Something is up in Oklahoma and nobody really wants to talk about it. Instead, we all run around regurgitating headlines of how great a place this is to live and how this is the most recession-proof city in the nation and how unemployment is only 6 or so percent here and everywhere else it’s skyrocketing toward 10 percent.
Repeating positive sound bites makes us feel better, especially if you’re a Gen Xer and you resisted becoming part of the brain-drain. After all, you stuck it out here in the desolate 80s and the boom-and-bust and RIFs of the 90s to enjoy life post MAPS.
Job Loss, Furloughs and Tax Revenue
But, something is still up here, and what’s up is unemployment. In the last 60 days, six of my Generation X friends have lost their jobs. And, by the way, am I the only one who has heard the rumors about government furloughs? Maybe they’re just that – rumors. I hope so, because in Oklahoma, government is the big employer. Just yesterday, news broke that tax revenue in Oklahoma City is down by $6 million.
The Great Recession and Generation X
The bottom line is, nationwide, Generation X is in “widespread economic pain,” despite news today that the Great Recession has ended. As Cheryl Russell, editorial director for the New Strategist Publications, reports, the bubble has burst for Boomers (I feel bad for them); Generation Y is in an all-out depression (I feel even worse for them); and Generation X is “in trouble” (nothing new).
Drawing from 2008 income statistics released by the Census Bureau last week, Russell concludes:
Gen Xers are in trouble: Big time…Householders aged 35 to 44 are now the nation’s biggest spenders, outpacing higher-earning 45-to-54-year-olds, because of their oversized mortgages. The average mortgage interest spending of householders aged 35 to 44 is fully 27 percent greater than 45-to-54-year-olds, according to the Consumer Expenditure Survey. The housing debt of 35-to-44-year-olds ballooned by 23 percent between 2004 and 2007, after adjusting for inflation–a greater increase than any other age group, according to the Survey of Consumer Finances. Then the economy tanked. That explains why Gen Xers are least likely among the generations to be satisfied with their finances…”
The Telegenic and the Gospel of Prosperity
He tells me not to worry if this is the third time I’ve been diagnosed with a disease. God can heal me. He tells me not to worry that people say I’m not qualified for a job. God can grant me the promotion. He tells me if I sow seeds in good soil I’ll reap a harvest. He tells me if I give the Lord will give back to me. He even promises wealth if I fervently believe.