Bob Herbert, New York Times | NY
Submitted by Evergreene Digest Contributing Editor Lydia Howell
The pain coursing through American families is all too real and no one seems to know what to do about it. A rigorous new analysis for the Rockefeller Foundation shows that Americans are more economically insecure now than they have been in a quarter of a century, and the trend lines suggest that things will only get worse.
Rampant joblessness and skyrocketing medical costs are among the biggest factors tearing at the very fabric of American economic life so painstakingly put together in the early post-World War II decades.
The analysis was done by a team of researchers led by Professor Jacob Hacker of Yale University. They created an economic security index, which measures the percentage of Americans who experience a decrease in their household income of 25 percent or more in one year without having the financial resources to offset that loss. (Major medical expenses were counted as a decrease in available income.)
The team’s findings were grim. Simply stated, more and more families are facing utter economic devastation: completely out of money, with their jobs, savings and retirement funds gone, and nowhere to turn for the next dollar.
Reich and Krugman Agree: The Government Needs to Forget About the Deficit and Fix Unemployment, Susie Madrak, Crooks and Liars
Krugman says if we don't do something about this, not only will the human costs will be high but our economic growth will be depressed for a long, long time.
Krugman: US "Depressed Economy" Could Last 5 Years, Associated Press, Huffington Post
Krugman said that while economic indicators from around the world are improving, they suggest that the pace of economic decline has only slowed.