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Radio Rounds: A Job Loss and Education

What do you do when you are pontificating about the national employment picture, self-importantly describing economic cycles and "jobless recoveries," and the person you are talking to informs you that they just got laid off?

"Oh ... Sorry to hear that."

That was how one in a series of radio interviews went this morning. It brought the economic

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reality home; It's hard to cheer about 3.5 percent GDP turnarounds when people around you are out of work. That's one reason that I like to do radio ... it's a dose of what's on on the mind of people outside the sometimes insular universe of business news.

The DJ in this instance let me off easy and seemed to be taking his two-week lay off notice philosphically. In fact, he seemed pretty upbeat about his prospects.

Other DJs hit me with all sorts of personal finance questions, which I take as a sign that their listeners are concerned about what to do with their money. No surprise there.

But it does point up a pet peeve of mine: We as a country don't do enough to educate people about money management. "Personal Finance and Investing 101" should be a required course in every college. Heck, it should be a course in high school.

It would be a lot more socially responsible and relevant than some of the things folks learn. After all, when was the last time you had to dissect a frog?

* Thanks to the radio folks this week ... Bob Connors, Shaun Daily, Best Life Barb, Kimberly and Beck, McGraw Milhaven, Chris Messina, Mancow, Jim Scott, Twitch, and the folks at The Sandbox.