mercredi, août 11, 2010

What of the poorhouses?

Trade deficits. Unemployment. Deflation.

The vaunted recovery is now a tricklet. Britain is changing its fiscal forecast.

China, as this New York Times story recounts, is moving from boil to simmer.

Have you noticed?

I'm sure you have, if you are unemployed. Surely you aren't trying to find a job? You prefer welfare benefits. People like you always would rather take money from those who pay taxes.

Or underemployed. If you were only willing to take a position at CVS or a fast-food eatery, you and your family would be doing just fine.

Or have just surrendered seeking a position -- as the months tick, tick, tick, without a job you gave in to anomie. I mean, where's your sense of enterprise?

I suspect the folks who sling names at the almost ten percent of Americans out of work don't know a lot of the unemployed.

But many of us do. I've not seen this kind of frustration and depression for a long time. And it's not solely the working-class who are trying to support their families on benefits -- when the Congress decides to allow them benefits.

It's middle-class Americans -- teachers, computer geeks, social workers.

Someone said recently on the radio that recoveries were taking longer and longer.

And while no one seems to have the alchemical pill that cures, one thing is predictable -- safe in their historic chambers, Democrats and Republicans will blame each other. And then they will go home to their comfortable houses and apartments.

They don't have to stare fear in the face each night -- and then get up, against most odds, and try again to make meaning out of thin gruel in the morning.

Surely...there are poorhouses?