The system broke, because we didn't think of what would happen when the bottom fell out. In those heady days of the 90s, we threw around words like personal responsibility, and thought the economy would always provide jobs. Our judgments and haughty misjudgments clouded our thoughts, and we couldn't see the people who needed our help. We only saw their imperfections, our judgments of what we would have done. In our imaginations, we'd never do something as crazy as watching tv or having a cell phone so when we were stranded in the cold between our two, three jobs we could call somebody. We imagined that it was like that time in college, when we worked two jobs, as we brag to everyone. We didn't say that we knew it was temporary, and a bright horizon awaited us just beyond.
I don't know who this we is. I want to take some of the blame on myself. And I think others also didn't see the bad times coming. We thought that somehow by magic, jobs would be there if only someone wished hard enough. I don't know what I mean, but all I can think of is that we have failed.