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Scars Left by ‘Great Recession’ Will Be Hard to Erase

Stacy Curtin

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It is no surprise to most Americans that times are really tough. Unemployment remains staggeringly high while those with jobs have to survive off of stagnant wages. Homes prices remain on the decline while foreclosures continue to plague many areas around the country, and will likely continue to do so for the foreseeable future.

In the new book PINCHED: How the Great Recession Has Narrowed Our Futures and What We Can Do About it, author Don Peck not only describes the harsh economic times we currently live in, he also explains how 'The Great Recession' will impact generations to come.

"People think of recessions as temporary, jobs go away, jobs come back. But in particularly deep long recessions, society is left permanently scared and permanently changed in different ways," he tells Aaron in the accompanying clip.

One of these permanent marks left by the previous recession is what's happened to neighborhoods hit by a wave of home foreclosures. Peck points to areas in Florida, Arizona and Nevada that are starting to disintegrate — just like what happened to some inner cities back during the 1970s. Further exacerbating this housing problem is the fact that the millennial generation cannot find work in this difficult job market, which prevents them from moving out of mom and dad's house and renting or buying a new home.

But there is hope, says Peck. There are things that can be done to erase these permanent stains and turn the economy around by putting people back to work: invest in infrastructure that is crumbling anyway, and create a Manhattan type project to create breakthrough innovation that will make the U.S. more globally competitive.

Unfortunately, these two ideas likely fall on deaf ears because it seems the current U.S. Congress is more prone to playing visceral partisan politics vs. working towards the good of the American people.

Do you agree with Peck that the fabric of American society will be tarnished for decades to come if swift action is not taken?