Deadhead Drops Out of Economy, Tunes Into Scofflaw Nation: Books
The hard-luck stories in Barbara Garson’s “Down the Up Escalator: How the 99 Percent Live in the Great Recession” fall into two sections: people who have lost their jobs and people who have lost their homes.
Somehow, though, it’s not a gloomy book (at least not on the surface). Garson writes less about the terrible things that have happened to Americans since the crash than about the resigned/resourceful ways they’re coping.
Take Michael, a young Indiana Deadhead who has settled with such easygoing hopelessness into the new economy that he’s given up even looking for a job he might advance in.
His father works a miserable 50-to-60-hour week as a supervisor at the distribution center of a big-box retailer that, after 35 years, is trying to force him out so it can hire a younger, cheaper replacement.
“I’m not going to live that way,” Michael tells Garson. It makes her think about acquaintances from her own generation who made the choice to drop out.