Monday, February 01, 2016

Why I Can't Retire

I may have linked this article from 2014 about the new "harvest of shame" but instead of agricultural migrant workers of the famed CBS documentary of 1960, they are largely made up of people of retirement age who cannot afford to retire.

It does not matter how well you plan. Unless you are a multimillionaire, you can lose everything you have ever worked for.

As for me, I am going to try like hell to stay in public employment up here, being eligible for some kind of pension. I am going to try and get more hours next year. And yes, I am going to get that K-12 license.

Aging isn’t what it used to be. In an era of disappearing pensions, wage stagnation, and widespread foreclosures, Americans are working longer and leaning more heavily than ever on Social Security, a program designed to supplement (rather than fully fund) retirement. For many, surviving the golden years now requires creative lifestyle adjustments. And for those riding the economy’s outermost edge, adaptation may now mean giving up what full-time RV dwellers call “stick houses” to hit the road and seek work.

May is a member of that tribe. Many of her peers describe themselves as retired, even if they are obliged to keep working well into their seventies or eighties. They call themselves workampers, travelers, nomads, and gypsies, while history-minded commentators have labeled them the Okies of the Great Recession. More bluntly, they are geriatric migrant labor, meeting demands for seasonal work in an increasingly fragmented, temp-driven marketplace. And whatever you call them, they’re part of a demographic that in the past several years has grown with alarming speed: downwardly mobile older Americans.

All of it is a result of deliberate federal policies to screw us over. And the GOP wants to make it even worse.

Our "elected officials" do not give a fuck if we die.

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