I had been a licensed Stock Broker for 20 years since the time I graduated from college. After the Market Crash of 2008, the broker I worked for began to make drastic changes. In July 2009, I lost my job. At the age of 47, my licenses expired and my career as a Broker was permanently over. I did receive a full 99 weeks of unemployment benefits that I had to fight my former employer for, but I am at this time without employment, a career, benefits, and savings. I went from a 3-bedroom lifestyle with a houseful of possessions to a dozen or so U-Haul boxes filled with those items I simply couldn’t pawn or sell on Craigslist because they hold very personal value to me. My one remaining large possession is a trustworthy, paid-off Toyota that has taken me all over Texas and up and back through the Midwest to Minnesota and back to the city where I grew up.
Upon losing my job, I stayed in south Texas to finish a lease on a rented property I had planned to buy. A childhood friend offered me the opportunity to stay in Austin, Texas. I paid $250 to have my resume “professionally” tuned up and looked for work for six months. Unable to pay for rent after 6 months, I moved to Fort Worth to live with my sister for a year. Each day, be it on Monster or some employment board, I submitted application after application. I submitted over 300 resumes and received only half of that amount in rejection letters. I simply had no luck at almost 50 years of age. It seemed that I was passed over time and time again or given the you’re-over-qualified song and dance.
I then moved to Minnesota after a relative told me I could stay and look for work there. I had an interview almost each of the nine months I was there, but I was never hired. However, Minnesota was very good to me. I qualified for excellent health coverage and food stamps while there, as well as a stipend of $200 a month for three months. I was beginning to get sick from uncontrolled high blood pressure and some illnesses came on, as well as dental issues. Fortunately, I had the state benefits during this time. After no luck in finding a new life in the Midwest, I chose to move back to my hometown of El Paso, Texas to move in with my elderly father. I arrived in El Paso in October hoping to see what the future brings.
Throughout all this, I found a way to survive. In a life dedicated to sales, I used my skills to sell whatever quality items I could find in second stores and re-sell them on Craigslist. I have done everything from housework, yard work, and massages. What I can honestly say is that while this adventure has not been a cakewalk, it has not broken my spirit in any way. My personal faith is that better things will come or that a new adventure is right around the corner. I had the opportunity to travel this country with out the surety of how I would get fuel or food yet, God as my witness, not once in three years have I ever been hungry or hollowed out. I stand firm on my views that God, family, good friends, life, and liberty should always hold an importance in one’s life.
We as a country are experiencing what is sometimes called the fourth turn or the winter. A time when the ideas of spring and summer are withering and perhaps must die. My experience in markets has shown that the collapse of the rail roads in 1870s, the Crash of 1929, and the 2008 crash had to occur based on Capitalist Law. I strongly believe that spring will come for us as a nation, and it will come with prosperity, hope, and events that will have us rise to surpass the previous recovery.