Wednesday, June 9, 2010

Semantics & Our Economy





Jayne did a post on her take of the economy, found here, as only Jayne can. Funny and biting, she is always a kick to read.

However, we had weekend visitors who are currently out of work. This was a man who was at the top of a division of one of the largest companies in the world. If he can be out of work, anyone can.

I was reminded, once again, of the economy. Sometimes, just for a moment, you forget once you start working again. After all, any paycheck feels like hitting the lottery after two years without one. Then you pick up the paper, or tune into the news and are brought back to our current state of affairs.

So what exactly is the difference between a full-blown Depression and the current Great Recession? We still see long lines of people looking for jobs on the streets, curled around corners and continuing for blocks. We know that families are being displaced by the thousands every month. We know that schools are struggling to feed hungry children, who are not getting enough at home. The only new job numbers being added are the census workers. And now I read that some job postings are saying that the unemployed need not apply. They are only looking for employed workers! Whoa, I wouldn't want the karma coming to the genius who thought that one up.

So what is the difference? Can anyone tell me?

17 comments:

Trish and Rob MacGregor said...

there are no bread lines yet, although food charities are working overtime. Social security and medicare are in place. Unemployment hasn't reached 25%. And yet, I've grown so cynical of government figures, I don't think we really know for sure just how bad it is.

Nancy said...

Trish & Rob - I feel the same way about government figures. But I guess you're right - we're not Depression material yet.

Pat said...

I really don't know what the difference is, either. But now the families and couples are so far in debt with credit cards and bills and mortgages, when back in the depression credit cards were unheard of. Is it better to have been in the depression?

DJan said...

No, I don't think it was better during the Depression, for the reasons that Trish & Rob pointed out: we have Medicare, and we have Social Security. In my life those two things have been lifesavers and the only reason I could retire at 65!!

GYPSYWOMAN said...

well, it's as you say, nancy, for a LOT of the unemployed - they are the people who, if THEY could become unemployed, ANYONE can - same situation for me - i was with a legal non-profit that's been around forever, plus, had seniority and the protection of a worker's union - but that didn't matter when the grant monies didn't come - when the interest monies weren't paid - our firm lost 33% of its staff in a year - and during that time, reductions in pay and benefits, the whole thing - so becoming unemployed was almost anti-climatic - and notwithstanding medicare and social security, don't even get me started on the teeth-pulling trials and tribulations and TIME it takes to actually get either of those in place [at least in this, uh, depressed state of delaware] - and in terms of medicare, if anyone wants more than the basic dish, the cost for the unemployed /retired is almost prohibitive, aside from the fact that several major drugs are not covered at all by any of the m/c prescription plans - so - it's pretty much a hardcore "depression" time to those of us who are living it - i'm not really sure it matters what it's called - but overall, it's true, it is more than nothing - and so, do-able under some circumstances for some - oh, and like trish, i wouldn't believe government figures on the time of day!

The Good Cook said...

The government figures are skewed because as soon as someone's unemployment benefits run out they are off the official "unemployed rolls" ergo, they are no longer counted as unemployed. In addition, if you are over 63 and unemployed, you are not counted - as this is a (by government standards) reasonable retirement age.

The a-hole that advertised "no unemployed need apply" - oh, I'm wishing some major bad ju-ju comes this guy's way... even if wishing that gives me bad karma.

Recession / Depression - call it what you whatever you want. To the millions of families who are jobless, loosing their homes and hungry the name just doesn't matter.

Brian Miller said...

in my 16th month of part time employment...we still got the house...but its still a beast out there...

Cloudia said...

people need to focus on real issues!





Aloha from Waikiki

Comfort Spiral

Leah J. Utas said...

We only want you if you're already working?
Well, that's quite the bent logic.

linda said...

no i cannot, my mind is still reeling at the discovery of needing a medication that costs $2000 an injection (x4 a month) and my lovely insurance will only pay 30% -- that after 3 terrible years of farming grapes and we are ready to sell this place and move...except selling this place means taking a huge hit and we are stuck stuck stuck...did that answer your question?

Gemel said...

There is no difference is there? Sounds the same to me? But, then who am I?????

Lori ann said...

I always liked semantics, but out of work is not good any way you word it.

Jeninacide said...

Just today I started looking into POSSIBLY changing jobs and went to a couple of job-placement websites. At first everything was going GREAT until they told me that I was required to pay $75 JUST TO LOOK AT THE JOB POSTINGS.

Uh, what? If you are out of work and are scraping by, how are you supposed to AFFORD to look at JOBS?

Grrr..

d page said...

Here in So. California, there has been a large increase in the number of homeless children (with schools noticing a 99% increase in a 3 month period). There is a subcultures of people who live in cars, who have jobs but can't afford housing...they use gym memberships for showers and laundromats to hang out. The food banks don't have enough food to meet the demands...lines for food go around city blocks 3 or 4 times, something we've never seen. The people standing at corners for temp. day jobs are now ex-middle class, faces we've never seen before. In 6 months, we and people we know could be "those people"...

Marguerite said...

We've fared much better, here in Louisiana, during the "Great Recession". Our unemployment rates and foreclosure rates have remained low, compared to many other places. Until the oil spill, that is!....! Now, with our seafood, oil, and tourism industries in dire jeopardy, we will certainly end up joining the rest of the country!

Rob-bear said...

I'm pretty good with words, but I can't entirely understand the semantics. Trish and Rob, of course, are right. Ironically, people who used to give generously to food banks are now lining up for food.

I think the situation is a bit different here in Canada. We have had no bank failures, because of our tighter regulations. The stock market is turning itself around, slowly, so we're regaining some of what we've lost. I don't know anyone who has lost a job, even though there are quite a few out there.

But the times are "interesting," as in the Chinese curse.

Jayne Martin said...

I think it's a "Depression" when it happens to you and a "Recession" when it's happening to the other guy. Since the Reagan years and policies we have developed such an income disparity in this country, with the middle-class being pretty much squeezed out of existence. But what really gets me is when I see and hear people screaming "Socialism!" about programs designed to help those who now find themselves in need, while at the same time collecting Social Security and getting Medicare themselves.

And thank you for the shout-out, my friend.