“It is useless to attempt to reason a man out of a thing he was never reasoned into”

Jonathan Swift
"The Democrats have moved to the right, and the right has moved into a mental hospital." - Bill Maher
"The city is crowded my friends are away and I'm on my own
It's too hot to handle so I gotta get up and go

It's a cruel ... cruel summer"

Thursday, August 20, 2009

Winding Down the USA

This country is in a depression.

Just because it does not look like the 30’s does not mean it is any less significant for those suffering. As of this week, I have been without a professional gig for six months now. Unemployment insurance has run out.


Wish I could be upbeat, but things are hard-core. The tax firm acquisition did not happen due to various seller-related issues, (it may happen with a different firm down the road, my partner and I are looking now), I am down to my last few thousand in the bank, although I still have not tapped my 401k yet. Still making house/car payments, but I gotta have some fresh income starting yesterday, or I am gonna have to start peeling off some retirement funds, withholding plus penalty or no.

I have not been sitting around waiting for something to happen. My family has cut back till it hurts. Thank goodness for local grandparents who can pay for the little fun stuff. Pop sure can't right now.

I have sucked it up and am waiting tables at a steak joint at nights now. I made $50 last Saturday, LOL. That's what I use to make in an HOUR. 41 years+ old, and back to college kid wages with a family and a mortgage.

I have applied to over 250+ jobs, interviewed for 3. Wanna know what ELSE keeps me up at night? At what point do I become 'damaged goods'? Ya know, "This guy has not found a job in 'X' months, must be something there . . . let's take a pass". Tell me it does not happen every day.

The crazy thing is that the career path I was on is dead. Every week I get a call from a former peer asking about what is out there. Nada. My headhunter says more hiring freezes and more layoffs coming. The financial sector is hemorrhaging jobs like crazy even now. Except at the top. Except the f*ckers who caused this economic cardiac arrest.

I have a buddy whose daughter has a chronic lung condition, laid off three months ago, and who had to choose between his house in Richmond or COBRA payments for his kiddo last month. He is living in a three bedroom apt now with his wife and 2 kids.

45 years old.

Can you imagine? Seem real yet? Ask yourself, “If my income was wiped out for six-twelve months, how would we get by?”

My kids are healthy, my wife and I are healthy, so we have the only important thing anyway. House and Car, etc. are just stuff.

But . . . can anyone here define “Middle Class”? Seriously, WTF does that mean anymore?

As a financial guy, I did the following to offset any tough period. . .

3 months salary in bank . . . CHECK
Controlled little debt . . . CHECK
Used cars, keep after paid off . . . CHECK
Did not buy more house than I can afford . . . CHECK
Life Ins . . . CHECK
Will/Medical power of attorney, etc . . . CHECK

And it was still not enough . . .

Last question: IF YOU CALL YOURSELF CHRISTIAN, WOULDN'T IT BE THE CHRISTIAN THING TO HAVE UNIVERSAL HEALTH CARE? To, ya know, have one less thing on your neighbors mind while he tries to survive financially?

Tomorrow I want to talk about what our economy looks like and what that means, but for now;

Reach out to your buddy without a gig, buy him/her a beer. Joke about better times, do not talk about your upcoming vacation to the Caymans.

-Prodigal Son