Sunday, September 6, 2009

Signs of the times

Over at Calculated Risk, I noticed a couple posts worth mentioning. One has to do with the surge in homeless children and their impact on school districts. Now although Calculated Risk didn't notice the surge in homelessness generally, some of us did notice. In my remote outpost in the American outback, we've also seen a surge in homeless travelers hitchhiking or bicycling their way along the nearby highway, and occasionally paying our few local facilities a visit (near as I can reckon, our community's locals react as if they've been invaded by aliens from outer space). I'm sure considerable effort has been expended to make sure that the homeless are invisible as possible, which may be part of why our intelligentsia fail to notice. If the "recovery" proves as ephemeral as I think it will be, this very human problem will only get worse. I'm not intending to come across harsh (I hold the blog in high regard), but merely wish that more people whose writing can reach large audiences would open their eyes a bit more often.

Next up is a mention of the likely psychological impact of the unemployment rates we've witnessed during the Great Recession. This recession has hit the all of us hard, but has been a bit unusual in that it has actually affected those with college and professional degrees, and who are relatively affluent to a relatively high degree. As a group, they're still faring better than those with less education or less affluent circumstances, but the shock experienced by many former middle and upper middle class workers will have long-term repercussions. Let's just say that those who manage to somehow get back on their feet aren't going to be going on shopping sprees.

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