I am often told by someone who is considering filing bankruptcy that they are embarrassed. They do not want to let their friends and family know that they are having financial problems. Because most people have not been properly educated about finances, this is the way that most people think. How many times have you heard about the starving songwriter, the broke singer or any number of other people who had a tough times before they made the big money.  Were they embarrassed so that they quit trying or did they do what it took to get where they wanted to go?


If you want the nice safe life and never get what you are wanting in life  that may still be possible.  Take a job, work your way up the corporate ladder and retire 30 years later with the gold watch, a pension and a pat on the back from someone at the company telling you what a great job you did. If this is how you want your life to be, then that is fine.  At one point in time, this system worked for several generations.


This system used to work to give you the life you wanted. You went to work when you got out of high school or college and then stayed with the company until you retired. The promise was that you would take care of the company and the company would take care of you.


Most companies no longer make promises that follow this mode. Even government workers can no longer be comfortable in knowing that they will have their job until they retire. More and more government jobs no longer come with a great retirement pension at a young age with wonderful insurance plans and an increase in your pension payments each year.  Pensions in the private sector are mostly a thing of the past.  The 401(k) is yours and you better make it last when you retire.  In the private sector, the first thing cut at a business is jobs. The top level never sees a pay cut. It is always middle management and below. Cut those jobs and save money so the bosses can walk away with larger and larger salaries and benefits.

In the old days, the top earner earned 8-10 times what the average earner took home. If the average worker was making 50,000 per year, the top earner was making maybe 500,000 per year. Now the difference is often the average earned is making 50,000.00 per year and the top earners are making 2-30 million a year. Management says the company is not making enough money, but, management no longer believes that the average worker has any value to the company.

The contract that existed between workers and the company has been terminated. Do not plan to take a job out of high school or college, work for the company, be loyal to the company and retire from the company with a nice pension.  You must make your future and no one else is going to do it for you.


The agreement between workers and employers is now very different. It may have to be because our world is changing. This is not an indictment of business, but, an indictment of one who thinks things are like they were in the 1950s-1960s or 1970s. You either change with it or you are out of a job. The days of huge numbers of persons typing reports, filing documents and doing many of the routine jobs is past. If you go to many stores, you will see self-service (job elimination) checkouts. One person is overseeing 4-6 checkout positions. The unpaid customer is ringing up the purchases, bagging the purchases and paying for the purchases. One person is doing the job of 4 to 12 persons. The company with lower costs makes more money.

The promise between the employer and employee is that so long as the employer needs you, you have a job. If the employer can figure out a way to eliminate your job, then, thank you for your services and you are out the door looking for a new job. No pension, no lifetime job and no health insurance is becoming the normal situation.


We are returning to a different time. The people who came to this country were usually poor or broke. They were not embarrassed to leave the crummy world they lived in to come to America. Those people told everyone that their life where they were was no good. They told their families and friends they loved them and then traveled thousands of miles to come to America. Your forefathers were not so ashamed of their financial situation that they did nothing. What are you doing, sitting and worrying and hoping some magic event will occur to make your life like it was. Your ancestors jumped at the chance to start their new and better life, but, they also knew that they could never go back. They came to America to become factory workers, farmers, store keepers, cowboys, teachers and preachers. These failures built GM, Ford, Chrysler, Railroads, the Hoover Dam and so much more. Some failed again here, but, a lot of the people who came did not fail.

Why are you ashamed that you did not succeed? Did you try to fail? No athlete wins every game. No lawyer wins every case. If a lawyer tell you that he or she never lost a case, the lawyer either does not take hard cases or has never tried a case. No Doctor saves all of his patients.


No matter what you do, there is always a chance that you will fail. If you fail, will you sit there and wish that you had not failed? You can choose to learn from your mistakes or make the same mistakes over and over. The first airplane the Wright brothers built did not fly.  The Wright brothers built multiple models and made many attempts before they succeeded. Hopefully, if the Wright brothers had given up, someone else would have been the first to fly a plane.


About Nathan Davis, Esquire

Born in Charleston, South Carolina, Nathan Davis has been practicing law for many years. Mr. Davis has a wide variety of experiences having practiced domestic relations, criminal law, social security law having also practiced collection law in the past. This knowledge is helpful when someone needs to restart their financial life. The practice is now primarily bankruptcy and debtor representation work, but, Mr. Davis continues to also practice real estate law, trusts and estates and a general litigation practice. I believe that the most important part of representation is trying to leave you better off when the case is finished than when you started. Although I will do as my client directs, I will always tell you if I think that you are making a mistake. Bankruptcy is about a "fresh start". If you do not make changes in what you are doing, you will be doing what you are doing now in the future. There is no shame in bankruptcy or other steps that you may take to start your life over. Too often, people worry more about things than about themselves, their family or their future.
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