Sunday, August 26, 2012

Most Unemployed were once Middle-Class

Tanya Wells of Williamsburg, Virginia said in an interview on MSNBC last Sunday that she and her husband had good jobs until 2008, but not anymore. "We had jobs. We were making good money. We were your average middle class family, living comfortably. All of a sudden the rug got pulled out from under us and we are -- along with the rest of the people from the middle class -- we are now poor."

Wells, who is 32 and lives with her husband and two kids, relies on Medicaid, food stamps and student loans to help take care of her family. She said she and her husband are pursuing degrees in order to boost their employability. She used to work as an oil company's logistics coordinator, her husband as a sheet metal mechanic, and together they earned $100,000. Now they're bringing in $18,000.

Florida Governor Rick Scott will claim he saved the State's economy by kicking people off unemployment.

A 65-year-old Florida resident named Raymond Togyer is polishing his resume, cold calling potential employers, and spending hours trying, unsuccessfully, to navigate Florida's labyrinthine unemployment compensation system.

Togyer -- who was laid off for the first time in his adult life from a high-paying civil engineering job in June -- has been sending and resending letters, staying on hold for hours and checking state websites, all to no avail. He is one of hundreds of thousands of out-of-work Floridians flummoxed by what has become the most tightfisted unemployment compensation system in the nation.

"They told me that I was eligible and that I was going to be getting $275 a week," said the Togyer of Fort Lauderdale. "That was seven weeks ago. To this day I have not received anything. I'm draining my savings to pay my bills."

Maybe with tropical storm Iassc passing so close to the GOP convention in Tampa, it might be a warning from God.

Pew Research says that since the beginning of George W. Bush's administration, the middle class has shrunk in size, and has fallen backward in both income and wealth. During that time 52,000 factories fled our shores, costing the U.S. over 8 million jobs during that time.

"For the first time since the end of World War II, family incomes declined for Americans in all income tiers. But the middle-income tier is the only one that also shrunk in size, a trend that has continued over the past four decades."

Bill Clinton recently said, "This election to me is about which candidate is more likely to return us to full employment. The Republican plan is to cut more taxes on upper-income people and go back to deregulation. That's what got us in trouble in the first place."

See my post: Starve the Beast - The GOP's 30-Year Strategy


  1. Big business for hotels during the Democratic National Convention could mean more homeless people on the streets. With room rates on the rise, some who stay in extended-stay motels might not be able to afford the new prices.

    "I work all day for $60," said Eric Jones, who finds himself homeless. "Why am I going to pay $60 for a room, then I won't have enough to spend on food or anything."

    Jones lost his job, and then his apartment, just over 2 months ago. Sometimes, friends staying at motels invite him over to get cleaned up. On this night, Jones will be sleeping across from the Days Inn on Sunset Road, in North Charlotte. 'Everybody I know lives day to day.'"

  2. There is more trouble looming for the middle class and eventually for all salaried workers. Apart from the outsourcing of well-paying jobs to low-wage jurisdictions, the biggest danger is from automation. Productivity is advancing rapidly with all the cost savings benefit going to the top 1%. Eventually the average worker will be replaced by technology and will have no hope of finding employment. What we are going to see is a job-free repatriation of industries to the US. Capital will become labor. With a large portion of the population across the world unable to earn an income, demand will fall and the economy as we know it will grind to a halt.