Response to Original message
26. A few of the old-unemployable can leverage their experience by starting small businesses in niche
markets.

The U.S. Small Business Administration's mission is to help entrepreneurs like that but after 30 years of working with small business start-ups I have no faith in SBA.

What we need is a revitalized SBA that can do for old-unemployable workers what the U.S. Department of Agriculture did with small farmers in the early part of the 20th century.

Our agricultural miracle with small farms is IMO the most successful large scale government program in U.S. history.
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Name removed Donating Member (0 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Jul-08-10 11:03 AM
Response to Original message
28. Deleted message
Message removed by moderator.
 
Liberal In Texas Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Jul-08-10 11:28 AM
Response to Reply #28
29. Yeah, because getting SSDI etc. is so much better than actually working.
I think you'd find very few people who wouldn't trade a disability in a heartbeat to be well and employed.

Besides, this post is about age discrimination and the lack of jobs, not people deliberately harming themselves.

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Commie Pinko Dirtbag Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Jul-08-10 01:04 PM
Response to Reply #28
35. Yeah, the welfare queens in Cadillacs.
:eyes:
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Viva_La_Revolution Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Jul-08-10 02:41 PM
Response to Reply #28
42. oh yea. cause being in poverty and in pain
is so much more fun than than being able-bodied and poor. x(
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Binka Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Jul-08-10 02:51 PM
Response to Reply #42
45. Pizza Delivery For Mr Dank Nugs n/t
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Viva_La_Revolution Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Jul-08-10 03:24 PM
Response to Reply #45
48. and his buddy!
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Greyhound Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Jul-08-10 06:59 PM
Response to Reply #48
59. 'bout time n/t
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mdmc Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Jul-08-10 12:51 PM
Response to Original message
31. I will soon be too sick to work because I cannot afford medical treatment
perhaps I would be better off on disability..
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Missy Vixen Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Jul-08-10 01:14 PM
Response to Original message
37. Pheobe, thanks for posting this
We're living it. Along with millions of others.
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tilsammans Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Jul-08-10 01:43 PM
Response to Original message
40. I'm 57, with no health problems, yet . . .
. . . I can't get myself arrested, as my father would say.

I currently have a few prospects, but my track record of converting prospects into real offers has been nil of late. All I want is a "little" job. Nothing fast track and/or managerial.

But hey, I keep pluggin' away. :banghead:
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bobbolink Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Jul-08-10 02:42 PM
Response to Original message
43. And all of this while the administration is quietly getting rid of people on disability.
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pattmarty Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Jul-09-10 06:58 AM
Response to Reply #43
75. What do you mean by that? It WOULD help if you gave some explanations.
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HCE SuiGeneris Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Jul-08-10 02:50 PM
Response to Original message
44. Rec # 50. Or, should I say wreck @ 50?
I share the same situation. It sucks.
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Liberal In Texas Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Jul-08-10 03:17 PM
Response to Reply #44
47. Good one. n/t
Edited on Thu Jul-08-10 03:25 PM by Liberal In Texas
:thumbsup:
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njalbertini Donating Member (8 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Jul-08-10 02:55 PM
Response to Original message
46. Welcome to the new economy!
How can we find solutions to such complex problems? Please take a look at www.electexperts.webs.com
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Pooka Fey Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Jul-08-10 04:38 PM
Response to Original message
49. K&R
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Liberal_in_LA Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Jul-08-10 04:39 PM
Response to Original message
50. kick
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BrklynLiberal Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Jul-08-10 05:07 PM
Response to Original message
52. Beenthere. done that. :(
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libodem Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Jul-08-10 05:19 PM
Response to Original message
53. ...And too sick for Unemployment
It sucks. I must live on under $1,000 per month to prove I am too disabled to stand on my feet from a failed back surgery.

I'm supposed to work 19 hours a week by the company's demand I stay under the number of hours per month which would give me any benefits. So I have none.

My work hours were so diminished I qualified for unemployment benefits. Some weeks I couldn't collect because I had over the number of hours at work, the next week famine. I'm in unrelenting pain but I could not refuse available work.

In the end I stopped my claim. Now I'm back to 4 hours per week. Yes, four.

I can not legally say I'm physically able to work each day. It would be a lie. I did try and I paid dearly both physically and emotionally. I was observed sitting and heard about it, I felt embarrassed by having a short-coming recognized. I had to spend all my off hours in bed from back spasms and nerve pain in my hips, legs, and feet. I pay about $350 a month, out of pocket for prescriptions. I still have a lot of breakthrough pain.

I'm determined I'm in a hostile work environment.

As a temporary/part time employee I have ZERO rights.

In a right to work state I have ZERO rights.

As a disabled worker I may have some type of OSHA protection? I'm searching.
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eridani Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Jul-08-10 05:23 PM
Response to Original message
54. Stop complaining and start demanding of any congressperson or candidate
--that they pledge to vote AGAINST any Catfood Commisssion recommendations that cut Social Security or Medicare.
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femrap Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Jul-08-10 06:27 PM
Response to Original message
55. I have been
postponing a visit to the doctor, but my hip/back is now killing me. So he gave a 'prescription' to get my hip and lumbar x-rayed.

After giving my information to the Gate Keeper at the OhioHealth clinic, I asked how much did the x-rays cost. I have a $5,000 deductible that I pay $300/month.

The cost of the hip x-ray was $292 and the lumbar $523!!!! If I had no insurance, I would be given a 35% deduction in the cost. The Gate Keeper had to make a couple of calls to find out. So my insurance should offer AT LEAST that amount.

I just got the hip x-ray. The lumbar can wait. I have this feeling that next I'll require a MRI which makes the cost of the x-ray a waste.

Goddess knows how much a hip replacement costs. If there is something wrong with my hip, my insurance rates will skyrocket.

After finding out the costs of these x-rays, I asked how much was Assisted Suicide. I was given a stack of papers about 'privacy' and the top page had info on DNR (do not resuscitate). I asked where the KMN clause was.....Kill Me Now.

People from 55 to 65 are truly screwed. I am ashamed of this country.
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lumberjack_jeff Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Jul-08-10 06:44 PM
Response to Original message
56. If 45 is too old to get a job, then there are about 40% too many workers.
Stop all immigration, establish a 32 hour work week, tighten the rules for "salaried employees" and raise overtime to 2x from the current time-and-a-half.

Worker efficiency has gone through the roof in the last 30 years, it's time for the workers to benefit from it.
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pattmarty Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Jul-09-10 07:05 AM
Response to Reply #56
76. I can't find anything wrong with your statement, but try getting it enacted.....
......The EFCA is NOW dead and that was basically a bare bones policy. We are truly fucked.
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lumberjack_jeff Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Jul-09-10 03:32 PM
Response to Reply #76
85. The problem is simple for a math major. Less so for a poly-sci major.
If the number of workers is X and the weekly number of hours of work that needs doing is 30x, then the appropriate work week is <40.
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Greyhound Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Jul-08-10 06:58 PM
Response to Original message
58. K&R for more of that "change".
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tsuki Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Jul-08-10 11:37 PM
Response to Original message
62. And the way to open up jobs is to force the retirement age to 70. Makes sense if
you're a multimillionaire politician.
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Rex Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Jul-09-10 12:09 AM
Response to Original message
64. Count me into that growing line of throw away professionals.
Made a lot of scratch in the late 90s, Bill got busted and 9/11 'happen' and even after getting a college degree (thought it would help, wrong) these times seem far more desperate then ever.
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pattmarty Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Jul-09-10 06:05 AM
Response to Original message
68. I totally agree. but you and I know that what they SHOULD do............
.....is not going to happen, and what they SHOULDN'T do (cut SS & Medicare) will happen in some form.
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elocs Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Jul-09-10 06:09 AM
Response to Original message
69. My choice of enjoying a life of simple contentment rather than pursuing an ambitious climb
on the career ladder really makes a lot of sense now.

I have never confused who I am as a person with what I do to make money, as a result I have always been content to make enough money to get along. If I made less money I simply adjusted my lifestyle to match my income. Fortunately my needs are few and I've never coveted having lots of stuff or expensive toys and possessions. Having chosen to remain single I only have myself to be concerned about so that choice has made things easier for me.

I have a Bachelor's degree in Mass Communications (radio, tv, newspapers, advertising) which I got 35 years ago. I was a professional student, attending college on the G.I. Bill (during the Vietnam war) while never serving but I was eligible because I was the dependent of a 100% disabled veteran. My father paid a price in WWII so his son could attend college and I was the first in his family to graduate from college (he finished the 3rd grade). So I should have been in the rat race and like so many have become a slave to the dollar and the need to make more and to always try and find a better job with more pay and benefits.

I opted instead to do whatever I liked to do to make enough money to take care of my needs. One rule I always had was never to work a job I hated or did not like--life is too short. One of my last jobs was working as a janitor and when that situation became untenable I quit. My boss, who loved my work, understood and told me, "You know, it's just a job. The important thing is to be happy". He also gave me his business card and told me to use him as a reference whenever I liked.

Today I see teachers losing their jobs, RNs who cannot find work (right, be a teacher, be a nurse, we always need them). People who program and work with computers cannot find jobs, but wasn't that always supposed to be the safe career option? Yet at almost age 58 I live in semi-retirement, working maybe 20 hours a week with a newspaper motor route and cutting some lawns. I make enough money to pay my bills and I am better off being poor than if I was working a full time job.

I get medical care through Wisconsin's BadgerCare and food stamps as well. Most of my time is my own and I am pretty much my own boss. I don't have much, but I don't have much to lose either. But I never thought my choice of lifestyle and work would actually turn out to be so good considering what is happening to so many. I am very fortunate.
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droidamus2 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Jul-09-10 06:39 AM
Response to Original message
70. Tell me about it
I am 56 and was laid off in 2003 from my previous IT job after 15+ years. The company went from an in house programming staff to the SAP system in the process replacing all their 'high paid' programmers with new, younger, cheaper SAP people. After moving across the country I tried to establish a small business to pay the bills but due to my significant other, Susan, finding out she had end-stage renal failure and all the accompanying visits to the hospital we were not able to put the time into the business to make it work. So after having been out of the IT business for 5+ years I started looking to get back into the business. Here's the problem my 15+ years experience is in older technologies (PASCAL programming language/HP 3000 platform) and though I have studied a lot on the newer technologies I don't have any job experience in using them. This puts me in the position that I have too much experience for entry-level or close to entry-level jobs but not enough experience in current technology to find a job commensurate with my 15+ years experience. I agree that in the end it is just age bias. Somebody with my experience (also a degree in Computer Science) should and would be able to get up to speed in short order or with a little training but employers only want young, cheap, up to the minute on current technology employees or they tell the government they need more H1B visas because they can't find employees here. There is more than enough IT talent in this country to fill the jobs but it the companies aren't willing to invest in them.
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wisteria Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Jul-09-10 06:44 AM
Response to Original message
71. Since when is 45 "old"?
I am older than that and do not consider myself old, ill or out of touch with current technologies. I don't want to go on SS or Medicare, I want a job, and I intend on working past 70 once I get one. And, I doubt that the only reason employers do not want to hire older workers is because their group health insurance policies will go up. Yes, there is age discrimination out there-no doubt about it. But, older workers are desired by some companies because they are more reliable, miss fewer days of work, and have a different work ethic than many younger workers.
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lumberjack_jeff Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Jul-09-10 03:33 PM
Response to Reply #71
86. The work world does not value experience and wisdom. n/t
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The Wizard Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Jul-09-10 06:46 AM
Response to Original message
72. That is the real doughnut hole
everyone avoids discussing. A large segment of the population is in a shit storm. Raising the retirement age will only expand the unemployment rolls.
Aging Boomers who can't find suitable employment or retire are footing the bill for the wealthy who loot the treasury in the name of greed.
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Phoebe Loosinhouse Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Jul-09-10 07:32 AM
Response to Original message
77. Supreme Court decision last year made age discrimination impossible to prove
Another nice thing they did for corporations.


http://www.newsweek.com/blogs/jobbed/2010/04/17/keep-yo...
Keep Young and BeautifulEspecially At Work
How a Supreme Court decision is making age discrimination harder than ever to prove.

by Nancy CookApril 17, 2010

As if finding and holding on to a job wasn't hard enough. According to the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, there's been a 17 percent jump in the number of age-discrimination complaints filed since the recession began in 2007. Federal law is supposed to protect workers 40 and older, but proving you've been denied a job or laid off to make way for younger and cheaper workers isn't easy. And the byproduct of a 2009 Supreme Court decision has substantially increased the burden of proof required to win an age-discrimination case.

skip
In June 2009 the Supreme Court raised the bar for the type of legal proof that workers need to win age-discrimination lawsuits. How much harder is it to prove your case?

Older workers now face a far higher standard of proof than victims of race, gender, and disability discrimination. This ruling reinforced the perception that the Supreme Court has been perpetuating age-discrimination victims as second-class citizens. Now, it's not enough for an age-discrimination suit to show that age was one of the factors that drove a lawsuit. The court has interpreted it now that age has to be the sole cause. That is virtually impossible to prove, as we all know, because a lot of things drive an employer's decision making. Claims are being dismissed outright very quickly. Congress has introduced legislation to protect older workers, and AARP is hopeful it gets passed.


This decision essentially nullifies any age discrimination cases anyone would file, since the burden of proof is now impossibly high.

The Supreme Court has recently been very consistent in their dismantlement of the judicial system being available as a form of redress for older citizens. Couple this with the hidious decision they made recently that said there was no aid from the courts if pension plan administrators were flat out WRONG is defining, administering or paying out benfits. The Supreme Court acts like it thinks older Americans should just be put out on ice floes and stop bothering the courts with their pasky attempts at justice.

If you missed that one, the details are here:
http://www.democraticunderground.com/discuss/duboard.ph...

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