Now, before you get out your hankie to have a cry-in with these people... I want to make some brutal observations.
The folks in the video have fallen on hard times, and one can always sympathize with that. Were there no warnings on the way? Were there problems with their expectations? Were their savings really all that robust? Or were their savings merely the "6 months of cash available to pay bills in an emergency"? You think 6 months is an emergency (that's a hiccup)? At what age did these now folks-of-a-certain-age (like me) start working? What was their net-worth at 30? 35? 40? You mean they weren't counting? Why not?
This video is just soooo f&^%$@ing slanted. Why are these people in this position? Did it ever occur to the folks at 60 minutes to ask these people for their bank statements for the past 10 years? Pay stubs? Any chance that what killed them, made saving money impossible, was the outrageous state income and property taxes, social security and medicare taxes... and a good measure of overreaching? I watch the part with the $200k year executive.... guy lives in a house with a kitchen bigger than my entire house - and I'm officially "rich" (but just barely). I milk my own cow, change my own oil, and repair my own roof. What's so special about him?
(I grew up "poor". No kidding. No health insurance (well, not till I was 13 when my father, at the age of 50, caught on with the Teamsters; prior to that he was a laborer and drove an oil truck) . Never saw the inside of a restaurant till I was in College. No vacations. Hand-me-down clothes and peanut butter and jelly sandwiches EVERYDAY from K thru 8th grade. And I had a very happy childhood. Little League, violin lessons, ice skating, even got to go to the county's summer camp one year... being "poor" in the U.S. ain't poor, and not by a long shot... And my parents were able to retire to a little condo (fully paid for) in Florida where my 87 year old mother still lives, 22 years after retiring. (Of course, this is what's wrong with Social Security...)
My parents would have preferred to beat their toes off with a ball peen hammer than go into debt to buy something. My father carried a thermos for his coffee because he would rather hang himself than spend a quarter for a cup o' joe. They started working, and saving, at 18... and had a small business failure when they were 50 (best thing ever happened to them... but they owned their home outright that same year) and my dad caught on with the Teamsters at Local 553 in the Bronx where he made good money for a working man - and I could see the difference at home. And between 50 and 65 my parents saved enough to be comfortable in retirement because they knew how to live small.)
How many of these folks grew up in middle class families, went to college, hiked Europe, went to grad school, futzed around, and started to work at 28 or 30 (or later)? Its awfully hard to build up any meaningful savings in 15 or 20 years, and if you don't start getting serious about making money until 30... well, 50 rolls around pretty quick - you better be a doctor, dentist, etc... to catch up... if you spent your prime working years on a PhD in literature... I am sure they went to high school with some "shop kids", kids that couldn't navigate college, went to the military, came out at 21 and went right to work as a plumbing contractor, electrician, mechanic... forgoing the Europe backpack trip - but having real money in the bank and real equity in their home by THE AGE OF 30.
The folks in this video "expected" to work for the same company forever? Didn't they say they went to college? Educated people understand how markets work; they know businesses fail. I NEVER had a job that paid a salary. EVER. I always worked for myself, or when I worked on Wall Street I was on commission. Benefits? Never had them; or I should say they came out of my pocket directly. WTF is so special about these people? They had no responsibility to THINK? To QUESTION? To EVALUATE?
Nope. Because they had EXPECTATIONS. (Me, too. I expected everything to take longer, cost more, be more difficult than I envisioned, and never come out according to plan... and, of course, for the government to come in and bother me with some absurd regulation.) And that's the problem. EXPECTATIONS.
The Leftist media is out with stories about how to stop the "off-shoring of jobs"... are you guys in the media that arrogantly retarded? The folks in China, India, and Viet Nam have dreams and aspirations, too. They want a better life for themselves and their family... and you want to stop them from competing with American's... WHY? I thought you folks rejected American Exceptionalism??!! Labor WILL arbitrage just as sure as the sun WILL rise in the East tomorrow...
The answer for these folks is this: Yes, you might have to live in the walk-up attic of a friend - and in exchange cook and clean. Seems like a pretty good life to me. That lady in the video has a warm place to sleep in winter, cool in summer, and dry, too. She get's to have some company; living alone isn't that great... she might actually be able to save some money! She might actually have some free time! Isn't that better for the environment, too? Isn't that how we are going to cure global warming and resource constraints? By living small? The same folks that want CO2 regulations want the people in the 60 minute video to live alone in a 2400 square foot heated and cooled house and drive a 3000 pound car back and forth to the mall.... I don't get it. Wasn't this the lifestyle the Liberal elite WANTED?
Most of these folks will find their way. No, "their way" will not include big houses and new cars and silly consumption for the self-described "shop-a-holic". But life will go on (until it doesn't), they won't starve but they WILL have to work. The beer will still be cold, sunsets will be beautiful, and life will always be good. They might have to bang nails on a roof, deliver pizza, collect empties from garbage... having done ALL of these things at some point in my life I can tell you that it wasn't all that bad. Chin's up.
Better days ahead.