The Continuing Recession

The National Association of Counties released their report last month on county economies in 2015, and their findings are sobering, but not surprising.

…most county economies still have not recovered to their pre-recession levels on jobs and unemployment, and economic output growth was less pronounced.

The report also stated that only 7 percent of county economies had completely recovered last year, while 16 percent had not recovered at all. These most unfortunate counties were located mainly in the South and Midwest. NACo also reported that 28 percent of county economies experienced declining wages even though productivity increased, illustrating that employers are managing to get their pound (or more) of flesh with only the threat of joblessness to motivate workers. They say that it’s a recession if someone else loses their job, but it’s a depression if you lose your job. With this many counties still struggling, there may be enough people still out of work to make this recession a depression.

Along the same lines, the Public Religion Research Institute has reported that 72 percent of Americans consider the US still to be in recession, indicating that many people have been living directly with these numbers, and drawing their own conclusions. My conclusion is that employers have far too much freedom to treat workers however they want to, and to put profit first, regardless of who suffers. Without justice for workers, there can be no real success or peace or happiness in a society. Part of this is fostered by the increased influence of large corporations which have a strong dehumanizing influence, especially on those who run them. Managing a large company prevents one from having any real contact with the workers, and they become mere ciphers, to be manipulated according to the needs of the moment. When there is a power imbalance, too many people will get shunted to the bottom of the society and suffer. People should not have such power that they can wantonly reduce people to a life of intractable penury. I believe people could be happier and more productive if they lived in smaller communities and their work was integrated into their daily lives. If our society were guided by reason and compassion, perhaps justice and happiness would be possible.


Copyright © 2016 Teresa Chupp.  All rights reserved.


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