The ‘Great Recession’ has been with us long enough now that medium-term information is giving policy makers and think tanks information to discuss long-term changes in the American economy and society. We have already reported on a few of these, and more will becoming out over the coming months. Today we look at The Atlantic Monthly magazine. Chilling reading, to be sure, but being well educated on the subject should be a goal of everyone because we are all responsible for our own health and how our health care demands affect others.(PDF) by and a recent article in
The health-care debate has now been boiling for over a year, and little light seems to be coming from the heat. Fortunately, groups likedo deep studies involving the statistics of health care in the U.S.: how much is spent where, over what time, and how proposals now bouncing around Congress would change these numbers. One striking, though perhaps not surprising, effect the ‘Great Recession’ is having on health care is that many states are having to trim public-health budgets for the foreseeable future: “According to one analysis, between 2008 and 2009 the majority of states were forced to cut their public health programs as revenue streams dried up. At least 29 states have implemented cuts that will restrict low-income children’s or families’ eligibility for health insurance or reduce their access to health care services.” Such reductions often force low-income families to make unhealthy choices that might drive them further away from productivity and opportunity.
The long-term effects of this recession might also mirror effects of previous recessions, and recoveries. Which is thein the recent issue of The Atlantic Monthly. Some effects reflect drifting changes and might seem rather benign. For example, 20-somethings moving back in with their folks is edging toward 20% (up from 10% ca.1990). But the issue has stark economic and psychological implications, as these same 20-somethings are not driven to find productive work, especially in sectors they had not originally considered. As older generations struggle with unemployment or underemployment, their self-worth drains, which puts strains on family unity and even health: “Especially in middle-aged men, long accustomed to the routine of the office or factory, unemployment seems to produce a crippling disorientation. At a series of workshops for the unemployed that I attended around Philadelphia last fall, the participants were overwhelmingly male, and the men in particular described the erosion of their identities, the isolation of being jobless, and the indignities of downward mobility.” Such downward mobility has been anathema to the American myth, which might spill into the next generation if we do not face some of these issues head-on.
Finally, and to change the mood a little: we all need to let our hair down and kick up our heels occasionally. What better way to do that than at the Baltimore EcoBall this 19th of March at the Frederick Douglass-Isaac Myers Maritime Park and Museum. Celebrate the equinox with foods from the Baltimore International School of Cuisine and great dance music. Proceeds go to support Baltimore Green Works around Charm City, and we hope to see you there! Who knows? Some levity, laughter, and dancing might inspire new plans and reaffirm long-standing relationships.