Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Rainy Day Recovery

O'Hollern has a vivid post at BadAttitudes (also at Donkey Mountain) about the proto-post-Soviet levels of “laggard, slumping despair” among his neighbors and the gallows comedy they find in “Hey, cheer up, we’re in a recovery!”

What he's saying chimes ominously with this report from a think-tank outfit called the Corporation for Enterprise Development. (Found, like many things, via HAC News). It says we're doing worse by the year on "asset poverty," which they define as lacking savings or resources for a rainy day -- that is, enough to cover three months' basic expenses in case of layoff or similar. It says the description now fits a quarter of U.S. families (presume that means households). Worse, they've come up with a "liquid asset poverty" category to consider that assets like a family house may be hard to sell in a hurry. By this measure, "43 percent of households nationwide are “liquid asset poor” with little or no savings to fall back on if emergency strikes."

BTW, highlights in the "Assets and Opportunity" report include a national chart with the most striking Mason-Dixon line break I think I've seen between greater and lesser prosperities.

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