Tag Archives: Recession

Bouncing Back Into The Nest

by Richard

No, I’m not done editing the book. Not by a long shot. What I am done with is whining about it. So, step back. I’m climbing back into the saddle and gonna start blabbing again. So there.

Saw an interesting stat the other day. Interesting as in, I started sweating and my heartbeat raced up into the danger levels and I started swaying back and forth as my lungs labored to bring oxygen to my shock-starved brain. Yeah, that kind of interesting.

According to the latest statistics, more than a million members of the Class of 2008 have come back home to live with mom and dad.

*ack*

The Class of 2008, born during the historic bull market that closed the past century, reached a dubious distinction last year: More than a million of the college graduates have gone back home.

The number of 26-year-olds living with parents has jumped almost 46 percent since 2007, according to Census Bureau data compiled by the University of Minnesota Population Center. Last year, the number of 18- to 30-year-olds living with their parents grew to 20.7 million, a 3.9 percent gain from 2010.

The figures underscore the difficulty that millions of young people have had in finding jobs and starting careers in the U.S. following the longest recession since the Great Depression. About a quarter of American adults between the ages of 18 and 30 now live with parents, while intergenerational households have reached the highest level in more than 50 years.

If you’re smart, you’ll just hit that website link there and try to only read the interesting bits about the kids moving home and try to avoid the clumsy politicking the writer gets into there.

Anyway, I’m not sure this is a good trend. I mean, yeah, I think it’s good that people can have a relationship with their parents that extends after high school, but I think it’s all too easy to fall back into old habits and patterns of rebellious teen and dictatorial parents. I know when Sarcasmo went off to try his hand at college and then returned home, it was an even bigger kerfluffle than before. He kept insisting that he be treated as an adult and could do what he wanted when he wanted.

That did not turn out well. And, it could be that we did not have a unique experience.

About a third of adults 18 to 34 who live with a parent said the move has been good for the relationship, according to a March report by the Pew Research Center’s Social and Demographic Trends Project in Washington. Only 18 percent said the move had caused relationships with their parents to deteriorate.

More than 60 percent of adults 25 to 34 know friends or family members who have moved back with their parents in the past few years because of economic conditions, according to the Pew report. It cited a December telephone poll of 2,048 adults, with a margin of error of plus or minus 2.9 percentage points.

Still, economic realities might just be crashing into issues of privacy and autonomy. That is, if your young dude can’t find a job, there might be no better place to go than home. Though, one thing I’m quite certain of, should we get another boomerang kid, just like we did before, we’re going to insist on getting paid a rent.

We love our boys and want them to have a good life, but we need to realize that we as parents have lives of our own as well.

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Two Animals Enter, One Animal Leaves

by Richard

Okay, so it wasn’t exactly Thunderdome, but today I saw the greatest example of animal on animal violence that I’ve ever witnessed.

In case you missed the memo, we’ve adopted a labrador/pit bull/cow/beaver mix into the family. He’s about 40 lbs, 15 months and as hyperactive as a methed-out chimp pulling an all-nighter while hopped up on an eightball and chasing it with No-Doze by the package. So, you know, not really very sedate.

So. Anyway. I was walking Buzz this morning. We’ve got a great open field near our house where there was supposed to be a housing development. Recession, depression, etc. etc. No housing development, but plenty of open grass.

I’ll take Buzz down there of a morning, settle down on one of the brick walls out there and then let him off the leash for about 30 minutes of running like his tail was on fire. This morning I went there with Buzz, settled down and then let Buzz off the leash. What I didn’t notice and what Buzz didn’t notice was that — at some point — about 40 Canada geese had landed in the open grass about 100 yards away.

While we hadn’t noticed it before, as soon as Buzz took off. . . Well, let’s just say he noticed and he noticed hard. He picked up his speed even more, actually leaving trails of dust behind, and rushed the geese. Of course, they saw him coming, but they waited until the last minute before they took to the air. And they did so in all directions.

Buzz was paralyzed by a plethora of possibilities. Eventually he picked a couple of geese and set off after them. They landed about 10 yards from him. He closed in. They took off for about 15 yards and landed. Buzz was after them again. They kept teasing the poor dog for what seemed like hours, but probably wasn’t more than a couple of minutes.

When, eventually, they all finally took off for good, poor Buzz was so worn out he could barely move. I was actually able to get a good look at him, now that he wasn’t vibrating so fast he was in danger of going to a parallel universe.

Hmph. Well, I thought it was funny, dude.

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Parental Prognostication

Hey, parental dudes, it turns out we’re more than a bit psychic. At least when it comes to money and babies. It’s long been known that people have fewer babies when there’s a messy economy. With the American and global economy cratering right now, you’d think people would begin to put off having babies. Oddly enough, it seems American parents started delaying their plans to have babies even before the economy started tanking.

It’s precognition, dude. Either that or Americans just decided unprotected sex wasn’t the right way to go. All at the same time. I know. Neither one seems likely, but it’s what happened. Well, the results, anyway. Not sure about the cause.

Just before the earliest stages of the recession, there was a steep decline in the population growth of children younger than a year old, newly released census figures show.

Experts have long known that with rising job cuts and home foreclosures, couples often decide the timing isn’t right to add children to their household. But the mystery here is that the pregnancy falloff reflected in the government data actually began months before Wall Street’s plunge last September.

The number of babies increased only 0.9 percent between July 2007 and July 2008, a sharp drop from the record-setting 2.7 percent growth for the preceding year.

The thought is that — somehow — parents, or people who might have become parents, instinctively knew that the economy was going to hit bottom and start digging a hole. Sort of like dogs knowing when an earthquake is going to hit. Only with money. Now, I knew we — as parents — were often a bit on the spendthrift side, but this is ridiculous.

There didn’t seem to be outwardly clear signs of trouble around the corner. During the months when these couples were conceiving babies — or were choosing not to conceive — the stock market was still rising toward its peak above 14,000, unemployment was relatively flat at about 4.5 percent and consumer confidence was reasonably high.

On the other hand, housing prices were near their peak, a pressure on young families. And in hindsight, some banking failures later identified as early signs of the recession were occurring as early as summer 2007, when gasoline costs also began to rise.

There are times when my wife, known to me as She Who Sometimes Falls For The Joke, thinks I’m psychic. She’ll get one word of a sentence or question out of her mouth and I’ll give her an answer. She won’t know how I knew in advance. The answer is that I didn’t know in advance, but when she started talking a whole cascade of connections started running through my brain. I instantly picked up pieces of information from various past conversations, similar events running through my past and her past and put it together with the present context and — walla! I knew what she was going to ask. It’s not psychic. It’s deductive. Maybe parents — or not-so parents — did the same thing on an unconscious level.

I’ll tell you, I wouldn’t mind being able to harness that sort of group think. I’d make a fortune in the stock market selling short.

— Richard


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