Of topic, but do you know anyone who has been affected by this recession?


By burritos   Follow   Thu, 16 Jun 2011, 6:24am   4,588 views   56 comments
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IOW, do you have any friends, family, or colleagues who have lost their job? I personally do not have any friends, family, or colleagues who have lost their jobs. I know this recession is real to many people, but to me it's mainly a news story, like the Joplin tornado or Japanese earthquake.

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  1. burritos


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    17   11:30am Thu 16 Jun 2011   Share   Quote   Permalink   Like   Dislike  

    Payoff2011 says

    If you really are this insulated, you need to get out more. It’s ugly out there.

    My wife volunteers to tutor homeless kids. I on the other hand am a lazy SOB after work. Can't I just watch the news and write checks to various needy charities, including 90k to the government every year? As a graduate of U.C. that's a great return for the state.

  2. EightBall


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    18   11:30am Thu 16 Jun 2011   Share   Quote   Permalink   Like   Dislike  

    Everyone I know in construction or construction-related jobs except for one has struggled and/or gone bankrupt. So far so good with my own situation in IT. I've had an inordinate number of people ask for referrals but they were all move-up or I-hate-this-place-can't-stand-it-anymore types.

  3. Payoff2011


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    19   11:31am Thu 16 Jun 2011   Share   Quote   Permalink   Like   Dislike  

    One of the saddest cases I know. My 53 yr old cousin lost his job about 2 years ago. The company closed. That’s a tough age to get another job. He did not have much financial reserves (2 divorces, 3 kids, college). He paid for Cobra as long as he could; then let insurance lapse. Has now been diagnosed with aggressive cancer. He can’t afford the kind of care that insured people would get, so this will probably kill him. He uses the county hospital, Stroger, in Chicago. It’s a pit. Dirty, disorganized, overcrowded, depressing. His parents lost their other son about 17 years ago to a car-pedestrian hit and run. My aunt has never gotten over it. Now she will probably bury a second son. Nobody should die because they can’t afford health insurance.

  4. zzyzzx


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    20   11:36am Thu 16 Jun 2011   Share   Quote   Permalink   Like   Dislike  

    I used to work for Wells Fargo, and yes, my immediate work group was decimated. The few that are left only stay because of the nice severance packages offered, and all of them are kind of old to be looking for work.

    Having said that, at least two of us got better jobs. Most did worse though. A few are still unemployed. Several of those who got jobs have gotten a series of temporary jobs.

  5. bubblesitter


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    21   11:39am Thu 16 Jun 2011   Share   Quote   Permalink   Like   Dislike (1)  

    Payoff2011 says

    Nobody should die because they can’t afford health insurance.

    God bless your cousin and his family.

  6. kapone


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    22   12:13pm Thu 16 Jun 2011   Share   Quote   Permalink   Like   Dislike (1)  

    Well, some of my folks got affected today. We got the order from the govt to reduce the $ value of our task order by 1/3rd. Had to lay off 10 people today.

    Not good. :-(

  7. burritos


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    23   12:28pm Thu 16 Jun 2011   Share   Quote   Permalink   Like   Dislike (1)  

    kapone says

    Well, some of my folks got affected today. We got the order from the govt to reduce the $ value of our task order by 1/3rd. Had to lay off 10 people today.
    Not good. -(

    Instead of firing 1/3 why can't wages and benefits be reduced by 1/3?

  8. kapone


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    24   12:29pm Thu 16 Jun 2011   Share   Quote   Permalink   Like   Dislike  

    We offered to do that, the govt rejected it. 10 people laid off and the rest 25 have to take a 2 week furlough.

  9. bayhousehunter


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    25   12:48pm Thu 16 Jun 2011   Share   Quote   Permalink   Like   Dislike (2)  

    I was laid off twice in the last 3 years - once due to offshoring of my job and the next time when the startup I was working for shut down. It is surprising to see someone that has not been laid off atleast once in my circle of friends - i work in the tech sector.
    Payoff2011, I wish your cousin the best and hope things improve for him.

  10. permanent_marker


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    26   12:51pm Thu 16 Jun 2011   Share   Quote   Permalink   Like   Dislike  

    From what I see, in Silicon Valley there is a mini-boom going on (may be not so mini). Engineers with good skills have no problem landing on good paying jobs.

    Then again, I understand that we are in a 'tech bubble area'

  11. corntrollio


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    27   1:18pm Thu 16 Jun 2011   Share   Quote   Permalink   Like   Dislike  

    PasadenaNative says

    underemployed

    Tude says

    suffered lower hours, or like me has had furloughs (in my new job).

    People often forget to include these sorts of things when including effects of the Great Recession. Even at top-shelf companies like HP or Yahoo, there have been mandatory furloughs. Budget cuts generally sometimes lead to underemployment.

    Also, it's noticeable among people I know who are looking for entry level jobs (e.g. family members just out of school).

  12. uffthefluff


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    28   3:02pm Thu 16 Jun 2011   Share   Quote   Permalink   Like   Dislike (1)  

    These responses surprise me, as this forum seems to have an uncanny number of very high income commenters.

  13. Dan8267


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    29   3:10pm Thu 16 Jun 2011   Share   Quote   Permalink   Like   Dislike  

    I prefer to call it a depression since the economy has been plagued by high unemployment and low productivity since 2001. I say the so-called "good times" of the housing bubble were simply a facade of fake growth that masked a the real sluggishness of the economy.

    I have one friend who's been out of work for six months and another who's been out of work for years. Both worked in IT. The one that has been out of work for years has little chance of getting back to work because of age-discrimination coupled by the discrimination against those who are unemployed. Companies only want to hire people who already have jobs.

    I've been fortunate in that so far I've been able to market my skills in all bad IT markets. It helps to be young enough to quickly pick up the latest "hot skills" before too many people have them.

  14. jvolstad


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    30   3:51pm Thu 16 Jun 2011   Share   Quote   Permalink   Like   Dislike  

    My billable hours have been cut back to 32 hours a week. Afterhours on-call is considered a freebe.

  15. corntrollio


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    31   4:13pm Thu 16 Jun 2011   Share   Quote   Permalink   Like   Dislike  

    shrekgrinch says

    Yeah, both my wife and I were jobless thanks to Obama’s

    My wife is still jobless as Obama couldn’t even save union-controlled NUMMI.

    I'm not trying to make this about ideology. Why do you think a politician could have saved either of your jobs? Moreover, why would you should be dependent on a politician to do so?

    If your wife worked at NUMMI, which I just mentioned in another thread, you should be aware of the general struggles of the auto industry in the last several years.

    (if I were trying to make this about ideology, I'd ask if you think a Republican president would have saved a union job :p)

    In any case, congrats on your new job!

  16. michaelsch


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    32   5:18pm Thu 16 Jun 2011   Share   Quote   Permalink   Like   Dislike  

    It's hard to tell.

    I know many people who are unemployed, but most of them lost their jobs for various reasons, maybe not related to the recession.

    My wife now teaches only fall and spring (and less hours than she used to) and is unemployed in winter and summer, but that's because California is bankrupt not because of the recession.

    I have a termination notice for 7/12, but that's because my company wasted a lot of money on stupid projects, not because of the recession and tries to save by replacing us with Indians, not because of the recession. (They will extend my employment by 6 month because there are several must projects Indians can't handle.)

    I know some people who are unemployed more than 2 years and have no chance of finding a job but that's because they are too depressed after such a long unempoyment not because of the recession. So, yes I agree with Dan8267 it's a depression rather than a recession.

  17. permanent_marker


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    33   5:32pm Thu 16 Jun 2011   Share   Quote   Permalink   Like   Dislike  

    there was big hoopla on how Tesla (electric car company) is going to take over the NUMMI plant. ANy thing happend there?

    shrekgrinch says

    Yeah, both my wife and I were jobless thanks to Obama’s Wonderful “If we pass our stimulus package then unemployment will not go over 8%!” Economy.
    My wife is still jobless as Obama couldn’t even save union-controlled NUMMI. She has been undergoing career retraining.
    I just got a new job recently.

  18. bubblesitter


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    34   6:06pm Thu 16 Jun 2011   Share   Quote   Permalink   Like   Dislike (1)  

    Just got a pay freeze notice from the top. For now we should be good as 2-3 people from the dept. already left. I concur with the opinion that if you have a job you have a better chance of landing another one compared to the unemployed one.

  19. StoutFiles


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    35   7:24pm Thu 16 Jun 2011   Share   Quote   Permalink   Like   Dislike  

    permanent_marker says

    Engineers with good skills have no problem landing on good paying jobs.

    Then again, I understand that we are in a ‘tech bubble area’

    Engineering has never been a bubble job. If someone is good at math and science, they will be fine.

  20. APOCALYPSEFUCKisShostikovitch


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    36   7:49pm Thu 16 Jun 2011   Share   Quote   Permalink   Like   Dislike (1)  

    When you're self employed there is no such thing as good times. You're on 24.7.365 decade in and decade out, completing contracts, negotiating new ones or managing sub-contractors. Hoard cash at all times, upgrade your self defense skills regularly and assume your neighbor may have to eat your or your pets at some point when western civilization finally crashes on the shoals of destiny, so don't get any weird ideas about depending on anyone.

  21. Dan8267


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    37   9:01pm Thu 16 Jun 2011   Share   Quote   Permalink   Like   Dislike  

    uffthefluff says

    These responses surprise me, as this forum seems to have an uncanny number of very high income commenters.

    Doesn't surprise me. The kind of people who avoided the housing bubble and have been following sites like this are smart, financially responsible, and disciplined enough not to give into instantaneous gratification. You would expect people like that to earn more than average and save/invest prudently. We're not exactly a simple random sample of the American population.

  22. Dan8267


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    38   9:08pm Thu 16 Jun 2011   Share   Quote   Permalink   Like   Dislike  

    permanent_marker says

    Engineers with good skills have no problem landing on good paying jobs.

    Unfortunately, that is not true. I know of a few very good engineers who can't get jobs because they can't sell themselves. This is especially true about older software developers because the employers think that no one over 50 can program. Outsourcing has also undermined software engineering. $5/hr programmers sounds appealing to dumb execs who don't understand the concept of quality and protecting intellectual property.

  23. OO


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    39   10:12pm Thu 16 Jun 2011   Share   Quote   Permalink   Like   Dislike  

    Many, but they quickly landed on their feet again, probably most of my friends are mid-career with established experience and asset.

    One friend lost his job as a Wall Street banker, but still managed to keep his multi-million dollar home without problem. Another friend was laid off from BOA, but quickly landed another more lucrative job. Most friends in tech are doing better than ever, because their companies (Linkedin, Zynga and Facebook) have just gone IPO or are about to go IPO, so one actually traded up his home to Palo Alto from San Jose recently. I don't see too much difference in their spending patterns or career path, I know some of them are laid off, but they didn't seem to have trouble finding another similar position.

    The ones that are the hardest hit are recent grads, kids of friends who just left college.

  24. Fisk


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    40   10:46pm Thu 16 Jun 2011   Share   Quote   Permalink   Like (1)   Dislike (1)  

    We had our first layoff ever (that is, in ~20 years) this month, 20% let go.
    Didn't affect me (and, frankly, some folks sent packing deserved that richly), but may well next time. Fortunately, no debt (house/ cars/student loans all paid off) and wife with stable job (medical).
    Otherwise, only suffered investment losses like everyone else and
    substantial cuts in employer pension accrual.

  25. jvolstad


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    41   10:58pm Thu 16 Jun 2011   Share   Quote   Permalink   Like   Dislike  

    Dan8267 says

    permanent_marker says

    Engineers with good skills have no problem landing on good paying jobs.

    Unfortunately, that is not true. I know of a few very good engineers who can’t get jobs because they can’t sell themselves. This is especially true about older software developers because the employers think that no one over 50 can program. Outsourcing has also undermined software engineering. $5/hr programmers sounds appealing to dumb execs who don’t understand the concept of quality and protecting intellectual property.

    Some of us grey hairs can still get gigs doing COBOL coding.

  26. bubblesitter


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    42   6:47am Fri 17 Jun 2011   Share   Quote   Permalink   Like   Dislike  

    jvolstad says

    COBOL

    or Fortran. :)

  27. FortWayne


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    43   7:18am Fri 17 Jun 2011   Share   Quote   Permalink   Like (2)   Dislike  

    looks like medical field is the only stable field out there. doesn't help with insane medical costs in this nation of course.

  28. StoutFiles


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    44   9:30am Fri 17 Jun 2011   Share   Quote   Permalink   Like   Dislike (1)  

    Dan8267 says

    permanent_marker says

    Engineers with good skills have no problem landing on good paying jobs.

    Unfortunately, that is not true. I know of a few very good engineers who can’t get jobs because they can’t sell themselves. This is especially true about older software developers because the employers think that no one over 50 can program. Outsourcing has also undermined software engineering. $5/hr programmers sounds appealing to dumb execs who don’t understand the concept of quality and protecting intellectual property.

    I use modern things but still code in Fortran, BASIC, Ladder Logic, etc. Trust me, there are many companies still using this stuff in operations because it works and isn't worth the expense of modernizing it. You can't outsource this work; have to be here for constant updating and testing.

    Plenty of jobs for engineers out there, they just might involve moving and/or a field you don't like, but they're there.

  29. PRIME


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    45   9:34pm Fri 17 Jun 2011   Share   Quote   Permalink   Like   Dislike (1)  

    yea, the same thing happened to me. i guess i am in an insulated bubble. i know a couple of people who had smaller bonuses, but that is it.

    the recession was great for me because i kept my job and i was able to buy a lot of stock at fire sale prices.

  30. shazzy


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    46   10:14pm Fri 17 Jun 2011   Share   Quote   Permalink   Like   Dislike (1)  

    Since you live in Newbury Park, Burritos, you must remember Amgen (100s of layoffs),
    Countrywide in Calabasas, Hollywood writers strike, --the ripple effect was huge. If you are in the medical field, be ready for in huge influx of competition, as displaced professionals pile into your domain and create overflow and wage reductions.

    I would take this economic recession very seriously. Your post sounds flip and selfish. Or just uninformed. And I am quite certain the Conejo Valley is Heloc'd to the hilt. I know the plastic surgeons out there are working deals---that should tell you something.

  31. elliemae


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    47   6:11pm Sat 18 Jun 2011   Share   Quote   Permalink   Like   Dislike   Protected  

    shrekgrinch says

    corntrollio says


    Why do you think a politician could have saved either of your jobs? Moreover, why would you should be dependent on a politician to do so?

    Because that one PROMISED unemployment would peak at 8% and go down if we just supported his policies, that’s why.

    Unless he called you personally, you are sadly mistaken:
    http://www.politifact.com/truth-o-meter/statements/2010/jul/13/george-will/will-obama-said-stimulus-would-cap-unemployment-8-/

    I had a 25% pay cut in 2010. Several of my coworkers hours were cut below the amount that made them eligible for benefits but the company promised (in writing) to allow them to keep their benefits... then retroactively charged full price for the cost of their health insurance as well as deduct any vacation time they took from their checks. One of my coworkers suffered a heart attack the day that they received a paycheck that was less than $5.00.

    That corporation is now sold, having lost several lawsuits in the millions for providing substandard care. I'm proud to say that I don't work there any more - by choice.

  32. patb


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    48   6:51pm Sat 18 Jun 2011   Share   Quote   Permalink   Like   Dislike  

    25 Million americans are on food stamps, don't kid yourself that the world isn't on fire.

  33. OO


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    49   7:15pm Sat 18 Jun 2011   Share   Quote   Permalink   Like   Dislike (1)  

    Not saying that the recession is not bad, but I always see people buying food at Whole Foods with food stamps, what's the deal with that? There's once I followed a woman on food stamp out to her car, and she was driving a much better car than mine, I am wondering if there is a number I should call to report abuse?

  34. Cook County resident


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    50   9:39pm Sat 18 Jun 2011   Share   Quote   Permalink   Like   Dislike  

    OO says

    Not saying that the recession is not bad, but I always see people buying food at Whole Foods with food stamps, what’s the deal with that? There’s once I followed a woman on food stamp out to her car, and she was driving a much better car than mine, I am wondering if there is a number I should call to report abuse?

    Just dial:

    1-BHN-DPA-YMNT
    or
    1-BOR-ROW-DCAR

  35. xenogear3


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    51   4:55am Sun 19 Jun 2011   Share   Quote   Permalink   Like   Dislike  

    Most countries have 10+% unemployment rate and $1 per hour labor cost.

    US will reach that.

  36. elliemae


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    52   10:47am Sun 19 Jun 2011   Share   Quote   Permalink   Like   Dislike   Protected  

    OO says

    Not saying that the recession is not bad, but I always see people buying food at Whole Foods with food stamps, what’s the deal with that? There’s once I followed a woman on food stamp out to her car, and she was driving a much better car than mine, I am wondering if there is a number I should call to report abuse?

    Food stamps (now cards) are issued to the users - some people prefer to spend the money on ramen and other foods that go further. Some people prefer fresh foods, or treat themselves sometimes.

    I've heard people complain because a person on foodstamps bought steak while they ate hamburger... what right do you have to judge what someone else eats or drives or does? The federal guidelines for food stamps is the determining factor, which is why the old guy who won the lotto is still eligible for them. Once a person is in public housing, the only determining factor is their income. So someone who won the lotto would be eligible for continued occupancy, albeit at a higher rental amount.

    It's none of your business what they drive. Maybe they borrowed the car or haven't made the payment (as CC res says); or maybe that's the only car they have and if they sell it, they have no way to get another and no alternate transportation. It might not have any equity at all...

  37. OO


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    53   9:44pm Sun 19 Jun 2011   Share   Quote   Permalink   Like   Dislike  

    elliemae,

    the point of the food stamp is to fill their stomach, not to have them eat better than me the taxpayer. And as far as I understand, the max food stamp per month in CA is $300 per person, and this person blew a hundred on very few items, and he definitely didn't have enough to buy food to last him a whole month. Just by looking at what he got, I could figure out that he was most likely NOT reliant on food stamp, but use it as a supplement.

    Food stamp eligibility excludes owning an asset in excess of several thousand dollars if I remember correctly, and if someone is driving a $80K car that uses premium gas only, even if he borrows, I highly doubt that someone with no income at all can borrow that much.

    Medicare, Medicaid, food stamps are all subject to severe abuse and fraud. As someone who is PAYING for the food stamp program, I feel every single right to look at the people living on MY dough if they are really in need, or they are just fraud cases.

  38. Fisk


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    54   9:56pm Sun 19 Jun 2011   Share   Quote   Permalink   Like   Dislike  

    OO says

    Not saying that the recession is not bad, but I always see people buying food at Whole Foods with food stamps, what’s the deal with that? There’s once I followed a woman on food stamp out to her car, and she was driving a much better car than mine, I am wondering if there is a number I should call to report abuse?

    I'll tell you a big secret: women have boyfriends.
    For a while, my GF (now my wife) was a student with virtually no income, and thus got student aid and other low-income things. While she drove my Mercedes, dined with me in Michelin-rated restaurants, and vacationed in luxury foreign resorts. Anything illegal about that?

  39. OO


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    55   11:38pm Sun 19 Jun 2011   Share   Quote   Permalink   Like   Dislike  

    Fisk

    nothing illegal about that. But then I always believe welfare should be distributed in kind, instead of cash for food stamps, people should be given free access to an all-you-can-eat soup kitchen. Instead of section 8, they should be given a room at a project, then I guarantee the welfare recipient number will drop quite significantly, because in your GF's case, she probably would rather skip the soup kitchen and dine with you instead.

  40. Cook County resident


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    56   7:02am Mon 20 Jun 2011   Share   Quote   Permalink   Like   Dislike (1)  

    OO says

    I always believe welfare should be distributed in kind

    blockquote>

    I like that. I can see Jamie Dimon manning the ladle at the soup kitchen, Lloyd Blankfein doing God's work cleaning the floors at the project, etc., etc.

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