The new poor: No jobs, no hope

Without work and without hope

The greatest recession since the Great Depression has created a new, large and growing class of “new poor,” composed of millions who held jobs for most of their lives but now face years of unemployment and little hope of ever regaining the standard of living they once knew and took for granted.

Millions of Americans remain out of work, out of savings and soon will be out of unemployment benefits.

Economists says a recovery will leave more people behind than ever before because the recovery will not create enough jobs to put the record levels of jobless back to work.

Social scientists call this growing class the new poor: former middle class Americans who face living on public assistance for the first time in their lives and can look towards a bleak future with little hope of regaining the ground they lost.

The social safety net is buckling under the strain. Food stamp payouts are at an all-time high. Energy assistance programs have run out of money. Some 2.7 million unemployed lose unemployment check by the end of April unless Congress approves President Barack Obama’s proposal to extend payments.

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10 Responses to "The new poor: No jobs, no hope"

  1. griff  February 21, 2010 at 2:09 pm

    The key phrase from this story is ‘took for granted.’ We took for granted that our representatives (reprehensibles!?) acted in our best interests in selling out our country while bamboozling us with lofy rhetoric and simplistic jingoism. The American worker is expendable in the global casino economy. Slavery was never abolished, they just decided to include the rest of the planet in it.

    And now we have the double-whammy of record numbers of food stamps recipients while J.P. Morgan has farmed out support of the program to India under government contract. More profit for Wall Street banksters while the American Dream transforms into an abysmal nightmare of government dependency.

  2. Almandine  February 21, 2010 at 8:31 pm

    And THIS is what they call RECOVERY.

  3. b mcclellan  February 21, 2010 at 9:00 pm

    Wage war upon the defenseless but grant immunity at your peril.

    Have Basterds will travel..

  4. Carl Nemo  February 21, 2010 at 9:39 pm

    It’s illogical to expect recovery when tens of millions of jobs have been offshored in the past fifteen years never to return along with an obscene annual allocation of H1-B visa’s too, far above the authorized number of 185,000. Also millions of people were jettisoned with this most recent major downdraft starting in the fourth quarter of 2008 that will never return. The available jobs watering hole is drying up like those in the African savannah in the dry season.

    The self-replicating effect of this crisis is that those that are out of work don’t have the resources to by “stuff” so therefore it dampens one side of the consumer vs. supply equation; ie, plenty of goods and services, but less people to purchase those goods or utilize a service etc. This means there’s a lesser need for employees to both manufacture and distribute such goods and services. People are also losing their homes bigtime while bottom feeding short sale companies and marginally competent lawyers are issuing the final coup de grace against their resources.

    When recessions of the “vanilla” variety occur we can recover over time, but this time we have ruinous amounts of public debt levied against the nation due to Bushco’s faux last minute crisis concerning TARP which was in essence to cover AIG’s counterparty losses to major Euro banks et al. In other words the Bush administration in its final days along with a complicit Congress bled us out for $700 billion. When the Fed or Treasury is pressured to disclose the whereabouts of that money, they come up with national security and other such b.s. as to why they can’t fess up?! / : |

    Then Obama & Co. comes onboard and starts pandering for so-called ‘stimulus’ money to the tune of $787 billion with little concrete results being demonstrated to date. So between these two parties, now simply duopolists managing to conn “We the people” out of $1.5 trillion bucks we sit here dying the death of a frog in a soon to boil pot of water, only realizing too late the extreme national hazard we find ourselves.

    This doesn’t include the overspending for the current budget and those into the future. We’re suffering a seemingly terminal case of “crimpols gone wild”. If this were 1878 you’d hear the upwelling of a mighty cry from the people to get the ropes, tar and sharp edged rails…!

    The next looming nightmare on the horizon is the U.S. T-bond market blowing up forcing U.S. taxpayers to pay stiff vigorish; ie., interest on our national debts which are already crushing us. This will happen because our deep pockets creditors in China and Japan are running for the exits. We either pay more interest or lose the source for prime lenders. The result is utilities will have to raise their rates due to the lack of cheap money being available for expansion and ongoing operations etc. Businesses will be squeezed due to the higher cost of money used for maintenance and expansion while home building and remodeling will come to a grinding halt too as interest rates creep up into the double digits as in the early 80′s. Basically the private sector will suffer the proligacy of the public sector via interest rate hikes. There will be no global warming in the financial markets, but the dawn of a new ice age relative to the ruinous cost of capital. The stock markets will tumble ever downward into the abyss too with occasional rallys, but still ever downward to a similar 1930′s bottom.

    It’s obvious this is a blatant attack upon the fiscal solvency of the U.S. and the world in general. Our leaders can’t be so dense as to not realize what they are doing. Evidently the U.S. is simply to become a minor plantation within the greater global order of things with our once middle class reduced to desperate, groveling serfs while the planetary oligarchs, all mattoids, sit back and cackle with glee over their engineered “endgame” for the people of planet earth.

    It seems we either revolt en masse or best learn who our betters are…no?! : |

    Carl Nemo **==

  5. Concerned Citizen  February 22, 2010 at 9:58 am

    Remember when one by one steel, autos, textiles, furniture and many other industries were being shut down and given away, with nothing in return ? Pronouncements from Washington said we were better off, blaming high pension and medical costs, poor management, and citing the need to phase them out in favor of cheap imports. Optimists said don’t worry, dreaming loudly of the coming high tech information age, the magic bullet that will someday propel us from the abyss. Today of course those same voices are largely silent as the majority of advanced degrees in math, science and engineering are awarded to foreign students, and U.S. corporations routinely import thousands of H-1B engineering and software professionals from the vast pools of technical talent in India and China where the newest R&D centers have been built. And neither are they saying much about the billions of dollars flowing into the banking industry at a time high school teachers in math and science are lucky to have jobs, never mind the mediocre pay. . . . What’s clear is that fundamentals like these explain the growing ranks of jobless Americans and predict our demise far more accurately than the temporary effects of a recession. And short term government jobs programs won’t make a dent. We can only hope American leaders soon realize that true superpower status will not be sustained much longer by a superficial debt ridden economy built on derivatives, strip malls, $10/hr jobs, and cheap imports at Walmart.

  6. B  February 22, 2010 at 2:17 pm

    Some claim that the H-1B program helps to create American jobs, but it is currently being used by some companies to outsource American jobs to foreign countries. Under current law, an outsourcing company can use American workers to train H-1B guest-workers, fire the American workers and outsource the H-1B workers to a foreign country where they will do the same job for a much lower wage. In fact, Indian Commerce Minister Kamal Nath has referred to the H-1B as “the outsourcing visa.”

    Employers can legally discriminate against qualified Americans by firing them without cause and recruiting only H-1B guest-workers to replace them. The U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) has said: “H-1B workers may be hired even when a qualified U.S. worker wants the job, and a U.S. worker can be displaced from the job in favor of a foreign worker.” Some companies that discriminate against American workers are so brazen that their job advertisements say “H-1B visa holders only.” And some companies in the United States have workforces that consist almost entirely of H-1B guest-workers.

  7. woody188  February 22, 2010 at 8:26 pm

    And what do you suppose will happen if 2.7 million unemployed don’t get that next check from the government?

  8. doggie daddy  February 22, 2010 at 9:05 pm

    HOPE and CHANGE you can beleive in.

    Unless your ‘friends across the aisle’ don’t want to play along.

  9. griff  February 22, 2010 at 9:56 pm

    I suppose that the government will extend unemployment benefits in an emergency measure so the serfs won’t revolt.

  10. Almandine  February 22, 2010 at 10:10 pm

    And so doggie… do you mean to say that getting the Repubs to agree on bankrupting the country even faster is a jobs program you can believe in?

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