Recession: Perception versus reality

Robert Pear wrote an insightful piece in The New York Times about the official end of the 2007 recession and the decrease in incomes during the two years of the recession, and the two years after it ended. Follow this link to the article.

There is definitely a disconnect between those experiencing the ravages of recession versus those claiming that it is over. Could part of the problem be that policy makers focus too much on the output side when trying to boost the economy versus implementing policy that incentivizes better use of our natural and human resources?

Maybe we need to change the definition of recession, so that we can create effective policies to combat unemployment and slow moving credit.

About Alton Drew

Alton Drew brings a straight forward and insightful brand of political market intelligence. Alton Drew graduated from the Florida State University with a Bachelor of Science in economics and political science (1984); a Master of Public Administration (1993); and a Juris Doctor (1999). You can also follow Alton Drew on Twitter @altondrew.
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2 Responses to Recession: Perception versus reality

  1. I agree, the same feeling over her in the UK – the economy has not really improved, but we are no longer in recession? Fear is that the recession will be back soon anyhow, “officially” if nothing else!


  2. Kenneth Ciszewski says:

    “Maybe we need to change the definition of recession, so that we can create effective policies to combat unemployment and slow moving credit.”

    I don’t see how changing the definition of recession will help anything. As to creating effective policies to combat unemployment, I’m surprised Mr. Drew even suggested it. Remember that Herman Cain pointed out the other day that (paraphrasing) if you can’t get a job, it’s your own fault!

    On that basis, why worry about helping the unemployed, unless one admits that the situation is a lot more complicated than that, that we are all interconnected and dependent upon each other in many ways, and that having those who want to work be chronically unemployed is not good for anyone.

    Maybe if we changed the definition of recession we would find out that we really haven’t come out of the recent “Great Recession.” If we would look at the distribution of personal wealth and how it relates to spending power and understand that if too many have too little of either, we might be in a recession, despite GDP growth numbers. From a social and economic policy point of view, we would then have to talk about redistributing wealth, which is both anathema and blasphemy to those who believe they are self made men and women who rose to success without the help of anyone or anything but their own extraordinary efforts, and that anyone who hasn’t is simply worthless! Achievement, good or great, lack of achievement, bad or shameful.

    In fact, it’s not nearly that simple. While we each need to be as personally responsible and achieviing as possible, we also need to recognize that large portion of what goes on in life is well out of our control.

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