Friday, January 09, 2009

How I Know The Economy Is Bad

I work for a non-profit organization that helps people deal with their debts. Normally it would be unheard of for there to be a backlog of people calling us for counseling, even on our busiest days. It's a source of pride with us that we always schedule enough Counselors so phones are answered right away. A family being hounded by collectors or out of a job doesn't need any more aggravation.

But for the past few months, even though every desk is filled and we hire more when anyone moves on, there are days when 40 to 50 callers are on hold. And the department that is experiencing this the most: housing, where we try to keep people from losing their homes.

This is a scary time. Today the Labor Department announced more jobs were lost in 2008 than in any year since 1945. And that was when all the 'Rosie the Riveters' were being laid off after 4 years of building planes and ships full-bore to fight Hitler and Hideki Tōjō in World War II. We are in a war now but its effects on the economy have been marginal and it certainly isn't over yet. This is just the the economy collapsing in on itself because of the disintegration of credit.

Photo by J M Suarez

1 comment:

Kalypso said...

Yikes. These are scary times...