With this spectacularly famous misquote, or really paraphrase, of the White Rabbit in Through the Looking Glass by Lewis Carroll, let’s discuss this week’s recession ending announcement.
The National Bureau of Economic Research declared that the recession was over June 20, 2009! The eighteen month recession, the US’s deepest since the Great Depression, was declared over with a tepid “…the committee did not conclude that economic conditions since that month have been favorable or that the economy has returned to operating at normal capacity. Rather, “a recovery began …” So, economic conditions aren’t “favorable” or “normal” but the recession is over. I though over meant finished. Words have certain meanings unless you’re an economist or politician.
Seems Warren Buffet also thinks the definition of over is finished. On CNBC, the Oracle of Omaha said that by his own “common sense” definition, the United States is “still in a recession” and will be “…until real per capita GDP gets back to where it was before.” Each of us needs to match our 2007 earnings before the recession is over. That makes sense to me.
So, I’m not ready to declare the recession over. With unemployment near 10% nationally and 12.5% in my home state how could I? We still need to treasure our jobs and customers, keep cash reserves high, and borrowings low.
In my last post, about Cognitive Dissonance a few readers questioned me about being angry. My first reaction was; that’s great, I have readers! Upon reflection, I agreed I am angry. How can I not be?
- There are over 14.5 million unemployed Americans. Half of them out of work for over six months.
- There are over 3.5 million homes in foreclosure default. And, many million more heading there.
- US Banks are becoming zombies by not recognizing real estate losses.
Based on the news this week, it’s pretty trendy to be angry. But, we must turn our anger to a call to action, not a lead in to depression. And, what’s the call to action? Continue to live in a way that you can survive this no growth period. Preserve your assets and don’t take on new debt. Especially with your credit card. Don’t wait for a dream job to appear. Find something you can do that adds value. And, grind it out to make it work.
And, happiness and satisfaction will come from the small successes from your efforts.