Youth unemployment is rocketing in the UK and this excellent post from Barbara Ehrenreich and Dedrick Muhammed about the situation in the United States makes it absolutely clear that recession exacerbates social divisions. It is the weak that suffer most, even to the extent of losing some of the fragile individual gains of the past. And in the USA the big division is race.
Left out of the ensuing tangle of commentary on race and class has been the increasing impoverishment—or, we should say, re-impoverishment--of African Americans as a group.She continues
For African Americans – and to a large extent, Latinos – the recession is over. It occurred between 2000 and 2007, as black employment decreased by 2.4 percent and incomes declined by 2.9 percent. During the seven-year long black recession, one third of black children lived in poverty and black unemployment—even among college graduates-- consistently ran at about twice the level of white unemployment. That was the black recession. What’s happening now is a depression.This is another reminder of how the smug complacency of the boom years not only ignored the instability of the financial instruments on which it rested, but also neglected to address the continuing corrosive effect of economic and social inequality and the impoverishment of those at the bottom, even in times of plenty.