Thursday, May 16, 2013

Down the Up Escalator: How the 99% Live in the Great Recession by Barbara Garson

Maybe the tip-off should have been the "99%" in the title, but this was a very non-professionally written non-fiction book. When the author starts commenting on what people look like (Russian nesting dolls...really?!) it is definitely cause for concern and reduces the overall impact of the book. Especially when you write a book that is about the poor and include people who lost their jobs in their early 50s, but have enough money to last until they retire. Not part of the 99%, in my opinion, but okay.

Overall, I think the grand idea of this book was that there was a recession, these are the effects (mainly focusing on wage depression, foreclosed houses/loan modification, and stocks/capital), and people are suffering from something they did not causes since the US government can't seem to understand that the "debt crisis" isn't really a crisis at all and the fastest way to make that crisis go away is by dealing with the jobs crisis that politicians refuse to acknowledge.

The author did do their homework and provided many anecdotes on what people were doing to keep their houses or the methods they were using to support themselves, but I feel like the fact that the author is Wiccan and spent ten days in jail back who-knows-when because of protesting are not really relevant factors in the Great Recession. But what do I know, all I do is read Jared Bernstein and Paul Krugman...every day.

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