“Disposable Workforce”: Companies Today Can Only Afford Temporary Hires, Not Loyal Employees

by | Dec 31, 2015 | Commodities | 81 comments

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This article was written by Michael Snyder and originally published at his End of the American Dream blog.

Editor’s Comment: Is there any work left with dignity? Nah, we’re mostly all obsolete to the system at this point. That’s probably why so many have been left to stew in their own juices. OK, there are still things to be done, but with robotics and automation taking over, there is less and less incentive for a company to treat someone as human, even if they are.

And there is less reason still to win over their loyalty and entice them to stay with the company by offering stability through benefits. The market today is changing rapidly with technology and the relationship with workers is anything but permanent. It just doesn’t pay to do otherwise.

The Rise Of The Temp Economy: More U.S. Employers Than Ever Want A “Disposable Workforce”

by Michael Snyder

In this day and age it seems like almost everything is disposable, and many employers have found that they can make a lot more money if they have a workforce that can be turned on and off like a faucet. In America today, there are more than 17 million “independent workers”, and they represent a bigger share of the workforce than ever before. Federal laws give a lot of protection to “full-time workers”, but for temporary and contract employees it is a much different story. Temp workers don’t get health insurance, vacation time or retirement benefits. They are simply paid for the limited amount of time that they are needed and then they are disposed of immediately. There has always been a role for such workers in our economy, but these days some of the biggest corporations in the entire country are getting rid of “full-time workers” and replacing them with temp workers just so that they can make a few extra bucks. As a result, the ranks of the “working poor” continue to expand, and the decline of the middle class is accelerating.

Steven Hill, a senior fellow with the New America Foundation and the author of “Raw Deal: How the Uber Economy and Runaway Capitalism Are Screwing American Workers“, says that the rise of the “1099 economy” is fundamentally shifting the balance of power between employers and employees

This practice has given rise to the term “1099 economy,” since these employees don’t file W-2 income tax forms like any regular, permanent employee; instead, they receive the 1099-MISC form for an IRS classification known as “independent contractor.” The advantage for a business of using 1099 workers over W-2 wage-earners is obvious: an employer usually can lower its labor costs dramatically, often by 30 percent or more, since it is not responsible for a 1099 worker’s health benefits, retirement, unemployment or injured workers compensation, lunch breaks, overtime, disability, paid sick, holiday or vacation leave and more. In addition, contract workers are paid only for the specific number of hours they spend providing labor, or completing a specific job, which increasingly are being reduced to shorter and shorter “micro-gigs.”

Yes, there have always been temp agencies. And there has always been a need for workers that can come in and do a job on a short-term basis. But today, many of the largest and wealthiest corporations in America are purposely getting rid of “full-time workers” and instead are bringing in “independent contractors” to do the exact same jobs.

In some instances, the full-time workers that get fired are actually brought back as the new “temp workers”

Merck, one of the world’s largest pharmaceutical companies, was a vanguard of this underhanded strategy. When it came under pressure to cut costs, it sold its Philadelphia factory to a company that fired all 400 employees—and then rehired them back as independent contractors. Merck then contracted with the company to carry on making antibiotics for them, using the exact same workers.

An Arizona public-relations firm, LP&G, fired 88 percent of its staff, and then rehired them as freelancers working out of their homes, with no benefits. Even Outmagazine, the most-read gay monthly in the U.S., laid off its entire editorial staff and then rehired most of them as freelancers, without benefits and with salary cuts.

All of those companies should be absolutely disgusted with themselves.

How can the executives responsible for those decisions even sleep at night?

Don’t they understand what they are doing to people?

When you go from being a full-time worker to being on “temp status”, the changes can be quite dramatic. If this has ever happened to you, then you know what I am talking about. Having to pay “the other half” of the payroll tax or having to find your own much more expensive health insurance are just two of the big negatives that “independent contractors” have to face…

Suddenly I was responsible for paying for my own health care, arranging for my own IRAs and saving for my own retirement. I also had to pay the employer’s half of the Social Security payroll tax, as well as Medicare — nearly an extra 8 percent deducted from my income. The costs for my health-care premiums zoomed out of sight, since I was no longer part of a large health-care pool that could negotiate favorable rates.

The decline in the quality of our jobs is a theme that I have revisited repeatedly in my writing. In order for us to have a thriving middle class, we need lots of good paying middle class jobs.

But our economy is not producing many of those jobs. Instead, most of the growth has been in low paying service jobs. The Middle class in the United States is being slowly but surely shredded, and our politicians don’t seem to care. If you doubt that the middle class is falling apart, just check out the following numbers which come from my previous article entitled “Sayonara Middle Class: 22 Stunning Pieces Of Evidence That Show The Middle Class In America Is Dying“…

#1 This week we learned that for the first time ever recorded, middle class Americans make up a minority of the population. But back in 1971, 61 percent of all Americans lived in middle class households.

#2 According to the Pew Research Center, the median income of middle class households declined by 4 percent from 2000 to 2014.

#3 The Pew Research Center has also found that median wealth for middle class households dropped by an astounding 28 percent between 2001 and 2013.

#4 In 1970, the middle class took home approximately 62 percent of all income. Today, that number has plummeted to just 43 percent.

#5 There are still 900,000 fewer middle class jobs in America than there were when the last recession began, but our population has gotten significantly larger since that time.

#6 According to the Social Security Administration, 51 percent of all American workers make less than $30,000 a year.

#7 For the poorest 20 percent of all Americans, median household wealth declined from negative 905 dollars in 2000 to negative 6,029 dollars in 2011.

#8 A recent nationwide survey discovered that 48 percent of all U.S. adults under the age of 30 believe that “the American Dream is dead”.

#9 At this point, the U.S. only ranks 19th in the world when it comes to median wealth per adult.

#10 Traditionally, entrepreneurship has been one of the engines that has fueled the growth of the middle class in the United States, but today the level of entrepreneurship in this country is sitting at an all-time low.

#11 If you can believe it, the 20 wealthiest people in this country now have more money than the poorest 152 million Americans combined.

#12 The top 0.1 percent of all American families have about as much wealth as the bottom 90 percent of all American families combined.

#13 If you have no debt and you also have ten dollars in your pocket, that gives you a greater net worth than about 25 percent of all Americans.

#14 The number of Americans that are living in concentrated areas of high poverty has doubled since the year 2000.

#15 An astounding 48.8 percent of all 25-year-old Americans still live at home with their parents.

#16 According to the U.S. Census Bureau, 49 percent of all Americans now live in a home that receives money from the government each month, and nearly 47 million Americans are living in poverty right now.

#17 In 2007, about one out of every eight children in America was on food stamps. Today, that number is one out of every five.

#18 According to Kathryn J. Edin and H. Luke Shaefer, the authors of a new book entitled “$2.00 a Day: Living on Almost Nothing in America“, there are 1.5 million “ultrapoor” households in the United States that live on less than two dollars a day. That number has doubled since 1996.

#19 46 million Americans use food banks each year, and lines start forming at some U.S. food banks as early as 6:30 in the morning because people want to get something before the food supplies run out.

#20 The number of homeless children in the U.S. has increased by 60 percent over the past six years.

#21 According to Poverty USA, 1.6 million American children slept in a homeless shelter or some other form of emergency housing last year.

#22 The median net worth of families in the United States was $137, 955 in 2007. Today, it is just $82,756.

So is there a solution?

Is our transition to a “1099 economy” inevitable?


beginning-of-the-end-snyderMichael T. Snyder is a graduate of the University of Florida law school and he worked as an attorney in the heart of Washington D.C. for a number of years.

Today, Michael is best known for his work as the publisher of The Economic Collapse Blog and The American Dream

If you want to know what things in America are going to look like in a few years read his new book The Beginning of the End.

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    81 Comments

    1. john stiner

      I went to a seminar back in 2010 and it had a guest speaker who was a former Hewlett-Packard CEO.

      He made a comment that really stuck out. He said, “Gone are the days that you work for a company for 30 years and draw a pension.”

      He went on to say that you are on your own for retirement. Most companies do not offer a retirement. They can offer a 457 plan, but that is your own contribution, not a retirement plan.

      • Nobama

        Was that Dark Turd?

        The beatings will continue until morale improves.

        • buttcrackofdoom

          dubai hotel on fire…63 stories, up to 60 people hurt…breaking news

        • AGENT SKINHEAD

          I just caint polish that there TURD Massa.

      • TEST

        Good post John. My point is, this coddled environment we’ve had since WWII in North America ALONE (Germany, Japan were rubble; UK economy destroyed; Mexico, Indonesia were still jungle, China pig farmers, etc.) is now gone. We have to now join what everyone else, everywhere else, in the world, at every other time in history, has had to do. Get creative. Below I mention about going to Nunuvat to work – do people even know where that is? Get creative. Get retrained. Work like a dog like 99.9% of every other human has had to do on the planet, except here.

        Yeah, stuff has been mishandled. So go ahead and try to change it. But don’t starve in the meantime. The smart person will continually retrain, save like the dickens (I know one guy in Canada who finally scraped together a little dough, bought a house, then rented it out while he lived in the basement. It is now paid off. How many of the gripers would do that??? Ok, so you have kids and cant do that – do something ELSE creative then). You need to be creative; you need to re-invent yourself; you need to keep a pulse on what areas have a future (hint: buggy whips are probably not the future); you need to get a degree in something other than 18th C Belgian Lesbian Musicology. What about going back and being a plumber? The old joke is a plumber shows up to work for a lawyer, works half an hour, then as he is leaving, gives him the bill for $200.

        “$200 bucks for 30 minutes???” cries the lawyer? “Even I don’t make that much an hour!”

        “I know,” says the plumber. “I didn’t make that much an hour when I was a brain surgeon either.”

        So… whine all you want. And even try to change it. But don’t starve while doing so. Find out where Nunavut is. Look at going to Singapore. I worked in Gary, IN. – voted THE most dangerous city in the US at the time – for two years. I made great money, where I was at (the downtown hospital) was really not dangerous at all, and it was a good experience. But NO ONE else would go there as it was 1:45 min away from the office and “dangerous.” To be honest, I don’t have any sympathy for a certain number of people who are unemployed. I know every situation is different, but from my experience, over half of people are lazy, uncreative, coddled, want everything on a silver platter, etc. etc. All I can say is bonne chance. (Yeah… and learn French, Spanish or another language – or at least get a smattering – while you are at it.)

        • Any day now

          Wow….. Great to hear someone who understand the problems and solutions.

          Don’t depend on anyone else, don’t rely on the Government, and don’t look to some “company” for a job.

        • Rebecca

          I went your route for a while. It destroys all support in your life other than some c.rap temporary job that keeps you homeless and disposable. Yes, alive… until you can’t do it anymore. I stepped off the torture rack. I bought 5 cheap acres in the mountains and started a more self-sufficient lifestyle like a pioneer. Lord have mercy I am happier. I have dropped my income requirements to 1/4 what it was when I had to live for Baas Hawg. I always lived beneath my means and saved some. I worked in my free time. It has gotten so much worse that working for Baas Hawg costs more than it is worth. Slaves cannot buy products. That is why retail is crashing. I am 61 and still increasing my self-sufficiency. I can feed myself. I am thinking about shifting my small house to shed and make it easier to permit. Go pioneer again. I did it a year in Texas. Perfect except for the heat. Not hot here! I changed the electric stove to a pretty rocket stove plan I saw online. I already spend less than I earn. After a short while I will be flush. The system is failing. Get creative.

          • TEST

            Rebecca. Yes, your way is also an option. Work is one option. Dropping expenses is certainly another option. Homesteading is yet another. My point is that there are a multiplicity of ways to skin the cat, but whining isnt’ one that will have much success (not saying you are here, of course). I wish I could join you, but I have very elderly mother with mentally handicapped brother in an urban area that I need to support (my three other retired siblings, all on pensions, all early retired, are too freaking lazy to do much for her, so I – the more than full time employed – have to do it, and live in a high tax area – the People’s Socialist Thugocracy of Illinois – to do so as well). But when my mother is gone, I, too, will join you to some area where costs are dropped.

            • Rebecca

              I can identify with responsibilities. I took care of my dad while he died of cancer. My husband before he died of a heart attack. Then mom when she died of cancer. Ten years more or less. My wealthy sister took 5 weeks family medical leave from the bank and went to Hawaii to “recover”. She didn’t even live in the state!!!!!

              I hope you didn’t think I was critical. I lived in 3 states following my career to stay working. I know the toll it takes. At 61 I am not an obvious pick for pioneer woman… but I come from pioneer stock and grew up in the backwoods. Gardened all my life. Canning, etc.always. Chickens. As wild as it is to even try… I am happier. Today I had puma tracks under my bedroom window. Surprised me because I wasn’t sure he was still around.

      • Ed

        Im an Electrical Engineer. I do OK. But I used to work for companies who worked me 8 hrs per day and I made a good salary. People who couldnt create didnt last long. About 15 years ago it got hard to keep a job longer than a project. After the project was finished so were you. Lately it is all contract jobs or not getting hired at all. Im lucky to get 3 months at a time and the companies dont want to pay much. I get hired for my skill but as soon as it is no longer needed a new Indian guy shows up and Im required to train him and then Im let go. Now they are even bypassing hiring the talent. They put ads in the paper with impossible to meet requirements with a salary that no one would work for then go to the Feds saying that they cant hire anyone so they need 20 H1B visas…Its all a joke.

        • john stiner

          The entire country is under-employed.

          Most people I know have several part time jobs, none have full time.

          I teach at the local community college but can’t work more than 19.5 hours a week because of Obamacare. If i work more than that the College has to pay for health care.

          That is just one of my several jobs.

        • Cellar Spider

          @Ed,

          This is exactly where the Federal Reserve hurts us the most. They provide cheap operating capital for corporations (downstream from those who have direct access to the Fed Discount Window as well) such that “time” is no longer critical. Thus, they can wait for less skilled employees to get the task done.

          If the Fed wasn’t involved, corporations would have to negotiate with contractors/employees for fair wages because ultimately, the corporation needs the work done and only the skilled employee can do it.

          The fact that the Fed gives away zero percent capital is the sole reason the american labor market has been destroyed. Corporations no longer have to innovate and provide products, they just need the Fed to give them free money such that they can meet their operating expenses and management salaries.

      • TEST

        Here’s one other option for you with healthcare:

        Oklahoma Surgery Center. Doesn’t take Medicate or Medicaid, but charges only 20% of normal costs if you pay cash. Medicare pays 80%, you pay the rest. So, what exactly what are you getting for that other 80%? Nada.
        That is, unless you like paying $100 for a single aspirin tablet. E.g., if I recall, a new hip which might cost $37k elsewhere is around $5k there. Google it,or see
        http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=fJtTUGjXAE8&t=3

    2. FreeSlave

      1099 Prepper here.

      • Redgypsy

        Been a 1099’er for 35 years no complaints here

        • rellik

          1099R for the last 5 years. No complaints yet. Will go off grid in 2016.

        • Archivist

          I’ve been doing that for 4 years. And since it’s not continuous contract work, I don’t put in anything for Social Security or Medicare. My wife works regular temp jobs where there are taxes withheld. So she got a little bit of a raise in her Social Security check because of the tax contribution.

          The work I’ve done made our Social Security taxable, which really messed up our taxes. So I don’t plan to work much in 2016, at least for anyone else. I have a book to research and write for myself, which will take up most of my free time. I had two books published this year, but that was my 1099 work. The rest of the time will be repairs, improvements, and working in the yard and gardens.

          • Ed

            You should be paying SS on your 1099 income. They call it Self Employment tax.

    3. Azrael

      I’ve been a mercenary for a long time. Company loyalty has been a thing of the past. With this all said. When a CEO bitches about lack of loyalty, I say who drew first blood?

      • ChuckInBama

        Long-time merc here also. Friends and family are astounded that I haven’t had a “career”. I saw 30 years ago that large companies don’t care; they want your loyalty, but give none in return. So, I said “to hell with them”. I’ve been out of work 1 year in the last 30, and have managed a good living!
        Being loyal to yourself and folks you can TRUST is where it’s at.

    4. Godsoldier

      But but the gov promises ss and medicare and i have payed over 50k into ss if you calculate growth interest ect i should have millions to retire on. Your not saying it was all a lie are you cus i dont want to eat dog food when im old

    5. AGENT SKINHEAD

      Welcome to the ZEROHOURCONTRACT.

      What’s new?

    6. swinging richard

      It is all about the bottom line now. It is harder for the US to compete in the global market.

    7. Amos Moses

      We live for now in a Blue/Yankee state with a lower than average unemployment rate. Even given that, we have a number of friends who can only find “temp” positions for 5-6 years now.

      My gut tells me that “Big Business” is for allowing all of these Illegals in to keep labor cheap and move their manufacturing back from China/S.E. Asia/Central America to the U.S. of A.

      Thus cutting China’s economic throat.

      • durangokidd

        Mexico is being “prepped” by the NWO to become the next global manufacturing center as I have pointed out here a number of times over the past couple of years. Many Mexicans will probably go home for some of these jobs as the “WALL” is built.

        The Wall may impede ILLEGALS but it won’t stop the flow of cheaply produced goods using a manipulated currency and slave labor. The value of the Peso continues to decline against the strong dollar with transportation distances much shorter, and production costs much lower now than China.

        China by the way, will be undercut in Asia by the Indian Rupee, and this will exacerbate their economic problems. Game on !!!

        Finally, American troops can easily intervene in Mexico to protect NWO assets, if necessary. 🙂

      • Mary

        We have a major supermarket chain here in the South. This company will keep a job open for years until they find the “perfect” person to fill it. Companies won’t train anymore.

    8. eppe

      I have reserved 25 special pieces of brass/ lead with certain scum names of humans on them for when the WROL hits.
      At 200 yards, they will not know where it came from.
      I would be retired now, if not for them JUDGING me, so karma is a bitch.

      Happy New Year all, got a feeling life is not going to get better, so make the best of the life you are living now…

      Be well all…

      • john stiner

        Only 25?

        • durangokidd

          Everyone is responsible for the Constitution and Bill of Rights in their particular neck of the woods. 25 Blue Helmets is a generous contribution to the Cause.

          Engage. 🙂

    9. Jim in Va.

      Disney had employees training foreign workers then firing the trainers who got replaced by the trainees. Obama is going to hand out 4 million green work cards to those coming across our southern border even though it is illegal to do so. If you are american you’ve been fired. Go to today’s Drudge Report for the story.

    10. Kevin2

      “How can the executives responsible for those decisions even sleep at night?”

      Generally speaking people don’t get to an executive position having concern for anyone but themselves. While you wouldn’t sleep very well they do so quite blissfully in multi million dollar homes along side a with trophy wife in a very expensive bed.

      The old, Titles Of Nobility, Duke, Duchess and Lord, were barred in the US. The new titles, CEO, CFO and Executive represent those far more powerful. Depending on their nation (company) they can be virtually untouchable. The CEO of Union Carbide is still wanted for the murder of 6000 people in India. No treaty, no international enforcement, no nation would ever extradite him for trial. To a degree they’re Kings pre Magna Carta.

      • john stiner

        Tyrants don’t concern themselves with the suffering of the masses.

        Do you think Hitler felt bad for the Jews? When Germany was destroyed and all the German citizens were dying by the thousands Hitler only felt betrayed. Hitler did not feel grief for the German people.

    11. Juan in Aztlan (California to you guys)

      Boo hoo to all the spoiled yuppies who lost their fat cat high salary positions where they swiveled in their $300 office chairs and slurped $5 coffees from Starbucks while the REAL workers toiled in some warehouse. Now you know what it is like to work “for the man.” Serves you right, amigos.

      • Green Tip 4 U

        Don’t see to many Juan’s in the comment section.

        • Any day now

          Because most can’t read, and even less can write 🙂

      • Jim in Va.

        Juan; this affecting everybody. I could care less for the fat cats but when everyday Joe has to work part time on 3 jobs to cover rent and food at low wages its a different animal. those bosses sleep at night because they make money for the shareholders…its about money. education and time put in counts for nothing anymore. Our government lets it happen even ignoring statutes about giving green cards for illegal aliens. Try pulling that stunt when you go to Mexico and see what happens.

        • Bill

          Jim, pay attention to the Aztlan he put in his name. This individual is a member of La Raza. La Raza is a supporter of Obama. La Raza also spews the crap that all white people stole the southwest from Mexico, they also spread the crap that all white people tortured Mexican people and stole their lands in the southwest and west. They are nothing more than a Socialist Group spreading false information to the young Latino’s in the west.

          • Rebecca

            It is lies. Mexico allowed Americans in to settle Texas because it was controlled by indigenous tribes, not Mayans. Mayans and southern tribes were afraid of South Apache etc. Even the US military did not subdue Apache until around 1920s. Mexicans flooded Texas after the fact.

      • smokey

        Laugh all you want, Juan. If it weren’t for affirmative action no one would hire you. That toil in the warehouse you’re so proud of, you’d better be good at it, you’ll never get a job doing anything else.

        Any education you have, us Anglos gave it to you. You’ll advance just as far as we let you, so the bleeding hearts can feel good about themselves, and no farther. Get uppity, and we’ll put you right back in the barrio.

      • Azrael

        Sorry my coffee was provided by my company for free. I moved my fat ass (not really fat) from my $500 office chair to my house where I work from home, doing the same thing I did before, making the same money as before, this time with no commute. It’s many multiples of minimum wage BTW. It’s every man for himself out there and you better get nimble footed or you will be in the soup line too. You need to see where the wind is blowing and get with the program. I don’t bitch about squat. I am responsible for me. I hate to sound so selfish, but that is where we all are right now.

      • Skeptic

        Juan;
        My name is Pancho
        I work on the Rancho
        I make five pesos a day
        I go and see Nellie
        and bounce on her belly
        She takes my pesos away!

      • TEST

        Atzlan? You mean the land the Mexicans stole fro the original Indians? I’ve never sat in a $300 office chair, and I dont drink coffee from the fascist, partial birth abortion supporting Starbucks. Nor do I think you Atzlan fascists are anything more than reverse racists who will turn California, should you be successful, into another 3rd world socialist HELL HOLE.

        Here’s a hint: I’m a dual US/Canadian citizen but born in CA. People like us are here, we’re not queer, and we are never, ever, EVER going away. Get used to it.

        You violent, ignorant leftists are justs that. Or should I say Aztlan fascistas eres ignorante, destructivo y vil.

    12. Asshat

      My state is a hire and fire at will state they recently tried to change that to a right to work state but I think it failed. A right to work state sounds better to average folks. In reality it’s a bad idea because it pushes wages down. So you will have a right to work for peanuts. I hear complaining by people all the time. If they don’t want to be a temp just leave and look for permanent work with bennies. It’s that simple don’t complain just leave and go somewhere else. I make $50,000 yr but feel I’m worth around $75,000 and can stay all kinds of ot if I want to live at work. Because others are lazy and want to go home I have the ability to stay. Put in 4.5 hours ot yesterday doing nothing but waiting for a load to be ready. Time and half to sit around yes it’s boring but whatever. Easiest $140 i make do this 2 or 3 times a week. You gotta work where the lazy people work but ot is paid after 8 hours daily. I don’t dare complain I just take the$ some complain about this and never get ot. Fools there is no shortage of lazy workers today. Most temps are unskilled labor why would anyone want to put someone on permanent for unskilled help. You move on unskilled help and can keep wages low. It’s smart from you ask me. You gotta have training and licenses with people to say you know what your doing around here or your working at McDonald’s or some order picking job with a bunch of stoners.

      • Kevin2

        “Most temps are unskilled labor”

        Most temps I seen in the Oil Refining Industry were specifically skilled.

      • john stiner

        I live in Texas. A right to work state. In Texas that means you can not be forced to join a union. Union dues can not be taken from your paycheck against your wishes.

        • Chainsaw

          Union pipeliner here and I don’t work in right to work states. The wages are about half of those without the mislabeled moniker. I gladly pay my dues, that $29 a month is grossly exceded by the benifits of representation. I believe that much of the destruction of the middle class has been accelerated by the attack on union labor groups. When we are gone there will be no real reason for cooperations to pay much at all for labor.

      • Rebecca

        My good friend just lost her accounting job in a law firm and was rehired as a temp. Highly skilled. They kept the wage the same… initially. They are already training lower paid temps. I worked in law firms… never easy or dumb work.

    13. TEST

      Dr. Joseph Warren, spoken on March 6, 1775:

      “Our country is in danger, but not to be despaired of. Our enemies are numerous and powerful, but we have many friends, determined to be free, and heaven and earth will aid the resolution. On you depend the fortunes of America. You are to decide the important question on which rest the happiness and liberty of millions yet unborn.Act worthy of yourselves.”

      Dr. Warren acted worthy of himself. He was killed by a musket shot while leading troops on June 17, 1775, at the Battle of Bunker Hill, shortly after giving this exhortation.

    14. TEST

      If you are one of those disposable workers, I ***strongly** encourage you to google “health share plans” for your healthcare. We use Liberty Health Share, and get identical coverage from COBRA for 1/3 of the price ($1,000 vs. $300) I slept thru jr. high math, but even ***I*** can do THAT kind of math. There are restrictions – no drugs, smoking, minimal alcohol, and most require church attendance. But 300 bucks if you meet that criteria is great. We are VERY pleased with our experience over the past year and half with them. There are other vendors as well. Just FYI, mes amis.

      • AGENT SKINHEAD

        Thanks TEST… All the best to you and your loved ones xXx

        • TEST

          You as well, AS!

    15. lena

      Regardless what happens with the economic future of the usa, jobs are on a continual decline into being so bad in the future, you will not believe it.

      With robots, increasing automation, increasing foreign workers and the fact the western world has given up all advanatages and safeguards to prevent almost every job to be done elsewhere for the lowest cost people will accept; the future of most everyone is going to be a job of maybe $30,000 and you will have to put up with so much crap and kiss butt so much; it will make you hate your life. Today’s leisurely worker have no idea on the tidal wave that’s going to hit probably after the countries debts come due.

      Now, in reality, this was coming eventually thru globalization and technology; but the west could’ve held it off if they would have been interested in preserving what it spent hundreds of years building.

      • Jim in Va.

        Lena; you’re mostly right but a lot of this is due to Obamacare. Its cheaper to make people part time and save on healthcare. They(the govt.) are overwhelming the system on purpose. this was intended in the first place. Everyone responsible should be kicked out of Congress and the White House. Hillary will only continue it. Ultimately the system will collapse along with the dollar.

        • lena

          true.

          obmacare made employees even less desireale, but the usa has ben giving incentives to cut employee costs for decades. wen is the last time a trade agreement actually caused employment to increase and wages to rise ?

          Obama is just putting in the final nails.

    16. Asshat

      Never seen disposable iron workers those are high skilled union jobs that pay prevailing wages. But to corporations any Mexican can do iron work. Just like all truck drivers are the same. After all how hard can it be right. Idiots

    17. Philosopher

      It is only a matter of time until everyone gets a guaranteed minimum income whether they work or not. People living in the USSA have been sold out. The middle class is dying.

      • Jim in Va.

        Philosopher..a big BINGO!

    18. TEST

      Thinking of John Mauldin, the well-known financial writer, his comment is that he doesn’t know where the jobs will come, but they will. Doug Casey, another financial writer, advocates people, e.g., look at Africa, or similar.

      I got caught in a horrible downdraft in the early 1980s, right out of graduate school. Unemployment where I lived was 22-24% **officially** (Nanaimo). My graduate degrees were not really in highly employable areas. What to do?

      Here’ as idea: **re-invent** yourself. Continually. I moved into high tech training, then became a Novell CNE, then got into healthcare, then into project management. I got into tech by working nights on learning. I lived in the far north in Canada, where no one would go. I have also worked a lot where I am out of town during the week, driving 3 – 4 hours, getting up at 4 AM Monday to go out of town every week, then back late Friday, etc. Most people – including most of my family – are just too freaking LAZY to re-train themselves, and then want to retire on a pension at age 49 (yep. I mean forty-nine) or early 50s. They want everything handed to them; they want the pension, the healthcare, the sick days, the holidays, ad nauseam. Look… after WWII, the only functioning economies that weren’t jungle or rubble were the US and Canada. If you had a pulse and could fog a mirror, you did well. Those times are gone. So get over it. Unless you got in early, it ain’t gonna happen. There were people like me that got started early, but got cheated out of a career (one boss fired me as I was next in line to be promoted in place of a woman he was having an affair with; another couple of vile, nasty feminists on the Canadian Treasury Board had me fired for an innocuous article I wrote that mildly questioned the cult of feminism. You get the picture). So, here I am at 62, still re-inventing myself. For my next gig, maybe I’ll have to go to Singapore or Estonia. I don’t know. But I DO know that a.) yes, it is tough out there, but that b.) there are a massive amount of just LAZY, entitled people out there. If you are one of them, and got away with it, fine for you. But for the rest of you, apply for that job in Nunavut. Look at retraining yourself. Get on health share plans so you aren’t stuck with healthcare. Find out why Oklahoma has extremely cheap medical care, and maybe self insure.

      THIS generation in N. America is the only generation that has been so utterly coddled, and (looking at some family members in particular) it makes me ill. As our forefathers knew, no one owes you anything. Get a clue. Get re-educated. Take control of your life. Work to midnite like I do every freaking nite at my age. Yeah, stuff is tough, but it is what it is. Now go get creative…

      • Azrael

        @Test. BINGO! I lived in Michigan in the 80’s. Went into the Army. Got out and worked for DOE in SC. Got tired of that and got my Novell CNA. Then Micrsoft MCSE and then Cisco CCNA. I have worked automotive, and retail IT, but now am in Healthcare IT, working from home. Reinvent oneself all of the time. Soldier-Federal LEO-IT worker, that changes his expertise depending on the demand. My relatives working in the automotive factories bitching about a learning a new machine. Get over it. I have done everything from hardware repair all of the way up to Network design. These certs are not easy to get either. You have to study your butt off. I make a lot of money as a contractor. If I don’t work I don’t get paid. Did 10 hours days these last two weeks so that I could get my 40 hours in and have Friday off. At 52 I’m still grinding it out.

        I love Canadians, even if they don’t love me:) Eastern Canada was my territory 15 years ago. Air Canada was my friend. I love Ottawa and Toronto is way cool. Montreal not so much much with the Francophils, but not bad. I had some pretty heavy hitting customers. Bombardier, CN Railroad, Stats Canada and Corrections Canada. Fun times.

    19. Jim in Va.

      Test…you go dude! The truth hurts but everyone needs to hear it.

    20. bb in GA

      @TEST

      As an example, here is a little excerpt from a bio I did on my Daddy who lived 1908 – 1996…

      “Shiny Bones and Gristle

      When your life is hard you learn to get the most out of everything in your environment. This is especially true with food. To this day I am shamed by my relative wastefulness compared to my Father. If you gave that man a piece of chicken or a pork chop, to near his dying day, he would return a bare frame of bone(s) gleaming in the sunshine. Not a scrap of edible matter could be found.”

      “He would climb up on top of his MO-beel, as an old man, to fix the roof or crawl underneath it to repair leaking water pipes (Momma complaining the whole time about his age/condition)…the old refrain, I’m sure, was playing in his head –

      Use it up
      Wear it out
      Make it do
      Or do without

      He was a trooper to the end with little complaint and a determined grit through his last illness.

      I try to be what he was – ‘High Output, Low Maintenance’

      When I think of my Daddy, I smile…”

      Miss you, Daddy

      <bb

      • Anonymous

        God bless.

      • TEST

        Nice post, BB. Are we even related to these people of old? Sometimes it seems not. I always recall the guys on the Lewis & Clark expedition, or the mountain men like Jedidiah Smith. Or the men in WWII on Guadalcanal or Attu, Agattu or Kiska (only US land invaded and taken by the Japanese). I’m afraid they wouldn’t even recognize the weenies they gave birth to.

        • buttcrackofdoom

          X2!

      • Woogie

        What a good story. You are blessed. I am a woman who is much like your pa, and I do my own repairs, was taught how to fish and hunt, and waste nothing. It came from my grandparents who influenced me when I was little working with them at their cabin and living the old style they did during the turn of the century. I wrote a book about them with my mom who has now joined them. It was a good healthy life with lots of funny stories, many hard losses, and a string faith to get them through. I miss them all too, but carry on the legacy they gave to me.

    21. WhyNot

      I have to say, that it’s easier to ride the tide than fight it. After over 40 years of working, then getting laid off, I’ve finally decided to ride the wave. After my unemployment ran out, after numerous extensions, I’m now getting what we used to call ‘Food Stamps’, now socially acceptable as an EBT credit card. Collecting Social Security, paying zero income tax, collecting on
      several combined small pensions I accumulated along the way, and taking home more money that I ever did working my ass off. Milking the system and loving every day! Working for the man today is a fool’s errand!

      • TEST

        With all due respect to you as a fellow human being, Why Not, I will tell you why not: if you are able bodied you are stealing from the system, and you are stealing from those who DO work. That IS why not. If you have your pensions you worked for, well and good. You paid into social security, so that is your money… at least kinda, given that they spent what you saved. I have no problem there. But if you are gloating on howyou are gaming the system, if you are living off the system and think you are “clever” in doing soe, you are, in fact ***stealing*** from the rest of us, and I have ZERO respect for what you are doing, an even LESS respect for the fact that you don’t seem to have any mora compunctions about stealing from us who have to work to support you. N.B.: I am not referring to your pensions that you apparently earned. I *am* referring to you gloating over your EBT work.

        And I don’t give a flying rats derriere if “everyone else is doing it.” Everyone else also supporter Hitler in 1938, too… and look how that turned out

        • ER

          Gotta say I agree with WhyNot. Some of us cannot work full time. I mooch off Uncle Sam and family members. I have a neurological disease. My taxpayer funded medications keep me limping along day to day. Is it worth it? No. I pray everyday that I will die. But I didn’t ask for this life and our archaic laws prevent euthanasia. What am I supposed to do?

    22. Asshat

      Right on philosopher

    23. Plan twice, prep once

      When I was young I did amazing things with computers. I made the VP of sales, due to become CEO, really look really good. I wrote software that bordered on AI dozens of years ago.

      Needless to say I survived numerous layoffs and nasty downturns. Yes my software put dozens of people out of work, but it also grew the business that created new jobs. This same software made people with no experience perform like people with several years of experience. We all looked soo good.

      Point is I watched as MBA’s took over management and gradually outsourced our Fortune 500 business to foreign countries.

      We went from being number one in the world, to number 15, but we were so much more profitable. That was the goal of the MBA’s profits, profits, profits.

      I remember having a conversation with the CEO about how this strategy would destroy the US. He agreed fully, but didn’t care. I always saw a psychopathic side to MBA’s. It was all about now. He lost sight of the fact that he would have grandchildren starve. He didn’t care.

      • Rebecca

        I hear ya. I was a paralegal working for the psychopaths at the top, hearing the same things. I opted out in my favorite way… I will be living like a pioneer. I am closer to the olden days. I kept up with every change and kept my skills up. I listened to what the Bigs were saying and believed them. Yes they know the destruction. The Georgia Guidestones explain the outcome… of this holocaust. It is why they don’t care.

        • TEST

          Georgia UnGuidestones are guide to the destination of Hell.

    24. Woogie

      I know what it is like being a temp where they lay you off too early and they paid in cash to cheat the system out of paying taxes, workmans comp insurance, and unemployment. I then found a seasonal job that stayed within the law and paid better, but now they are looking to hire high school and full time students without any experience so they don’t have to pay unemployment.

      If they do it will be chaos and lose a lot of revenue only working 2 months out of 7 needed for the job and not serving customers. Good luck with that, lol.

    25. NorseMan

      We brought this on ourselves – our engineering and manufacturing have improved so that we do not need as many workers to make products. And the products we have that break are unfixable – we just throw them out. No repairmen needed. And the local camera shop run by the guys that knew and sold expensive cameras and other products – has been replaced by cheaper cameras from Amazon and YouTube instruction videos.

    26. Anonymous

      “All of those companies should be absolutely disgusted with themselves.

      How can the executives responsible for those decisions even sleep at night?

      Don’t they understand what they are doing to people?”

      True.

      It would be far better if they just went out of business.

    27. Chuck

      This year we will have higher health care costs, more work, more baseless written warnings to good employees, no bonuses, a new pay structure, and your co-workers will disappear never to be seen again. To offset this, management will be allowing all employees to wear jeans every Friday.

    28. Overwatch

      Those MBA’s have taken over management everywhere. Carly Fiorina was a huge proponent of outsourcing when she ran HP. One of her cronies now runs Pitney Bowes. He uses what they call the “extended workforce”; 1099 Independent subcontractors.
      About a year ago, I was laid off from a dispatching job at a pharmaceutical company. We delivered to home bound patients and the core of workers had been there for 15 years, like me. One day, a new company bought us out. They brought in a couple of MBA pukes who didn’t give a shit for what we did. They barely acknowledged us and saw us as farm animals. One week they gave us our 15 year pins, the next, they laid us off. The severence was nice but the insecurity wasn’t. I left with my head high, seeing this as an opportunity.
      I called one of the drivers who used to work for me to tell him that we’d been closed and to call me directly if he needed anything. He said “Have I got a gig for you!!!”. I went out with him the next day and learned how to install postage meters fast. Now I’m part of that extended workforce. I’ll get a 1099 and deduct every mile I drive installing these things for considerably less than the regular employees made. I feel for them but I have a family to feed too. I supplement my income with courier work a couple of nights weekly. I make more money than I ever have. I see my family more and I’m home for dinner most nights. They’re happier and I’m less stressed. Improvise , adapt, overcome.

    29. Snootchie Bootchies

      Same thing is happening to the traditional taxi cab drivers. Low-cost Uber drivers are eating into their paychecks, but that is where the demand is these days.

    30. Montana Joe

      To a certain extent, resources represent a zero sum game. Americans have enjoyed a true middle class lifestyle for decades that was head and shoulders above what most of the rest of the world enjoyed. We maintained this advantage through suppression of competitors. The internet has displayed this disparity of lifestyles to the far corners of the Earth. Everyone else wants what Americans have and they are willing to work hard and sacrifice towards that end. This is bound to draw the middle class lifestyle down. The competition got tougher and they are closing the gap. No amount of hand wringing and whining will slow them down. Americans need to toughen up and smarten up in order to compete and win.

    31. molonlabe

      The last job I worked was for a company that is making millions in profits. They could afford to pay a lot more and keep people. They instead chose to pay $10 to $11 an hour and have a constant turnover. They would hire through a temp agency. If you proved yourself it would take two to three months to get hired on to the company. It was also hard to get quality employees. I got tired of the increasing workload and having to carry other people. Most company’s now just don’t care about anything but the bottom line.

    32. mary

      At least the slave owners of old gave the slaves housing and food……now YHEY give.you a kick in the arse!

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