News & Politics

Recession’s Mostly In Your Head, Says Columnist


The news that we’re indeed in a recession, and related grim tidings like November’s seven-year record for layoffs, might have you feeling nervous. But here’s Bloomberg News’ Amity Shlaes to cheer you up with an article called “‘Recession’ Might as Well Be a Reason to Rejoice.” How’s that? “American recessions aren’t that long — a year or so on average.” And this one’s already a year old, so start chilling the champagne.

“So why the current edginess?” asks Shlaes. “One reason may be our own success.” In the 90s, “up seemed the only way to go,” so now that things are leveling off people don’t realize how good they still have it. And the NBER’s recession report isn’t helping: “We’re reacting more strongly because we didn’t overreact to bad news before.” It’s like you opened your apartment door and found the place ransacked — you weren’t worried about it before then, were you?

As Shlaes showed in her book about how that bastard FDR made the Great Depression worse with his meddling, these things tend to work themselves out. So ignore the nervous nellies and enjoy that ice-cube tray you’re getting for Christmas — tomorrow the birds will sing.

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