Democratic Underground Latest Greatest Lobby Journals Search Options Help Login
Google

Are you better off now than you were four years ago?

Printer-friendly format Printer-friendly format
Printer-friendly format Email this thread to a friend
Printer-friendly format Bookmark this thread
This topic is archived.
Home » Discuss » Archives » General Discussion (Through 2005) Donate to DU
 
TruthIsAll Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Feb-14-04 01:30 AM
Original message
Are you better off now than you were four years ago?
Printer Friendly | Permalink |  | Top
mhr Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Feb-14-04 01:31 AM
Response to Original message
1. Unemployed 43 Months - Hell NO!
eom
Printer Friendly | Permalink |  | Top
 
TruthIsAll Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Feb-16-04 02:20 PM
Response to Reply #1
43. I had to change my career - from Software Consultant to Financial Advisor
...
Printer Friendly | Permalink |  | Top
 
david_vincent Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Feb-14-04 01:33 AM
Response to Original message
2. NO!
Printer Friendly | Permalink |  | Top
 
POed_Ex_Repub Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Feb-14-04 01:34 AM
Response to Original message
3. Let's see, I'm a computer programmer... or rather, was
Care to take a wild guess?
Printer Friendly | Permalink |  | Top
 
grasswire Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Feb-14-04 01:47 AM
Response to Reply #3
4. no
I'm making 1/4 what I was making in 1999. Due to the economy. People aren't buying antiques and collectibles, nor hiring editors.
Printer Friendly | Permalink |  | Top
 
cheezus Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Feb-14-04 11:37 AM
Response to Reply #3
28. I'll be graduating with a degree in Computer Science in May
and somehow all those jobs with the 60k+ starting salary that I heard about as a freshman are nowhere to be found.
Printer Friendly | Permalink |  | Top
 
Virginian Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Feb-14-04 11:37 AM
Response to Reply #3
29. Me too - out of work programmer
I may be one of the lucky ones, I've only been out of work for ten months so far.
Every time there is a Bush as president, we have a war and I get laid off.
Last time the money for the contract was redirected to Gulf War I.
This time, my company was underbid and lost the contract to an H-1b dependent company.
Printer Friendly | Permalink |  | Top
 
madrchsod Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Feb-14-04 01:51 AM
Response to Original message
5. ya right- 24 months now
but hey-wal mart is hiring...
Printer Friendly | Permalink |  | Top
 
Wonco_the_Sane Donating Member (381 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Feb-14-04 02:05 AM
Response to Original message
6. Yes...a bit.
Of course Shrub had noting to do with it. After bar-tending for 6 years I'm about to graduate and start a new job. Promotion from co-op to perm hire, benefits for the first time in my life. :) For this I credit Bush* absolutely nothing whatsoever!! Good luck to all. Wishing the best for all our sakes.
Printer Friendly | Permalink |  | Top
 
blackcat77 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Feb-14-04 02:13 AM
Response to Original message
7. Actually we are.
But it's in spite of Bush, not because of him. And of course, I'm still going to devote every atom of my being to his defeat this fall.
Printer Friendly | Permalink |  | Top
 
countmyvote4real Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Feb-14-04 02:19 AM
Response to Original message
8. Worse.
Just filed for unemployment for the second time in four years.
Printer Friendly | Permalink |  | Top
 
Gringo Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Feb-14-04 02:23 AM
Response to Original message
9. 4 Years ago I was in Japan
With acccess to excellent national healthcare, excellent public transit wherever I needed to go, safe streets thanks to strict gun control and a society where thinking of your fellow man is the norm, and where the rich/poor gap is infinitesimal compared to what it is.

I was annoyed at always being the "other", the center of attention, but in terms of standard of living, I was better off 4 years ago.
Printer Friendly | Permalink |  | Top
 
Art_from_Ark Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Feb-14-04 09:40 AM
Response to Reply #9
23. If you want to come back to Japan and NOT be the center of
attention, come to my neck of the woods! Everyone will ignore you!
Printer Friendly | Permalink |  | Top
 
Art_from_Ark Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Feb-14-04 09:45 AM
Response to Reply #23
26. By the way, regarding my situation now vs. 4 years ago
Financial situation is not so good, in large part because of what is happening in the US. Emotionally, I'm a wreck because of the tireless efforts of monkeyboy to ruin America's image around the world.
Printer Friendly | Permalink |  | Top
 
knight_of_the_star Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Feb-14-04 02:31 AM
Response to Original message
10. Not really
But then again, I haven't really lost much but have gained, thanks to Bush, a fear of being jailed for no reason whatsoever.
Printer Friendly | Permalink |  | Top
 
tobius Donating Member (947 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Feb-14-04 02:45 AM
Response to Original message
11. yes, much better.
the slogan you refer to is always handy; but many ,like me, don't always vote economic self-interest. I prefer to vote on over all philosophy and belief that the hard decisions will be made based on principle not expediency.
Printer Friendly | Permalink |  | Top
 
aquaman Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Feb-14-04 02:58 AM
Response to Original message
12. Yes.....
Thanks to my own hard work, and not thanks to the present backwards ass repug government.
Printer Friendly | Permalink |  | Top
 
izzie Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Feb-14-04 03:34 AM
Response to Original message
13. No, my retirement fund has paid me 2/3 of what I made under Clinton.
and on top of that they get more for taking care of it, and in fact they get more(Bank) than I do. The whole amount has only gone down a little. About 1000 a year but it grew every year under Clinton and not under father Bush or this Bush.It is set up so I can not take it out of the bank. It has left me just making it each month and at 70 I do not wish to go back to work but I may have to. I still do not understand why COLA is paid in a percent each year when it means I get little and a congress man gets thousands. The milk goes up for me just as it does for him. Also Medical went up on SS and the gap insurance.Things are really bad for me but I still seem to be happy. I can not understand that at all.Guess it is just my make=up even if I am mad about my income. I still pay taxes so low income still pay tax.
Printer Friendly | Permalink |  | Top
 
Media_Lies_Daily Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Feb-14-04 07:59 AM
Response to Original message
14. I lost my technical recruiting business, went into serious debt...
...and have just recently gone into another line of work. At the age of 52, I hope to be able to pay off all of my debts before I become incapable of working.

Retire? No longer even remotely feasible.
Printer Friendly | Permalink |  | Top
 
SaintLouisBlues Donating Member (755 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Feb-14-04 08:02 AM
Response to Original message
15. No. I'm in manufacturing. In the Rust Belt.
As my customers go East (Asia), my business goes South. It was only a trickle for many years, but now it'a a flood.

Printer Friendly | Permalink |  | Top
 
spinbaby Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Feb-14-04 08:08 AM
Response to Original message
16. Heck no!
Even those of us still working are doing worse. My husband and I are lucky in that we at least still have our jobs. However, we're both making less. My company cut out raises and bonuses and had a few temporary layoffs. My husband is in sales--not only is business down but his company is busy finding new ways to screw him out of commissions. And these are both companies that are still doing quite well.

But, hey, it's our fault for not pursuing a career as a CEO of a large corporation.
Printer Friendly | Permalink |  | Top
 
LWolf Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Feb-14-04 08:11 AM
Response to Original message
17. Ha ha ha ha
very funny.

No, I'm not better. I've increased my time at work by about 20%. And my income is lower. My debt is higher.
Printer Friendly | Permalink |  | Top
 
Lost4words Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Feb-14-04 08:15 AM
Response to Original message
18. much worse, considering suicide as an option to it all.
Printer Friendly | Permalink |  | Top
 
Karenina Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Feb-14-04 11:29 AM
Response to Reply #18
27. Do you need to talk?
:pals:
Printer Friendly | Permalink |  | Top
 
Habibi Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Feb-14-04 02:22 PM
Response to Reply #18
40. Please
talk to someone, asap. PM me if you'd like.
Printer Friendly | Permalink |  | Top
 
kayell Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Feb-14-04 08:24 AM
Response to Original message
19. No, and I'm one of the lucky people who still has a job
but I haven't had a raise in 3 years. The state has cut the universities budget each of the past 3 years and the governors proposed budget for this year would cut 41% from Public Service Activities (the section I work for - Cooperative Extension Service) because he wants to shift us to only supporting agricultural BUSINESS rather than all the programs that benefit PEOPLE. While my job is probably safe for this year, because I provide state wide service (with my salary quite the bargain), the jobs out in the counties may be slaughtered. And my department could come on the chopping block next year, because while we are in the Agricultural section for budgeting purposes, we serve PEOPLE directly and aren't serving BUSINESS, per the governors goals for us.

So I sit around wondering when exactly my head will be on the block. My boss knows that his may be this year, because he is in a job classification that would be bureaucratically convenient to cut.

And while income has stayed the same, the cost of everything else has risen. House insurance - up. Car insurance - up. Utilities - up. Food - up. Haven't bought much in the way of clothes lately and will need to soon - damn. Need new glasses, bifocals too and can't afford them.

Meanwhile I'm watching the economy in this area go to hell. Plants closing, everything shipped overseas. The major city in this region was just declared the 3rd worst in the nation for business.

We are starting to have an interesting new phenomenon in my neighborhood - people going door to door begging for money - for food, for kerosene. Wonderful. Yeah, georgie boy has totally screwed us here in the south.
Printer Friendly | Permalink |  | Top
 
area51 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Feb-14-04 02:43 PM
Response to Reply #19
42. Hell, no.
kayell said

"We are starting to have an interesting new phenomenon in my neighborhood - people going door to door begging for money - for food, for kerosene."

I think I read something about this happening in the 1st Great Depression (1930s). I believe we're in the 2nd Great Depression.

I can't get a job any more, & if my elderly relatives hadn't taken me in, I'd be dead now. So hell, no, I've never been this bad off. I always used to be able to find a job.

Say goodbye, George W. Hoover, you're going to get fired in Nov.
Printer Friendly | Permalink |  | Top
 
Buns_of_Fire Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Feb-14-04 08:43 AM
Response to Original message
20. I can now snap off, "Would you like fries with that?" with the best...
Unfortunately, McDonald's isn't hiring, either. :shrug:
Printer Friendly | Permalink |  | Top
 
Granite Donating Member (195 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Feb-14-04 09:33 AM
Response to Original message
21. Yes for me, no for my wife
a push probably for both of us. I went from being a doctoral student to a tenure-track assistant professor, so my lot in life improved (had nothing to do with GWB). My wife got laid off from a high level marketing/pr job, hung a shingle for a while (struggled), got hired in-house by one of her clients, then got layed off again within the year. She is now back to working for herself (still struggling).

The upside is that she is able to stay home more with our daughter (which she enjoys), and we can keep her out of daycare.

Are we better off now? Probably overall - but GWB had no roll at all in the process.
Printer Friendly | Permalink |  | Top
 
terryg11 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Feb-14-04 09:38 AM
Response to Original message
22. yes, but we live in a "recession" free zone
the "recession" never affected us here, unemployment stayed around 3or4%, plus one of the state colleges helps the economy alot.

Anyway, the tax cuts combined with my wife staying at her job for six years plus me finally finding one I like has helped alot.

BUT, tht's all for the moment. If Bush continues his ignorant ways we may not be better off in the near future. His tax cuts and spending spree idea could kill us, not to mention my wife's health insurance keeps getting costlier. So, we are better of for now
Printer Friendly | Permalink |  | Top
 
nostamj Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Feb-14-04 09:42 AM
Response to Original message
24. no no no
4 years ago i had a job.
Printer Friendly | Permalink |  | Top
 
Kathy in Cambridge Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Feb-14-04 09:43 AM
Response to Original message
25. Laid off three times since June '02
I had to cash in a 401K to pay taxes and other expenses. I have eaten through my savings. In the '90s, I was making a lot of money in sales. Most people I know in sales these days are not making quotas, and companies are laying off those that don't met their revenue targets.

When great sales people aren't selling, that means no one is buying, and the economy is NOT recovering.
Printer Friendly | Permalink |  | Top
 
Nobody Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Feb-14-04 11:40 AM
Response to Original message
30. HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA!
I used to be in the IT industry. Now I'm a temp making less than half of what I made before.

There is no money for emergencies, so nothing better break down and I better not get sick.

But hard work will make you successful, right? No. Despite stupendous performance reviews I still got laid off. Despite a resume that two interviewers called impressive, I still don't have a job in my field. Despite exceeding performance standards in my temp job, I still had to take a 15% pay cut. (it was either that or lose my job, and this temp job was hard enough to come by)

Hard work? Hahahahahahaha! American dream? Hahahahahahaha!
Printer Friendly | Permalink |  | Top
 
DU GrovelBot  Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Feb-14-04 11:40 AM
Response to Original message
31. ## Support Democratic Underground! ##
RUN C:\GROVELBOT.EXE

This week is our first quarter 2004 fund drive.
Please take a moment to donate to DU. Thank you
for your support.

- An automated message from the DU GrovelBot


Click here to donate.
Printer Friendly | Permalink |  | Top
 
TruthIsAll Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Feb-14-04 11:45 AM
Response to Original message
32. It should be the Dem 2004 mantra..n/t
.
Printer Friendly | Permalink |  | Top
 
Redleg Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Feb-14-04 11:56 AM
Response to Original message
33. Yes but not because of Bush.
Four years ago I was a poor doctoral student at Nebraska. Now I am a well-paid management professor in a business school.

Looking at well-being beyond money, I can't say we are better off as a society- in fact I think we are worse off. Health care for many people is becoming more expensive each year and is becoming harder to get. We are using our natural resources, including land, petroleum products, etc, at alarming rates. We are losing jobs and the jobs some of us are getting are not suitable for maintaining a family. Public education is slowly but surely being suborned by private schooling. I could go on and on... but I won't because this stuff is depressing.
Printer Friendly | Permalink |  | Top
 
trof Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Feb-14-04 11:58 AM
Response to Original message
34. Let's see. My prescription drug co-pay
has gone up from $30 to $50, IF it's a generic.
Otherwise I pay the difference in the cost of the generic and the cost of the prescribed drug.
The prescription drug program started out as a totally FREE retirement benefit.

On Jan.1, my medical insurance monthly premium went from $80/month to $170/month. Again, this started out as a totally FREE retirement benefit until I was eligible for Medicare at 65 (three years from now).

I still consider myself lucky when I see how many of my friends here have absolutely no coverage. People who cannot afford it and those who can't buy it at any price due to the ever popular "pre-existing condition".
<sigh>
Printer Friendly | Permalink |  | Top
 
Karenina Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Feb-14-04 12:30 PM
Response to Reply #34
35. Two words
Economic...Genocide. No boxcars, nasty pictures or well-kept docs. Just an "unknown" death toll. 8643's post above... :cry:
Printer Friendly | Permalink |  | Top
 
uncle ray Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Feb-14-04 01:29 PM
Response to Original message
36. i'm lucky
i guess it depends on what criteria you go by, but i think i am doing better. i think i was lucky by hitting bottom early, my girlfriend had serious mental problems financially destroy me about the time * took office, wasn't too much longer before the company i worked for tanked and i got laid off for the first time ever. like many, i was on the struggle back up when sept 11 happened. in fact, i was halfway across the country from home, just drove to a new town to look for a job, on my last weeks of unemployment, as i got dressed that morning in the hotel, for my first serious day of job hunting, i overhear the houskeepers mention new york, i turn on the tv and never left the room that day.

i was lucky, i had the luxury of time, and solitude to absorb the events unfolding. it was almost another year before i resumed the job search, and got lucky. though i make less than i did before, i actually enjoy my brainless job, it allows me more time to ponder and research the truly important things, like what got us into this situation. and living smarter, having been previously ruined, i fear no creditors. my only fear is when cash is no longer any good as legal tender.

having been unemployed for the first time, it taught me to spend smarter, which leaves me much more to spend on the things i really enjoy. i am fortunate enough to spend several hundred dollars a month on what most would consider hobbies, though i am working towards making it a sustainable career.

i was lucky that i "only" had a few thousand dollars in the stock market when it went down. i have seen what a sham it is, and really enjoyed hearing the 401k peoples MUCH lower, slightly more realistic expectations of your retirement. i suppose it helps that i am of the opinion that there is NO safe option to ensure having money at retirement. i see stuff like antiques etc. as much better investments. more fun too. i am still relatively young, and i think there are going to be BIG changes by the time i retire. i'm not gonna worry about it. i may get lost in the revolution for all i know.

luck, or maybe karma, has helped me greatly. and i have to admit, so has *. had his administration not turned this country upside down, i probably would be consuming corporate garbage like the rest of the country still is.
Printer Friendly | Permalink |  | Top
 
camero Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Feb-14-04 01:55 PM
Response to Original message
37. NO n/t
Printer Friendly | Permalink |  | Top
 
primavera Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Feb-14-04 02:09 PM
Response to Original message
38. Gee, now that's a toughie
Hmm, let's see, I've watched pretty much the entire US refugee program go up in smoke, and the vast majority of the organization for which I was working with it, ultimately culminating in my own lay off, so I am now unemployed, without health insurance, while at the same time, my tuition costs and property taxes have skyrocketed. Oh yes, and of course, my retirement investments have dropped in value to the approximate cost of a cup of coffee and I'm now living in a totalitarian police state Heinrich Heydrich would have been proud of... I think I'm going to have to go with "worse," yeah, definitely worse.
Printer Friendly | Permalink |  | Top
 
JCMach1 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Feb-14-04 02:16 PM
Response to Original message
39. Yes I am!!!! but only because I left
the good old US of A.

For an awesome job overseas.
Printer Friendly | Permalink |  | Top
 
Habibi Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Feb-14-04 02:32 PM
Response to Reply #39
41. Say
any openings where you are???
Printer Friendly | Permalink |  | Top
 
Paranoid_Portlander Donating Member (823 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Feb-16-04 02:43 PM
Response to Original message
44. I'm about $100,000 poorer...
...compared to 4 years ago.
Printer Friendly | Permalink |  | Top
 
annonymous Donating Member (850 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Feb-16-04 02:59 PM
Response to Original message
45. No.
My husband got layed off and spent a year in school retraining for a new career. He is now employed but is making less money then he did in his old career. I haven't received a raise in three years at my job but I'm still employed.
Printer Friendly | Permalink |  | Top
 
BiggJawn Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Feb-16-04 03:01 PM
Response to Original message
46. No. everything is in stasis.
Edited on Mon Feb-16-04 03:02 PM by BiggJawn
No huge increases in salary to match the huge increases in the cost of everything (Yeah, I know, I should be just "GRATEFUL to still have a JOB"...)

I can still keep everything turned on and/or sitting in the driveway, but that's about it. I'm not falling behind as fast as I was during the "Ray-Gun Years", but I'm not getting ahead at ALL, either.
At this rate, I should be able to retire just about the time I catch my final illness.....
Printer Friendly | Permalink |  | Top
 
drdigi420 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Feb-16-04 03:03 PM
Response to Original message
47. barely making it by on side jobs
since my high paying programming job was sent to India
Printer Friendly | Permalink |  | Top
 
DU AdBot (1000+ posts) Click to send private message to this author Click to view 
this author's profile Click to add 
this author to your buddy list Click to add 
this author to your Ignore list Sat May 18th 2024, 02:40 AM
Response to Original message
Advertisements [?]
 Top

Home » Discuss » Archives » General Discussion (Through 2005) Donate to DU

Powered by DCForum+ Version 1.1 Copyright 1997-2002 DCScripts.com
Software has been extensively modified by the DU administrators


Important Notices: By participating on this discussion board, visitors agree to abide by the rules outlined on our Rules page. Messages posted on the Democratic Underground Discussion Forums are the opinions of the individuals who post them, and do not necessarily represent the opinions of Democratic Underground, LLC.

Home  |  Discussion Forums  |  Journals |  Store  |  Donate

About DU  |  Contact Us  |  Privacy Policy

Got a message for Democratic Underground? Click here to send us a message.

© 2001 - 2011 Democratic Underground, LLC