Powered by Blogger

Thursday, August 11, 2011

Fears about the economy

I was listening to NPR's Talk of the Nation a couple of days ago, and they were interviewing a man who wrote a book about the impact of economic hard times on people as a generation - in the sociological sense, not the psychological sense (Pinched by Don Peck).  He said that history shows that extended periods of economic hardship, like the Depression and the 1890s, are marked by political discord and harsher reactions, less empathy toward the poor and so on (see quote below) and I've found that it's really stuck with me and I keep thinking about it.  I'm finding the current political climate very discouraging and he's basically saying that it's going to get worse, and all the things that matter to me are going to get further and further away.  It's depressing.

CONAN:  . . . We're in a period where it seems some of the reactionary political movements you describe in the past, well, that seems to have come into American politics too this time around.

PECK: Yes, politics become meaner, typically, as recessions stretch beyond just a couple of years. And aggressive action, bold action, becomes harder. Sentiment towards immigrants tends to deteriorate, support for the poor tends to deteriorate. People become more jealous of their status relative to others and more cynical about what the government can accomplish. And I think we are seeing that now. And it makes the solutions to our problems, you know, all the more difficult.



Post a Comment

<< Home