Hard Times Spawning Bad Attitudes

For the first time in over a year, the Dow Jones Industrial Index briefly hit 10,000. While Wall Street celebrated, chances are the nearly 1 in 10 Americans unemployed are staring at their computer screens befuddled as the financial industry’s fortune has yet to yield new job opportunities.

But, for those unemployed at Goldman Sachs hefty bonuses are on the way. Maybe some lucky kitchen assistant at Goldman will luck out and get a $7,700 retention bonus similar to one over at AIG. Or even better: They can get some real money out of Goldman like Treasury Secretary Tim Geithner's closet aids have. Some of them have pocketed millions.


Meanwhile despite a government-led effort to prevent foreclosures, the number of filings hit a record high in the third quarter. On this past quarter, Rick Sharga, spokesman for RealtyTrac, an online marketer of foreclosed homes told CNN Money, “They were the worst three months of all time."

And grocery prices are expected to rise, there are new reports on how student loans have become the new indentured servitude, and insurance companies are trying to ditch their customers after disaster strikes.


Appearing on the Today Show this morning to discuss Wall Street’s most recent round of bonuses, Michael Moore said: “They burned down our economy. They completely crashed it. And now they're getting rewarded for it… It's absolutely insane that we allow this to happen.”

It’s hard to argue that point when the Supreme Court is willing to hear the appeal of the man responsible for Enron’s meltdown. Moreover, it’s been reported that thirty-three TARP recipients missed a scheduled dividend payment to taxpayers last month. Why can these companies be late on payments without penalties and not any of us?

Doesn't this anger you?

Sara Clemence over at Recession Wire has a post on “recession anger.” In it Clemence details the noticeably souring mood she sees around her – resulting in a lot more pissed off people.


She writes:

“We’re all at a chronic stress point. Despite the fact that the stock market is in a rally, the recession is far from over.  Jobs continue to be lost. Unemployed people are running out of benefits. Employed people are working terribly hard, and still afraid they may lost their positions. More Americans are delinquent on their mortgages.


So now we’re acting more selfish and less considerate.  Feeling afraid and insecure, we’re quick to lash out against others, looking for someone to blame. People are acting out in public and even threatening violence against the president. I can think of may bad events that have come out of such situations, and no good ones.”

I might not be threatening to shank President Obama, but reading all of this has certainly caused my eyes to shift to the side and spawned a “get out of my face” expression.


Have recent events lead to your own bouts with recession anger? Has it changed your interactions with others?

Would love to hear from you (but don’t take out your frustration on me). Leave your feedback below and send your own recession story to therecessiondiaries@gmail.com


Michael Arceneaux hails from Houston, lives in Harlem and praises Beyoncé’s name wherever he goes. Follow him on Twitter.

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