After working and teaching in California for 20 years, Ortiz was recruited in 2007 for a highly specialized job at the University of Nevada, Las Vegas. She left her stable situation to take a chance on a new program she believed in, but the program folded due to budget cuts less than two years later in January 2009, right in the middle of the recession.
Ortiz frantically applied for jobs for the next 18 months, running through all $15,000 of her savings, exhausting all 99 weeks of unemployment benefits and eventually having to draw from Social Security and accept financial aid from her local church congregation to help pay the rent.Only in times like these can you go from the person leaving cash in the alms dish at church to the person knocking on the Minister's door to ask for a handout. It only took 18 months. Now, she's needy and broke.
How many months are you away from seeking handouts? I think, if I had 3 bad months, I would be screwed. And that is downright likely to happen. After all, many of my clients are financially strapped, unemployed, underemployed, etc. That's the honest truth. I imagine that there are people who have nothing in the bank at all, that are 2 weeks away from being evicted or losing their car. We are all closer to poverty than we'd like to believe.
When I saw a homeless person in the 80s, I would think "crazy." When I saw a homeless person in the 90s, I would think "druggie." Now, I'll think "PhD."
Ms. Ortiz reflects on her life by citing our favorite line here at BIDER:
"I cried the whole day on Monday," she told HuffPost. "It's painful. It's embarrassing. I worked so hard. I have all this experience and education. I was careful and prepared. I kept savings -- I did everything right. Why am I living on handouts? I always felt like there were needy people out there that needed the help more than I did, but now I am turning into one of those people. Look at this. This is how the middle class is evaporating."The italics are mine of course. That's right, Ms. Ortiz. So did we. We all know why she's not getting a job, by the way. The Universities that should be knocking her door down, are hiring graduate students for pennies on the dollar, to teach the same classes Mr. Ortiz would like to teach. She probably costs too much, or they think she'd expect to be paid much more than she's actually willing to accept. At least the educational industrial complex is blind. It screws us and screws its own.