WBEZ | Recession http://www.wbez.org/tags/recession Latest from WBEZ Chicago Public Radio en Hungry artists http://www.wbez.org/sections/culture/hungry-artists-100849 <p><div class="image-insert-image " style="text-align: center;"><div class="image-insert-image "><img alt="" class="image-original_image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org/styles/original_image/llo/insert-images/full montage.jpg" style="height: 310px; width: 620px;" title="Clockwise from top left; Davonte Johnson, Adelina Trevino Bradshaw, Mike Oleon, Julia Solomon and Katy Albert. (WBEZ/Kate Dries)" /></div></div><p>At the end of last year, I was watching a late-night talk-show host interview a famous celebrity (don&rsquo;t ask me to remember which one) and something just clicked. The celebrity was charmingly discussing some terrible job he&#39;d had when he was just starting out in his career. Of course, there were anecdotes about how bad he was at it and how hilarity ensued.&nbsp;</p><p>I just thought, &ldquo;I&rsquo;ve heard this story before, and it&rsquo;s not interesting.&rdquo;</p><p>Sure, it was funny in a Jay Leno-appropriate way, and it&#39;s a never-ending interview question. Just check out <a href="http://blogs.wsj.com/speakeasy/2012/07/04/my-first-job-andrew-garfield-spider-man/">this recurring <em>Wall Street Journal</em> feature</a>, &ldquo;My First Job.&rdquo; But what I found myself wanting to hear about was the truth behind that first job. Who were these performers at 22? What were they doing? What did they want? What did they consider success, back before they had achieved it?</p><p>It was this insight that prompted me to talk to young Chicagoans in the arts and performance world. There are so many tropes about what it means to be a struggling artist &ndash; that life is difficult until you &ldquo;make it,&rdquo; that &ldquo;making it&rdquo; means fame and fortune, that there is one moment when you break out and your life becomes drastically different (think of all those tales of &quot;overnight success&quot;), that your life is different or less worthy than the life of someone not in a creative field. This is despite the fact that during the period of America&#39;s greatest economic distress, the&nbsp;Works Progress Administration was created, employing artists to beautify America <em>and </em>support the economy.</p><p>I&#39;ve experienced the reality of this lifestyle firsthand; I grew up with parents in creative fields. It was normal for me that they didn&#39;t have regular schedules or regular jobs, that they worked from home or would have a steady job for a few months and then do something different. I remember actually having a hard time when my mother did get a full-time job. At first, I was actually indignant because I was so used to having her around, I couldn&#39;t fathom the concept of a 9-to-5 job, at least for my family. Eventually, it dawned on me that this was the way most people lived.&nbsp;</p><p>What I&rsquo;ve seen from the people in my life is that an artistic life is one that is often full of just as many predictable and frustrating moments as that of someone who wants to be a doctor, a lawyer or an insurance salesman (or another job, any job your mother would prefer rather than you becoming an actress). It often requires an equal amount of dedication and no more delusion than so-called traditional employment.</p><p>These young Chicago artists profiled here aren&rsquo;t kidding themselves. They&rsquo;ve picked a career path that will be challenging. But so will life &mdash; it&#39;s been challenging for them already.</p><p>What their stories attempt to capture is what it&rsquo;s like to be a struggling artist, while you are still in the process of struggling, not later when you&#39;re looking back through the rosy haze of fame. What does it mean to be a 20-something artist before you are fully-formed?</p><p>This series is particularly timely, given that the recession has hit two groups particularly hard: young people and artists.<a href="http://www9.georgetown.edu/grad/gppi/hpi/cew/pdfs/Unemployment.Final.update1.pdf">&nbsp;Studies show</a> the unemployment rate for recent college graduates in the arts hovers around 11 percent.&nbsp;</p><p>But the common thread I heard from all five individuals I talked to is this: They could imagine other realities, but this is the only one that is real now. And it&#39;s the one they really want.</p></p> Mon, 16 Jul 2012 08:00:00 -0500 http://www.wbez.org/sections/culture/hungry-artists-100849 UIC to study government reaction to recession http://www.wbez.org/news/uic-study-government-reaction-recession-99419 <p><p>Researchers at University of Illinois at Chicago will get a $950,000 grant for a three-year study to help city governments respond to recessions.</p><p>The study will look at how city governments can adjust to the global economy and plan for sustainable growth.</p><p>Researchers hope to help cities handle issues like pensions, workforce development, cuts to social and human services, jobs, public safety and the tax base during a recession. Annual surveys show from 2009 to 2011, most cuts in city budgets were in infrastructure and personnel, including wages, pensions and benefits.</p><p>UIC will collaborate on the study with the National League of Cities Center for Research and Innovation and a working group from the Federal Reserve Bank. The grant is from the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation.</p></p> Tue, 22 May 2012 09:45:00 -0500 http://www.wbez.org/news/uic-study-government-reaction-recession-99419 The art of giving: Philanthropy in the age of the Great Recession http://www.wbez.org/blog/bez/2012-03-29/art-giving-philanthropy-age-great-recession-97738 <img typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org/blog/photo/2012-March/2012-03-29/giving_Flickr_Mr. Kris.jpg" alt="" /><p><p>A number of new studies indicate that even in our present tough economic times charitable giving remains a strong component of the American way of life: Last year Americans gave more than $290 billion to their favorite causes despite the struggling economic climate.</p><p>I explore what this means in the video below:</p><p style="text-align: center;"><iframe allowfullscreen="" src="http://www.youtube.com/embed/kQSaAr2e0y4" frameborder="0" height="315" width="560"></iframe></p><p><em>Al Gini is a professor of business ethics and chair of the department of management at Loyola University Chicago. He is also the co-founder and associate editor of&nbsp;</em>Business Ethics Quarterly,<em>and the author of several books, including</em>&nbsp;My Job, My Self&nbsp;<em>and</em>&nbsp;Seeking the Truth of Things: Confessions of a (catholic) Philosopher.</p></p> Thu, 29 Mar 2012 16:33:00 -0500 http://www.wbez.org/blog/bez/2012-03-29/art-giving-philanthropy-age-great-recession-97738 The end of the 'mancession': More jobs for some men, but what about women? http://www.wbez.org/blog/bez/2012-03-28/end-mancession-more-jobs-some-men-what-about-women-97679 <img typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org/blog/photo/2012-March/2012-03-28/(Flickr - Victor 1558) stock professional woman.jpg" alt="" /><p><p style="text-align: center; "><img alt="" class="caption" height="300" src="http://www.wbez.org/sites/default/files/blog/insert-image/2012-March/2012-03-28/%28Flickr%20-%20Victor%201558%29%20stock%20professional%20woman_edit.jpg" title="" width="400"></p><div class="inset"><div class="insetContent"><p><span style="font-size:10px;">Listen to this conversation</span></p><p><span class="filefield_audio_insert_player" href="/sites/default/files/120328 seg a mp3.mp3" id="filefield_audio_insert_player-128626" player="null">120328 seg a mp3.mp3</span></p></div></div><p>At the height of the recession - as the housing market was in the dumps and unemployment continued to rise - we heard more and more about the "mancession." Sectors like manufacturing and construction that tend to employ more men were losing jobs at a faster rate than female-dominated industries like health care.&nbsp;</p><p style="text-align: left; ">But as we see signs of economic recovery (although some may argue that <a href="http://www.businessweek.com/articles/2012-03-19/why-3-dot-5-million-job-openings-isnt-great-news" target="_blank">8.3% unemployment is nothing to write home about</a>) men are starting to gain some of those jobs back. Where does that leave women? Are they benefiting from the recovery, too?</p><p style="text-align: left; ">In an <a href="http://www.thenation.com/article/166468/one-mancession-later-are-women-really-victors-new-economy" target="_blank">article for <em>The Nation</em></a>, Bryce Covert says maybe not. She notes that women's unemployment continues to rise, but <a href="http://www.nwlc.org/resource/modest-recovery-beginning-women" onclick="window.open(this.href, '', 'resizable=no,status=no,location=no,toolbar=no,menubar=no,fullscreen=no,scrollbars=no,dependent=no'); return false;">there may some relief in sight.</a> An important point Covert makes is that male and female workers weren't exactly starting from the same point; gender can still play a role in workplace disparities, such as wage equity.</p><p style="text-align: left; ">This morning on <em>Eight Forty-Eight</em>, <a href="http://www.iwpr.org/about/staff-and-board/heidi-hartmann" target="_blank">Heidi Hartmann</a> from the Institute for Women's Policy Research explains some of the other ways women and men may not be on a level playing field in the working world, and what policies are in place to improve those disproportionate stats. <em>Bloomberg Businessweek</em> editor <a href="http://www.businessweek.com/authors/2027-peter-coy" target="_blank">Peter Coy</a> also joins in to explain what the mancession really was and how it's fading from our economic outlook.</p></p> Wed, 28 Mar 2012 13:17:00 -0500 http://www.wbez.org/blog/bez/2012-03-28/end-mancession-more-jobs-some-men-what-about-women-97679 While defense gets cut, budget remains bigger than mid-1990s http://www.wbez.org/episode-segments/2012-01-05/while-defense-gets-cut-budget-remains-bigger-mid-1990s-95317 <img typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org/segment/photo/2012-January/2012-01-05/defense3.jpg" alt="" /><p><p>President Obama went to the Pentagon today to announce a broad, new defense strategy that includes hundreds of billions of dollars in cuts to the current military budget. The president said that despite the cuts, the U.S. would maintain its military "superiority."</p><p><em>Worldview</em> takes a look at the new plan with <a href="http://www.americanprogress.org/experts/KorbLawrence.html" target="_blank">Lawrence Korb</a>, a senior fellow at <a href="http://www.americanprogress.org/" target="_blank">Center for American Progress</a>. He was assistant secretary of defense under President Reagan.</p><p>&nbsp;</p><p>&nbsp;</p></p> Thu, 05 Jan 2012 17:42:00 -0600 http://www.wbez.org/episode-segments/2012-01-05/while-defense-gets-cut-budget-remains-bigger-mid-1990s-95317 Occupy and its adversaries need to find common ground, says rabbi http://www.wbez.org/episode-segments/2011-12-06/occupy-and-its-adversaries-need-find-common-ground-says-rabbi-94619 <img typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org/segment/photo/2011-December/2011-12-05/occupy1.jpg" alt="" /><p><p>The Occupy movement has been a learning experience for everyone, including <a href="http://www.bradhirschfield.com/" target="_blank">Rabbi Brad Hirschfield</a>, president of the National Jewish Center for Learning and Leadership and Beliefnet.com <a href="http://blog.beliefnet.com/windowsanddoors/" target="_blank">blogger</a>.</p><p>He gives his take on religious congregations' reaction to Occupy Wall Street.</p><p>&nbsp;</p><p>&nbsp;</p><p>&nbsp;</p><p>&nbsp;</p></p> Tue, 06 Dec 2011 18:20:00 -0600 http://www.wbez.org/episode-segments/2011-12-06/occupy-and-its-adversaries-need-find-common-ground-says-rabbi-94619 Vocational training vs. college education: Lessons from Europe http://www.wbez.org/episode-segments/2011-11-30/vocational-training-vs-college-education-lessons-europe-94463 <img typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org/segment/photo/2011-November/2011-11-30/vocation1.jpg" alt="" /><p><p>Thanks to the feverish coverage of the European debt crisis, we know that Germany is the economic engine that’s kept the Eurozone afloat. The Germans attribute their success in large part to their dual education system. At a young age, schoolchildren go on tracks that determine whether they’ll receive vocational training to prepare them for employment or go to university.</p><p>While the system provides little flexibility, it does deliver on jobs. Germany, as well as Switzerland and Austria — which have similar education models — have the lowest youth unemployment figures in Europe. Young people in countries like France and the U.K., which put a greater emphasis on college degrees, fare much worse. In the U.S., youth unemployment is double that of adults.</p><p><a href="http://www.pepperculpepper.net/" target="_blank">Pepper Culpepper</a>, a political science professor at the European University Institute in Florence and editor of the book <a href="http://www.berghahnbooks.com/title.php?rowtag=CulpepperGerman" target="_blank"><em>The German Skills Machine</em></a>, tells <em>Worldview</em> what the U.S. can learn from foreign educational models.</p></p> Wed, 30 Nov 2011 17:08:00 -0600 http://www.wbez.org/episode-segments/2011-11-30/vocational-training-vs-college-education-lessons-europe-94463 Worldview 11.30.11 http://www.wbez.org/episode/worldview-113011 <img typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org/episode/images/2011-november/2011-11-30/pakistan2.jpg" alt="" /><p><p>After a NATO attack that killed more than 20 Pakistani troops, the already-sour relationship between the U.S. and Pakistan got even worse. <a href="http://fletcher.tufts.edu/Fletcher-Directory/Find-Fletcher-People/Faculty%20Profile?personkey=A38C7A71-DA25-4103-BF7C-B987BA97C8B6" target="_blank">Vali Nasr</a>, an international politics professor at Tufts University, explains the implications. Also, one strategy to put people back to work in the Great Lakes region gets a lot of attention — and lots of state and federal money. It’s something called a public-private partnership.&nbsp;Here, state agencies, community colleges and private companies work together to train workers of all ages and skills back into jobs. Jocelyn Frank travels to southern Michigan to capture the impact of one such program on one worker, one company, and one town. Lastly, Germany has one of Western Europe’s lowest youth unemployment rates. It also has robust vocational training for young people. <a href="http://www.pepperculpepper.net/" target="_blank">Pepper Culpepper</a>, editor of <a href="http://www.berghahnbooks.com/title.php?rowtag=CulpepperGerman" target="_blank"><em>The German Skills Machine</em></a>, tells <em>Worldview</em> how this educational model keeps Germans competitive.</p><p>&nbsp;</p><p>&nbsp;</p><p>&nbsp;</p></p> Wed, 30 Nov 2011 15:46:00 -0600 http://www.wbez.org/episode/worldview-113011 Is Italy on the verge of financial collapse? http://www.wbez.org/episode-segments/2011-11-10/italy-verge-financial-collapse-93930 <img typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org/segment/photo/2011-November/2011-11-10/italy2.jpg" alt="" /><p><p>This week, Italy’s financial woes have dominated international headlines. The European Union is concerned the country won’t be able to pay off its massive debt. The economic crisis is so acute it looks like the country’s prime minister, Silvio Berlusconi, may be stepping down. That’s a feat, given Berlusconi has survived more than 50 no-confidence votes in the past.&nbsp;</p><p>Harvard economist <a href="http://www.economics.harvard.edu/faculty/alesina/bio" target="_blank">Alberto Alesina</a> is author of the book <a href="http://mitpress.mit.edu/catalog/item/default.asp?ttype=2&amp;tid=11574" target="_blank"><em>The Future of Europe: Reform or Decline</em></a>. He tells <em>Worldview </em>he fears Italy, unlike Greece, is too big to bail out.</p></p> Thu, 10 Nov 2011 16:15:00 -0600 http://www.wbez.org/episode-segments/2011-11-10/italy-verge-financial-collapse-93930 The latest from 'Occupy Chicago' with local humorist Aaron Freeman http://www.wbez.org/episode-segments/2011-10-17/latest-occupy-chicago-local-humorist-aaron-freeman-93194 <img typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org/segment/photo/2011-October/2011-10-17/occupy.jpg" alt="" /><p><p>As disenchanted citizens across the world gather in solidarity with <a href="http://occupywallst.org/">Occupy Wall Street</a>, Chicagoans prove to be a particularly formidable force in the movement.</p><p>According to the <a href="http://www.chicagotribune.com/news/local/breaking/chi-occupy-chicago-protesters-released-after-grant-park-arrests-20111016,0,389426.story" target="_blank"><em>Chicago Tribune</em></a>, 2,000 individuals joined the protests last Saturday, meeting at LaSalle and Jackson to march defiantly in front of the Chicago Board of Trade and the Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago. On Sunday, "<a href="http://occupychi.org/">Occupy Chicago</a>" made headlines when police arrested 175 protesters in Grant Park who refused to pack up their tents after the park officially closed. Protesters spoke out against what they call a dominant culture of corporate greed and widespread income inequality across the U.S.</p><p>Protests have spread beyond American borders. This weekend, several thousand protesters tried to take over the area in front of the London Stock Exchange, according to <a href="http://english.aljazeera.net/news/americas/2011/10/20111016161015677960.html%29.%20" target="_blank">Al Jazeera</a>. Approximately 250 protesters set up camp in central London, and vow to stay indefinitely.</p><p><a href="http://afreeman.com/" target="_blank">Aaron Freeman</a>, local humorist and former host of WBEZ’s <em>Metropolis</em>, hit the streets of Occupy Chicago with a video camera to document the movement. He'll tell us what’s happening downtown.</p><p>&nbsp;</p><p><strong>Watch one of Aaron's latest videos:</strong></p><p style="text-align: center;"><iframe allowfullscreen="" src="http://www.youtube.com/embed/k6FfoZLWe90" width="420" frameborder="0" height="315"></iframe></p><p>&nbsp;</p><p>To view all of Aaron Freeman’s videos from the streets of Occupy Chicago, check out his YouTube <a href="http://www.youtube.com/user/afreeman3" target="_blank">channel</a>.</p></p> Mon, 17 Oct 2011 16:27:00 -0500 http://www.wbez.org/episode-segments/2011-10-17/latest-occupy-chicago-local-humorist-aaron-freeman-93194