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Name: Ginny Gnadt
Hometown: Chesapeake, Va.
Occupation: High school teacher
I followed "the plan" to achieve the American dream and now I feel like I'm caught in a stagnant nightmare.
My husband now works for the Navy as a civilian and I am a high school teacher. We bought our two-bedroom townhouse nearly at the peak of the housing boom for $196,500. We're underwater on our mortgage with a high interest rate. I'm looking at having to stick with this house for eight, nine, 10 years.
I really would like to have two or three children, but I just don't think it's feasible to have that many children in this house. It's too small to have a family and it's not what I envisioned for myself when I followed the rules.
When my mom was my age, she was already living in a house where she would raise me and my three sisters. She had already achieved her American dream and I'm not able to do that.
All I want is to move forward and build a life like my parents had. Right now -- that is profoundly out of reach.
Name: David Seaman
Hometown: Lansford, Pa.
Occupation: Programming manager at a TV station
I have been working two or three jobs since college just to get by. My parents only had to have one job and they were raising a family too.
They grew up in a time when a college degree wasn't necessary. In today's society, that's not the case. With that education comes a pricetag. My student loan is about $30,000 and that's what's hurting me. I live in a rickety old house in a small town. I have a roommate to help out.
At 33, I never thought I'd be living the way I'm living due to college debt. The standard of living and the cost of living in the 1960s is different than it is today. The pay was lower, but everything was dirt cheap.
Name: Allison Pompey
Occupation: Government contractor and doctoral student
We're originally from Guyana. My father moved here so we could get a better education. My dad bought a house and a car, sent us to school and all of those kinds of things.
Owning a house is not even an option for me.
I thought if I took certain steps ahead of the game to improve my career chances and earning potential, it would be a great idea. It seems that despite all of my hard work and credentials, I can't seem to get ahead financially. Although I believe that my skills and education will allow me to be as well off as my dad, if not better, I don't foresee reaching that point at the same age that he did.
In this country you have that mentality that if you work hard and do what you are supposed to, eventually the things you want, you are going to get. I still have that belief, but it is really frustrating. I've done the right thing my whole life. I'm not seeing the correlation between my efforts and sacrifices and the outcomes.
Name: Jay Magallanes
Hometown: Lynwood, Calif.
Occupation: Senior technician for an electrical adhesives company
I'm starting to see that I'm raising my daughter in totally different times than my parents. The economy sucks and jobs that once kept the middle class comfortable are now setting a huge dividing line between the wealthy and poor.
I can't even afford to get a one-bedroom apartment to put a roof over the head of my daughter and I. It's humiliating to be living at home.
I saw my father rent a three-bedroom apartment. They had two cars. My mom's family is from Cancun so we would always go to Cancun every summer. It seemed that money really wasn't that short.
I make more money now than my dad did in his time and it's just hard. It's very difficult to stay afloat.
Name: Edward Zarate
Occupation: College graduation adviser
My father did not complete high school and with his lone salary in construction was able to provide for a family of four all the things necessary to live a happy, comfortable life. Nice five-bedroom, three-bath, 2,500-square-foot home in a middle-class neighborhood, two cars, a few TVs, a couple of trips.
My wife and I both work in higher education and are struggling, living check to check, to barely provide the same things for a family of four. Smaller home, nice neighborhood and two cars.
We have one child in college, the other will begin college in the fall. We must utilize student loans to pay for their college. A couple of years ago, I had to file bankruptcy to find economic relief.
It is much harder to provide the same things to an average family today than it was 50 years ago. I don't think I've achieved what they've achieved and I never will.
Name: Michael Sipes
Hometown: Long Beach, Calif.
Occupation: Accounting at a small non-profit
I'm definitely feeling like I'm falling out of the middle class since the Great Recession. But I am very thankful I currently have a job.
At this point, I'm not better off than my parents. I am definitely worse off than they are.
My dad makes more than I do. I just bought a condo in the last couple of years. They bought a house when they were 22 or 23. I would have loved to have a house, but it's just way out of our league right now.
I'm more concerned about retirement than they are. They are pretty close to being ready. I don't have very much at all. I feel like I'll have to work until I'm 80. Hopefully I will be able to.
Almost three years ago, I passed the CPA exam in hopes of bettering my chances to find a job with the possibility of upward mobility, some kind of retirement and better earning potential. I have been looking for a new job ever since because I need to fulfill the state-required "audit hours" in order to obtain the actual license. I'm older than most people trying to do this same thing...the jobs seem to be going to recent college grads.
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|Posted Jan 24, 2012, 4:25 pm
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Honeymoon? We are well into the part of the marriage where the spouses are trying to kill each other.
The American dream was Mammon, simply put, and all these people stepped right into the trap. The funny money that was thrown out there was not backed by anything, so it was all destined to crumble. Some say the main problem was the creation of the Fed, others the "Nixon Shock," others the repeal of Glass-Steagall, others the phony housing bubble, but what is certain is that none of this helped. It was like a series of huge, devastating explosions turning everything to rubble. It is impossible to even conceive of more fiscal irresponsibility.
If you want to read a site where the posters have very detailed commentary about the crisis we're in, I recommend a local site called Dr. Housing Bubble about the Southern California housing crash which I am currently caught in. It may be provincial, but it has farther-reaching insights. There are just so many layers to this disaster.
There is a kind of poetic justice to all of this. Since people lived for money and for work, forgetting God -- or confusing God with Mammon like the Purpose-Driven Life Protestants -- now they find themselves, like Sisyphus, carrying an impossibly heavy load, having to work numerous jobs just to get by, laden with debt, noses to the grindstone, exhausted and brutalized. And yet still all they think about is work and "When will the money come back?" The answer is -- never.
There is a prophecy about the Minor Chastisement that talks about how a huge number of people will go bonkers. That is happening because they believed in an illusion, they thought reality was one way, they thought they were special, untouchable. When things change, when they realize that reality wasn't like they thought, they will lose their minds, they don't have the resilience and humility that only God can give you.
A general rule is that all my posts before 2011 are dangerous to read. At the time I was nothing short of a frothing Pharisee. Please ignore my old posts against NFP and implicit faith, both of which are true teachings, as well as Fatima and Lucy's later revelations, which I now see are of continuing paramount importance in the history of the Church.
I also apologize for my lack of prudence when speaking about clergy in the past, I didn't know where the line was and often judged intentions instead of actions and words. My deepest apologies to Pius XII especially, who I judged in the harshest light and accused of being a communist infiltrator, and to Innocent XI and Pius XI, for any irrational suspicion or condemnation of their intentions. I also believe I spread a rumor about Innocent XI that I had read in a book, probably non-Catholic, which I would retract if I could.
I also apologize with profoundest regret to Abp. Lefebvre and Bp. Fellay, the nuns who left CMRI, for assuming malign intentions about them and calling them "witches" in my exaggerated style at the time; Father Cekada and the SSPX priest Fr. Boulet for suggesting or saying they were deliberately intellectually dishonest, Bp. Vezelis for spreading a rumor about him that is not verified; I also apologize to Fr. Martin Stepanich, Mgr. Fenton, Father Brian Harrison, Cardinal Newman, De Lugo, Suarez, Erasmus, and anyone else I have forgotten, for saying or suggesting they were heretics and/or infiltrators due to my former errors. I was also very harsh on Dietrich von Hildebrand and Cardinal Gibbons. During all this time, I was under the influence of major scruples, probably without even knowing what that meant, as well as general paranoia, seeing evil everywhere, and had a distorted, extreme view of the Crisis.
|Posted Jan 24, 2012, 9:03 pm
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