Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Just call it a hunch

I'm not the only one noticing that there aren't any "green shoots" to be found in what is supposedly our "recovery". Nor am I entirely convinced that a depression has been averted. Nor am I entirely convinced that any of our politicians from either party are willing or able to "nut up" and face up to the fact that three decades of Reaganomics must be abandoned pronto. In fact I'm much closer to being convinced of the exact opposite. I'm no economist, nor will I pretend to be. I'll merely note that I have this gut feeling that something just isn't quite right.

On the job front, I get that employment will look bad for a while. But have we really hit the proverbial bottom or are we merely awaiting the next crash? In my field, we're in a catch-22 situation. People flock to junior colleges and four-year colleges and universities during economic downturns, and the last two years are no exception. However, since the state's coffers are empty-ish, the institution that employs me actually gets less money. If the economy improves, which would be a good thing, we might or might not get more funds from the state legislature (always iffy since there is some lingering hostility toward higher education in my state), but will lose on the enrollment front. Seems like no matter what, we can expect to suffer (hiring freezes, wage freezes, workload increases which amount to de facto pay cuts, budget cuts, etc.). Happy days are here again.

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