Struggling Through the Recession: Letters from Vermont
February 14, 2011
As the nation struggles to recover from the worst economic crisis since the Great Depression, millions of people from across the country struggle with real economic challenges every day. Sen. Sanders asked people to send him their stories of the Great Recession. These testimonials are now collected in a booklet (download the pdf).
Some economists and politicians are pointing to a handful of statistics and are insisting the recession is over. Well, that's not what Bernie is hearing from families throughout Vermont.
Bernie recently asked Vermonters to share their personal stories - explaining how the recession, which started more than three years ago, has impacted their lives. More than 400 people responded. You will find more than 50 of their stories in "Struggling through the Recession: Letters from Vermont," which was published online Monday.
"While the stories are often painful and difficult to read," Bernie said, "it's important that we appreciate and understand what some of our friends and neighbors are going through."
One mother, who is working two jobs and raising two children outside Burlington, Vt., wrote: "I cringe when my son's friends invite him to birthday parties, which means I have to come up with money for a gift." A woman from Windsor, Vt., who saw her business go bankrupt writes: "We do not seem to be ‘recovering' at all. We just exist on the fringes of life."
The letters' messages are clear. Vermonters are finding it difficult to land good-paying jobs while older workers, who have depleted their life savings, are worried about what happens to them when they retire.
"The simple truth is that if we do not know the reality of what is going on in our country today, in terms of the struggles that people are facing, it will be impossible for us to develop – and generate public support for – policies which can enable us to go forward and address these horrific problems," Bernie said.
How do you feel about the recession? Do you think it’s over? Do you have information Bernie should know about it?