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by SixFigureStart | January 29, 2009


An intriguing story out of Dallas in today's Wall Street Journal about the domino effect of losses and cutbacks set off by one man's layoff. The story details how one member of the Smith family - aptly named, as the family and their struggles come to represent those of the typical, "everyman" American family throughout the article - loses his job, which creates a ripple through his suburban town and even reaches as far as Finland. The story is an example of how just one person getting laid off can lead to a chain reaction, wherein that individual's family must make cutbacks which can then result in downturns and losses for local businesses and service providers who once counted on that family's business. This ripple continues on up the line to suppliers and manufacturers, and the Smiths' story brings to light the many complications that everyone is now being forced to face by the economic recession. 

"'I understand that we need to spend money to get the economy moving,'" the article quotes Mr. Smith, "but he doesn't feel like he can afford that." His story underscores the plight of many today, and the article does a good job bringing to light the idea that many can be affected by a single layoff, and the complicated intertwining of recession issues we hope to untangle.

A layoff in the Smith family ripples through town [Wall Street Journal]

--Posted by Steven Schiff, Vault News & Commentary