Some accuse Angel and me of being pessimistic for writing likely outcomes rather than sugar coat the facts and promise that everything will turn out okay in a year. We don't pull these doom and gloom scenarios from a magic hat. The hiring statistics and unemployment numbers are out there for anyone who wants to find them. They all point to our country being in more of a depression rather than in a recession. The suffering that millions of Americans are going through will likely last for a very long time, perhaps for a decade or longer. My feeling is that there will be another economic collapse within the next decade due to poor governing decisions and trillions in stimulus funds going to the financial industry rather than to job creation and stimulus projects that would benefit the average citizen. Our generation probably won't see employment recover to late 1990s levels in our lifetimes. Don't confuse a slight improvement as the end of all our country's woes. Those with an agenda will pull out the "Mission Accomplished" sign as soon as the unemployment rate improves by a few percentages (without taking into account the millions who are underemployed or have given up looking for a job altogether) rather than put into action the only solution that will get us back on track, which is to reform the entire infrastructure of our society as well as the financial system and punish the banksters and corporations who got us into this mess rather than fund their operations with our tax dollars. Oh, yeah, and that little Supreme Court decision that will allow unlimited corporate money to elect politicians who will work in their interests rather than ours won't help us recover in the near future either.
People who continue to hold onto high paying jobs with very little chance of being laid off, are independently wealthy, or are unemployed but have wealthy parents financing their big city apartment and trips around the world will remain hopeful and optimistic because they can afford to feel that way. Some will berate and place blame on those who don't have the fortune of living in this world with rose colored glasses, like the people who have been unemployed for two years or the single mother raising a child on $3,000 a year. The political ruling class (and by that I mean both the Republicans and Democrats who work in Washington), for the sake of being reelected or simply because they are so disconnected from the millions who suffer and live in poverty, will call what we're experiencing a recession to calm real and justified fears that millions could be out of a job for years to come. It's already clear to anyone with even an elementary knowledge of economics (that would be me) that the stimulus was not enough to create job growth nor was it directed at projects that could have assisted more Americans to get back to work.
I am not compensated by any special interests for contributing to this blog. A lot of what you will read here could be difficult to swallow. Some of it will be our opinions but I write based on the data and stories I read in the news, blogs, or what I hear from neighbors, friends, and classmates struggling to pay their bills and student loans. Angel writes more about the legal market because she knows about that much more than I do and a lot of the spin I read in legal outlets don't interest me. I'm no longer a part of that world and doubt that I'll ever return. I like to look at the big picture and the problems in the legal industry which stem from larger problems with the nation's financial and educational system. I do know that the legal market, like the rest of the economy, will not recover in the near future. L4L of Big Debt, Small Law, one of the few truthtellers to report on the legal industry, has written about the problems with the legal market that were occurring long before the economic collapse. Like the housing bubble and the poor financial decisions made for years by banksters to line their pockets at the expense of millions of Americans, the failings and the subsequent fallout in the legal industry and its educational system were clear for anyone who wanted to see them.
The only reason why there is more attention to those failings and discussions for reform now is that those at the top of the heap are suffering too. As I commented on Angel's last post, as with our political system it is unlikely that we will see real reform and change from those in the legal ruling class. The law partners and deans who have benefited from this archaic and ineffective system will keep things the same even if it means those below them are laid off or graduates continue to leave law school with $200k debt and no job offers. The only good thing that can come of this is that TTT law schools might be forced to close down if there is a significant drop in law school applications. Biglaw will hire a little over half of the people out of the T14 schools and a few lucky ones from the rest. The legal industry will shrink significantly, as it should, over the next several decades. Most of the lowly jobs that were taken by grads outside of the T14 will eventually be outsourced. Recent graduates who did not get a job offer and laid off attorneys will, for the most part, never have a chance at the lucrative legal jobs and will be forced to start a new career or remain in the legal industry as temp workers. There will be very few opportunities in the legal market and it will remain that way for most of our working lives.