mapping the recession
September 19, 2009 6:00 AM   Subscribe

Recession Road Trip
Similar to Andrew Sullivan's Views From Your Recession & Sickbed, Christina Davidson has been touring across the country collecting and documenting individuals' tales of how the recession is affecting them, such as in Full Grown Boy Lost, in Las Vegas.
posted by kliuless (12 comments total) 7 users marked this as a favorite
A similar exercise in the UK: "BBC News website photographer Phil Coomes and journalist Paula Dear spent four days driving up the A1 from London to Edinburgh and blogged the journey ": Recession Road / plus Audio Slideshow
(Part of the BBC's coverage of the anniversary of global downturn . It was also a photographic pilgrimage - following in the footsteps of documentary photographer Paul Graham, who covered the same route in the 1980s . )
posted by Petrot at 6:15 AM on September 19, 2009 [1 favorite]

everybody is always doing pieces on the newly poor ("thank god I am not in *that* situation" articles) or the newly rich ("I am so jealous and could spend that money so much better" articles) but where is the wave of middle class just-doing-alright-nothing-spectacular people?
posted by krautland at 9:01 AM on September 19, 2009

but where is the wave of middle class just-doing-alright-nothing-spectacular people?

Busy with teabagger and townhall meetings that wii in effect hamstring Obama's efforts to help them?
posted by notreally at 10:01 AM on September 19, 2009 [1 favorite]

posted by notreally at 10:01 AM on September 19, 2009

but where is the wave of middle class just-doing-alright-nothing-spectacular people?
Busy with teabagger and townhall meetings that wii in effect hamstring Obama's efforts to help them?

To be fair, it is only a 20% batshitinsane (and very vocal) minority of twits.
posted by five fresh fish at 10:11 AM on September 19, 2009

This slideshow of Las Vegas is eye opening - (the motorized scooters in front of the pawn shop in picture #11)
posted by milkrate at 11:46 AM on September 19, 2009

The homeless couple in Sacramento, 62 years old, living in a tent, married 41 years, a heart attack each -- a horror show. And all their friends turned their backs upon them -- my god. These are NOT street people -- these are citizens. The guy was a special forces sergeant major in army -- this guy is not some slug unafraid of work. And he cannot get his military benefits because of a snag in paperwork?

This thing is a horror show. These are good people, every story I've read, these are not mopes, these are truly citizens, all of them, in impossible situations, way over their heads, and not for anything that they've done or not done.

I have problems in my life, that's a fact. Then I read about this, and other stories like these ini this past year or more -- it's ice-cold water dumped onto me, it's being slapped hard across the face, it's a wake-up. I remember that my life is a gem, that I'm blessed with so much.

This could be any of us. This could be you.
posted by dancestoblue at 2:47 PM on September 19, 2009

These are NOT street people -- these are citizens.

Jesus. Street people aren't citizens? Furthermore, they're not people, regardless of citizenship? You're exhibiting the very attitude of fear, disgust, and unfeelingness that allows "street people" to fall through the net in the first place.
posted by runningwithscissors at 3:10 PM on September 19, 2009 [2 favorites]

Randomly, I talked to her on the phone a bit when she was in the area and did this piece, and I used to hang out pretty often with the Shawn Cole mentioned in this one. I haven't read every piece, but it's an interesting project.
posted by brennen at 3:45 PM on September 19, 2009

That is indeed how health care works in Canada, homunculus.

My use of the Canadian healthcare system is probably very typical. I've had several doctors in the past forty years. Sometimes because I've moved, sometimes because the doctor moved, and I've gone periods where I've used walk-in and emergency-room exclusively (the former for persistent colds, the latter by arriving by ambulance). Some doctors have been excellent, one was a little too pill-pushy in the end, none have been spectacularly poor. They've always been by choice. I needed a 40-year inspection, so I decided to hook up with a regular doctor once again. It's all been good in the few times I've seen him since.

In all these many years, I probably haven't directly spent more than a few thousand dollars. I paid some amount for the ambulance ride — not much more expensive than a taxi ride from the ski mountain where I brained myself; a hundred bucks, if that. I've paid pissant amounts for prescription medications. I seem to recall one prescription (I don't remember whether for antibiotics or antidepressants) was getting up there; a hundred bucks for the period, or something like that; but most of them have been ten to thirty bucks a 'scrip.

However, I have also almost always been covered under a work-sponsored plan directly or through my spouse. Group health benefits are so easy to get and so automatic that I have basically never noticed what they take off my paycheque; all I know is that I want 'em and pooling with co-workers is easy and makes it really cheap. But really, those group plans need to be taken into account when discussing differences between countries.

My wife and I are now both working as self-employed and trying to figure out what health care really costs in Canada. Dealing with insurance companies one-to-one is a nightmare, especially when you have pre-existing conditions. Group plans are so much easier and better!

I really, really appreciate the mandatory basic single-sourced auto insurance and mandatory basic single-source health care coverage in BC. Those systems ensured that when my wife was smoked by a truck, it was covered by his auto insurance, and that the mandated priority concern was to restore her to as full a functionality as possible. The insurers and health professionals actively co-operated to give her the best outcome; it was very impressive.

Our experience of trauma-caused health care was golden, all told.

I can not believe there are people who want to compound the trauma of a major medical event by involving profit-oriented pirates whose sole excuse for existence is to pocket 30% of the money that you have spent protecting yourself against risk. They're a fucking insurance company for gods sakes! The moment you start costing them, they're looking at their bottom line! Give your heads a shake!

When a government recognizes that the health and full functionality of its citizens is in its own best interests, great things can happen. Superlative medical care pays back in increased productivity, happier citizens, and greater achievements.
posted by five fresh fish at 12:17 PM on September 22, 2009 [1 favorite]

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