Bad and Not BadEconomic 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.
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.