Monday, February 22, 2010

Once the Middle-Class

As the economic __________ (you fill in the blank) begins to recover millions of people have been left without jobs. And according to the NY Times, they can plan on waiting even longer. Really this is according to all kinds of economists and news outlets from each political spectrum. Fox is probably just saying it's Obama's fault because, well, everything is his fault. In reality, it always takes longer to start hiring people back after a recession, even after a company has started to make stable profit. It takes time, for one. For another, there are plenty of companies that are looking at the bottom line and that's it.

So why include this [slightly] opinionated piece as a part of a blog for this class? Why bore you and further saturate the internet and everything else you read with stabs in the dark at economics? Well, in short, it is because the people that I have mentioned above are not the poor. They are the new poor. They are those who have lived comfortably in suburbs all over the U.S. They were people who drove the SUV that became such a quintessential part of suburbia. They are people who work hard. They are people that have never had to live off public funding in their entire life.

Some people just like to look at the numbers, the charts, the statistics on piece of paper. I like to look at human beings. You can have the most impressive mathematic formula around, and you can plug anything into it and believe you are going to get an accurate picture of, say, what bracket these newly poor humans will fit into. Some people call this kind of thing "empirical." But if we look at the human factor, the human variable, we will see people that once worked for themselves so that they and their families could have a good roof over their heads...we will see these people at food banks that are running out, without health insurance (at all), filing or hoping for extensions of unemployment, the list goes on.

Retrospect on this time will be nothing short of amazing, if not a fully taxing task. All the empirical data in the world may indicate this or that about money in the bank, but it won't show you a thing about what these people's lives will look like, how this will change culture, and whether or not the middle-class living in this place called suburbia will ever live up to its name.

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