Tuesday, October 11, 2011


Results of a poll in Pennsylvania, via the blogger Atrios:
The poll found that one in four Pennsylvania residents has had someone living in his or her household lose a job or be laid off in the last 12 months - and two out of three had close friends or family members who were put out of work in that time.

More than three out of every four Pennsylvanians said they knew individuals or families who struggle every month to afford basic needs such as rent, utilities, health care, clothes, or food.

"The poverty question was startling," said Joseph Morris, a professor and director of the college's Center for Applied Politics, which conducted the poll, "as was the fact that a strong majority of Pennsylvanians have had to make lifestyle changes because of the economy."

This is something I've been saying all along. If you have 10% unemployment -- or almost 20%, if you use the U6 figures -- then almost everyone knows someone who isn't working or isn't working enough. The exception is the upper middle class, who have an unemployment rate of 3%. But the vast majority of Americans have family members, neighbors, friends unemployed or underemployed. Of course, we care. We worry for the people we love. And our own lives are changed. We have a son living in the basement. a buddy who can't go out for beer, a neighbor who's being foreclosed. Because most ordinary people are generous, we help if we can, and we worry, and we get angry.

Happy news from the government does not make this situation better.


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