In this economy, “education is basically worthless”*

stack of books

Books have never seemed so useless. (I was a comparative literature major, natch).

In what should be one of the most depressing articles of joblessness to date (a far cry from last year’s perky portrayal of blond twins performing on subways while pursuing the American Dream in New York), the NYT profiles a woman known as a “99er”: a poor soul who has exhausted the maximum 99 weeks of unemployment insurance benefits without any luck in finding a new job. And before Republicans Ben Stein anyone starts claiming that it’s her own lazy fault, take note: almost 1.4 million people were out of work for 99 weeks or more, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics.

I really hope the Times at least took her out to dinner during the interviews, because, damn, her life seems to be one week short of turning tricks on the street. Let’s recap: Continue reading

The recession has everyone walking around with a raincloud over their heads

scream painting

A weekly round-up of hopeless economy news. Get psyched!

  • During the 2007-9 downturn, more people thought their own financial situation was going to get worse than thought it would improve. In April, about one person in 10 expected his or her family’s income to improve, while about one in six expected family income to go down. [NYT] Continue reading

Congratulations, long-term unemployed, you are the new poor!

unemployed sign

Who can even afford cardboard and permanent markers anymore?

For anybody hoping to enjoy their weekend, the NYT instead ran some sobering statistics about what the jobless are facing: formerly middle class, the “new poor” are now relying on food stamps with years of unemployment behind them and no future prospects in sight.

The reasons for this are after the jump (hint: now is a good time to reach for that second beer). Continue reading