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  1. #1
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    Long Term Unemployed Discuss Lack of Mobility -- PBS

    I found this article by PBS discussing how the lack of mobility is preventing the unemployed from finding work. Once these individuals lost their jobs, they were no longer able to afford gas, insurance or repairs. Comments about becoming ďhomebodiesĒ and cutting back on outside activities to save on gas was the norm. Many of them have no money to relocate so they are stuck in the middle of nowhere without employment. It seems like the lack of mobility and unemployment feed off one another.

    First, a couple of observations. It seems like the majority of the unemployed are counting on the government to extend unemployment benefits as their salvation. While government money would help a lot of those in need, the real long term solution would be relocation to an area where driving could be restricted or eliminated so they donít have to spend a huge portion of their income on transportation. This is especially true for those who are working poor.

    Second, I was surprised by all those who were in dire straights having made considerable money in their jobs. It goes to show you how long term unemployment can deplete all your savings including 401K plans.

    From the article:

    >>>>My husband only makes 10 dollars an hour and drives 30 miles round trip, so itís taking all we have just to keep the Jeep filled with gas. We stopped going to church and all to save gas. We are homebodies now, afraid to use what gas we have. We save two kids from getting put in foster care just to be hit like this. Itís just a constant trap they try to keep you from receiving any help! Iím so disgusted when my 12-year-old asks me why we donít have snacks anymore, or why are we eating so much rice, etc.<<<

    Itís sad to be an American right now.

    http://www.pbs.org/newshour/updates/...-unemployment/

  2. #2
    Sophomoric Member Roody's Avatar
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    • Cars take a bigger slice of the household income every year.
    • The lower a family's income, the more that is paid for transportation.
    • Many jobs are located far from a bus line.


    "Think Outside the Cage"

  3. #3
    Pedaled too far. Artkansas's Avatar
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    It's been a tad over 3 years for me. If I had a car, I'd already be deep in debt, but riding my bike I've stayed afloat so far. The sad part for many people is that unlike times in the past, the jobs aren't changing, like an agricultural job for an industrial job, or industrial for electronics.

    The low end jobs are just disappearing. Not just jobs going off shore, but being done by machines and robots. Today they are taking orders, but it isn't too long before your whole order will be processed by machine. McD's just ordered 7,000 of these machines. Jack In The Box already uses them.



    Many of the higher end jobs are collapsing. I know of lawyers closing their practice because there isn't enough business to go around. And many of forms etc that they help you fill out or file can be done online. I saw an ad for a graphic artist with 5 years experience going for $10.00 per hour.

    And I feel for many of the unemployed. Without a car they are lost. The last interview I went to, I rode my bike several miles through a freezing snow storm. Doable for me, but if you weren't used to pedaling, the cold, the wet, the distance and the logistics required might have been overwhelming.
    "He who serves all, best serves himself" Jack London

    Quote Originally Posted by Bjforrestal View Post
    I don't care if you are on a unicycle, as long as you're not using a motor to get places you get props from me. We're here to support each other. Share ideas, and motivate one another to actually keep doing it.

  4. #4
    Pedaled too far. Artkansas's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dahon.Steve View Post
    It seems like the majority of the unemployed are counting on the government to extend unemployment benefits as their salvation. While government money would help a lot of those in need, the real long term solution would be relocation to an area where driving could be restricted or eliminated so they don’t have to spend a huge portion of their income on transportation. This is especially true for those who are working poor.
    Good idea, but problematic. How do you know where you are going to get a job? Employers seem to have a preference for employees who are already living close by and have a local history.

    I have a two stage strategy, I fling the net wide nearby and apply for anything vaguely close to what I might qualify for. Farther away, I only apply for jobs I feel I could be a superior choice. And I've contacted relatives, so I use their address and get a cell phone for that area code. But the fact that all my jobs are not in those areas is still a give away.
    "He who serves all, best serves himself" Jack London

    Quote Originally Posted by Bjforrestal View Post
    I don't care if you are on a unicycle, as long as you're not using a motor to get places you get props from me. We're here to support each other. Share ideas, and motivate one another to actually keep doing it.

  5. #5
    Super Moderator no1mad's Avatar
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    I read the article. Most of them were living beyond their means before they lost their jobs to begin with. One account had someone receiving $1600/mo in UI, but her monthly expenses were $2400- and she was single with no children.
    Quote Originally Posted by Cyril View Post
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  6. #6
    Pedaled too far. Artkansas's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by no1mad View Post
    I read the article. Most of them were living beyond their means before they lost their jobs to begin with. One account had someone receiving $1600/mo in UI, but her monthly expenses were $2400- and she was single with no children.
    The key thing is that these people are not being able to become re-employed. They are not slackers, we are talking about people with 3 degrees, or having worked somewhere for 23 years. If they could get hired, the assistance would be a non-issue.
    "He who serves all, best serves himself" Jack London

    Quote Originally Posted by Bjforrestal View Post
    I don't care if you are on a unicycle, as long as you're not using a motor to get places you get props from me. We're here to support each other. Share ideas, and motivate one another to actually keep doing it.

  7. #7
    Senior Member Smallwheels's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Roody View Post
    • Cars take a bigger slice of the household income every year.
    • The lower a family's income, the more that is paid for transportation.
    • Many jobs are located far from a bus line.
    Many cities don't even have bus lines.

    Personal motorized transportation is vital in some areas.

    I was in the category of people who didn't have enough money to relocate to find work. It has taught me to save money for such a situation. It has also taught me that cutting ties with a place or city must be done as soon as the bad situation is recognized. Waiting just takes more money out of the bank account every month until the options of leaving become more difficult. It is also why I don't ever want to own a house unless I can buy it with cash and have enough extra cash to just abandon it if ever the need arises.

    I'm really glad that I love rice and pinto beans. I love potatoes too. My tiny 2 liter pressure cooker does wonderful things with rice and potatoes using very little energy. My whole meal can be made in that pot and it is enough to really fill my stomach. The Hawkins stainless steel model I own cost $57 which is much higher than the other brands this size. For too long I was eating processed foods. This was making me a bit fatter than I liked. Using this little cooker is helping me to eat healthier and to lose weight. There are less oils in my diet. The oil in processed food is 100% fat. Less fat means less weight gain and even weight loss in my case. It also means saving money.

    A project I want to take on is building a small rocket stove from concrete. These are camp stoves that use wood fuel efficiently and don't make a lot of smoke. On Youtube there are many videos showing how to make tiny ones using large coffee cans. They are useful for people who back pack because of their light weight. Making a more permanent one using concrete would allow me to have a small stove that uses very little energy to cook with my small pressure cooker. The fuel would be twigs, dried leaves, and newspaper.
    Smallwheels

    Take my stuff, please. I have way too much. My current goal is to have all of my possessions fit onto a large bicycle trailer. Really.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Artkansas View Post
    The low end jobs are just disappearing. Not just jobs going off shore, but being done by machines and robots. Today they are taking orders, but it isn't too long before your whole order will be processed by machine. McD's just ordered 7,000 of these machines. Jack In The Box already uses them.

    Interesting.

    I've seen these machines installed at a 7eleven type store but I didn't think it was going to McDonalds. I will say this, if there's a line of people who don't know what they want, I don't buy anything because the kids are way faster.

    This really is disconcerting.

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by Roody View Post
    • Cars take a bigger slice of the household income every year.
    Every year, I create a post about the annual cost of motoring and each year it gets higher.

    I thought we were out of a recession? I really believe the loss of good paying jobs and the high cost of motoring are in a collision course. If you don't have access to public transit, you're going to be a world of hurt. I've been saying for years the high cost of gas is going to make many become bike commuters. It looks like I was wrong. The loss of decent paying jobs is going to force people on their bikes. (if there's no public transit)

  10. #10
    Senior Member wahoonc's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dahon.Steve View Post
    Interesting.

    I've seen these machines installed at a 7eleven type store but I didn't think it was going to McDonalds. I will say this, if there's a line of people who don't know what they want, I don't buy anything because the kids are way faster.

    This really is disconcerting.
    So far the only place I have seen them are in the Sheetz stores, the local McD's could use them, bound to be faster than the current counter staff that can't get the order right... even by using numbers.

    Aaron
    Webshots is bailing out, if you find any of my posts with corrupt picture files and want to see them corrected please let me know. :(

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  11. #11
    Senior Member Ekdog's Avatar
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    Walmart is starting to be affected. No one wants to drive out there anymore.

    http://www.dailykos.com/story/2014/0...etail=facebook
    Smug, car-bashing cyclist and public transport user.

  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by Artkansas View Post
    The low end jobs are just disappearing. Not just jobs going off shore, but being done by machines and robots. Today they are taking orders, but it isn't too long before your whole order will be processed by machine. McD's just ordered 7,000 of these machines. Jack In The Box already uses them.
    Momentum Machines (http://www.momentummachines.com) has developed a burger making robot that will save $135K in labor and pays for itself in the first year of operation.

    Their suggestion is to buy one and sell gourmet burgers for the price of fast food although with a high enough (off-shored) production rate fast food chains could snap them up and boost profits selling the same product.

  13. #13
    Pedaled too far. Artkansas's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Drew Eckhardt View Post
    Momentum Machines (http://www.momentummachines.com) has developed a burger making robot that will save $135K in labor and pays for itself in the first year of operation.

    Their suggestion is to buy one and sell gourmet burgers for the price of fast food although with a high enough (off-shored) production rate fast food chains could snap them up and boost profits selling the same product.
    They have an interesting paragraph on their website.

    "The issue of machines and job displacement has been around for centuries and economists generally accept that technology like ours actually causes an increase in employment. The three factors that contribute to this are 1. the company that makes the robots must hire new employees, 2. the restaurant that uses our robots can expand their frontiers of production which requires hiring more people, and 3. the general public saves money on the reduced cost of our burgers. This saved money can then be spent on the rest of the economy. We take these issues very seriously so please feel free to tell us how we can help with this transition."

    Bottom line, if you want a job, learn to build and fix robots.
    "He who serves all, best serves himself" Jack London

    Quote Originally Posted by Bjforrestal View Post
    I don't care if you are on a unicycle, as long as you're not using a motor to get places you get props from me. We're here to support each other. Share ideas, and motivate one another to actually keep doing it.

  14. #14
    Pedalin' Erry Day lasauge's Avatar
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    This thread points out one of the biggest problems created by car-centric planning: in places that have poor public transit (or none at all), where cycling and walking have been made impractical for most, car ownership and the expenses associated it become almost unavoidable costs of living, right up there with food, shelter, and clothing. This disproportionally effects people with less income and those who unexpectedly lose their income.

    [sarcastic] But anyone who wants to work hard and is willing to struggle can get ahead in America - there's no need to squander the nations wealth on socialist programs (like public transit) that support the poor, because it's their own darn fault they don't make enough to buy a house and a car and live the American Dream™! [/sarcastic]

    Quote Originally Posted by Ekdog View Post
    Walmart is starting to be affected. No one wants to drive out there anymore.

    http://www.dailykos.com/story/2014/0...etail=facebook
    Interesting. But I'm not sure I buy that Walmart's sales decline is primarily due to rising gas prices, they have a lot of very serious challenges to face: like competition that has gotten smarter about luring customers away from the big blue box, internet sales, and a reputation for terrible customer service and poor product quality.

  15. #15
    Sophomoric Member Roody's Avatar
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    Except that obviously it won't be long before they have robots that build and fix robots. And computers that design and engineer new kinds of robots.

    There aren't very many jobs that can't be automated. Surgery done by robots is fairly common, and reading EKGs and X-rays. I think high paying jobs in IT and finance are going away soon. Creative jobs in science and the arts seem the safest, at least for now.


    "Think Outside the Cage"

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    That's marketing.

    1. Fewer people are needed to build the robots than they replace.

    2. Burger meals are a burger, fries (which could be automated), and drink (which can be self service). There's going to be a net reduction in staff.

    3. Sure, people will spend money on other things.

    They also offer to train any displaced worker; although the reduced numbers apply and at some point you get into aptitudes which we can't seem to teach.

  17. #17
    Long Distance Cyclist Machka's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dahon.Steve View Post
    I've been saying for years the high cost of gas is going to make many become bike commuters. It looks like I was wrong.
    You know you've got really, really low gas prices in the US, right?


    Quote Originally Posted by Artkansas View Post
    Bottom line, if you want a job, learn to build and fix robots.
    Yep ... you've got to change with the times. For at least a couple decades now the old traditional style of employment where you got education then got a job and stayed with that job for the rest of your life has been extinct. Now you've got to reinvent yourself every few years.

  18. #18
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    Quote Originally Posted by lasauge View Post
    Interesting. But I'm not sure I buy that Walmart's sales decline is primarily due to rising gas prices, they have a lot of very serious challenges to face: like competition that has gotten smarter about luring customers away from the big blue box, internet sales, and a reputation for terrible customer service and poor product quality.
    Bingo!

    You don't need to own a car to go shopping anymore here. You can get goods, including your weekly groceries by ordering them on-line and having them delivered to your door. You don't even need to leave home.

    We've had retailers stuck in the old ages squealing like stuck pigs over their losses of customers, margins and profits, and have simply been unable to come to terms with the new age of internet marketing and retail. Some have tried to set up web pages to market their goods, but they have failed because they haven't been able to offer the price advantages, nor have they been able to understand the spending commitment to make such web ventures work.
    Dream. Dare. Do.

  19. #19
    Super Moderator no1mad's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Machka View Post
    You know you've got really, really low gas prices in the US, right?
    As an American, the prices aren't low from where I'm sitting. That being said, I've only recently become aware of what life outside the States could be like- and the price per liter (not gallon) was an eye opener. What's alarming is how it seems more and more countries are embracing the American auto-centric lifestyle... and that is merely going to cause fuel prices to go up even more.
    Quote Originally Posted by Cyril View Post
    Ride what and in what manner pleases you. Those that mind don't matter, and those that matter don't mind. srsly.
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  20. #20
    Long Distance Cyclist Machka's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by no1mad View Post
    As an American, the prices aren't low from where I'm sitting. That being said, I've only recently become aware of what life outside the States could be like- and the price per liter (not gallon) was an eye opener. What's alarming is how it seems more and more countries are embracing the American auto-centric lifestyle... and that is merely going to cause fuel prices to go up even more.
    What's your price per litre right now?

  21. #21
    2 Fat 2 Furious contango's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by no1mad View Post
    As an American, the prices aren't low from where I'm sitting. That being said, I've only recently become aware of what life outside the States could be like- and the price per liter (not gallon) was an eye opener. What's alarming is how it seems more and more countries are embracing the American auto-centric lifestyle... and that is merely going to cause fuel prices to go up even more.
    When I was last in the US (November 2013) I was paying $3.39/gal for fuel. One US gallon is about 3.7 litres, so you're looking at 91.6c/litre

    Then I flew back to England and here we pay £1.29/gal. £1 is about $1.66 so our price is $2.14/litre.

    In other words our fuel price is 2.3 times your price.
    "For a list of ways technology has failed to improve quality of life, press three"

  22. #22
    Super Moderator no1mad's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Machka View Post
    What's your price per litre right now?
    Well, since I no longer drive and rarely look at the c-store signs, I had to use gasbuddy.com to look up the prices. For my zip code, prices range from $3.14-3.16 per gallon, so that's what? Roughly a $1 per litre?

    I have seen them higher and once the refineries switch over to the "Summer blend" (or whatever they call it), I fully expect prices to increase to as high as $4.50/gallon in some parts.
    Quote Originally Posted by Cyril View Post
    Ride what and in what manner pleases you. Those that mind don't matter, and those that matter don't mind. srsly.
    Community guidelines

  23. #23
    Pedaled too far. Artkansas's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by contango View Post
    In other words our fuel price is 2.3 times your price.
    And how much of that is taxes?
    "He who serves all, best serves himself" Jack London

    Quote Originally Posted by Bjforrestal View Post
    I don't care if you are on a unicycle, as long as you're not using a motor to get places you get props from me. We're here to support each other. Share ideas, and motivate one another to actually keep doing it.

  24. #24
    Long Distance Cyclist Machka's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by no1mad View Post
    Well, since I no longer drive and rarely look at the c-store signs, I had to use gasbuddy.com to look up the prices. For my zip code, prices range from $3.14-3.16 per gallon, so that's what? Roughly a $1 per litre?

    I have seen them higher and once the refineries switch over to the "Summer blend" (or whatever they call it), I fully expect prices to increase to as high as $4.50/gallon in some parts.
    I have trouble doing the conversion, and no doubt someone is going to come in and fix my math .. but ...

    1 US gallon = 3.78541 litres ... and I think that works out to about $0.83/litre.

    We're sitting at about $1.60/litre right now, which I think is something just over $6.00 per gallon.

  25. #25
    Senior Member bhkyte's Avatar
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    A point quoted earlier that baffles me.
    If the person is struggling to pay their petrol bills why are they running a jeep?
    Dual drive Mezzo (GOLD), Dual Drive Mezzo with bullbars (black), White Brompton thingy with Dahon Androes stem and bull bars. Birdie (old sytle) 7 speed. Downtube NS8. Birdie red.

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