Unemployment takes emotional, financial toll
Jobless lack health care, have trouble sleeping.
Tammy Linville of Louisville, Ky., lost her clerical job a year and a half ago. Her boyfriend is still working, but his hours have been cut and he’s earning less. Her car broke down, and she can’t afford to fix it. The couple are struggling to support themselves and their two small children.
“Every time I think about money, I shut down because there is none,” Linville told The New York Times. “I get major panic attacks. I just don’t know what we’re going to do.”
Nearly half of the adults surveyed admitted to feeling embarrassed or ashamed because they’re out of work. More than half have borrowed money from friends or relatives, or skipped medical care because they couldn’t afford it. Nearly half report anxiety or depression.
Vicky Newton, 38, of Mount Pleasant, Mich., is typical of the people surveyed.
- Bing: How to find a job
“I lost my job in March, and from there on, everything went downhill,” Newton, 38, a single mother, told The Times. “After struggling and struggling and not being able to pay my house payments or my other bills, I finally sucked up my pride. I got food stamps just to help feed my daughter.”
She had to give up her home, which is now in foreclosure, and move 90 miles away to a property owned by her father.
The Times invited people who were interviewed to share their stories in video, and you can see some of their stories here.
These are some of the other findings of the poll on the unemployed:
- 86% say the job loss has created a crisis in their lives.
- 69% are more stressed than usual, and 55% have had trouble sleeping.
- 61% said unemployment benefits are not enough to cover basic necessities.
- 60% of people have taken money from savings to pay bills.
- 47% are without health-care coverage.
- 40% of parents have noticed behavioral changes in their children they attribute to their job loss.
- 26% have received food stamps.
Some of the people on the boards are so all-knowing, I wonder why they didn't get together to write a book predicting the downfall of the American and world economy! Sheesh! Stop the finger-pointing at the people who were (ignorantly) capitalist and just joining-in on the "fun" (yeah...not) of being materialistic and "reaching for the American Dream". Certainly, if you are going to point, direct those fingers towards the greedy business ventures' and other big-money investors who advised on the strategy to get the "buy-in" necessary from corporate boards, that led to the heavy borrowing, risk-taking growth, and out-sourcing profiteering, etc. For decades, we were delighted with the fairytales of "trickle-down economics", "risk-has-its-reward", etc. Now America has caught the flu, and the rest of the world (except maybe China) has a flesh-eating bacteria! Yes--it will take time AND a change of mindset to get out of this mess! But, simply blaming fellow countrymen/women for this disaster is highly simplistic. If the "greatest" business minds at Harvard, Yale, MIT, etc., couldn't either read the writing on the wall, or get their warning message heard, then you have to look towards other reasons for that happening. Just remember, by the time the Joe and Mary Ordinary hear the "message", it has been vetted and filtered so many times as to be unrecognizable. Cutting to the chase, ordinary people only reacted to what they were told would be good for them--though in the end, we now realize the message obviously wasn't designed for THEIR best interests. Duh! Hopefully, the most enriching lesson we all take from this is that we need to question who is giving us information that will affect our families lives and livelihood, and what is THEIR interest/benefit in that!?
First, the article discusses how people who are unemployed have become increasingly stressed by their lack of options, not how "we" all got to this point economically. Secondly however, hopefully people will have learned some important lessons. Especially lessons about saving and lessons about what humans really NEED in life. Not fancy clothing, not television, and forget McMansions. Heck, forget home ownership. The most "freedom" I have enjoyed as an American happens to be the freedom from debt - a mortgage. If my income is reduced, I am not chained to the idea of a tremendous commitment to an owned house. We do need nutritious food, exercise, basic shelter and quality education, and simple, clear-cut banking systems. It's time to start over folks. If that means living in your father's basement, then, well, that's what you'll have to do. Let banks and other businesses go out of business. True entrepreneurs will emerge and we can begin with a clean slate - as long as they are not unduly and unfairly burdened by the Government.
And if you had personally spent 8 years digging a big fat financial hole, could you fix it in less then a year? This country is in serious trouble, but we didn't get here overnight and it can't be fixed quickly. I'm personally not thrilled with everything this administration is doing, but I KNOW that the other guy and his idiot alaska barbie wouldn't be doing a better job.
As citizens our responsibility is to SPEAK UP in a constructive manner, not just criticize for the sake of running our mouths.
The real reason the US as a nation is here is that our education systems has been dumbed down to a level where almost anything 'taught' is a total white wash job. Go ask ten people in this nation under the age of 75 what a Banana Republic is and I guarantee you they think it's a clothing store. Educate yourself and find out what it really is!
I too have friends and family out of work and suffering from the malaise, and I truly feel for them, but the solution is to pull together, not tear one another apart.
Finally a story that hits home and tells of the hardships of REAL Americans! I, fortunately, still have a job, but I fear every day, for good reason, that it will vanish. I've seen plenty of friends and family members lose their jobs, or have their hours reduced. Greed has dug a deep, deep hole in the pit of Americans stomachs..... I hope future generations will learn from these times and not let it happen again.... hmmmm, maybe we should have learned something from the "roaring 20's" and the great depression that followed. Kind of sounds like the fabulous 90's and early 00's, which led us here.....
Capitalism is great, but there does need to be some control or greed will bring down this great nation.
Don't forget how Congress is also looking into the College Football BCS system.
If they want to stimulate the economy, why don't they give every taxpayer $25,000 or so to pay off their credit card debts and help the banks get more money!
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