Here's my story. When the financial collapse occurred in October 2008, I was a proud Texas Republican and had been through my adult life. I fully supported George W in both elections and pretty much most of his administration decisions except maybe the Iraq invasion.A little more than a year after the financial collapse began, the effects hit me really hard. I lost my company and my high-six-figure job. I couldn't find work ANYWHERE. For over a year I looked for work and no one was hiring executives. And no one was hiring mid-50's engineers. And the bills kept coming in.I lost my retirement savings -- ALL of it. I used up all of my personal savings. People weren't buying homes so I eventually lost my home and my car. Still there was no work to be found for someone with my skill set at my age. I finally got an offer to move to Germany to work for a previous Danish colleague who offered me a moderate five-figure-income, so I took the job. He talked to me on a Monday and I was on the plane that Thursday. My family came over to Germany (the company paid their expenses, too) and we moved into a one-bedroom flat in a house rented by a large family of Albanian gypsies -- undocumented immigrants. A little while after moving to Germany, my wife decided she wasn't going to find her dream sticking with me, so she left us in Germany. When she got back to the States, she filed for divorce. I lost her, too, but I still had my three kids.As I struggled through this incredibly difficult time, the banks that caused this death-spiral of mine all got big government bailouts. Those bailouts didn't replace my retirement savings. They certainly didn't forgive my mortgage or my car loan -- all I got was a colossally reduced credit score, the lowest score I've ever heard of. The bailouts didn't help ANYONE who took a beating the way I did. But those bailouts DID help out the bank CEOs. They got enormous bonuses from all that taxpayer money.Meanwhile, I lived in Germany for three years before I was finally hired back in the States. During that time I saw how Germany's national healthcare works. I saw how free college tuition works. I saw how unemployment security and public pensions and paid sick leave and many of the programs Bernie talks about work under well-regulated capitalism.Well, you know what? My views changed completely. Winner-takes-it-all capitalism nearly destroyed the world. It's a total failure as it creates too many losers. It's time we change to a system that prevents people from falling into bankruptcy when they have unexpected hospital expenses.We need Bernie Sanders.__________________________Update 8/26/2015I was asked to finish the story. So here goes. The only part of this that relates to the original question is at the end.The entire time I was in Germany I worked desperately to find a job back in the US. After I had been over there for 18 months, the company that brought me to Germany was bought by a French company and reorganized and I was laid off (again, goddamit!) along with my former colleague who hired me, and 750 other people. Again I couldn't find work, but this time it was because I didn't have the German language skills to fill any of the many suitable opportunities I found. That was enormously frustrating.Fortunately, Germany's unemployment insurance guaranteed me a monthly salary equivalent to about half of my previous salary, so we weren't going to starve. My landlord is one of the kindest people I've ever known, and he allowed us to continue living in our one-bedroom flat while deferring the rent until I was able to find a job. (After I moved back to the US last year, I paid him back completely.)I remained on unemployment for a year, but I worked 10 hours a day seven days a week to find employment ANYWHERE. The kids were struggling with school so I was focused mainly on coming back to the States, but I would have taken a job in Zimbabwe if I'd had to.What saved us during this year of unemployment was...1) public transportation!!! This was a HUGE benefit since I couldn't afford a car.2) two of my kids were in public high school, which was free to us. My third child had just started college and that was free, too!!! Awesome! And all three of my kids worked part-time, which helped a lot.3) all of our medical expenses were paid for by our health insurance. We had no co-payment and over-the-counter drugs are very cheap there compared to prices in the US.4) of course, my income from the state (unemployment). Even as an immigrant (a legal one), I was able to receive unemployment benefits equal to half my previous salary.5) the incredible kindness of my landlord for deferring my rent until I found a job!!!6) the enormous generosity and patience of the German people toward Americans. I'm grateful for that as it helped me any time I had to deal with the bureaucracy. I never felt like I was unwelcome even though I was unemployed.7) last but not least, a very very very kind German woman who spoke English fluently who helped me understand how all of the government systems worked, she took care of my mail (which was always in German) and accompanied me to meetings with the government finance and employment offices.One day I noticed that my left arm and hand were numb. It scared the hell out of me! I was like, "NO NO NO NO NOT NOW!!!" I went immediately to the doctor who ordered an MRI. The results showed it was only a pinched nerve. WHEW! He sent me to a physical therapy clinic (again, none of this cost me anything out of pocket).There were only two therapists on staff who spoke English, so I was assigned to one of them. Her English was understandable, but very broken. After 12 sessions, my arm was better (and so was her English!) and I asked her out. We met for coffee.Then we met for dinner. Then we met for lots of other occasions before we acknowledged we were actually dating.About six months after she and I started dating, I got a call from a recruiter in the US. The job she discussed with me was perfect, Vice President of Engineering for a renewable energy company. I busted over backward and every other way to make a good impression. After about six weeks of Skype interviews, I was told by the company that they decided to put the position on hold for a few months while they sorted out their strategic plan. I panicked. So I wrote a letter to the CEO and told him I was perfect for the position and that he couldn't afford to not hire me. He scheduled a phone call with me and we discussed options and he decided to bring me over to the States for an in-person interview. They hired me and we moved back to the States in just a couple of weeks.When we got back to the states, I was pretty much broke. My two boys went to a different state to stay with their mom. My daughter stayed with me. The two of us stayed in a cheap motel until I could find a place to rent -- I knew that buying a house will never happen again in my life.The first apartment I found opened my eyes a lot. The first thing the apartment management company wanted from me was a credit report. I suspected that my credit took a hit, but I didn't know what would be on my report. I gave them the information to run the report and I got a letter telling me I was denied. They included a copy of the first page of the report and my credit score was the lowest number I had ever seen.Prior to the financial collapse, my score was always in the high 700's. I could walk into a bank and get an unsecured loan on just a signature. Now, I couldn't rent an apartment. Another panic attack -- I didn't want to share a room with my daughter in a cheap motel for the long-term. Furthermore, I had to get her into school, and the school needed proof of a real address to prove which school district she should go to.Thanks to craigslist, I found a place to rent from an actual owner instead of a management company. I talked the owner into taking a deposit and not running a credit history. We got the rental and moved right in.My German girlfriend came over for a visit a few months after we settled in. Her intention was to stay for three months -- the maximum that US Dept of Homeland Security allows. During the time she was visiting, I asked her to stay and become my wife. She said yes. We got married by a justice of the peace on Christmas Eve last year. She's still waiting to become a legal immigrant as her visa is long expired. (Isn't that just absurd?!!)What did I learn from all of this?1. the system of capitalism in the US is a system that creates winners and losers. I had been a winner. The very moment I became a loser through no fault of my own, the system did NOTHING to help. In spite of paying more than $125k in federal income tax each year, once I became a loser I had absolutely NO support from anyone. This is what worries me about Donald Trump and Rand Paul: the attitude that if you become a loser then you deserve to be homeless.2. I was really really really lucky that I was able to pull myself out of the deep hole I was in. But I could NOT have done it without help from others, including the government. I could NOT have done it without unemployment insurance, without health insurance, without government services. Even just little things like nearly free public transportation for the unemployed which was a government service that made it possible for me to get back on my feet. I think Republicans are scared to death that someone might get some taxpayer support and sit on his ass. While that might be true for a few, the majority who receive support are more likely to go back to work because of that support and will pay more in future taxes than they took from the system. It's a net gain for the taxpayers.3. No matter how much you want to work, no matter how flexible you are willing to be, you sometimes CANNOT FIND WORK. PERIOD. Especially, I believe, when you're over 50. Being unemployed sucks and no level of desire to work or self-determination is going to create a job for you. And you may be unemployed for a very long time!Republicans are COMPLETELY WRONG ABOUT THIS. It is NOT TRUE that the majority of people who are unemployed are choosing to be unemployed because of entitlements. That's complete bullshit.4. It's an embarrassment that the US doesn't have a national healthcare guarantee for every citizen. There is just NO REASON to not have guaranteed health insurance.5. The European system of Democratic Socialism works and it works well. It has some problems, for sure. But it is far far far far far better than our "winner takes it all" system that creates winners and losers and throws the losers to the curb.__________________________Another update: Thanks for everyone's kind words. I've gotten quite a few private messages from people asking if they can share this story on Facebook or elsewhere. Please feel welcome to do so.__________________________Update 9/6/2015The saga continues...damn this makes me angry!While I have to admit that I'm back into a well-paying job, me and my family have a long way to go before we're going to get out of the hole we found ourselves in. A new job isn't a magic wand that instantly makes all the financial monsters simply vanish. I have debt to repay, I have a credit score to rebuild, I can't possibly buy a home yet or borrow money for a car -- I'm driving a 2001 beater that I paid $1800 cash for. And my son is ready to start college. College Tuition! Another financial monster to face.I'm not going to have the available cash to pay for college tuition for a number of years down the road. And I'll only have that if I forego saving for my own retirement. So, to cut costs and still try to make things work, my son and I agreed he should start by working part-time and going to college part-time. And since he doesn't yet qualify for in-state tuition, he should take just a couple of classes at the local community college for now. He can transfer to the state university later after he qualifies for in-state tuition. And maybe by then I'd be in a better position to help. That sounded like a plan that would get him started down the road.So he tried to register for two classes. We thought we might be able to swing two classes. The tuition came to $3500! This is a Community College! Paid for by Taxpayers! SHIT! There's no way I could pay $3500 for this semester and very likely another $3500 next semester.My son applied for financial aid through the school. We just got notified that he is awarded a grand total of $1000 in financial aid! My salary is too high. CAN YOU FREEKING BELIEVE THAT?@?*! My salary is too high!?????? And since I can't co-sign for a student loan because of my credit rating, there is simply no way he can start school. He's done. He'll work full-time now and who knows...maybe someday he'll get to go to college.Come on Bernie Sanders. Let's get you elected. The elitist status-quo of US politics isn't going to work for America.