Sunday, May 24, 2020

Women Who Don't Work

I am enjoying Mrs. America on HULU right now as it covers the attempt by women's rights activists to get the ERA passed in the 70s.  Then they encountered a failed politician, Phyllis Schafly, who formed a PAC and using an army of housewives destroyed what may have prevented the #MeToo movement, the lack of equitable pay for workers and established family leave,  sexual and reproductive rights, child care and other issues now coming to an ugly head during the current Pandemonium.

Right now most women are filling the job as provider in the quarantine family home even when there is a partner there to assume some of the roles as cook, cleaner and teacher.  But fuck that, right men?!!!

The one thing the show does demonstrate that Ms. Schlafly (she would hate that moniker) was, was in fact a working woman.  She had domestic help, her husband was financially solvent to enable her to take the time away from the home, allowed her to attend law school and of course run the family business out of the home as she built her business of destroying equality for women.  And again let us remind ourselves that we are our worst enemy when it comes to seeking collaboration, cooperation and bridge building versus burning when it comes to climbing that proverbial ladder to "equality." It exists across gender, race and yes even political lines.  Once you grab that rung you will do whatever it takes to hold on and kick or stomp on anyone's hand rather than lend a helping one to bring them up to join you.  That is the American Way!

For a long while I used to believe that do unto others and then I sorta kinda didn't.  It comes from a Christian Ethos and after living in Nashville I thought that concept spread across the secular and non-secular lines and then I met the people who lived there.  Not one but many over my time there taught me that fuck you and fuck you again if you try to do the right thing when you are not a member of the tribe.  Again that tribe is be with your own kind and that is one fucking small tribe of one then. And so it set me on my current course which has been trying to explain to people that no, we are not in this together and yes we are alone when it comes to managing our own health, our wealth and all the rest during the pandemonium.  I had that discussion yesterday when the word afraid came up and I asked what he was afraid of.  And that was the virus.  Irony his partner had the virus, he contracted in a trip to China and was a nurse and immediately took the right precautions to protect his family and his employees from contracting the virus. The joke is I bet this very same person has it and has now the anti-bodies and had no idea he was a carrier.  But again until you test for both the virus and in turn the antibody you will never know if you are Covid "free." And that means a whole lot of nothing as we are nowhere near knowing if those tests are 100% accurate in either regard.  But hey it is better than nothing and companies across the globe are working towards finding ways to open their business  and keep both employees and customers safe. Some will never re-open.

But for now the reality is that if you are symptomatic regardless of any symptom even just one, get tested and then wait unit the results to resume work, joining the public and in turn practicing safe not-sex (well that always must be practiced) but all the other protocols established regardless, until a vaccine is created.

As for returning to work well that is not a light switch and viola you are back in the old job you had pre-pandemonium.  Banks, Insurance Agents, Hotels, Schools, pick one, name one, are not going to call you all back in and you are back behind the counter, at your desk, in an office, doing whatever you used to do.  As I fight with Wells over their lack of an open branch in Jersey City, they have had more than ample time to build screens, hire security guard to monitor crowd flow, isolate and set policies in motion to protect both staff and customers. NO you cannot get Covid from paper so now that has been declared we can handle money.    So I suspect branches will close, those employees from tellers to managers to other customer service agents, almost all women,  almost all faces of color will be joining the 30 plus million who will be long term unemployed.

This is my third major recession, the one in the 80s when I graduated college, the one in 2008 and now this.  I have been independent once my family hammered into me the idea of a fall back job and saving money, not owning anything unless I pay cash for it was a lesson well learned. Until the attempted murder of me in 2012 I was fine but the ultimate destruction it took on my health and savings I would have been fine.  That said I owe 10K in loans for my teeth and when Vanderbilt claimed I still owed them a 1,000 I laughed and said I will pay you $10 a month for a 100 months. They agreed and I laughed as that is now over eight years to do so. This is how idiotic this system is with regards to medical debt.  My credit card will expire in three so I look forward to that next contact when it happens.  But my intent is to actually pay it off much sooner as frankly just fucking with Vanderbilt was the only thing that mattered and that again it proved how desperate they are too to resolve medical debt.  This will on their end get worse post Covid.

We have the men issue that led to the charge of Trump, that men after 2008 were hired back into jobs that were paid less and in turn also contributed to the Opioid problems among others and it is laughable as that is the same cohort that uses the mantra, "up by your bootstraps" to prove your worth and then those straps break.  Whoops!  So again rather than look extrinsically to the system that contributed to it and of course demand change, strike, take to the streets, vote and actually demand change they turned to a fuckwit reality TV show host to do what he does best, sow chaos and let other people do the heavy lifting.  How is all that winning working out for you? And yes women you voted for the pussy grabber so how is that pussy?

If we are to change anything we need to change how we see ourselves and more importantly how we see each other.  We have to accept differences in behaviors and learn to accommodate those in ways that will enable us to see past the obvious - gender, race, sexuality and culture.  To say Europeans do it better is perhaps somewhat true but they too suffer from the very thing that makes them European, culture.  That is why you are seeing a resurgence to the right in many counties, such as Austria and England as evident by BREXIT. The idea that there is one Europe is crazy as unless you have been there you don't realize there are characteristics and qualities that make them well Swiss, German, Italian and French and so on.  It is fabulous, fascinating and complex all at the same time.  But you do see a better sense of identity when the shit hits the fan unlike here. We suck and until I lived in the South I did not get that idea of identity, tribalism and nativism.  The South sucks but whatever again my basis of this is the whole racism tied to religion so take that for what it is worth.  I did meet many kind people and great people but I did not tie that to the South I thought it was despite it not because of it. But we do the same with age, race, gender, sexual identity, political beliefs, cultural ones as well. We love the idea of Chinatown, of a Bodega and Hispanic area to go shopping, to taste and feel the flavors, as long as they stay there.  Good to know and I will never forget that is was a Black Woman in Nashville who asked me where I lived and when I told her South Nashville her response: "With all those brown people?" And mine: "Did they not say that about you once?"  And that was the marker for most of my conversations in Nashville, glad to be gone.

As for coming out of this once again minorities and women will get the shaft  And especially ones over 55, we are thought of as less, not worthy and too close to getting that Social Security and Medicare which is what it really is about. It is not about we are not thinkers, doers or creators it is petty jealousy that we are this close to free shit. And that is what fuels the racial divide that concept of getting free/low cost housing, affirmative action that enables some to get into schools over there less qualified but whiter cohorts, but did we not learn anything from the Varsity Blue scandal? It is about access and availability, money and name recognition.  Again, not knowing the Obama children, but get real they could spell cat with a K and get into an Ivy League school, that is the way it is.  Fly or buy as let's face George W was not  smart in any sense of the word, so again do you think he would handle this better. Think again.

Without an older more sophisticated workforce we will face a much more significant problem in getting back to business.   I think listening to my younger idiots when they say they are "afraid" that is the tip that they are fucking clueless.  We need to remind ourselves we are on the verge of electing another 70 plus white man, could Warren a woman and his age be worse?  She seems sharper and way more hip without a replacement, and that she lost her brother to Covid is an important marker. That said I also think Kamala Harris would be a brutal AG, and after Barr we need a sharp legal mind to untangle all that he did to establish such Executive Power.  Women, we can regardless of age or color, rule the world.  That is what really frightens you.  Watch Mrs. America and see what could have had a bunch of angry white women who were what? Afraid, and in turn stop women from doing what would have benefitted them all.

Women 55 and older who lose their jobs in the pandemic face greater risk of long-term unemployment

By Michelle Singletary
Columnist the Washington Post
May 22, 2020

The pandemic has pushed millions of people out of their jobs. One demographic that has been especially hard hit is women 55 and older.

Sarah Borenstein left teaching at 55 to start a second career in information technology. And she was doing well. The Denver resident was working from her home as a contractor for an engineering firm.

Then the novel coronavirus started spreading. Borenstein’s employer designated her an essential employee and assured her everything would be fine.

Then it wasn’t.

Her employer let her go. Now Borenstein, 58, is living off unemployment. With her teacher’s pension, she’ll be okay — but the loss of income disrupted her plans for a more secure retirement.

“I can live off my pension, but I won’t have a lot of extras,” she said. “The longer I’m out of work, the harder it will be to get back in the job market.”

The United States lost 20.5 million jobs in April, the highest monthly job loss on record. The unemployment rate for both young and older workers jumped to double digits. For women over 55, the unemployment rate increased to 15.5 percent in April, up from 3.3 percent a month earlier, according to the AARP Public Policy Institute. “The numbers were really devastating,” said Susan Weinstock, AARP’s vice president for financial resilience programming.

There’s a trifecta effect for older unemployed women, Weinstock said. They face age discrimination, are likely to be unemployed longer in downturns and — when they do finally land a job — they often have to take a significant pay cut.

When personal and job characteristics are held constant, jobless women are 18 percent less likely to find new work at age 50 to 61 than at age 25 to 34. At 62 or older, they are 50 percent less likely to be rehired, according to research by the Urban Institute.

With job opportunities and income reduced, the unemployed often tap their retirement funds if they have them — leaving less to live on when they decide to retire or are forced to stop working because of health issues. Under the Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security (Cares) Act, workers younger than 59½ can take coronavirus-related distributions up to $100,000 without incurring the typical 10 percent early-withdrawal penalty.

“If they’re having financial trouble, that’s a great safety net,” Weinstock said. “But if you’re an older worker, you have a lot less time to make that up than you do if you’re a younger worker.”

By the way, Weinstock pointed out, if you’re looking for work, AARP has a Job Board at Right now, the Small Business Administration is looking to hire loan specialists to process applications for the Paycheck Protection Program, created under the Cares Act to help businesses keep their workers employed during the pandemic.

Elizabeth White knows what it’s like to be 55 and unemployed. During the Great Recession, she lost lucrative consulting contracts that put her “solidly in the six figures.” She thought her experience working for the World Bank and advanced degrees from Johns Hopkins and Harvard universities would help her quickly find new employment.

She was wrong.

And to make matters worse, White had previously depleted her savings trying to run a retail business, which ultimately failed.

Now 66, White has gained tremendous perspective that can help other older workers trying to make ends meet during the pandemic. She wrote about her experience of having the “bottom fall out with no ladder to climb back up.” Her book, “55, Underemployed and Faking Normal,” is this month’s Color of Money book selection.

One of the first actions White recommends is forming a “resilience circle,” which is a small network of people with whom you can discuss honestly the challenges of living on a limited income because of a job loss. She talks about how important it is to downsize quickly. And she cautions that if you were a high earner with an impressive job title, “get off your throne,” meaning you may have to settle for work that you wouldn’t normally take.

“We’re going to have to let go of this notion that our values and worth are based solely on our titles, incomes, and jobs,” she writes. “We’re going to have to let go of our vanity and pride.”

White wrote the book before the pandemic hit, but the advice for older workers is timeless. She’s writing as a comrade in the struggle. It’s not a story of “doom and gloom” but of encouragement for older workers trying to make a living in a new normal.

I am hosting an online discussion about the “55, Underemployed and Faking Normal” at noon Eastern time on June 4 at My guests will be White and AARP’s Weinstock. They will join me to take your questions about older workers dealing with unemployment during the covid-19 pandemic.

Friday, May 22, 2020

Once in a Lifetime?

This pandemic is but the fall back on this is not.  I am not Okay are You? should be the next phrase Melania Trump put on the back of her next coat to wear as she escapes from her prison.  Funny Michelle Obama was told that it was much like one but a nice one when she became First Lady and undoubtedly that statement has taken on a whole new meaning.

The Daddies have given us a hall pass with the holiday weekend, expect that next week the scolding will begin anew as we have somehow failed to do good and we must go back on probation until the next phase of reward begins. They do this with dog training and clearly Westminster is taking notes for next years show.

I have decided to dedicate my time to write more and read more. I have failed on both counts. I have written two essays about what it is like to live in this time of Covid, one analogy to being punished as a child and another at being in attendance to the longest baseball game of one's life.  Both I submitted to contests and journals and my query letter was basically, hey I am in lockdown and we are in quarantine you may like it or not as that is yours to decide.  Honestly anyone who has done the routine of submit, write the requisite pleading query letter, wait, hear nothing and do it all over again knows that even with rejection you get not one clear critique or comment that would enable you to know how close to the mark you are or not. In other words, its like this bullshit we are experiencing now, the endless lather, rinse, repeat. The daily reading of numbers continues to demonstrate that all this social distancing, economic destruction, quarantining, isolation, waiting and wondering what is enough is anything ever enough to finally hear what we need to hear but never do is what writers go through on a constant basis.  Its exhausting, mind numbing and utterly useless.  If you cannot actually get solid feedback, honest truths and advice on what to do to make your writing work or even if you should write we will continue to just wait and wait and wait some more for the one day some invisible Editor, Agent, Publisher will throw you a bone.  And even then that bone is very picked over and with little meat left.  Its a great gig clearly.  Which gig I am not sure.

This is how we roll in America we think that this makes us stronger, better, brighter. We are sure that it meets the myth that defines the American ethic of up by the boot straps, work hard, play by the rules and do the right thing and all things will work. That is the fundamental principle of Meritocracy and that is the biggest load of shit ever shoveled in the history of American shit throwing.

I came of age in a major recession and launch of the go go 80s that I believe led to the subsequent crisis today.  The Voodoo President Reagan is so much like what I experienced, from the cuts to Government funding, the denigration of minorities with Welfare Queen, the political scandals and lastly the AIDS crisis is as if I am in a continual loop of a movie that I hated the first time and now for some reason cannot get out of the theater.

This week I read the below article in the New York Times, discussing how this pandemic and the economic meltdown which resulted from the chaos, lack of information, messaging and preparedness enabled a bunch of random white male Governors and a couple of women thrown in the mix who basically followed the cues in the dueling East Coast versus West Coast with flyover country trying to get their voices heard to show they too matter is perhaps the most distressing of it. From the DeWine fucker in Ohio, to the poor Governor of Michigan, to Texas and lastly the idiot in Florida and Georgia to show that the South is in this too.   I wondered is there any adult in the room other than Fauci?  He is like the little Igor to President Frankenstein who is sure if he is scary enough the Doctor will respect him. Well that clearly did not work.

An election is coming up and we have another doddering fool of a white man running on the back of a black man, not the first time but then again with white men they never change their agenda as they always do it on the backs of anyone who they can climb over to get to the top of the rung. I tried not to think of the mistakes I made in my life as I came of age in the 80s after finishing college and wanting to go to law school I found a job working in the King County Prosecutors office as a clerk. I learned right there that the justice system was a load of bullshit and folded that dream into the tent and never unpacked it again.  I have no regrets at all.  Coming back into that fold briefly in 2012 as a victim of it confirmed what I knew then, that white men run it, they bestow a modicum of power to black men who then go all Clarence Thomas on that to show they earned that and the women either fuck tother women over or the men to keep their jobs.  Face it that is what it is everywhere.

I worked in largely temporary office jobs, a Kelly Girl, for years and traveled as that was by far more interesting and educational than any college class I ever sat in. Well not true, as a Sociology and English major there were many courses I loved and look upon with great joy and appreciation but they were few and far in between. College in another predatory breeding ground of white male privilege with the same bullshit I saw in the King County Courts.  Education and Justice are institutions and they want to stay that way. And no wonder I loved being a Substitute Teacher more than one full time, it was ingrained from my early professional years. That system is as racist and classist as one can get but it pretends not.  But now that curtain is finally realized as one threadbare.

And this  brings me to the last industrial complex, medicine. We have now seen that curtain pulled back and the ugly truth of OZ that it is not some grand King but a sad hot mess of Doctors and Nurses who have spent their lives thinking they were in a noble profession only to be brought down to reality when a pandemic hit and then they had to beg for money, food and applause all while crying, "I didn't sign up for this!" Yes, yes you did. The Starbucks Barista, the Grocery Clerk, the Fed Ex dude no, no they did not.  So shut the fuck up and wipe that tear.

Truths are hard and ignorance even more so and that is what we have now, an immense amount of Americans utterly afraid, paralyzed with fear and with little or know foundation, aka intelligence. on which to ask questions, ask them again and again until they get a truthful answer. It is like the writing submission process where you blindly go in and never come out with an single response. Is there a point?  I guess if they don't want it you suck so go away. Well again don't even those who suck deserve to be told that.  Oh in the Education complex they do that, in the Justice one they do so as well and of course in Medicine that is a given. It goes by race, age, gender or any other visible methodology that makes it easy in which to do so.  Sexuality is added later when it can be and they certainly have tried as here in New Jersey an Assemblywoman wanted that info on the testing criteria. Really bitch you need one more factor to the already complex polynomial that is Covid?

When I read the article about today's graduates it was during one of my marathon walks I saw a young girl and her mother taking pics against the skyline of New York in the background and while still remaining physically distant I did stop, however, and was not socially when I congratulated her. And I told her one lie and two truths - that life is like that river water and that with it comes the good and it flows out and then the bad flows in. Right now we are in a bad flow and it will leave and in its place comes the good.  And in turn this is the worst of it and yet for you the best of it, choose which one matters and let that be your guide to navigate the water.  The truth is that I want to believe but I am not sure anymore what or who to believe. But I know now that I had no mentors, no history or family that knew how to navigate and they were working class but I never felt as if I fit and perhaps even when I entered Education it was a last resort but it also was the gig my Mother said to fall back upon and that was what it was and is. I loath politics and again a Pink Collar profession is no less politic than a white collar one, just the rules are different.

And as a truth teller and seeker of the same I ended up fucking lucky.  That is all it has been and I have never believed otherwise.  I liked working retail when I was allowed to simply just make money. I liked Teaching when I could simply teach kids.  I loved renovating houses but it was all with men and that was the catch and I did not have a mitt.  If I could do it all over I wouldn't as all of it made me a hell of a broad and that I am grateful. But I have paid an immense price for that as I have no family, no significant other and apparently that is not all that uncommon for my lot who was the class of 1981.  I certainly did not follow any conventional yellow brick road to OZ and while I tried the tennis shoe, bow wearing suits of the Women Who Worked, when I worked in a bank, that was ahead of the curve, People's Bank when it folded its doors after I soon left. Not one person I worked there with, well one, had any type of knowledge, intelligence and dignity so they treated their employees and co-workers the same.  I worked for two women, Janelle Keating and Wanda Judd. Wanda was just like the name one imagines and I liked her and respected her and I suspect she and I were cut much from the same cloth.  Janelle was a slut who fucked her bosses and had a husband already employed there so I suspect it was how she got her job in the first place and which she was unqualified for.   I can remember a few of the others and they are faces and names long forgotten but I am sure they found what they were looking for - just recognition.  I think that is all we look for in work, as respect is not coming your way.

Work is for fools and horses my Mother used to say and we have a lot of both standing in the field.  I am not sure this is something that we will come out of in the same way we did in the 80s. It is going back in time and with that I hope the 70s follow as that was the great awakening and reality of that protest, organization, shock, horror and dance all came together after the endless killings of men who tried to make a difference and perhaps that is why men now are so afraid and want to keep people oppressed and afraid, that way then they won't get shot.  What.the.fuck.ever. Cowards.  Funny no women were ever murdered, well after the Salem Witch Trials who is going to do that again, black magic and all that! No thanks!

But today we should be asking ourselves how did we get here and why are we letting the days go by without demanding the answers from those who claim to have them. Fuck them and find someone who does.

Facing Adulthood With an Economic Disaster’s Lasting Scars

By Eduardo Porter and David Yaffe-Bellany
The New York Times
Published May 19, 2020

Matthew Henderson couldn’t be entering the job market at a worse time. As a senior at Loyola University, he spent the spring semester interning as a trade policy analyst at the British Consulate in Chicago. But his chances of turning that opportunity into a permanent job after graduation ran headlong into the coronavirus pandemic.

Now Mr. Henderson is at home with his family in South Bend, Ind., unemployed and considering jobs at Costco and Target to help pay off $24,000 in student loans. “I’m in this bubble of anxiety,” said Mr. Henderson, who just turned 21. “I have to pay these, but I have no money to pay them.”

Saddled with debt, and entering a job market devastated by the pandemic, he and millions of his contemporaries face an exceptionally dicey future.

Young adults, especially those without a college degree, are particularly vulnerable in recessions. They are new to the job market — with scant on-the-job experience and little or no seniority to protect them from layoffs. A large body of research — along with the experience of those who came of age in the last recession — shows that young people trying to start their careers during an economic crisis are at a lasting disadvantage. Their wages, opportunities and confidence in the workplace may never fully recover.

And in the worst downturn in generations — one with no bottom in sight — the pattern is beginning to play out with a vengeance. From March to April, employment dropped by a quarter for workers 20 to 24 years old, and 16 percent for those 20 to 29. That compares with about 12 percent of workers in their 50s.

In an article for Lawfare, a blog about law and national security, the historian David Kennedy and the retired general Karl Eikenberry likened the current crisis to wartime, when elders send the young to fight and die. “It is the young — indebted students and struggling mortgagors, parents supporting families paycheck to paycheck, precarious recent graduates and anxious first-time job seekers — whose lives will be most deeply scarred,” they wrote.

For some younger workers, this is the second blow in barely a decade. An analysis by the McKinsey Global Institute noted that “the generation that first entered the job market in the aftermath of the Great Recession is now going through its second ‘once-in-a-lifetime’ downturn.”

Molly Zerjal, a 32-year-old in St. Louis, lost a communications job at Wells Fargo during the last downturn. Now, Ms. Zerjal works in marketing at a different financial firm, and she’s afraid it could happen again.

“I’m not an essential worker: marketing and communications is a ‘nice to have,’” she said. “Every day, I’m like, ‘Oh, God, what could happen today?’ It’s like P.T.S.D.”

The question is what kind of scars this will leave in the hearts, minds and pockets of younger people.

Jordan Haggard, 33, graduated from Oklahoma State University in 2009 in the depths of the recession. The job market was dire: When she applied for a job at McDonald’s, she never heard back.

Ten years later, Ms. Haggard works as an office manager for a small publishing company in Seattle. She has kept her job during the pandemic, even as some colleagues have been furloughed. But she still feels the effects of 2009.

“I know I will never be able to afford a home in Seattle or even live by myself without a roommate or two,” Ms. Haggard said. “Life is different from the one I was told about or imagined.”

Indeed, Jesse Rothstein of the University of California, Berkeley, followed college graduates who entered the labor market after the 2008 financial crisis. By 2018, those who had landed jobs in 2010 and 2011 had a lower employment rate than people at the same age who graduated before the recession hit, and those working earned less.

The effects are likely to persist. Lisa B. Kahn, an economics professor at the University of Rochester, tracked young white men who graduated from college from 1979 to 1988, a period that included the double-dip recession of the early 1980s. Over the next two decades, she found, they got stuck in low-quality, low-pay jobs. Even after the economy recovered, they had a hard time moving into better jobs.

The causes seem varied. Recession graduates, with limited opportunities, will start in jobs that are a worse fit. Once the economy recovers, they will compete for jobs with people who have more experience. In addition, Ms. Kahn noted, recession graduates seem more risk averse. “People that graduate into a recession don’t change jobs as often as people that graduate into booms,” she noted. And these job changes are one of the best ways to get a raise.

The difficult start shadowed many through their careers. Till von Wachter of the University of California, Los Angeles, and Hannes Schwandt of Northwestern University followed Americans who entered the labor market in 1981 and 1982, during the largest postwar recession up to that time.

They not only earned less in midlife. They were also less likely to be married or to have children, and more likely to die young, recording higher mortality rates starting in their 30s — driven by heart disease, lung cancer, liver failure and drug overdoses — what two Princeton scholars, Anne Case and Angus Deaton, have called “deaths of despair.”

And, of course, young workers without a college degree are likely to fare even worse. “Recessions, in general, widen inequality,” Ms. Kahn said. “The more disadvantaged groups — minorities, the young, those with less education — are the hardest hit.”

In the coronavirus pandemic, the lopsided impact of business shutdowns on the young risks opening a generation gap with their elders who are more likely to die of the disease.

The diverging interests could affect policy as soon as this summer. In a research paper published last month, Dirk Krueger of the University of Pennsylvania and three colleagues estimated that people past retirement age would choose to close a much larger share of nonessential businesses and keep them closed, while younger workers in those shuttered businesses have the most to lose. “The conflict between the old and the young is severe,” Mr. Krueger noted.

The asymmetric aftershocks of this pandemic are likely to ripple across society far into the future.

“You work for years, you go through school, and you get to this point where you’re preparing to get a job,” she said. “And now I can’t do that. It’s very frustrating.”

“It’s not something I feel like any of my professors, my parents or really anybody has any knowledge about,” she added. “They never had to deal with it.”

Ms. Meier’s parents finished college in 1988, married and settled into fairly stable careers and a comfortable middle-class life. Her father attended graduate school and then got a job as a software analyst for Overland Park, Kan. Her mother got a series of accounting jobs. She was laid off in the last recession, but found another position soon after.

“There’s a big difference between finding a third or fourth full-time job and finding your first job,” Ms. Meier said.

It would be unsurprising if this economic upheaval changed the young’s perception of the world, justice and the role of government.

Ms. Haggard, the office manager who graduated in 2009, was a Republican in college. She voted for John McCain in the 2008 presidential election. But the recession changed her worldview. Now, she’s far more liberal, and she voted for Bernie Sanders in this year’s Democratic primary in Washington.

“A big Republican thing is, ‘Pick yourself up by the bootstraps,’” she said. “Well, we don’t live in a world where that’s possible, at least in America.”

Paola Giuliano, a U.C.L.A. economist, and Antonio Spilimbergo of the International Monetary Fund studied how economic setbacks affect personal ideology.

Looking at data from the General Social Survey from 1972 through 2010, they concluded that people who experience a recession in what social psychologists call the “impressionable years,” roughly 18 to 25, were more likely to believe that success in life depends less on effort than on luck, support redistributive politics to help the less fortunate and mitigate inequality, and vote more often for left-wing parties.

Among those directly hit — young workers who have lost their jobs — the ideological shift could be even stronger. “This, in principle, should create a divide between generations,” Ms. Giuliano said.

Alicia Munnell and Wenliang Hou of the Center for Retirement Research at Boston College have documented how millennials, born from 1981 to 1999, hit particularly hard by the recession of 2009, are less financially secure than young adults from preceding generations. They have more student debt and less money in their retirement plans. Their net worth is lower than that of boomers or Gen Xers. Fewer own homes. Fewer are married.

This is the generation that gave rise to Occupy Wall Street and propelled two presidential campaigns by Bernie Sanders. It is the generation voting for candidates like Representative Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez of New York, pushing the Democratic Party to the left.

And as it moves to the left, elders are moving in the opposite direction. In one recent study, Vivekinan Ashok and Ebonya Washington of Yale, with Ilyana Kuziemko of Princeton, found that even as income inequality has intensified, Americans 65 and older have become more resistant to redistribution. The old, they suggest, worry that new programs to help the poor will come at the expense of cuts to Medicare.

“The disproportionate gains to the American elderly in terms of social spending over the past several decades may make them wary of further extending redistributive programs,” they wrote.

There remains a crucial bond between generations: family. The young care for their parents, and don’t want them to die of Covid-19. The old care about the financial well-being of their children and grandchildren, as well as about the balance in their 401(k). They don’t want the economy to go into free fall.

For much of her adult life, Brenda Michael-Haggard, the 59-year-old mother of Jordan Haggard, has felt that people who lose jobs or face other forms of adversity should persevere and simply “find another way to make stuff happen.”

Now she has seen her daughter’s generation experience two economic crises in a little over a decade and tens of millions of people lose their jobs practically overnight. It has changed how she looks at the world.

“As the mom, golly, it’s too bad,” she said. “It’s something that I wish any one of us could prevent. With all of the Covid, you can’t just pick yourself up and find something different.”