Fascinating report on America’s recovery since the great recession.


EIG.org just posted this fascinating report on how America has recovered community by community since the big recession. They divide the zip codes into categories, those being prosperous, comfortable, mid-tier, at risk, and distressed. Here is how that works out population wise:

Interesting things in the report…

Prosperous zip codes added 6.5 million jobs on net between 2000 and 2015. Factoring in the losses from lower quintiles, total employment increased by only 6.8 million across all zip codes over the same period.

That blows my mind, that means only 300,000 jobs were net added in zip codes other than prosperous… so 80 million people lived in areas that added 6.5 million new jobs, while the other ~228 million people got 300,000 new jobs.

Prosperous communities were the only group to contain more places of business in 2015 than they did prior to the recession.

So they are also the only areas that are creating new businesses which have an outsized effect in creating new jobs…

Distressed and at-risk communities, which contain 108 million people, have had no recovery in terms of jobs from the great recession. At risk communities are unchanged, and distressed communities have lost 2.2 million jobs.

That is hard to word, but basically, if you live in one of those areas things look the same as during the great recession or worse. I am curious what average pay looks like before and after as there have been a lot of articles about how the jobs that returned after the recession pay a lot less too.

You are fucked if you don’t live in a prosperous zip code.

Everything good economically is happening in those areas. Comfortable zip codes are holding their own, but I was amazed how fast they are being outpaced by the prosperous zip codes (winner takes all?). There should be some inequality, but this just looks more and more like someone is going to start getting the guillotine out.

“The social ramifications are profound. Growing up in areas of concentrated distress often has long-lasting negative effects on an all aspects of residents’ lives, from physical and mental health to earnings to family and financial stability. Even setting the moral implications aside, the financial costs of having the economy fail thousands of communities and tens of millions of people falls on everyone in the forms of lower growth and increased social outlays.”

What the hell do I like reading this stuff?
Beyond finding it fascinating I am really scared of another rise of populism and fascism. And, I think they can emerge when a country is failing a huge swath of its citizens economically. Plus we are already seeing the damage right wing propaganda is doing to our democracy and our institutions. The lack of education and economic opportunities is fanning that. Hitler’s rise to power had a lot of nuance, but I think it would have been a lot harder if the economy had been good for the vast majority of Germans. I think people like to close their eyes and vote for someone who makes outrageous problems if they think it will fix theirs. Especially if that story has a scapegoat they can blame their woes on.

What really frustrates me is that the Republican party is hell-bent on making it even worse, their policies create more inequality and remove more of the meager support network we have to help people get back on the ladder. It is almost like they want to revert back to medieval times where you had a lord and his castle surrounded by poor indebted peasants. They seem blind to the fact they may be leading this country toward a violent revolution because of their blind allegiance to ideology.

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Nice gravel ride on my touring bike!


I went on a long ride today… I managed 43 miles in 3.5 hours. That was a bit of a stretch as I got a little lost coming home and was only aiming for ~35 miles. It was a beautiful day and I found a ton more gravel trails as well as some good dirt roads. I’ve got ~6 weeks left before my bike trip where I hope to do around 40 to 60 miles a day, so hopefully, I get there :). I am really happy that I am getting in better cardio shape finally, I miss running but this is slowly getting better and better.

Some other fun stats from my ride…
– 2300 feet of altitude gain… pretty flat.
– An average heart rate of 134. Although I spent 51 minutes of the ride in zone 4 with a heart rate between 144 to 161.
– Max speed of 30 mph, an average of 12 mph (I am not very fast, the racers blow past me!)

Pretty good workout for my heart on that last stretch…

posted under Fitness & Sports | Comments Off on Nice gravel ride on my touring bike!

This is bwb’s personal blog so he can share his thoughts with the world, however scary or silly they might be. Plus family and friends can track what I am up too, and where I am in the world.

I am pretty simple. I love Mangos. I love the ocean, although mostly at sunset as I’m a ginger. I love to travel, eat exotic food, read, and use my imagination. I love creating and developing ideas into businesses, understanding how all businesses work, and building cool stuff. I am a globalist and see the entire world as my responsibility and playground. And, I am married to an amazing woman who makes life even more fun :)! And, we are now the proud parents of Calico Jack :).