Friday, November 6, 2009

Signs of the times

Unemployment was at 10.2% for October - the highest since 1983. I'm not really surprised, given the scope of this recession. It does beg the question though of why a stronger stimulus wasn't tried out earlier this year, which could have made a bigger difference. Paul Krugman referred to the stimulus bill passed earlier this year as too little of a good thing, which sounds about right. If nothing else, it kept a lot of educators from winding up unemployed and little else.

Another way to look at it, via Bernard Chazelle:
Nearly half of all U.S. children and 90 percent of black youngsters will be on food stamps at some point during childhood.
"The current recession is likely to generate for children in the United States the greatest level of material deprivation that we will see in our professional lifetimes," Stanford pediatrician Dr. Paul Wise wrote.
The analysis is in line with other recent research suggesting that more than 40 percent of U.S. children will live in poverty or near-poverty by age 17.
Not exactly happy and uplifting news is it? Thirty years of neoliberalism has been nothing but an unmitigated disaster for the majority of us, and yet it is quite obvious that in spite of all the tangible pain that has been expressed by constituents to congresional "leaders", they by and large do not listen.

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