Thursday, January 5, 2012

You are not alone

I know so many people changed and marked by this stupid economy. Gradually, we are letting our minds take in that it may not change much and will almost certainly not snap back to the good years.

The business of freelancing is in the ditch. Some little twits whipped in and tried to game Google AdSense by search engine optimization of total crap content in order to get ad money. This meant getting “content” almost free. And writers said oh, cool, I don’t mind that.

Slowly—over 3 years—the rates for writing slumped then collapsed. I have been offered a hundredth of the fee I used to command. This is even from the big publications and sites—rates went down.

I have friends who lost their houses. One lives with a cousin. One, who owns a popular restaurant, short-sold and is now renting. He is a city councilman, but openly admits, “We got ahead of ourselves.”

I also declared bankruptcy 1.5 yrs ago.

Another friend told me he left his big job with a nice portfolio, lost $60K on Enron, piddled away the rest, and is now on Social Security, which works for him because he inherited a paid-for house.

I have a friend who just popped a detached retina (like my sad story) and said it really sucks to not be able to make it for a few weeks while not working (editor).

A famous entrepreneur around here also went BK and is living in a friend’s guest room. She is trying to rebuild.

A mortgage banker I know now assists his wife in making toffee and selling at farmers’ markets.

For those of you who still have jobs or work—thank your lucky stars. For those of you rebuilding or thinking of trying to, keep reading. I will try to help as much as I can.

If we don’t help each other, we are lost. The politicians--all wealthy--have no idea. And even those in our midst who are still working reasonable jobs don't seem to get it.

Or else they can't stand to think about it.

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