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Talking with Katie Couric about the “Children of the Recession”

Katie Couric wants to talk about how the recession is affecting the children of this country and it’s staggering to see the effects as they’re happening…frightening to think of what the long-term effects will be.  CBS Evening News will be running an ongoing series on just this topic.

I had the opportunity to join in on a conference call with Katie Couric this week with other bloggers from the Silicon Valley Moms Group, where I write for the Deep South Moms Blog.

After the intital HOLY CRAP, I’m on the phone with Katie!! finally flushed through my system, the impact of what she was saying truly struck home.

How IS the current state of the economy affecting kids?

The rising cost of insurance premiums and decreased coverages in health insurance plans put strain on a family already under the burden of medical crisis with a preschooler in chemotherapy treatment.

A man has to leave his wife and three children behind to take a position in another state for more job security in a market where jobs are being cut in droves.

Unable to sell their home in the depressed real estate market, a family worries where they will live when they are forced to relocate…or if foreclosure is their only option.

That’s just one family.

That’s MY family.

It doesn’t sound so bad when I blog about it and make with the pretty words, but the fact remains that for the past two years, the failing economy has been a driving force behind a lot of our choices.

We’re lucky. Even with all we’ve been through, my kids don’t worry about their next meal, I haven’t had to decide between whether to have an ear infection checked out OR paying the electricity bill, and I AM packing my house into convenient sized boxes…but because we are CHOOSING to move, not because we’ve been served an eviction notice by our mortgage company for a payment we can’t make because of jobs we don’t have anymore.


Katie and her CBS News Team are bringing facts…and scary ones…to light in a series on the CBS Evening Show called “Children of the Recession”.  She wrote a powerful post on the NYC Moms Blog and spoke of the children of this generation, “the ones who bear no responsibility for the crisis, our children, are often shouldering the bulk of the consequences”.

Katie (<–oh HI, I can call you Katie, right?) and her production team shared some information and insights that have been discovered through their research.

  • Reports of abuse and child neglect are steadily rising across the country
  • 20% of all families are forgoing some sort of medical care…preventative care is being neglected because of costs, leading to illnesses running untreated, missed work for parents, and ER’s that are unable to handle the load of non-emergency care and advanced diseases due to late treatment
  • The psychological ramifications of what kids are experiencing during these times are beyond their skills to handle, they are ill equipped to deal with the anxiety, stress and strain in their households, and how we can help them cope
  • Katie will be speaking with two homeless little boys, ages 8 and 10
  • Teachers, our most underpaid and under-appreciated work force are filling in the gaps….schools nationwide are reporting that teachers are reaching into their own pockets to provide supplies, basic necessities, sometimes even lunches
  • Katie is interested in hearing about grassroots and community efforts being made to help families in times of economic crisis…if you have a story to tell or a resource to share, please email me (because DUDE! I have an email that goes to Katie Couric’s desk, for REAL! I seriously hope no one at CBS actually reads how large my geek is), they want to hear about how the average person is trying to have an impact on this crisis

You know what? During that phone call I sat there and felt bad.


Here’s a conference call of women talking about the economy and the kids hit hardest by it and for the most part, I’m betting every one of those women, myself included, can’t even fathom what it’s like to be in the position of those truly hit the hardest.

Because you know what? Bloggers generally don’t come from the lowest end of the income bracket.

When you’re driving away from the home you’ve just lost, I’m sure the last thing you’re worried about is making sure you posted at least three times this week.

The homeless don’t Twitter.

Humiliated people applying for government aid for the first time aren’t complaining they don’t have an IPhone.

A woman trying desperately to feed her kids isn’t updating her Facebook status.

The dad scrambling numbers to see if he can afford to take his sick child to the doctor isn’t thinking about whether his social networking footprint is “branding” him sufficiently.

I don’t experience this life.

For that, I am beyond grateful.

However, are we just one lost job away from it?  Could be.

Are we ever safe from it? NEVER

Are you? NOPE.

Are we responsible to be aware and take action? Yeah, I think we really are.

18 Comments on “Talking with Katie Couric about the “Children of the Recession””

  1. #1 Lori Landau
    on May 21st, 2009 at 1:13 am

    I was honored to be one of the blogging moms on the conference call too, and experienced some of the guilt that you did, realizing how lucky my family is. I walked away from the call feeling grateful that I DO blog, and Facebook and twitter, and can use those forums to increase awareness about this subject. if we motivate even one person to help one child, we at least, are part of a larger effort to solve some of our country’s problems. glad to be sharing this cause with you–

  2. #2 Nicole
    on May 21st, 2009 at 1:21 am

    Wow, this was an awesome post, even if, or maybe because, it made me tear up a bit.

    Nicoles last blog post..A few of my favorite views

  3. #3 lisa from helpamotherout
    on May 21st, 2009 at 1:38 am

    Thank you for blogging about your call with Katie Couric. This recession is everywhere and effects us all. Hope that this message helps everyone realize that they CAN make a difference in the lives of people in their own community – even if it is in small actions.

  4. #4 Heather @ Domestic Extraordinaire
    on May 21st, 2009 at 8:05 am

    While we are in no means the lowest of the bracket, we are facing things that scare the crap outta me. Currently my husband is a Prem. Tech with A T & T,while he has awesome benefits and gets paid more than he ever has-which still only $16/hr-but I am thankfully that it is $16 more an hour than we would have if he was unemployed. Currently he basically has no rights as a worker. He works crazy busy hours-he can’t leave after his shift is over until a supervisor releases him or he risks losing his job. And if he calls off because he is sick they require him to go the doctor and fill out FMLA forms (totally not what they intended them to be for) and he still gets written up-this happened after his oral surgery last year. Most days he doesn’t take a lunch because if he does it cuts into his numbers and he doesn’t want to be the one that when they start cutting people they will go to him. Currently they are working without contract, a strike has been looming on the horizon since April. Why in this economy is the Union will to have them strike? They want to take away our health care-well not totally, but what they are proposing will literally ‘kill us’ financially. With my health issues and the medications I take-we wouldn’t make it, or I would just do without, which would basically make me a bed ridden nut case (wouldn’t that be fun) What also is upsetting is that At&T is not hurting-they actually netted a nice fat 12 billion dollar profit last year after paying their obligations.

    I didn’t comment this for pity or to wave my hands in the air & yell look at me. In fact I didn’t even mean for it to get this long winded-so if you made it to the end of my comment you get a gold start! But as you can see this weighs heavily on my mind.

    Heather @ Domestic Extraordinaires last blog post..Giggles circa 1980something

  5. #5 imjustagoyle
    on May 21st, 2009 at 8:35 am

    Thanks for posting this, Anissa.

    I was laid off last year. Twice. I’m lucky that my kids qualified for Medicaid and that I was able to take my baby girl to the doctor when she needed it. She was diagnosed with Asthma last week. That terrifies me, because if I DO get a job I won’t be able to afford healthcare and she won’t qualify for Medicaid anymore. Then what? Do you know how expensive Albuterol and Prednisone are? I’m sure you know all about expensive medications.

    When I was first laid off, I too qualified for Medicaid. It was the first healthcare coverage I’d had in 6 years. I hadn’t had an annual exam since my daughter was born in 2002. In the span of 4 short months I had 2 cervical biopsies, a mammogram (to investigate a lump) a thyroid biopsy and now I’m lined up to have my thyroid removed because they found a tumor. Only problem is, that unemployment check I receive is “too much income” and I no longer qualify for Medicaid. I qualify for “medically needy” which means that I am responsible for $850 of all healthcare EACH MONTH before Medicaid will help me pay for anything. This surgery I’m having will cost me more than $1700 between the doctor visit and the actual surgery. That’s a lot less than it would actually cost, of course – but $1700 right now might as well be 1 million. Still, I am grateful that I have any coverage at all because without it, no surgery and that tumor just sits in my neck.

    I find myself often rationing my last $20 – spending only what I have to on gas so that I can still buy a gallon of milk; knowing that if something bad happened (like if my car needed repair) I would be totally screwed.

    This is why I work my ass off trying to build our business so that at some point I can be independently wealthy and not have to worry about these things.


    imjustagoyles last blog post..It’s an “Age” Thing. Or is it?

  6. #6 Brittany
    on May 21st, 2009 at 10:10 am

    The whole last part of this post was brilliant (not that is all wasn’t), but the last half made me cry. That could be me. Easily. And it’s scary to see it honestly written out before my very eyes.

    Brittanys last blog post..Babies are hard, yo.

  7. #7 Kat
    on May 21st, 2009 at 11:29 am

    I heard a little about this call, but was wondering more. Thank you for sharing!

    We are all suffering from this recession – as you can tell also from my last blog post. I honestly think that something truly wonderful will come from it though. I really do.


    Kats last blog post..You Can No Longer be a SAHM When. . .

  8. #8 PAPA
    on May 21st, 2009 at 11:40 am

    Anissa so beautifully written. And it’s very cool to see someone like YOU involved with this, someone who has at her core, a deep empathy.

    Keep us updated.

    PAPAs last blog post..When I was your Age…

  9. #9 Anna Marie
    on May 21st, 2009 at 1:59 pm

    Thanks for this post Anissa. I’m a de-lurking to say that yeah, I’m a stay-at-home mom and my husband is a lawyer so we are ok. We are ok. BUT, we had to move 18 months ago so my husband could take a job and we still haven’t sold the old house so we are renting the house we live in and I’m already worried about what Blue Cross is going to charge us for health insurance next year…so yeah, the economy sucks and it is scary…but right now? We are ok.

  10. #10 JavaMom
    on May 21st, 2009 at 4:51 pm

    I was also on that call and yes, feeling sick to my stomach and grateful at the same time. I’m on the community advisory board for a local homeless shelter that is deceptively nestled in a lovely neighborhood, and when I hear how the families ended up there, all I can think is, “In today’s world, all it would take is a few disasters in a row and I could go from being on the board to being a resident here.”

    A layoff followed by serious car accident and then her LANDLORD defaulting on his mortgage is all it took for one woman to go from middle class working mother to homeless.

    The ill effects can affect us all, which is why we all need to rise up to make positive changes — a kind action may change a person’s life. It could even change your own.

    Thanks for posting such a heartfelt post about the call.

    JavaMoms last blog post..Children of the Recession: We Have to Act NOW to Save a Generation

  11. #11 L.A. Story
    on May 21st, 2009 at 7:01 pm

    Wow, this is some amazing perspective. I hope everything goes well for your family. All of us really are affected by this “Great Recession,” but you’re right. There are people in much more dire circumstances … and they’re not the ones Twittering about it. I was on the call, too, and am so happy to read everyone’s take on it.

    L.A. Storys last blog post..That’s one mother of a shout out

  12. #12 katie ~ motherbumper
    on May 21st, 2009 at 8:52 pm

    We are okay too but it’s a little too close to not okay for me not to be worried and thinking we could be without [fill in blank] very soon. It worries me that so many American friends worry about health care when that is the one thing that barely comes up on the radar. Thank you for sharing this Anissa, great post.

    katie ~ motherbumpers last blog post..Maybe I’ll win tomorrow?

  13. #13 Al_Pal
    on May 22nd, 2009 at 5:43 pm

    Great post!
    This stuff is seriously crazed. ;(
    I am SO glad that I’m “just” an auntie. ;p

    Al_Pals last blog post..My new creative outlet: Bread Puddings!

  14. #14 Playground Confidential » Recession Woes
    on May 25th, 2009 at 11:44 am

    […] by the interview, most notable are Her Bad Mother on her own family’s financial plight, Hope 4 Peyton about needing to re-locate, and Mommy Melee about her home going into […]

  15. #15 Harold
    on Aug 31st, 2009 at 11:20 pm

    i think that the Economic Recession would soon be over in the following years. there are lots of positive indicators in the world economy.

  16. #16 Janet Reyes
    on Dec 8th, 2009 at 3:18 am

    Our country was also hit hard by the Economic Recession. At least we are seeing some signs of economic recovery now. I hope that we could recover soon from this recession.

  17. #17 | Acneguy
    on Jan 5th, 2010 at 11:56 am

    I think we are also seeing some signs of recovery from the Economic Recession. Of course, we have no idea of how long it will take to completely recover, but some say it’s going to be longer than for the other recessions in decades. I also scanned an article yesterday that said business owners need a new set of tactics to do well during recovery.

  18. #18 Emilia Palmer
    on Apr 28th, 2010 at 9:18 am

    Our home business was really affected by the Economic recession, we have to cut jobs just to cover up our losses. fortunately, we have already recovered. `