The new American poor... i think i would rather be dead.

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#1 Posted by Videodogg (12551 posts) -

I am on the fine edge of being one of the new American poor. I lost my job last year. It took me 9 months to find a good paying TEMP job. Right now i am working, and getting decent pay. But there is no guarantee that i will get hired permanently at this position, or even if it will last for several months. My COBRA health insurance runs out in August. I have used up most of my unemployment benefits and i have gone through the majority of my savings. I pay for food, gas, car payment, insurance and rent with little left over for savings. I am not young either. If i lose my current job and cant find a new job, i will be in serious trouble. In a very short amount of time i could lose my car, become homeless, ........... i really think i would rather be dead than face poverty. I think America is dying, if not already dead. I dont want to live like people do in a third world country. How much better or worse do you think your lives are going to be in the next 5 years? Are you headed for poverty?

#2 Posted by Second_Rook (3680 posts) -
I've got a crap job at the moment, just feel alright to be covering one month to the next. You're wasting a lot of money with COBRA better to drop it now. Sounds like you may have lived at the outer edge of your budget before, you'll just have to take steps to protect your savings now. If you'd rather die, then do that I guess.
#3 Posted by racer8dan (7093 posts) -

You would rather be dead than broke? You give me the impression you grew up with too much money and now your dependent on it.

#4 Posted by Videodogg (12551 posts) -

You would rather be dead than broke? You give me the impression you grew up with too much money and now your dependent on it.

racer8dan
Hardly. I have struggled all my life. But now, even simply living is considered a luxury.
#5 Posted by Doctor-McNinja (1515 posts) -
Take a walk around east baltimore and see if you still feel so hard done by.
#6 Posted by entropyecho (22053 posts) -

That sucks.

I don't have a long-term job in place yet (28 years old). I just started working - contract is for two years. Hopefully things will be better in the near future job-wise so that by the time I finish with my current job I can find something else without being out of work for a long time.

At least you are employed and you don't have negative income at the end of the year. Save as much as you can when you can.

#7 Posted by Videodogg (12551 posts) -
Take a walk around east baltimore and see if you still feel so hard done by. Doctor-McNinja
Thats just it, i dont want to live like that...i would rather be dead...for sure.
#8 Posted by Montaya (4269 posts) -

Join the military.

#9 Posted by muller39 (14944 posts) -

Join the military.

Montaya
Agreed.
#10 Posted by Xx_Hopeless_xX (16562 posts) -

I would hope mine would get better...but then again..look at my username..:lol:

#11 Posted by F1_2004 (8009 posts) -
Can you give up the car and just use public transit? Or worst case scenario, go get a crap job as security or McDonalds or something, better than nothing, while you start looking for something better or get an education if you haven't yet.
#12 Posted by aransom (7408 posts) -

Poor in America is still better than normal in most countries.

#13 Posted by Doctor-McNinja (1515 posts) -

Poor in America is still better than normal in most countries.

aransom
Please tell me that wasn't serious. :|
#14 Posted by br0kenrabbit (12805 posts) -

Sorry, we only bail out banks.

#15 Posted by Serraph105 (27747 posts) -
Can you give up the car and just use public transit? Or worst case scenario, go get a crap job as security or McDonalds or something, better than nothing, while you start looking for something better or get an education if you haven't yet.F1_2004
yeah there are things you can give up to keep up some of your current life. Personally though I couldn't give up my car because there is no public transit out in the country.
#16 Posted by BigBoss154 (2956 posts) -

[QUOTE="Montaya"]

Join the military.

muller39

Agreed.

Yes, I agree too.

#17 Posted by TheAtheos (94 posts) -

Its rough out there right now for sure , I got out of the military about 8 months ago and have been unemployed ever since. Im survivng off of my disibilty checks I recieve for an injury I sustained while In Iraq. Im going to go to a temp agancy this week , the idea of temporary work doesnt excite me very much, but I dont know what else to do at this point. Hopefully things will getting better..

- Dont join the military

#18 Posted by HoolaHoopMan (7723 posts) -

Join the military.

Montaya
Yeah, instead of being poor you can be shipped over seas and put in harms way and possibly step on an IED. YEAH!
#19 Posted by aransom (7408 posts) -

[QUOTE="aransom"]

Poor in America is still better than normal in most countries.

Doctor-McNinja

Please tell me that wasn't serious. :|

Of course I'm serious. We've got the richest poor people in the world here. People below the poverty line have color TVs, cellphones, mortgages, second and third cars ...

#20 Posted by Espada12 (23248 posts) -

[QUOTE="Montaya"]

Join the military.

HoolaHoopMan

Yeah, instead of being poor you can be shipped over seas and put in harms way and possibly step on an IED. YEAH!

He would rather die than be poor. Military solves the problem either way...

#21 Posted by Doctor-McNinja (1515 posts) -

[QUOTE="Doctor-McNinja"][QUOTE="aransom"]

Poor in America is still better than normal in most countries.

aransom

Please tell me that wasn't serious. :|

Of course I'm serious. We've got the richest poor people in the world here. People below the poverty line have color TVs, cellphones, mortgages, second and third cars ...

Poorest city in America, i'm sure this is 'normal' in most other countries :roll:

#22 Posted by LJS9502_basic (150066 posts) -
[QUOTE="Montaya"]

Join the military.

HoolaHoopMan
Yeah, instead of being poor you can be shipped over seas and put in harms way and possibly step on an IED. YEAH!

You know the percentage of military personnel that happens to against total military personnel is rather small....right?
#23 Posted by Espada12 (23248 posts) -

On a side note americans and others need to stop lumping third world countries together, my country is not near as bad as haiti or one of those war torn african countries but it's a 3rd world country none the less.

#24 Posted by LJS9502_basic (150066 posts) -

[QUOTE="Doctor-McNinja"][QUOTE="aransom"]

Poor in America is still better than normal in most countries.

aransom

Please tell me that wasn't serious. :|

Of course I'm serious. We've got the richest poor people in the world here. People below the poverty line have color TVs, cellphones, mortgages, second and third cars ...

Poor is poor. If you have no food for your children....I don't see how that is a better cIass of poor than in other countries.:|
#25 Posted by DEVILinIRON (4302 posts) -

Don't worry TC, you aren't alone. I'm in a similar situation. I'm barely employed. I get 20 hours a week, uninsured, and not quite homeless though I don't really have a home either. Basically I have a place that I sleep at. But it's all pretty hush-hush. I shower at work (pretty embarrassing as no-one uses it but me)or a friends house and occasionally I do eat food found in a dumpster. It's day old food with sealed wrappings, but from the garbage nonetheless. I also ride my bike all over because I lost my car. The military is not an option due to taking anti-depressants for 2 years... Anyway. Good luck with everything and I hope you find a good job soon.

#26 Posted by Doctor-McNinja (1515 posts) -
[QUOTE="LJS9502_basic"] Poor is poor. If you have no food for your children....I don't see how that is a better cIass of poor than in other countries.:|

Not just that, but the ridiculous notion that poor in America is 'better than normal' in the rest of the world. :?
#27 Posted by Candy-Star (4378 posts) -
[QUOTE="aransom"]

Poor in America is still better than normal in most countries.

Doctor-McNinja
Please tell me that wasn't serious. :|

Not most.. but definitely some countries.
#28 Posted by THUMPTABLE (1809 posts) -

[QUOTE="Doctor-McNinja"][QUOTE="aransom"]

Poor in America is still better than normal in most countries.

aransom

Please tell me that wasn't serious. :|

Of course I'm serious. We've got the richest poor people in the world here. People below the poverty line have color TVs, cellphones, mortgages, second and third cars ...


'Most countries' is far too big a generalisation.

#29 Posted by Treflis (11428 posts) -
#30 Posted by MasterC5 (2932 posts) -

Join the military.

Montaya

Because wasting your life in war isn't totally pointless:roll:

#31 Posted by Snipes_2 (17126 posts) -

You could join the Reserves.

#32 Posted by Anarchy4hire82 (828 posts) -

[QUOTE="Montaya"]

Join the military.

muller39

Agreed.

yeah then you can both live in poverty and get killed or mangled. perhaps the wheelchair will help you get spare change at the train station....

#33 Posted by one_plum (6331 posts) -

"Do you know why they call it the American Dream? Because it only happens when you are asleep."

#34 Posted by FrostyPhantasm (8521 posts) -
[QUOTE="aransom"]

[QUOTE="Doctor-McNinja"] Please tell me that wasn't serious. :|LJS9502_basic

Of course I'm serious. We've got the richest poor people in the world here. People below the poverty line have color TVs, cellphones, mortgages, second and third cars ...

Poor is poor. If you have no food for your children....I don't see how that is a better cIass of poor than in other countries.:|

Could live in one of those countries with extremist military faction/coups on the go, or get malaria/aids. I'd rather be poor in say Europe or Canada than in say anywhere in Africa or intense heat conditions like Australia.
#35 Posted by Omni-Slash (54404 posts) -
for the love of....there's jobs to be had out there...they may not be your dream job or pay the salary you're expecting..but if you want to work you can.....if you have the desire and the determination you can make a decent enough wage and get yourself a place to live.....I swear...people just like to ***** and moan....there have always been tough times.....how you deal with them is how you're defined....
#36 Posted by entropyecho (22053 posts) -

"Do you know why they call it the American Dream? Because it only happens when you are asleep."

one_plum

Wasn't it something like, "Do you know why they call it the 'American Dream?' Because you have to be asleep to believe it" or no? George Carlin if anyone is interested :P

#37 Posted by entropyecho (22053 posts) -

for the love of....there's jobs to be had out there...they may not be your dream job or pay the salary you're expecting..but if you want to work you can.....if you have the desire and the determination you can make a decent enough wage and get yourself a place to live.....I swear...people just like to ***** and moan....there have always been tough times.....how you deal with them is how you're defined....Omni-Slash

Additionally, there's also the possiblity of working more than one job too. You have to do what you can.

#38 Posted by rawsavon (40002 posts) -

[QUOTE="HoolaHoopMan"][QUOTE="Montaya"]

Join the military.

Espada12

Yeah, instead of being poor you can be shipped over seas and put in harms way and possibly step on an IED. YEAH!

He would rather die than be poor. Military solves the problem either way...

that made me laugh when it probably shouldn't have :lol:
#39 Posted by Omni-Slash (54404 posts) -

Wasn't it something like, "Do you know why they call it the 'American Dream?' Because you have to be asleep to believe it" or no? George Carlin if anyone is interested :P

entropyecho

exaclty...my mother (single mother)....raised me and my two brothers by working 3 different jobs.....is it ideal?...hell no.....but it sure beats whining about it...

#40 Posted by rawsavon (40002 posts) -
for the love of....there's jobs to be had out there...they may not be your dream job or pay the salary you're expecting..but if you want to work you can.....if you have the desire and the determination you can make a decent enough wage and get yourself a place to live.....I swear...people just like to ***** and moan....there have always been tough times.....how you deal with them is how you're defined....Omni-Slash
And here is the thread winner and ender... -life is not all peaks...
#41 Posted by WestSideAzn (2218 posts) -

[QUOTE="aransom"]

Poor in America is still better than normal in most countries.

Treflis

I actually facepalmed when I read this and I'd like to direct you to this youtube link featuring Lewis Black and I hope you watch it.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4mCDZMWVWuc&feature=related

That was a funny link! Great ppost.
#42 Posted by rawsavon (40002 posts) -

[QUOTE="entropyecho"]Wasn't it something like, "Do you know why they call it the 'American Dream?' Because you have to be asleep to believe it" or no? George Carlin if anyone is interested :P

Omni-Slash

exaclty...my mother (single mother)....raised me and my two brothers by working 3 different jobs.....is it ideal?...hell no.....but it sure beats whining about it...

Very similar...my mom worked 2 and a half jobs (2 regular jobs + one cleaning job) to support me and my 2 sisters
#43 Posted by Omni-Slash (54404 posts) -
Very similar...my mom worked 2 and a half jobs (2 regular jobs + one cleaning job) to support me and my 2 sistersrawsavon
yup....glad i grew up on the poor side to tell you the truth....gives me a whole different perspective on life.....so many things I don't take for granted....
#44 Posted by pianist (18899 posts) -

Well, I feel for you. I think you should put some effort into exploring your options for reducing "necessities" that you don't really need, just in case the worst comes to pass. For instance, if you have any cell phones, web site memberships, entertainment subscriptions, or so forth, they can probably be axed. If you eat out at all, stop doing that - not even a cup of coffee or bottle of water from the local vendor. Obviously stop smoking or drinking if you do either, and no gambling either - the thrill of the occasional win doesn't change the fact that gambling establishments become wealthy for a reason. And if you have ANY debt at all, your first priority is to get rid of it. Do whatever it takes to eliminate it, even if it means selling some of your possessions. Paying interest on unnecessary consumer debt is just about the biggest waste of money I can think of. Do you live alone? One more thing that really helps with money is renting out rooms in your house. And that money can be applied to eliminating debt or building savings.

Basically, look at EVERYTHING you spend even a few dollars on and ask yourself "do I REALLY need to be spending money on this?" That even goes for groceries. Take advantage of coupons and deals. Don't buy anything that isn't on sale unless you absolutely have to. And do your best to keep your job by being an excellent employee and kind to your coworkers.

The economic recovery is on shaky ground. It does not mean that it will collapse, and things WILL eventually get better, but the average North American worker probably isn't going to feel the effects for many years, and there is still quite a bit of sentiment out there that we could be looking at an eventual second big dip for the recession as the last of the bad debt gets churned through the system.

As for me, I came out just fine. As a young music educator, I've never had an especially large income, but I've been interested in investing for a few years, and the markets have been very kind to me in the past year or so. I'm actually at my all-time high for net worth, and with a reasonably strong spring (perhaps doubtful, but I can hope :P ), I'll be in a position to eliminate my mortgage. I'll then own my house, both pianos, and my car with no debt except margin for my stock accounts at age 29. And I'll STILL be very close to my previous all-time high levels for liquid assets.

So I want to make this clear - it wasn't investing that put me on solid footing, and it certainly wasn't my job income. It was frugality. I'm a penny pincher, and that's why I had the money to invest in the first place. If you want to stabilize your financial future so that you don't have to worry about economic downturns (or even better, can take advantage of them through deflated stock / property prices), you need to do that too.

#45 Posted by Stevo_the_gamer (42584 posts) -
My deepest condolences for your misfortunes, worse comes into play, can always join the military -- and then afterwards go to school, and then get a well paying job.
#46 Posted by PannicAtack (20937 posts) -

On a side note americans and others need to stop lumping third world countries together, my country is not near as bad as haiti or one of those war torn african countries but it's a 3rd world country none the less.

Espada12
Out of curiosity, what country do you live in?
#47 Posted by rawsavon (40002 posts) -
[QUOTE="rawsavon"] Very similar...my mom worked 2 and a half jobs (2 regular jobs + one cleaning job) to support me and my 2 sistersOmni-Slash
yup....glad i grew up on the poor side to tell you the truth....gives me a whole different perspective on life.....so many things I don't take for granted....

Same here... Believe it or not, I grew up (till like 6th grade) a millionaire -but **** and life happen -ended up quite poor -but I am sooooo glad I did...I was an insufferably spoiled jackass
#48 Posted by entropyecho (22053 posts) -

[QUOTE="Omni-Slash"]for the love of....there's jobs to be had out there...they may not be your dream job or pay the salary you're expecting..but if you want to work you can.....if you have the desire and the determination you can make a decent enough wage and get yourself a place to live.....I swear...people just like to ***** and moan....there have always been tough times.....how you deal with them is how you're defined....rawsavon
And here is the thread winner and ender... -life is not all peaks...

I think in general most people don't realize that "wealth-building" takes a tremendous amount of sacrifice, oftentimes spanning a few generations. Both my grandparents and parents worked multiple jobs to ensure food on the table and a place to call our home. The jobs weren't "cushy" by any means either. Hell, my grandparents still can't speak English and my parents had to learn from scratch when they were in their teens.

I sympathize with the TC's feeling of being sick of poverty, but he has to realize that it could be much, much worse.

#49 Posted by Stevo_the_gamer (42584 posts) -
[QUOTE="Montaya"]

Join the military.

HoolaHoopMan
Yeah, instead of being poor you can be shipped over seas and put in harms way and possibly step on an IED. YEAH!

He didn't say join the Marines, or the Army. There are many branches of the US Military which he could volunteer for, even state offerings like the Air National Guard -- or the Navy National Guard and he could work on construction building and maintaining, or guarding bases around the world.
#50 Posted by Mercenary848 (9058 posts) -

[QUOTE="Montaya"]

Join the military.

muller39

Agreed.

He said he was older, he might not be qualified.