Wednesday, February 09, 2011

Prepare: How it affects children

This recession here in the USA has been murderous. If you don't live here, don't believe what the media and the politicians  say; its worse than they let on.

Houses are still going into foreclosure in record numbers. I don't need to see some federal report saying otherwise, I just drive down the street. I saw another one in the neighborhood go from "For Sale" to "Foreclosure".

People still can't get jobs. I read online today that there are about 3-4 million jobs posted online, in newspapers and company websites. There are conservatively 12 million looking for work and probably another 10 million more underworked or have given up.

And while many jobs are never posted online, that number is offset by the number of jobs which are listed as open, but which are never filled or filled by someone who already has a fulltime job. Don't even start me about US companies importing workers, such as H1-B visa holders, to fill a job in the USA.

Add to that is the number of jobs created in the most recent quarter - only 36,000. The USA needs about 150,000 jobs created monthly to meet new job searchers and 250,000 new jobs a month to make up for the losses of the past two years. It is not happening.

I think we are heading towards a "second bubble". The recession and the job killing cranked up in 2008 and came to a full head in spring 2009. While millions were effected, many were able to stave off foreclosure, charge offs and bankruptcy because they had something to fall back on. Credit cards, savings, retirement funds, stock accounts, borrowing and help from family.

That was two years ago and by my reckoning, it's over. Those people who were hit by the recession, lived on borrowed time and still have not recovered with a new job and income, are now joining the "early adapters" of the recession. All in all, it's going to get worse.

Now, what about the children?

Take the above and add it to kids. Children are watching their parents melt down before their eyes. Mom and Dad can't find a job. If Mom or Dad has a job, they are working double and triple time to keep it. Parents aren't around as much and when they are, they are still mentally checked out.

Bills are still piling up. Kids are listening to their parents on collection calls and being hounded by debt collectors. There is not enough money in the bank to keep the lights on and buy enough food sometimes. Nothing stresses a kid more than a utility going out while mom and dad run around the house looking for pocket change or something to hock.

One day one of the family cars is gone. The next day, Mom's debit card does not work at the grocery store. Dad tells the kids they are going to have to move in the next week.

And this is just a recession. A very bad recession, but still, just a recession. Now what happens when this is larger? What happens if the US defaults on interest payments or can't make it's entitlement checks or issues IOUs? What happens when the ripple effect hits Main Street and the price of everything skyrockets or is not available at any price?

Kids are incredibly resilient, but it is best they be prepared ahead of time. Let kids know they are loved and a family can be a family anywhere, not just in their present location. Let them know, no matter what, you will stay together, even it means sleeping in one room of Grandma's house. Let them know that it's not it's not their fault that Mom and Dad are short tempered. Let them know you love them no matter what.

I hope things get better. Not for me, but for my kids.

1 comment:

James Sorick said...

You hit the nail on the head. Even the places in the states that weren't hit hardest by the recession are feeling the effects of inflation, if nothing else.

I live in a house full of grandkids, 5 right now...sometimes more, it all depends on which of my children I am putting a roof over at the time.

It does have an effect on them. I thank God that we are able to help them so that they will grow up knowing that family will always be there for them. It is a message that has been lost by many in this chaotic world.

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