The Recession Generation

by David Safier
Bob Herbert's column in today's NY Times puts an unhappy face on our current economic woes.

Poverty and homelessness are increasing and, as Lawrence Mishel, the president of the Economic Policy Institute, said during an interview this week, “There are a whole lot of people who are going to be economically desperate for many years.”


Mr. Mishel has been trying to call attention to the human toll caused by job losses on this vast scale. The institute estimates that the poverty rate for children is in danger of increasing from 18 percent, which is where it was in 2007, the last year for which complete statistics are available, to a scary 27.3 percent in 2010.

For black children, you don’t want to know. But I’ll tell you anyway. The poverty rate for black kids was 34.5 percent in 2007. If the national unemployment rate rises, as expected, to the vicinity of 10 percent next year, the poverty rate for black children would rise to 50 percent or higher, analysts at the institute believe.


Dr. Irwin Redlener, president of the Children’s Health Fund and a professor at Columbia University’s Mailman School of Public Health, has referred to these youngsters as the “recession generation,” and has described what is happening to them as “a quiet disaster.”

Not good. Not good.

Comments are closed.