I have been meaning to write something on this for a while, but am trying to phrase it in such a way that it goes beyond being a daylog in the pejorative sense. Things in my personal life are going in a way that is relevant to the world as a whole, but I am yet to have a grand theory about them. My basic thesis, however, is that they call it a depression for a reason.

Since late 2008, unemployment rates have been at a level not seen since the 1982/1983 recession. (Although the 2002 recession might have come close). This means that unemployment is at a level that no one under the age of 45 or so was really part of before. This can't make people very happy. And I have noticed a great many news stories about people going crazy, about mass shootings and the like, some of which are at least partially related to unemployment. I don't know for certain, because events like these are very rare and attract much media attention, but it seems like there is a correspondence between economic tough times and people becoming severely, even insanely depressed.

Economists have a tough enough time handling the current state of their own discipline, let alone figuring out how it fits in with other social sciences. One of the cornerstones of economy is that people act in self-interest, which is a gross simplification, especially when it comes to employment. People seek employment because being a productive member of society and a good member of society are synonymous. People have a social imperative to work to gain social esteem. At the same time, society, through economics, tells people that their work is not needed. There is some serious cognitive dissonance here.

This touches me personally because I am young and unemployed, living in a studio apartment and spending most of my time noding or reading. I am also, like many young people, overeducated, getting a Masters Degree this June, after which I have no simple employment prospects. Its quite a change from the days when a High School Diploma let people into the middle class club; these days it seems that someone can spend the time and money to get a master's degree and still be seen as a worthless hanger on to society. So yeah, I am depressed, but not crazy depressed. In fact, I would have to be crazy to NOT be depressed.