Not all of us can get those great jobs selling lumber. The local Home Depot, when you go in, you have clerks falling all over you to wait on you hand and foot. For casual labor, there are several guys waiting in the parking lot, you have to compete with them. I live on a 5-acre place in a trailer in back, do chores here and that pays my rent and most of my food. I qualify for all kinds of gov't aid but don't trust 'em a bit, not the least, this board does not allow the real language to describe how I feel about the Beast, so leave it at that. I sell stuff at one swap-meet a month, that operates in the warm months, that supplies about $300 a month when it's going well, I live off of very little. In my late 40s with trashed credit and not able to do the heavy physical work I did in my 20s, even if we weren't in a Depression finding work would be problematical. The IRS will garnish any paycheck I take anyway. I'm surviving and thwarting the Beast that wants me dead by making too little to tax, and being a good survivalist. How did I end up in this situation? By having dreams, aspirations. I recommend if you have a kid who wants to be an electrical engineer or own their own company in that field, slap that idea right out of him. Teach him something real. Farming, working on tractors and trucks, bicycle mechanic. Or digging ditches, janitorial work, etc anything people will NEED and can't be outsourced or offshored. Get 'em to join the military if at all possible, the Empire will need its hoplites until the end. Music has been my secret friend through thick and thin, when I had nothing, I mean nothing-nothing, I still had the music stored up in my head. I've been keenly fascinated with street musicians since I knew they existed., starting with some old guy who played clarinet in Venice Beach and an old guy who played accordion outside a small market in Los Angeles. I've spent years stifling any interest in learning an instrument and doing the same at least in my off hours because I was trying like any good American for the TOP. Well, I should have been trying for the BOTTOM. Not how big a place could I afford, but how cheaply could I stay under a roof? Not how flashy a car, but how to do without one if possible. Now I finally am rich because I'm rich in TIME, to do this. Reaching for the TOP made sense until about 20 years ago. This Depression we're in is just the finally-visible stage of economic decay we've been in since the mid-80s. For a guy who grew up on Asimov and Heinlein and Chesley Bonestall paintings it's a heck of a come-down but it's the truth. Trying for that McMansion in the sky is an illusion that will KILL you and by this I mean, it will KILL off your best years, it will KILL your soul because chances are you won't get it, just wear yourself out, and if you do, you'll just find yourself on a fancier, gold-plated hamster wheel that has to be spun FASTER. Instead, look at how you can live a life that allows you to enjoy yourself, feel good about what you do, and have time for friends, family if you can afford one (otherwise your friends are your family) and playing TRUMPET. It may be serving in a military band, it may be one of those plum jobs selling lumber, it may be working in a coffee shop afternoons then "gigging" at night, or it may mean living really cheap (kinda part time caretaker/farmhand) and aspiring to just be able to lay on some decent street music. Heck I'd even aspire to put some tunes on YouTube but apparently that's kinda like aspiring to be Burt Rutan and fly my own rocket to the moon, from where I am. I know, I've tried. But if I get good enough, maybe I'll run into someone to work with who has those elite skills. I can't even get the microphone on my computer to work so I"ll have to get a tape player from the thrift store to record myself. Happy Depression all! I still think the military's the best answer for anyone under 30.