Wednesday, March 07, 2012

The LuLac Edition #1973, March 7th, 2012

"Write On Wednesday" logo.



The Times Leader had a great editorial last week regarding people who are on long term unemployment. The piece made the point that is people saw lines coming out of an unemployment office, the talk of recovery might not come so easy. Here's the piece:
What if jobless were seen, heard? Instead, too many of today’s unemployed workers wrestle with desperation, isolation and guilt. Luckily for the nation's power brokers, all those people whose jobs evaporated as a result of the 2007-09 recession have been able to file for and receive benefits without lining up outside an unemployment office.
If not, the national shame would be exposed daily, stretching for city blocks, clogging the sidewalks – a visual testimony to Wall Street’s unfettered greed and lax government oversight. TV cameras would capture the forlorn faces. Newspaper reporters and documentarians would descend on the masses, perhaps spurring embarrassed elected leaders to respond more forcefully and effectively.
More likely, those millions of men and women deprived of their livelihoods, most often through no fault of their own, would recognize they were not alone in their predicaments and begin to demand swift action. They might organize and rally. Riot even.
Instead, too many of today’s unemployed workers wrestle with desperation, isolation and guilt. A “60 Minutes” segment that aired Sunday, titled “Trapped in Unemployment,” spotlighted the plight of people severed for extended periods from the workforce. Correspondent Scott Pelley introduced the segment, saying: “Never in the last 60 years has the length of joblessness been this long. Four million people, a full third of the unemployed, have been out of work more than a year.”
It’s easy to ignore them. They have no platform, no voice. In the Wyoming Valley, their troubles are not apparent on the street, only within the relatively private confines of free health clinics, clothes distribution centers and food banks. For them, the Great Recession isn’t over.
Yes, the worst damage appears to be behind us, and area residents do themselves – and the community – a disservice if they ignore signs that the U.S. economic recovery inches along. (See Monday’s editorial “Have no doubt; it’s getting better.”)
However, neither should any of us be too quick to dismiss the long-term financial and emotional devastation with which many people still grapple and might never escape. Savings accounts drained. Beloved homes foreclosed. Careers ruined. Families uprooted. Nerves frayed. Retirements deferred. Dreams dashed.
There can never be a full accounting of the damage. But imagine how rapidly this nation might be changed for the better if, rather than conceal their frustrations, the victims of America’s brutal recession decided to bare their scars. And received more than Band-Aids.


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