Just Some Americans Living the American Dream

From CNN Money, five stories of the hopeless unemployed (you know, people who don’t have jobs and have stopped looking for jobs because they have found the job search to be … hopeless). Anyway, here’s what we’ve got:

— A 53-year-old former manager who is “too old to start an entry-level job and I’m too young to retire.”

— A 42-year-old cancer survivor (“Before I was diagnosed with cancer, I worked for the state of Oregon and was the number one service manager for the Department of Human Services. My job was to help low income families find work and get food stamps and insurance. Now, I cannot even get a job at McDonalds, and I’m the one living on social assistance.”)

— A 24-year-old grad student who went back to school because he couldn’t find a job (“I also took out the full amount in student loans, and I’m very worried about that. But basically, I had to make a choice between hard times now or hard times later.”)

— A 49-year-old former admin worker who was laid off, worked in a factory, tried to go back to school, ran out of financial aid, and now is trying to start a business (“What’s the worst that could happen? We can’t end up any worse off than we are now. And it’s better than taking a part-time, minimum-wage, whatever job.”)

— A 58-year-old man who worked for the same corporation for 28 years, was laid off, and applied for corporate jobs for years before giving up. He now lives off a small pension (“At this point in my life, I cannot get my head around starting over again. I realize that whatever I do, it will have to be something independent.”)

These people are not outliers. There are 3 million “discouraged workers” in this country.


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