Paul Lachine

2012, année de tous les périls ?

CALCUTTA – 2011 restera l'année au cours de laquelle beaucoup d'Américains, pourtant généralement optimistes, ont commencé à perdre espoir. Le président Kennedy avait déclaré que la marée montante soulève tous les bateaux ; mais maintenant qu'elle descend, les Américains réalisent que non seulement les plus gros bateaux ont eu la chance d'être portés bien plus loin, mais que les plus petits ont été réduits en morceau.

Pendant une courte période, des millions de personnes pensaient à plus ou moins juste titre qu'elles pouvaient peut-être réaliser le "rêve américain". Maintenant ce rêve aussi s'efface. Les Américains qui avaient perdu leur emploi en 2008 ou 2009 ont épuisé toutes leurs économies en 2011. Ils n'ont plus droit au chômage. Les gros titres des journaux annonçant de nouvelles embauches, mais pas suffisamment pour accueillir les nouveaux entrants sur le marché du travail, n'ont guère de sens pour les chômeurs âgés de 50 ans sans grand espoir de retrouver jamais un travail.

Les gens d'un certain age qui pensaient qu'ils ne resteraient que pendant quelques mois sans emploi réalisent maintenant qu'ils ont été mis en fait à la retraite. Les étudiants nouvellement diplômés qui doivent rembourser des prêts d'étude s'élevant à des dizaines de milliers de dollars ne trouvent pas de travail. Plus de sept millions de familles américaines ont perdu leur maison. Des personnes qui ont dû demander l'hospitalité à des parents ou amis sont devenues SDF. Les maisons achetées lors du boom immobilier et remises sur le marché n'ont pas trouvé acquéreur ou ont été vendues à perte.

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