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Super Contributor

Haves and Have-Nots

Cal Coast 76-080.jpgThere is a wide and growing, gap between those who have in the world, and those who don't.  Not only is the gap growing but so is the un-willingness to address it in any meaningful way that gets toward actual resolution of the problems at hand and/or, especially, its root causes, which are many, by those who have.  The 2014 economic conference at Davos, Switzerland was supposedly focused on issues of the widening gap between the rich and poor and how to work toward alleviating it.   Almost no time was devoted to this.  Hmmmmm.

 

In the US are many new retirees who are stuck at  minimum Social Security benefits forever, due to having to start their payments early at 62 in order to have ANY income at all.  These decisions are not made of freedom but of necessity - decisions made under duress. 

 

With no other income, the arithmetic does not work out at all for living.  This is existence, not living!  If one is forced to do file early and receive minimum benefits, due to bad economics, the benefits need to increase each year according to what the rate is for that year, as if one is just entering the system, until the maximum is reached at 65 or 66, for those who have no other income at all!  Lest we forget - This is America!  Where are the organizations who "say" they support the well being of seniors?

 

The availability of actual assistance is near nil, with none of that offering anything more than emergency or band aid "help".  (Don't be a single male with no children!)  All the government hype about ending homelessness, helping those who have the least, is just hype, as the "Tale of the Tape" reveals the actual story - Homelessness and need have increased drastically among have-nots.  (An exhaustive and continuing, study is done of Connect-To-Care, the Dallas government's excuse for a help mechanism, which showed their listed "resources" to be the same overworked, underfunded, organizations that have always been there.)  There has been repackaging of the same "resources" lists in other websites and organizations, while the resources themselves remain unchanged or less funded, leaving those who actually need help the most, in the same or worse overall shape.  If there are little to no actual resources available, which is the case in reality, what do these organizations actually do?  Jobs for those who have!  Notice how many low income people are employed in any of these.

 

With the baby-boomer generation coming into retirement age, there is a large number of retirees just entering the social security system, who spent their working lives at relatively unskilled jobs that offered no retirement plan, no insurance, no 401s, and the like, that paid so little that saving was out of the question.  This was influenced by the full scale and unregulated "outsourcing" of jobs, and the demise of unions.  Life after 50 meant jobs and job offers, lessened or ceased altogether.  This economic forced many into accepting less than livable Social Security, made and is making, a large group of retirement age have-nots who are out of work and in need of available assistance.

 

(Of sour note is the many who are plagued by student loans whose collection arms are more than willing to accept and/or forcably take, from those who who have no other income than Social Security and/or who are below the poverty level, leaving that individual with nothing at all, below where rent can be paid, food purchased - a loose cannon.  If you are living on the edge, not making enough for basics, this particular organization will still try and take from you, oblivious to the fact they can be rendering  a person homeless!) 

 

And no, retraining doesn't get you a job or help with age discrimination.  The fact that a senior has to ask someone for a job in the first place instead of having them call you, is the real issue.  To say there is no age discrimination is denying reality in many, if not, most, cases.  Experience is relatively meaningless after a certain age.

 

The question is Not how anyone got to retirement without having, but how to remediate it starting, Now, without looking at how and/or, especially, why, that individual got to retirement age in this shape in the first place. 

 

I think that's called - Non Judgemental.  Remember that one.  Takin a real beatin since the internet!  So has honesty.

 

And especially, of question, why this subject is one that so many don't want to address, see others address, have commentary/dialogue about, and why the refusal to offer explanation to back up this "reasoning"/stance for not wanting such discussion.  If a stance is solid, it stands on its own merit, and there is no fear, no reasoning for not putting it up for scrutiny!   Of question is the unwillingness-refusal to help anyone who doesn't have, without knowing their pedigree, or more.

 

What happened to helping someone who doesn't have, without knowing, or even trying to find out, how they came not to have?  Not just band-aid motion but sufficient to help fellow humans get themselves out of the cycle of poverty itself.

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Periodic Contributor

I have lost count of the number of times we have "started over".  We're just working folks who can't seem to catch a break and now, at a time when another curveball has been thrown our way, we too, wonder, will I ever be able to retire?  If I do retire, because frankly, my body just can't take this anymore, will I lose everything I've worked so hard for?  

As someone who cared for and watched their own parents lose those battles and die penniless, because we did not have the means to help them otherwise, both my husband and I have the same fears.  We did not come from wealth or education and we sure did not have the opportunities that many did.  

I just want to live long enough to retire now, and pray that we're able to keep our medical benefits so we don't go broke paying for our healthcare, as we did with our parents.  

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Super Contributor

This came out on CNN.  Boy, did they miss the ball.  Looks like they had help from JP Morgan.Smiley Wink

 

https://www.cnn.com/2019/05/28/investing/david-kelly-jpmorgan-markets-now-preview/index.html

 

Kelly said that the combination of retiring boomers and a shortage of working-age Americans creates a problem that "is particularly awkward for the economy." He added that this trend should "persist throughout the 2020s."

 

New Mexico 98-14.jpgA lot of Baby Boomers either can't afford to, don't want to, or don't have any reason to "retire".   The term "retirement" is being redefined daily by who else but, Baby Boomers".

 

We are looking for, as well as needing, additional sources of income.

 

We are experienced, knowlegable, available, savvy, and willing.  There is no shortage of working-age Americans.

 

We are in better health than previous generations, many of us still Rockin N Rollin.

 

We are a strong resource struggling to be tapped.  Common sense and arithmetic says this "struggle" need not exist!

 

Systematic age descrimination has to end!  Wake up!

 

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Periodic Contributor

Retirement like the diversity of our world is also diverse.  My experience, I retired at 70 I could

see no reason to continue working. Yes, I loved my job but it was just time. In spite of being a

cancer survivor  going on 3yrs.  I am full of  life and searching for direction for the next 10years

(my mom passed at 80years.  

Louise Hall-Mountain
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Regular Contributor

I realize this post has been up since 2014, but while reviewing a lot of post about retirement and saving and the best age and social security, I did not see a lot about this subject and "what to do if you were not able to save for retirement or you never had a job paying enough to get good retirement benefits once you make the decision".

Hey, its great to have had a great job with great benefits and pension plans and savings and 401K and other things that a lot of us were blessed enough to get, but lets not get so high and mighty that we forget that there really are baby boomers out there who just were never able to catch a break in life and don't fit all neat in any of these catagories on AARP community for retirement. 

The good news is, before I actually read this post, I started researching what answer would I give to someone who asked me "what do I do if I never saved for retirement or I never had a job" and althought I just started checking, I will make it my business to post everything I find out. Stand by all you baby boomers living below the poverty level.....help is on the way.

 

Super Contributor

Vacation 2000 Glacier-15-007.jpgThere is a crew who had good jobs, made decent money, were able to save little to nothing, or had crap happen, and wound up with nothing or less at retirement.

 

And yes, there are also a lot fo people who blew their money on good times and wound up in the same position. 

 

That's part of why I don't ask how or why a person doesn't have. 

 

It's not how you got here, it's that you did.

Contributor

Thanks for your comment and any information you can share with me would be most appreciated.  My name is Gwenell and have been blessed to have worked 35 years.  I recently had a health issue with my Heart, however, I have not worked for the past ten years and Social Security awarded me SSI two months ago -- go figure.  Can you point me in the direction to get my retirement disability?  I'm 59 and this is all new to me.  I love sharing information on any level; I'm a former Executive Assistant to the President of Bank of America.  May God Bless you and your family.

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Super Contributor

The department itself is the best resource.  It's all on line.  You can also go to your local Social Security Office.

It works.

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Super Contributor

Thank you.

 

Downtown Small Town AmericaDowntown Small Town America

I'm one of a lot of baby boomers having to look back at what we did actually do.  Some of us are finding things about even the crappiest jobs we ever had, that we can now make some extra with.  Yeah.  It ain't easy but it is possible. 

 

Even if you never formally held "jobs", look back.  There are things that wouldn't and didn't, make us a dime then, that fuel ideas today, especially with the internet.  We weren't actually doing "nothing" when we weren't doing anything.

 

 

Don't forget.  Times have changed.  Baby Boomers Rule!

 

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Regular Contributor

For anyone seeking side income in retirement, my eyes have been opened to so many ways to do that.  It is really limited only by your imagination and your interests. I saw some very good posts about this and the best one I recall is here http://snip.ly/0ljz4.

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Super Contributor

A while back I had the good fortune to come across a number of used computers - throw aways from a big company upgrade.  While loading them into my backyard shed the idea popped up that these might help some people.  So, instead of selling all of them, I decided it was worth more to do some community service. 

20150612_164748.jpg

After cleaning and reconfiguring a dozen or so of the computers, I loaded them with kid's software - learning stuff.  I found as many single moms as was immediately available in the neighborhood and gave each, one of the computers.  These were mostly Macintosh due to their having better kids software at the time.  Next I went to the community center that served my address and got the administration's permission to finish building their lab.  There were a couple of Windows machines already so these were incorporated into what wound up as a 20 machine lab with server, network, with both Mac and Windows platforms.

In appreciation of the actual work and time involved, the community center was very generous with the amount of the service award.  Time is logged as hours served plus computers.

 

Once done, when the subject of the lab project would come up, a lot, if not most, people ask me what I had "done" to "get" community service.  Community service is a privilege, not a penalty.  The fact that it is used as "punishment" in the judicial system has partially overridden this.

Contributor

Thank you for donating those computers to the community.  What a great idea, not everyone can afford to buy one.  I think you should turn those comments around to a positive thought.  Next time someone ask you what you did...ignore the negative responce and ack as if they meant what good thing you did for the community.  That way it might inspire someone else listening, to also do something for the community, with their skills, and projects. Good job!

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Contributor

I have worked hard all my life. I started working in 1963 when wages were sub par for women. Wages have been lower than men's wages for a vast majority of my working life. Therefore my social security is not as much as men's.  My first job paid me $200.00 a month gross.The most I was ever paid was $8.00 an hour and that was when I was in my late 50's. I had to claim my social security when I became 62 because I became disabled and could no longer work. I am not one of the 'Baby Boomers'. I believe that lower wages for women in that era should be paid more for Social Security. I'm not complaining, just explaining my opinion.

 

Ruby

 

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Super Contributor


@rubyprice wrote:

I have worked hard all my life. I started working in 1963 when wages were sub par for women. Wages have been lower than men's wages for a vast majority of my working life. Therefore my social security is not as much as men's.  My first job paid me $200.00 a month gross.The most I was ever paid was $8.00 an hour and that was when I was in my late 50's. I had to claim my social security when I became 62 because I became disabled and could no longer work. I am not one of the 'Baby Boomers'. I believe that lower wages for women in that era should be paid more for Social Security. I'm not complaining, just explaining my opinion.

 

Ruby

 


This is why Social Security benefits need to increase each year to maximum for those who have to claim early.

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Super Contributor

Recently Adam Johnson and Thomas Pitkelly published articles (separately)on the subject of democracy.  They can be seen in their entirety with links to other commentary at http://www.alternet.org/no-we-dont-get-democracy-we-deserve-why-toxic-idea-needs-die.

 

In them is stated:

 

  • Any democracy coupled with unfettered capitalism will not, by definition, be a healthy one; the mechanisms of this democracy will invariably be corrupted by the forces of power and information asymmetry. At best it’s a cute-sounding tautology, at worst it perpetuates a cycle of victim-blaming that makes addressing the true problems with our political system that much more difficult.

 

 

  • inequality renders the United States a democracy in name only

 

  • When the voter is given two options that have been hand-picked by our corporate and political elites, the notion of representation is a cosmetic one.

 

  • It not only ignores the corrupting influences of money, it also takes no account for the $11 billion a year public relations industry that sets out to manipulate people by design, almost always towards the interests of the elites.

 

  • The rise of cigarettes, the demonization of unions, the Iraq War, the myth of tort abuse: all of these are products of billions in propaganda designed to manipulate the masses to sell an agenda that ultimately serves the interests of the 1%.

 

  • The fact is the American electorate, no matter how tempting it becomes to call them stupid, credulous, and lazy, are largely victims. They’re victims of sophisticated mechanisms of propaganda that have been finely tuned for generations. They’re victims of an entrenched capitalist system that has hijacked our institutions of democracy from city halls to Capitol Hill. Both candidates for president, to even stand a chance, must spend roughly $2.5 billion each.

 

  • This means, to even be considered to represent "the people,” they must have met the pre-approval of the super wealthy who comprise the vast majority of the donor base by dollar amount.


"This isn’t a government the people “deserve," any more than $7.25 an hour for a McDonald’s employee is the wage they deserve."

What's your take?

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Gold Conversationalist

Ed.  Terrific post.  It covers all of the bases.  Our political system is bought and paid for.  Our citizens are subjected to ideological propaganda and many are gullible enough to believe it.  Our system is in serious trouble. Americans are so disenchanted that they allow the 1% to rule.  They do not vote.  They do not participate in politics.  They do not contest propaganda.  They do not even follow the logical process of voting for their, and their families, own best interest.  My favorite saying is "God must love stupid people.  He made so many of them."

Super Contributor

With the Electoral College in place there can be no democracy. Scan4732p-200x300 Participate in the process - This is very important.  One is disenfranchised automatically in nonparticipation. - Do your homework, determine the record of anyone claiming to represent you and weigh that on its own merit.  Elect representives who actually represent your interests, even when in conflict with big business and the rich.

Representatives must be drafted/nominated from the people, and by the people, they represent, in order to actually represent the people.  Anything less is politics. 

Elect statesmen, not politicians.

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Super Contributor

Why is this so difficult?  Why are those who have, so unwilling to help those who don't, especially without wanting to judge?  How one wound up in need of help is irrelevant.

  • The question is Not how anyone got to retirement without having, but how to remediate it starting Now, without looking at how and/or, especially, why, that individual got here in this shape.
    I think that's called - Non Judgemental.  Remember that one.  It's taken a real beatin since the internet!

 

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Regular Social Butterfly

What are you driving at?    Five (5) consecutive posts from you since Dec. 15 in this thread , yet am just as puzzled as ever  -   what is the issue here?  

 

Sure,  there are a lot of elderly people who never saved anything during their working years.   Maybe they never made enough money to save much.  Maybe they were burdened with helping out family members.  Maybe they sold narcotics or otherwise followed a life of crime.   

 

Whatever the reason it is not quite as dire as you make it out.  These very low income types will get a free (Sec. 😎 apartment with a generous allotment to pay utilities,  full Medicaid coverage with no co-pays for doctor visits or prescriptions,   food stamps,  a free cell phone with 250 minutes,  free transportation to get to M.D. appointments,  grocery store,  the senior center.   Everything but their cable TV. 

 

Sure,  they may have to bunk with family or friends while on a waiting list to get one of these free apartments.   But that's usually a temporary inconvenience.    

 

Unwilling to help you say?     My taxes are helping to provide all these services to keep a roof over their heads and food in their bellies.  What more are we supposed to do?    Frankly,  when I donate to the local food pantry I am doing so for younger people with CHILDREN.   They are the ones who are really in need of extra help from the government.   

 

Be specific about what you think should be happening,   otherwise your thread will die on the vine for lack of interest.  

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Super Contributor

!.  THE issue is that you don't see or don't want to see the issue.

2.  As stated how anybody got here is not the issue.

3.  "These very low income types" - needs explanation.  What Exactly are their "types"?

4.  FYI - Some people are able to get all these things but this is not about those who are totally eligible.  As stated, the focus is on those who have ONLY minimum Social Security, are not on Section 8, are not eligible for enough food stamps to actually make a difference, do not have much or anything else and NO HELP.

5.  That "temporary inconvenience" is measured in years, or not at all, in the case of the newly adopted lottery system for Section 8 in some areas.  This was adopted in order to do away with the years long waiting lists.  (My mother died without ever coming off the waiting list, after 14 years of being on such a list after 65!)

6.  Simply stated, you are not correct in saying "They are the ones who are really in need of extra help from the government."  Look around you.  What keeps you from seeing the seniors, who are actually the subject of this discussion, with nothing, and in need of help? 

7. The supposed lack of interest in this discussion is due to the social attitudes and stereotypes of those who have about those who don't, as exemplified by your post.

 

And No, as long as there is stereotyping, condescension, apathy toward fellow humans, this subject will not wither on the vine, but flourish.

One of the major questions is why you and others, mainly those who have, have so much of a problem with this discussion.   Out of sight, out of mind?  Like this makes the reality less real.

 

SPECIFICALLY the purpose of the column is to elicit positive feedback and positive suggestions leading to actual and real help for have-nots.  This has been up front.

 

Your commentary is appreciated and actually helps this discussion move forward.  You asked what I'm getting at with this discussion - Here it is!  Your comments.  Now how about some positive feedback that helps those who have not.

 

 

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Super Contributor

Found this article called "My Personal Walmart Nightmare"

It's one story of many seniors who work for this company and many other smaller companies who treat their workers as such.

 

    • When I woke up to see the news, I could hardly believe it: President Obama is planning a visit to the Mountain View Wal-Mart where I work . . . But the excitement quickly passed when I found out the store would be shutting down hours in advance of his visit. I wouldn’t be able to tell the president what it’s like to work at Wal-Mart and what it’s like to struggle on low wages, without the hours I need. I am living at the center of the income inequality that he speaks about so often, and I wanted to talk to him about how to change this problem.

 

That's the idea!  At NO point has Obama ever said he supports the lower economic classes, those who have the least. Tavis Smiley of PBS and Dr. Cornell West (Graduated Magna Cuum[Intentionally misspelled here] Laude from Harvard in three years and obtained his M.A. and Ph.D. in Philosophy at Princeton.) have been on a national crusade to get more attention for the have-nots from the administration. One of their tenants has been to get Obama to even mention anybody BUT the middle and upper classes - They have yet to accomplish this. 

 

Shutting the store down is not only for regular security but helps minimize and control any possibility of your getting to tell him anything like this.

    •     I wanted to tell the president I am scared. I am scared for my health. I am scared for the future for my grandkids. And I am scared and sad about the direction that companies like Wal-Mart are taking our country.

Wal-Mart, along with the other big companies put lots of money into seeing that the elected representatives represent them first and not you!  To change this the worker has to unite.  This is called solidarity.  This is why any talk of unions (solidarity) is so taboo on many, if not most, jobs, especially in Right to Work states, and why many, if not most existing unions, are weak and ineffectual.  Unions give the worker that power where the Obamas have to listen, like it or not.  Remember, they are YOUR servants, not visa versa. - They are there to do the bidding OF THE PEOPLE!

 

This is why those who represent the people need to be DRAFTED BY THE PEOPLE, FROM THE PEOPLE, they represent, and not from some list of rich supporters of big business!  (This would carry the question of abolition of the Electoral College!) The worker is not represented by most presently elected representatives, especially at the top.  To gain this representation, the system, as it is written, allows the voter options.  This is theory - Try and get it to work in reality!

 

  •     I don’t wish the struggle I’m facing onto anyone. But sadly, my situation isn’t unique. I know that I am one of many living in the Wal-Mart economy who has no financial stability. We expect to work until our deaths because we don’t have any retirement savings and are concerned about the future in front of our children and grandchildren.
  •     There are so many of us who have it so hard – trying to live paycheck to paycheck. While the president is here visiting my store, I want him to look inside at what is really happening at Wal-Mart.

 

Obama, a constitutional lawyer, and this administration are not dumb.  They know well what is happening at Wal-Mart and the work place in general.  Workers have had their power taken away.  This is by no accident but the result of aprolonged and systematic campaign to do away with unions and the power they wielded.  Ronald Reagan, who was a master union buster from his Hollywood days, started the big push.  Add greedy, parasitic, third parties (staffing agencies, "temps", and the like), to the picture, and you have low wages, bad treatment, and no voice - no redress for any actual or percieved wrongdoing.  You can be fired for almost ANY reason and NOBODY is going to come to your aid!  "Right to Work" states are worse for this.  In many places, any mention of union is "reason" for dismissal.

 

Allowed also are pre application screens that are allowed to operate with impunity.  In order to get many jobs, especially lower paying jobs, one is subjected to pre application test that asks your opinions about matters off the job, about how you think and feel.  They seen to have been carefully built to "trick" the person into certain answers (This may or may not be true but here the perception of the worker rules.  They are seen as another sham that makes getting a job harder.)  They will argue their case but the fact is, these tests keep many from jobs.

 

Without some sort of cohesion, solidarity, and honesty, there will never be workers rights.  Employers and especially the third parties have jobs in a chokehold, and to maintain that hold, the worker has to be kept powerless. 

 

Past unions were known for their corruption and helped forster some of the organized crime of their day (which has outlived the unions themselves).  That process is well known.  In this day and age it is possible to better scrutinize this.  The third parties need to be regulated also!  This has to start from the ground up.  It has no reason to come from top down, considering the rampant greed and decadence.

 

The complete article can be found at:  http://www.alternet.org/corporate-accountability-and-workplace/my-personal-walmart-nightmare-you-won...

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Contributor

There are two things that you left out of your post.

 

The first is that it is illegal to ask how old you are, but every application asks what your birth date is. If you don't fill out the application COMPLETELY employers won't hire you. Most of the time they won't even look at your application. That is there way of getting around asking you how old you are.

 

The second is most all employers do a credit check berfore hiring your and if your credit rating isn't that good you aren't hired. I don't see what your credit rating has to do with the how well you will do your job. If anything it just exacerbates the problem of unemployment and keeps people who desperately a job from getting getting one.

 

Another thing that works against you is having a handicapped person in your family. I have been looked over more than once because of my handicapped daughter They just don't want to have to deal with it, so they just don't hire you. If they find out after they hire you they let you go. They can use any excuse they want and it is very hard to prove that, that is why you were let go. I have had to deal with this for 29 years. So there are some people that didn't have the opportunity to make a retirement plan.

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Gold Conversationalist

Dear 78736061,

The employment process is unfriendly to those who go thru the process legally.  Employers use any excuse not to hire someone...age, race, religion, etc.  They claim they are non-discriminatory, but we all know that's not true.

true.jpg

 

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Super Contributor

A big part of the problem is third parties in the employment process - the "recruiters", "temps", "agencies". They are not in the business for your benefit.  They are parasitic partners of the corporate giants who have shown themselves to be detrimental to the worker and especially, to the job hunter.

 

Regulation is part of the answer.  Elimination is a much better answer.

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Honored Social Butterfly


@EDChou wrote:

A big part of the problem is third parties in the employment process - the "recruiters", "temps", "agencies". They are not in the business for your benefit.  They are parasitic partners of the corporate giants who have shown themselves to be detrimental to the worker and especially, to the job hunter.

 

Regulation is part of the answer.  Elimination is a much better answer.


Recruiters, many times, are employed directly by the company which they serve and perhaps its affilliates - they recruite for a specific position or job.  They are just looking for needed talent.

 

Temp Services and employment agencies serve a purpose in the overall job market especially the job hunter.  Being a fish in a smaller, more specialized, pond, especially one where the service or agency makes no money off of an individual unless they are employed, is a big benefit to the job hunter. 

 

 

 

 

It's Always Something . . . . Roseanna Roseannadanna
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Super Contributor

Try to get a job without going through a third party.
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Honored Social Butterfly


@EDChou wrote:
Try to get a job without going through a third party.

I guess that depends on the type of job you might be looking for -

 

Even state unemployment offices work with agencies or have one of their own - it is just easier to have all the similar applicants in one place even if it is only a data base or an agency that has expertise in a certain area of the job marketplace.

 

Actually unions may act as employment agencies too in a certain respect.

 

Some of the trend now is to actually be employed by the agency and sub-contracted out to the company.  This was recently in the news since the NLRB made some rulings.

Business Insider - Reuters 08/28/2015 Unions set sights on e-commerce and manufacturing firms after ...

It's Always Something . . . . Roseanna Roseannadanna
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Super Contributor

Again, try most jobs. Especially lower paying jobs.
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Honored Social Butterfly


@EDChou wrote:
Again, try most jobs. Especially lower paying jobs.

  How low?  What type?  What area? 

 

  You haven't changed - you can always come back with what if's . . . .

  You can do whatever - anybody can grip, moan, find problems, etc. - it is the solutions that are hard and they are the ones that really count.

It's Always Something . . . . Roseanna Roseannadanna
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Super Contributor

And you can evade the point. Attacking me is useless. The post says clearly "most" jobs. Please keep to the subjects of the discussion and respond succinctly with substance.
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