Family togetherness a blessing (or a curse) of the recession

Whenever I hear stories about multiple generations living under one roof, I wonder how people don't wind up killing one another. My worries are heightened because of the recession.

According to USA Today, increasing numbers of people are living together out of economic necessity.

"Nearly 3.5 million brothers or sisters are living in a sibling's house, according to 2007 Census Data, up from 3 million in 2000," the paper said. " And 3.6 million parents live with their adult children, up from 2.3 million. About 6.7 million householders live with other relatives, such as aunts or cousins, compared with 4.8 million in 2000."

Of course, given the state of the economy, those figures have no doubt increased over the past year as the real estate market continues to plummet and foreclosures continue to soar. It's the hidden cost of the economic downturn, and it's scary.

Even the most loving family gets on each others' nerves. Privacy is scarce in close quarters. Everyone knows everyone's business. Plus, people forced by economic circumstances to live together are going to resent their situation. Stress could hit a boiling point, creating huge problems including familial violence.

I fear for the young people who are forced to live at home. Part of growing up is learning to take responsibility for your actions. That's tough to do if mommy and daddy are there to cook your meals, do your laundry and pay your bills. How will they be independent?

With all the talk about bailing out Wall Street, attention needs to be paid to the price being paid by families because of the economy. They are just as deserving of help as fat cat bankers.
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