Tuesday, August 3, 2010

VD Hanson on Relative Prosperity or Improverishment

I have often remarked that I would believe it was a deep recession when I stopped seeing so many people out shopping  with cell phones in hand. Victor Davis Hanson did the same thing and took it to his excellent level.
Bad and Not Bad
Economic statistics paint a pretty grim picture: annual growth coming out of a recession at an anemic 2.4%; unemployment rising at 9.6%; and foreclosures again on the rise.
Here in California the jobless rate is 12.5%. And where I live in Fresno County it hovers at 16%. Bleak.
I can see some of that general depression when my son’s friends gather out here at the farm. About 5-6 guys he knows are in their mid-twenties. Like him, all have BAs and skill sets (accounting, teaching credentials, computer degrees, bio certifications, etc.); all are “semi” working at part-time jobs (no benefits); and living at home. None have been able to find the sort of job we used to count on — a full-time entry position at about $30K that invariably leads to both advancement and higher salaries, along with retirement and health benefits. Higher education does not lead to a good job; no higher education leads to even less.
Great Expectations?
And yet, I don’t sense Dickensian poverty, in that the half-employed somehow through parental support, or cheap Chinese goods, or exemption from income taxes, seem to have plentiful appurtenances and even fairly nice cars. So what’s going on?
I was curious about this. So equipped with rough statistics, I decide to write down what I saw over a few days. Warning note: I live in southern Fresno County, rated, in per capita income, 49th out of California’s 56 counties.


  1. I completely agree - in fact, I have long said that in this country most of us, and I mean MOST, live in a way that kings and queens couldn't even dream to attain in years past. We are very blessed.

  2. The problem is that the majority of the current crop of politicians, not to mention youngsters (under 30's)don't get it. They don't understand real poverty. They think living in a trailer and a trailer park is poor. They think that doing with out the newest cell phone and latest craze in shoes is poor. They don't have a clue about real, cannot feed your kids, don't have running water poverty. They school systems have turned history into social studies so they don't learn any factual history. How can they know?