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Down the Up Escalator: How the 99 Percent Live in the Great Recession

by Barbara Garson

MembersReviewsPopularityAverage ratingMentions
702305,451 (3.78)1
"One of our most incisive and committed journalists--author of the classic All the Livelong Day--shows us the real human cost of our economic follies. The Great Recession has thrown huge economic chal­lenges at almost all Americans save the super-affluent few, and we are only now beginning to reckon up the human toll it is taking. Down the Up Escalator is an urgent dispatch from the front lines of our vast collective struggle to keep our heads above water and maybe even--someday--get ahead. Garson has interviewed an economically and geographically wide variety of Americans to show the pain­ful waste in all this loss and insecurity, and describe how individuals are coping. Her broader historical focus, though, is on the causes and consequences of the long stag­nation of wages and how it has resulted in an increasingly desperate reliance on credit and a series of ever-larger bubbles--stocks, technology, real estate. This is no way to run an economy, or a democracy. From the members of the Pink Slip Club in New York, to a California home health-care aide on the eve of eviction, to a subprime mortgage broker who still thinks it could have worked, Down the Up Escalator presents a sobering picture of what happens to a society when it becomes economically organized to benefit only the very rich and the quick-buck speculators. But it also demonstrates the wit and resilience of ordinary Americans--and why they deserve so much bet­ter than the hand they've been dealt"--"An intimate look at the lives of Americans who have been affected, in very different ways, by the 2008 Recession"--… (more)
  1. 00
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    Jestak: These two books offer a very effective counterpoint to each other.
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Reading this book makes me want to throw it across the room and kick it a bit. The stories are infuriating, stressful, and aggravating, while simultaneously demonstrating the resilience and persistence of those who are convinced that hard work will pull them out of a ruined economy. Definitely not a fun read, but interesting to get some perspective on what else was happening during the years right after I graduated and was looking for work. ( )
  resoundingjoy | Jan 1, 2021 |
This is a very insightful look at how the Great Recession has affected people from a variety of economic and social backgrounds. ( )
  grandpahobo | Aug 23, 2013 |
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"One of our most incisive and committed journalists--author of the classic All the Livelong Day--shows us the real human cost of our economic follies. The Great Recession has thrown huge economic chal­lenges at almost all Americans save the super-affluent few, and we are only now beginning to reckon up the human toll it is taking. Down the Up Escalator is an urgent dispatch from the front lines of our vast collective struggle to keep our heads above water and maybe even--someday--get ahead. Garson has interviewed an economically and geographically wide variety of Americans to show the pain­ful waste in all this loss and insecurity, and describe how individuals are coping. Her broader historical focus, though, is on the causes and consequences of the long stag­nation of wages and how it has resulted in an increasingly desperate reliance on credit and a series of ever-larger bubbles--stocks, technology, real estate. This is no way to run an economy, or a democracy. From the members of the Pink Slip Club in New York, to a California home health-care aide on the eve of eviction, to a subprime mortgage broker who still thinks it could have worked, Down the Up Escalator presents a sobering picture of what happens to a society when it becomes economically organized to benefit only the very rich and the quick-buck speculators. But it also demonstrates the wit and resilience of ordinary Americans--and why they deserve so much bet­ter than the hand they've been dealt"--"An intimate look at the lives of Americans who have been affected, in very different ways, by the 2008 Recession"--

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