The death of one man is a tragedy. The death of millions is a statistic.
Statistics/percentages often lie, or obfuscate information.
Recently, the national unemployment percentile went from 8.5% to 8.3%.
This was big news, seemingly, for Washington and the news organizations. Woo Hoo! Things are changing, right?
Let’s look at a section of the United States Department of Labor: Employment Situation Summary
In January, the number of job losers and persons who completed temporary jobs fell to 7.3 million. The number of long-term unemployed (those jobless for 27 weeks or more) was little changed at 5.5 million and accounted for 42.9 percent of the unemployed. (See tables A-11 and A-12.)
This is not taking into any account of those who worked the temp/part time jobs, nor does it state how many fall close to or under the poverty level doing that work. This does not take into account a lot of new college graduates who were not “long-term” employees, nor those who, due to the financial reality of today, are trying to get INTO the workplace, to help support families.
It does not tell the story of ages, of careers/long held positions that are no longer, and people having to move along, finding what work they can….IF they can.
The statistics do nothing to really tell the stories, and it is the stories that matter most, because then we can relate. We can find that bond/thread to someone’s else’s plight.
Do we have to make it personal? Do you have to know the person to really care? There is a reason that the Viet Nam Wall in Washington has such an impact. There is a reason, if you see someone’s name &/or face attached to an atrocity that it makes it more real.
Statistics? Nameless numbers that can get juggled to tell it’s own story.
There were protests across the country, Occupy (insert wherever). No real focus, lots of noise and fuss, that, now, months later, has amounted to a lot of nothing. If there was a protest against the “1 Percent“, it did little to nothing to change anything.
Until we have some really clear focus, and some caring about what is going on, and a REAL PLAN…
Brother, can you spare a dime?