Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Notes I Took A While Ago From An Elizabeth Warren Lecture

This weekend I caught a lecture by economist Elizabeth Warren on television, discussing the financial crisis in the US. Amazing and wonderful stuff. Here are some notes I took down. The largest expenses for American families are Houses, healthcare, car maintenance, childcare, and taxes. Americans spend 3/4ths of their two salary incomes on these expenses, in 1970 they spent just half of a one income salary on these costs.--In my words, there is no longer an Archie Bunker effect.-- In 1970, women just giving birth spent at least five days in the hospital, today its 24 hours, and many times thats because its required by law. Hospitals are pushing people out--sicker and quicker. There are nearly fifty million uninsured in the US. Also those who think they are insured until time for treatment. She calls it Faux insurance...something touted by one of Bush's secretaries of Health, Education, and Welfare... In 1970 the average uninsured person was a 23 year old male with no children. Now, its a 35 year old with 2 kids....In 1970 parents believed it only took 12 years of public funded grade school education for their children to enter the middle class, in 2002 it took 18 years--preschool-grade school-plus four years of college with families paying for 1/3rd of the child's education out of pocket... She says we are quickly moving from a three class society to a two class society... The main reasons why families go into bankruptcy these days is because of one of three reasons 1. Family Breakup 2. Joblessness 3. Medical Problems. Most hide it--guilt and shame, especially from children....more children live in homes that have experienced bankruptcy than have experienced divorce. .... I find all of this very interesting. I wonder how all of this compares/fits along with the trend in the 40s, 50s, and 60s, of the children of Black maids and chauffeurs and other members of the working class rising into the middle class, recieving college educations. I have noted before on this blog, and thought about a lot too--it used to be that it was people of color, particularly Black people who went to school, earned college degrees and ended up working as somebody's maid...that due to discrimination. Nowadays, its everybody...macdonalds, walmart. Interesting turns in the U.S. economy.

No comments: