Thursday, October 16, 2008

How Recessions Feel

Hilzoy:

Almost everyone needs help, and many fewer people than usual are in a position to give it. Not just material help, either: those of you who haven't lived through a serious recession might not know just how much of a strain it is when everyone is hurting, no one can count on making it financially, nothing the country tries seems to work, businesses are shuttered, neighborhoods go dead, and couples all over the country stare at one another over piles of bills, wondering how on earth they're going to manage.

And it lasts for years.

I think it's going to get really ugly, in ways we haven't seen for decades. It's always a good time to try to be generous and decent, but never more so than when times are tough all around.

I would note that I can't imagine we'll maintain an educational policy through this that defaults to labeling schools as failures and promotes constant administrative reshuffling and reorganization. Generating false crises is an indulgence for flush times.

2 comments:

Dan said...

The achievement gap is a false crisis? Huh?

Tom Hoffman said...

One question is whether something as chronic as the achievement gap should be considered a "crisis." But if we are going to define crisis as, say, "an intolerable situation," then I would argue that our current policies do a poor job of separating the real local crises from spurious and manufactured ones.