Monday, April 12, 2010

Why Does It Seem Like Things Keep Getting Worse?

The talking heads on all the major news shows keep telling us that the U.S. economy is experiencing a recovery. Usually the term "recovery" is accompanied by a qualifier such as "jobless", but they continue to use the word recovery anyway. We are told that the greatest financial crisis since the Great Depression is behind us and that the great American economic machine is roaring back to life and everything will be back to normal soon. So why does it seem like things keep getting worse? Why does it seem like the American Dream is out of reach for more Americans than ever? Why does it seem like economic pain is spreading to more families and more businesses?

Well, maybe it is because things are getting worse.

Gallup's underemployment measure hit 20.0% on March 15th. This was up from 19.7% two weeks earlier and 19.5% at the start of the year. While the U.S. unemployment rate has leveled off (for now), the truth is that job seekers are increasingly finding that all they can get is part-time work. In the vast majority of cases, part-time work will not pay the mortgage or even really feed a family.
All of this economic pain is causing havoc in many American households. In fact, 1.2 million U.S. households have been lost during the recent recession as economic pain has forced many Americans to move in with relatives. It can be an extremely humbling thing to have to turn to relatives for help, but that is what an increasing number of Americans have been forced to do.
But now there are indications that things may soon get worse for the U.S. economy.

Big Brother is watching.
And this is only just the beginning.
With the stated intent of combating illegal immigration, Senators Chuck Schumer and Lindsey Graham are creating new legislation that would institute a national identification card.
Will we all soon be forced to take a national identification card with us wherever we go?
Will we all soon be forced to show "our papers" whenever we are confronted by authorities?
Let's hope not.
But things are getting really crazy out there. So many of the things that we used to take for granted are quickly disappearing into thin air.
What in the world is happening to America?

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