From the NYT:
Set Back by Recession, and Shut Out of Rebound
RIDGEWOOD, N.J. — In September 2012, it appeared that the world was John Fugazzie’s frozen oyster. He was in charge of dairy and frozen foods for the A.&P. supermarket chain, making $125,000 a year.
He was also a guest that month at a White House forum on joblessness, in recognition of his work creating Neighbors-helping-Neighbors U.S.A., a volunteer networking organization with 28 chapters in New Jersey serving 1,200 unemployed, mainly white-collar, baby boomers. “John has one of the best volunteer organizations out there,” said Ben Seigel, a deputy director at the Labor Department. “He’s tireless and always upbeat.”
Lately Mr. Fugazzie has been feeling a little weary and beat down. One morning last October, just before his 57th birthday, he was laid off and, carrying a box of belongings from his office, driven home in a car service hired by the company. In the 10 months since, he has applied for more than 400 positions and had 10 interviews, but still has no job.
He and his family are living in his 88-year-old mother’s home, and last month he awoke at 4:30 a.m., sweating profusely, in the midst of a heart attack.
As happens to many Americans, when he lost his job, he lost his health insurance. He now owes $171,569.44 for the six nights he spent at the hospital.
And so on the evening of Aug. 15, at a meeting of the job club he himself started here two years ago, he told the others he was just like them. “I need a job,” he said. “I need to make money now.”
Most of the 15 men and women meeting at the library in this prosperous suburb were middle-aged or older, people who had worked all their lives, but lost jobs in the recession and its aftermath and have not been able to get back to where they were. Many of them worry that they never will, in part because of discrimination by employers against older workers.
At my peak, I made less than Mr. Fugazzie, and so far no heart attack. Also I lost my last full-time job the two weeks after Barack Obama was inaugurated in 2008.
The rest of it is wearyingly familiar, especially being active and well-regarded in the field getting other people jobs. Well-regarded, highly-respected and doing the work of five people...right up until the moment when they let me go.
Because, y'know, recession.
To this day, I cannot completely get the taste out of my mouth that comes from watching staggeringly unqualified people being spared -- and the ones with clout getting promoted -- even at the height of cutbacks, furloughs and austerity. I, on the other hand, was genuinely excellent at my job, and yet...so sorry but it has been decided...by a faraway committee whose names you will never know and whose decisions are beyond appeal...
And that was that.
Of course, we're not dead.
In fact, we're feeling much better!
But that doesn't matter.
Free market, don'tcha know
Doesn't matter at all