Marcela Valdes examines “financial terror” in young adult lit, citing examples like the Hunger Games and Divergent as examples of books that depict financial insecurity as true horror. (“In recent years, realistic YA depictions of poverty and economic disparity have also turned much darker. The kinds of truly desperate characters that Little Women kept on the margins now often take center stage.”)
jelvision: “Do you see a closing of the gap or will it only get wider?”
robert reich: We’re coming close to a tipping point where, if income and wealth become any more concentrated at the top, the economy can’t function (the middle class and poor don’t have enough purchasing power) and our democracy can’t function (so much money corrupts it from the top that the majority of Americans give up on it). So we have no choice, realistically, but to reform the system — unless we want revolution.
I haven’t read a lot of the articles about raising the minimum wage because it is just so stupidly obvious that the fact that it didn’t already happen yesterday makes me exhausted. But it’s still a thing people are talking about and writing about because it’s still a thing that isn’t settled yet (RIDICULOUS) so Robert Reich made a video with Move On that goes over the pros and debunks the cons in 2 minutes and 25 seconds. Shorter version: DUH.
Heidi N. Moore has lots to say—and nothing good—about the fiscal cliff deal (“deal”) passed by the Senate early Tuesday morning: “So, after a day, and week, and year filled with manufactured drama, the US Senate not only failed its only goal – reducing the US deficit – but also built a mountain range out of the molehill of budget talks.”
And if you’re in the mood for more good (“good”) news, her piece about the longterm unemployed and how a real deal likely wouldn’t help them anyway is a doozy (“The predicament of the long-term unemployed only has a passing relationship to the fiscal cliff. There happens to be no one in the government who can put their hand up and protect the unemployed”).
The jumps in rates of borrowing to rates of saving for young people are huge, and Moody’s economist Mark Zandi thinks it’s because we’re scared, which: we are. Yes. That is a true assumption. “It is unclear how long this heightened risk aversion will last, but I suspect the last few years will have an indelible impact on how younger households think about their finances.” NO DUH MOODY’S.