The lack of trust on both sides engenders the feeling that any promotion is unlikely and every position uncertain, so folks always have one foot out the door. Once the trust is gone, it takes a long time to rebuild, so even if corporations changed tack now, it's likely that employees will continue to distrust them for the foreseeable future.
This wasn't an illusion, companies actually did take care of employees and had pensions and full-time jobs and retraining and stuff.
Also, ghosting and employees bouncing is a symptom of the employers not providing any loyalty to their employees. Boomers and GenX stayed for 30 years when they had pensions, Millenials would too.
I've only been around for a little more than 3 decades, but I've seen many markets and businesses be transformed. Vastly fewer numbers of travel agents, many retail establishments, tv channels, secretaries, hotel front desk, self check out are needed. Not to mention the effects of a drastic drop in birthrates.
The compensation rate for all such items might thus become far more standardized, and all of the bureaucratic conformance for such items would be there as well.
This would be an exceedingly small business friendly move as suddenly a lot of the headaches of employing someone would just be paid for with a simple 'tax'.
It would also be very worker friendly as all of those things and seniority/etc would similarly be paid for with that 'tax'.
This does assume that there's a uniform allocation of resources per employee (I know there isn't today), or that there's a standard appreciation track for employees (there isn't today)... or that there might be multiple standard ranks of benefits (which would need to be more clearly advertised in job descriptions)...
However everything really would be easier for everyone if we actually had this system; the only entities that would benefit from the status quo in a meaningful way are large corporations with enough employees to justify full time HR and legal staff.
And as the other response mentions, this was more in about the idea of the government funding and controlling it.
And a drastic drop in birth rate should mean fewer people so favor labor.
From the article:
>In 2015, for example, the top 200 companies by earnings accounted for all of the profits in the stock market, according to calculations by Kathleen Kahle, a professor of finance at the University of Arizona, and Professor Stulz. In aggregate, the remaining 3,281 publicly listed companies lost money.
The employees of those 200 companies are in a good spot, but not the remaining 3,281. The consolidation due to vertical integration, automation, outsourcing are all resulting in reduced demand for labor, hence the lagging wages and instability.
Was this primarily due to employees having more leverage and demanding it (because union rights were a lot stronger)?
Uh, GenX was being born as private pensions were being phased out; GenX was 401K at best from day one for the most part, outside of public sector.
Thus, they must chase the Next Big Thing. The result is that they have to keep "flushing" their workforce to chase a different butterly every few years as the prior NextBigThing turns into a commodity and drifts overseas or is automated.
To do this, companies want just-in-time specialists that they don't have to train. Loyalty and hard-work alone won't give them that.
e.g. farm to school is a great way to provide local farms consistent local demand baseline so they're not just selling to the arbitrageurs and megacorps via often-gamed futures markets.
I'm a big fan of de-commoditizing what really shouldn't be commodities in the first place.
The United States, 15,647,000 BPD
Most is used for domestic consumption, but we're on track to be net-exporters.
It's been a while since I did any serious work on food policy, but the US was the largest exporter of grain for a while, too. Not the largest producer, not the largest consumer -- that'd be China -- but largest exporter.
It's one of the most pressing issues in sociology and is rarely discussed at all, and typically discussed dishonestly when it is.
> Once the trust is gone, it takes a long time to rebuild...
Go deeper. What can we do as technologists to protect the economy from untrusty "corporate Americans"?
Why would corporate Americans be so untrusty? >> I speculate it's inculcated in colleges, anti-ethical scientific approaches to management, insufficiently modeling reality, providing a sense of "distance" for those who would join higher levels of management resulting in a lack of feeling for the suffering they might inflict through their quest for optimizing the business. >> As a technologist we can take away the scientific management aspect from the humans, effectively replacing senior management with robots, restricing the humans to being human, and promoting into senior management individuals with good people skills, with the hopeful side-effect of normalizing wages to reflect the cost-savings of a true scientific management of the business.
Why is there even a need for trust of corporate Americans? >> I speculate there is no need and that obstruction of progress by senior management and colleges where these subjects are ingrained into young minds is more the culprit. Centralization of power may be seen as efficient. It's also "one size fits all" and actually inefficient; no-one at the top can synthesize all the feedback from all reports in a reliably timely fashion. >> As technologists we can help corporations model and encode their businesses, feeding that data into a system that aids in machine- or human-based decision making.
Trust comes from getting to know people and working with them. It's a lot easier to know 10 people than 250+. I think with smaller scale businesses with fewer employees there is a stronger sense of community and trust to watch out for each other. For a huge company spread out all over, there's not a sense of really 'belonging' to a community (some may say it's more 'using' a community), so the trust is murkier.
Imagine a family of 10 people vs. a family of 250 people. How much trust would one have in a sister or cousin vs. an aunt's cousin's daughter's niece?
Now imagine how much trust an employee would have in job decisions made by a manager's manager's VP's SVP at corporate HQ. They may hardly know each other aside from name only, so why would they care about each other, let alone trust each other? They are just blips on each other's radars.
As markets get more mature, it becomes difficult for companies to maintain employees if their salary level to contribution rate drops. Is the assumption that employees will absolutely be valuable to a company's strategic goals? How can a company practically care for an employee for life?
I couldn't find any European curves, but things are slightly better over there.
This is the end result of arbitrage opportunities due to differences in nations’ wealth.
I've traveled the Midwest and great plains extensively every year since 2009, and have watched it slowly destroy small town life. The locals fought back as much as they could, but saving an extra $50 a week ended up being too alluring, and local businesses died. I've talked to quite a few people that lament how it turned out but are completely resigned to how it happened and that it won't change.
You can zoom out of the Walmart vs local store picture, and imagine you're in charge of decision making at a large manufacturing company, and your competitor has moved their production to a country with cheaper labor. Is your company going to be able to sell your products at a higher price if you choose to use more expensive labor? Are you going to be able to convince customers that their decisions now will cause income instability for their children and children's children, and that they should spend $x more on your product because of it?
But due to information asymmetry and limited ability to analyze and understand the consequences of each and every purchase, there was only one inevitable outcome, assuming goods and services are allowed to be transported between borders.
Think about the benefits of saving money, it creates opportunity for growth.
Side note, mom and pop shops made more profit than Walmart. That money is not shared with employees, it makes the family wealthy.
That said a framework which ensured some minimum requirements (like labor laws and environmental controls, work safety, etc.), could be a place to start.
Labor laws and environmental controls would have to be implemented globally, but then we're talking about going to war and taking over other countries.
It's not just lack of trust, it's also due to the flattening of organizations necessitated by more collaborative work styles than we had decades ago.
I think you've hit an important point though, because in flat organizations, there are no rules preventing the strong and ruthless from seizing power and catering everything to their whim, including giving themselves bonuses or arbitrary privileges. Many modern tech companies are structured in this manner. The need to have a "collaborative style of work" may be the fantasy the executives feed workers to blind them from the power grab behind their backs.
In fact, I am currently unemployed after I rather unwisely completed a 20-week job in 11, and I was literally given no notice and a week's pay.
So now its back to the Upwork slog and trying to convince someone (again) that yes, since I have been a professional programmer for 25 years I can for sure fix those database issues and add those rather pedantic features to your app or website.
Like I often want to shout..."Do you think I'm lying when you read the years and years of experience on my CV that literally lay out me fixing the same issues that you have, and much much more complex ones as well?"
Trying to pin the "blame" (whatever that even means) will get you nowhere...it's like blaming the "wind" when a hurricane comes and blows off you roof. Yes, the "wind" did cause your roof to fly away, but it was simply the endpoint for a huge number of directly connected and unconnected forcess, too many to measure, that were in place for that bit of wind to do its dirty work.
I feel the only sane way to look at work nowadays is to always have an eye out for opportunities that may work career-wise, and get better at interviewing.
Yes, they do. Because so many people do lie on their resume and hiring a liar is a very costly mistake. It doesn't matter that most people tell the truth... The ones that lie are just too much of a risk.
When my father was looking for a new job, he would walk into the interview and tell them all the problems they were having. When they asked how he could possibly know that with so little information, he would tell them it was because everyone who was hiring him had those same issues.
This helped reinforce that he understood the issues and had fixed them in the past.
Perhaps some similar prescience on your part could help you answer their questions quicker and easier? It's almost a party trick, but it really did seem to be effective for him.
I really enjoy the people I work with, but I never take stability for granted. Ensuring I'm always updating my resume and taking a couple interviews a year is part of my professional ritual. If it were feasible, we'd move elsewhere, but we both have good social networks and roots here -- which is arguably more "expensive" to a working couple in their early thirties than gold.
I am under no illusions about any company I might work for, no matter what size or how much I like the individuals I work with or for.
Sadly, I don't feel like I will ever put my roots down in a place. I'm of the mind that I always have to ready to pack up and move to the new office if means I can keep my job and lifestyle.
The peak came in 2000, just before the bust (gradual rise, hard fall).
I went to grad school after graduating in 1998, I was lucky enough to miss both recessions (I was in China in 2008). Now I’m jobless during a boom :). But I guess, as always, the best way to protect yourself is to be at the top of the tech curve (this is a double edge sword if you specialize in something that isn’t currently hot).
Plus, good problem solvers do not have to program to make money. You can go work for smaller company and help them define processes, improve automation or manage software/system integration.
There is NOT a shortage in developers. There NEVER WAS.
Big Tech simply couldn't stomach the rise in salaries that we saw between 2005 and 2017/2018. This all comes down to cost. There's plenty of talent not just in the US, but abroad. But big tech continues to see a need to drive prices down, and profits up. The best way to do that? Pay employees less.
Trust me when I say that programming is a blue collar job in 10 years. Big tech has done a phenomenal job convincing even engineers, that the pool of talent is "so small" that their job couldn't possibly be at risk if everyone and their mother gets a CS degree.
Good luck to you, if that's your mindset.
I fell for this hard. I was in high school reading blog left and right about how in demand programmers were and that you didn't even really need college because it was too much theory, not solving the problems companies want.
So I decided, why take all that time when I could make make money right out of high school. Turns out, that decision hsa kinda screwed me now.
Now I did get started before some of the hype. I guess it was there, but not as prominent or in my face. I do general enjou programming and solving problems and it's not just a money thing for me. Unfortunately, I feel my decisions will choke my career eventually.
There is a salary divide between what big companies can pay, and what little companies can pay. That's drawing a significant portion of the talent away from the smaller labor market.
Either the smaller companies need to consider hiring more junior engineers (of which there are plenty). Or they need to make their offers more attractive.
When speaking with former colleagues, the topic of interns often comes up. I had drinks with some last week who mentioned her team had so many interns that some FTEs needed to double-up to manage them all.
It could be regional. When I was coming up, internships were rarely a thing. I was never one and hadn't even seen an CS intern until a few years back. Seeing companies go from 0% to 40% of engineering staff as interns over the course of four years is pretty striking.
It seems much more likely to me that this is an instinctual fear. Our jobs are our primary mechanism by which we get the resources we need to survive. Of course we'd worry about losing that, even when times are doing well. The cavemen that didn't have this fear probably starved at higher rates.
It's wonderful to imagine some hypothetical reality where you had enough saved to survive an entire year looking for a job. What privilege you would have! Presumably you have no health problems because CORBA is broken again and the current administration crippled HCA guarantees because who needs affordable health care when you don't have a current employer. It feels like you might as well wish for a Pegasus to fly you to all your job interviews while you are at it.
We've all earned our cynical stripes here, but thanks for offering a lovely fantasy.
You didn’t answer my question about savings. Are you saving? If not you can and you should.
If you don’t have savings the first step is to come up with a budget. Send me an email if you need help it’s in my profile.
If you were in say Dallas TX for example and you waited on tables for $14 / hour you would be making double the rent.
You’ve got to have a plan.
This is the reality for everyone under at-will employment. Even if you are the best at your job, outside circumstances like changes in strategy, funding and leadership can make you a target for ‘managed offboarding.’
Decreased employment would be an indicator of an actual economic downturn, this is focused on people fearing an economic downturn which is very different.
UBI and other social safety nets are "good ideas." But they aren't a one size fits all solution to every problem. It won't restore consumer confidence.
No solution are one size fit all solution to every problem. What is your point?
If a lot of people are unemployed for over 6 months unemployment benefits can often be extended by the legislature.
Perhaps they want to start their own businesses and live the American dream of self sufficiency. But for most, this is out of the question unless you come from a well to do family, so you are forced to work a crappy job for many years just so you and your family don't starve.
If everyone gets UBI, you suddenly have choices. You can finally start that business you've been dreaming about if your family invests their UBI in you for some time, or if you get 10 friends together (if you have no family). And if the business fails, you're not suddenly in debt to a bank and having to declare bankruptcy and ruining your credit.
Or if starting a business is not for you, you can feel free to tell your boss you're unhappy, because if you're fired, you're not suddenly unable to pay rent (depending on where you live, you may need to save up a few months of UBI for this). You won't be so mentally distraught at the idea of 0 income, and corporations won't be able to so brazenly take advantage of workers, keeping them on their toes with the constant threat of the axe falling down because quarterly profits were down 10%.
The problem with a recession is that everyone has collectively decided to buy less stuff. People are buying less stuff, which means factories need to make fewer items, which means people get fired, which causes more people to buy less stuff.
It also means that banks are less willing to fund new businesses, and shareholders are less willing to buy up IPOs / etc. etc. Investors "flight to safety" and buy up US Treasuries, while selling off "risky" properties. Causing stock prices to drop, IPOs to fail, and the overall mechanisms of growth to taper off.
UBI "solves" social issues, but doesn't seem to be a solution to the economic / recession issue. If a recession hits, there's pretty much nothing you can do about it.
At the moment, there are some severely mixed signals: manufacturing seems to be in decline, agriculture is also in decline. Futhermore, the yield curve has inverted.
On the other hand: the unemployment rate remains low and general investor sentiment also seems high. Investors are still investing into risky businesses and focusing on a "Growth model" (see Uber, Lyft, Tesla, etc. etc.). So some people are optimistic, while others are growing pessimistic. Its hard to tell if a recession is on the way.
I think you replied to the wrong person, or misread the comment you replied to. The post above was about consumer confidence. Which is what the thread itself is about.
This seems like a wholehearted defence of UBI as a concept, but it just isn't relevant in this comment chain or as an argument for why UBI would prop up consumer confidence (or alter the measures).
An equally uncharitable interpretation is: American culture, unlike European, places incredible value on personal agency. We ask each other “what do you do” because we actually have the socially enforced freedom to choose what the answer to the question is. It’s always shocked me how little freedom Europeans have in choosing the course of their own lives. You can see this playing out when they don’t even bother to ask each other what they do for a living (it’s a taboo to ask because most Europeans hate their jobs).
This, of course, is absurd. People all over the world ask each other what they do because it’s useful information to know how somebody spends their time, and may provide additional conversation topics.
No we don't, or at least most people don't. People of disenfranchised communities don't choose to not go to college or get a job in software development. This makes up most people.
When you're conversing, sooner or later the topic will switch to professions. And there is no taboo in this area.
Asking a stranger about his occupation (esp. if the answer could be - judging by circumstances, appearance or whatever - that she/he has not been as lucky as you regarding jobs/skills) is considered impolite though.
And it’s never rude to ask what kind of work you do.
The latter at least is true in some sense.
A charitable interpretation is that it's better to ask someone about an aspect of themselves they control over one that was a product of purely random chance. Both tell you many things about the person, but the former gives the person more influence over how they are perceived.
I grew up in the South. If you ask where I'm from and I tell you that, it brings a whole pile of baggage to mind some of which I may not want to be associated with. But there's nothing I can do about that. It is where I'm from. Ask me what I do, though, and at least the answer is to some degree a thing that I chose.
I get that feeling. I live on the West Coast and spend a lot of time online and, man, the number of supposedly progressive, tolerant liberals who are willing to completely shit on an entire group of people based on where they were born or their accent is astonishingly large. There's some real cognitive dissonance around this. They'd never criticize someone for being born in a third-world country, or speaking in black vernacular English. But they're happy to joke that every Alabamian commits incest and every person who says "ain't" is an ignorant dipshit.
There are many legitimate things to dislike about the South, just like there are many legitimate things to dislike about every region, culture, and people. But I don't think it's fair or healthy to feel shame about being from the South.
First of all, there's no sense in shame for something you don't control. You didn't commit an original sin by choosing to be born from there. More importantly, though, being from the South is an important piece of the holistic sum that is you and you shouldn't feel ashamed for who you are. You're allowed to like your whole self.
Also, there's a lot of stuff that's actually pretty great about the South. People may be less kind to out-groups there, but they are conversely more helpful for members of in-groups. Get a flat tire and my hunch is someone will pull over to help you sooner in Mississippi than in New York.
Outside of the South, there is a greater tolerance at the group level. People strive hard to not be racist, sexist, etc. But they are more willing to shun individuals to who don't precisely fit into the proper culture mold. In the South, my experience is that people are more understanding and forgiving of individual transgressions and idiosyncracies.
Also, the South has the best food.
Yes, people who use "ain't" sound like ignorant dipshits to me. I grew up in the South and I know the English language well enough to know that's ignorant; no one else in the South has an excuse now that it's 2019.
I don't feel shame for being born in a place I don't have much respect for, since as you point out, it was out of my control, but I certainly don't feel any pride about it, and certainly don't wear it on my sleeve like so many do.
"Less kind to out-groups" is an understatement. This is a place that mob-murdered black people by hanging them from trees not that long ago. Try getting a flat tire in the South and being black or Middle Eastern and see how many white people help you then.
As for food, it's disgusting and unhealthy. It's all fried and is one of the main reasons Southerners have so many more cases of heart disease than the rest of the US. American food in general is horrible, and America has never been good in a culinary sense except for things 20th-+-century immigrants brought here (esp. Italians) (American tastes in food have been improving a lot in the last couple of decades though), but Southern food is horrible even by historical American standards.
You're committing a common logical fallacy which is attributing an act to a group and referring to it as a singular entity. You can just as accurately say that "The United States promoted slavery." or "Europe committed the Holocaust."
You know black people are Southerners too and by saying "the South" to uniformly refer to only white slave owners and racists, you implicitly eradicate their lives and contributions to southern culture.
> They have violent protests to preserve statues of Confederate (rebel) leaders in public spaces.
"They" — people who live in the South — also conducted the Montgomery bus boycott and marched to Montgomery.
Jesus, dude, are you OK? No one should be so hateful of such a large body of people.
There is a lot of random chance involved though. Fall out of the right womb and its much easier to land a high status career for some reason.
The culture of places are not so well defined in America. It is a new nation of immigrants. Europeans may have lived in the same towns for hundreds or thousands of years. American is less than 250 years old.
Americans identify as individuals. An individual is identified by personal accomplishments or work. Alternatively, a group identity might define a person by location or family name. The root question "who are you?" is asked depending on what approach you take. Identity is a subjective social construct; neither approach is more right than the other.
Most of us would be able to get perfectly good jobs in our own home towns, earning a modest living near where we grew up via the trades, real estate, teaching, selling insurance, etc.
We chose to pursue more because the opportunities are there and we want them. That's because of how much we value ourselves and the extraordinary opportunities that we have in our lives. It has nothing to do with how we value others.
I'm very successful and I'm thankful for the opportunities that have put me where I am. I enjoy my work and I'm thankful for that. I also had a stretch where I worked really hard and alienated myself.
But that is a problem that I also chose to fix.
I made an effort to get to know my neighbors, to invite them to lunch, to join a local church, to get involved in a local rotary club, to meet local small business owners. There's a surprisingly large amount of people who are more than happy to grab a bite for lunch and as you get to know people better, you invite them to other things when you discover you share interests. Making friends in a new area takes a little bit of work, but it's more than worth the time.
I'm shocked we have Medicare to be honest. Though, it's been highly debated for quite some time, so we only barely have it, and many would prefer we didn't have it. (at least, until they themselves get old...)
There's a trope in India where, especially if you look like you are from a lower social caste, people ask you your name, and if you reply with just your first name, insist on knowing your last name, which is of course a primary caste marker for a lot of people.
Asking where someone's from is no different. The answer can be used to silently judge the other person based on the zillion subtle class distinction Europe has, and worse, can't be controlled by an individual, just as you did just now to judge Americans with some hand-wavy pop-sociology.
I can't change where I am from, but I have some control on what I do.
If I feel someone could be offended by asking this, I won't do it.
I agree with your observations but this conclusion goes way too far.
Maybe I'm just being defensive as an American, but I feel like the reason that we tend to define ourselves by what we do tends to be that we put a lot of emphasis on taking pride in our work.
I would agree that this is probably done too much, since I was being drilled on what I want to do for a living even in grade school, but I don't know that the conclusion of "omg Americans don't value human life" logically follows. The only conclusion that I think can be reasonably drawn is "Americans sure seem to put a lot of value on work".
I completely disagree with her, and I think she's measurably incorrect about that, but that's not an anti-human stance.
I don't really talk to her anymore due to her saying some really horribly racist stuff about my wife a couple years ago, so I'm afraid I won't be able to get her to elaborate more.
China exports worldwide, see these examples:
It's not just the US buying from them. Everyone's buying Chinese goods and services.
More than that, the US didn't raise anyone in China out of poverty. Like it didn't raise South Koreans or Iraqis or Aghans or Germans, etc.
The Chinese raised China out of poverty. Nobody's buying Chinese goods out of the goodness of their hearts, they're buying it because they're cost effective. They're buying them quite rationally.
The only thing the US did was allow them to trade, which we go by American values, should be a sort of universal human right. Now that the US is getting the short end of the stick, should we suddenly become hypocrites and say that China's abusing the system the US used and abused for so long? :-)
I've found that to be a coastal thing, not an American thing.
In Denver, "what do you do?" is likely to elicit a response like "I rock climb" and not "I'm a developer."
I recently moved back to southern Louisiana as all my family lives and is from here. One major difference I've noticed, not once have I been asked what I do for a living. No one ever talks about work or what they do. The culture down here is certainly different from the rest of the United States. Granted I've primarily lived in various areas of the Pacific North West but traveled throughout.
That's a pretty big leap from making small talk with a stranger to how one views existence.
Meh, I don't agree with this observation. This is true in america too.
> US doesn't value human life
It does. US is the biggest aid provider in the world. You can put a cynical spin on the motivations behind that but even a regular US citizen gives more to chairty than anywhere else in the world.
US is also the biggest pharma innovator in the world.
Since we are throwing out wild theories. here is mine.
Software kinds in europe are jealous of high wages in USA and try to justify their pitiful pay by attributing themselves with some sort of moral superiority. " I might be poor but atleaest I have a good heart"
This fear has nothing to do with any politician or political party and everything to do with the trauma from ‘08
I think those in Behavioral Finance would argue yes, at least to a certain extent.
EDIT: not sure why I'm being downvoted, but I'm guessing it's because I messed up the average length of the cycle. I guess it's probably closer to 5 years: https://www.investopedia.com/ask/answers/071315/what-average...
That has became a bit of a meme ever since Bill Maher pointed out recession would both prevent Trump's reelection and also judged it as preferable over Trump.
"Well, you should wish for a recession,” Maher said, interrupting Nichols. “'Cause that will definitely get him [Trump] unelected." 
He followed it up with more of the same in a later episode .
Because I have the opposite as historical fact. That in the 1900s the only incumbent presidents to have lost re-election were those that campaigned during a recession (two irrc, maybe three).
If you don't want to be banned, you're welcome to email firstname.lastname@example.org and give us reason to believe that you'll follow the rules in the future.
1-2-3 year shake down / or a mini recession would be technically completely normal and totally expected. at least by me.
get your things/portfolios in order fellas ;)
Unemployment rate in the US is only 3.7% (July 2019)
Employee fears that they are replaceable and the truth is that most of them are. So they are working hard, they perform, they are productive and economy is better than it has ever been!
I am french and where I worked it is nearly impossible to fire a long-term contract employes (CDI). Most of them do less than the bare minimum at work. Then entire company is taking a hit.
So IMO the fear to loose their job is a great boost!
Changes in the labour force participation rate are more revealing: https://data.bls.gov/timeseries/LNS11300000
Also, that specific graph is of limited utility because it is the over-16 labor force participation rate, not the prime-age one. Which means that as the age distribution skews more toward post-retirement-age people it will automatically drop. Which is exactly what's been happening, by the way, as the baby boomers have started retiring. This rate will also drop as more people go to college instead of starting work immediately after high school.
https://www.bls.gov/opub/ted/2017/employment-population-rati... has a chart that lets you see a breakdown by age group, sort of, for 2007-2017. Note the huge differences in the rate between the age buckets and where the overall rate falls compared to the 25-54 rate.
There’s no need to fear if you have your personal finances in order.
God forbid you have to fix your car, or some other unexpected expense. That $1,000 it took you 6 months to save is gone in an instant.
While I'm much better off these days, lots of Americans live the way I just described. You can't save what you don't have.
Let’s use Dallas TX for example, even just waiting on tables you can make at least twice rent. Forgo a car and you’d be able to pocket $500 / mo or more if one was frugal.
It’s even more critical to save when at the bottom of the economic ladder, because it allows one freedom to pursue or invest in other opportunities (paying for school, moving, weathering unemployment, etc.)
We are one stock market pull back away from catastrophe even for wealthy boomers.
My parents never fought job loss when I was growing up, although sometimes times were tight on a single professional income.
We're a dual-income no kids couple with a mortgage and few 'real' responsibilities.
We have plenty of savings in the bank.
I will never not worry about losing a job. I don't WANT to draw down my savings, for any reason. I don't WANT to have to worry about how long it will last, where the next paycheck will come from.