Unemployed, but Not Alone

I'm unemployed.

It's not a ludicrous thing for me to say. I graduated college in May. I did well while there. I wrote a lot for my paper. I gathered the respect of my professors. I was a good student. Yet, now that my college career has ended, I'm unemployed.

When looking at the American landscape, I'm not alone. This floundering economy isn't exactly helping a lot of people and the national unemployment rate is 6.1%. Georgia alone is even worse with an unemployment rate of 6.5%. Everything isn't coming up roses for me when numbers like those show themselves. The thing is, this problem is a little deeper than most may think.

See, the unemployment rate for 20- to 24-year-olds is actually 9.8% according to the US Department of Labor (since my parents read this blog, if there's any article I want them to read right now, it's the one I just linked so they know specifically why I'm still in the room upstairs). What no one noted about the danger of the American Dream is that it drastically alters the infrastructure when everyone suddenly gets it. When everyone can get a college degree, the job market is then flooded with college graduates. When the personal unemployment rate of a certain demographic is so high, it's really difficult for that demographic to pay back college loans (and someone is about to eye me for the $10k I owe pretty soon, and the only reason I owe so little is due to God's grace and my dad's labor).

Our economy is changing and it's time we seriously reanalyze how it's going to work in the 21st Century. Yesterday, the dollar and the yen went up in value, a barrel of oil is down to $64.15, a 300+ point drop in the Dow Jones was seen as nothing new, and the Treasury Department finally decided to try something different (or really something we haven't done in a while).

Part of all this is really the fault of the American Dream. It sounds really callous to say this, but here's the truth of the matter:
-Any Macroeconomics class will tell you unemployment is necessary to keep inflation down. A nice low rate is typically a good thing, but when the numbers get out of control (for example: NOW), it's time to show concern.
-The American economic crisis was everyone's fault. The democrats believed in absolute upward mobility without considering the cost to the national infrastructure. The republicans touted the importance of homeownership which put too much burden on banks to make bad loans. Banks got greedy with bad loans. People (on every economic level) were borrowing money they had no business borrowing. We need to stop pointing fingers and focus on getting out of this mess.
-Maybe not everyone should go to college and not everyone should own a house, huh? College degrees are seen today with the same value as high school diplomas because so many people have them. The education system in the post-secondary level is being watered down. As the article I posted earlier noted, when everyone has a college degree, it's harder for employers to parse out who should get jobs. And now I'm sitting on a couch.
-Oh, and this is a socio-capitalist nation, but I'll talk more about that in another post.

So, in a few days, I'm going to charge more money to my credit card so I can apply to a couple graduate schools so I can get at least a master's degree. I'm going to keep sending out resumés and job applications and pray that God will send me work eventually. But I'll also rest assured that at least I'm not alone in the harrowing task of couch sitting.

And if anyone is reading this, anyone want to give a Morehouse Alum a job?


Anonymous said…
'Maybe not everyone should go to college and not everyone should own a house, huh?'

- So who's gonna choose the people to resign from it? Those ppl themselves? I don't think they'll do, it's not that easy.
It is a very difficult thing to say. No one is all that willing to say it, myself included. But looking at the American economy in a macro sense, it may just be necessary. Perhaps our society should be pushing the idea of success and personal satisfaction with oneself instead of the one-size-fits-all collegiate ideal. It could be a good start.

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