Why It Still Feels Like a Recession…Plus, 10 Reasons to Look on the Bright Side


Not really “feeling” the recovery from the recession? The New York Times explains why, serving to only make us feel more recessed (or stressed). But knowledge is power. Here goes:

• We’ll probably need at least nine years to recapture the jobs lost during the recession, not including the “five million or six million jobs needed in that time to keep pace with an expanding population.” The unemployment rate might even go up further! Prepare yourselves.

• Given a 2 percent inflation rate, it’ll take 13 years for housing prices to climb back to their peak.

• It could take 10 years to absorb excess commercial vacancies — of which there are a lot — in our largest cities.

Plus, none of us want to shop, and most of us have debt. On the bright side, the Chilean miners are being rescued! We can, at least, know that we have it better than they did for the last 69 days. Other positive things about this ongoing recovery-cession? In no particular order…

1. “Angry” politicians emerge from the woodwork to entertain us with their ridiculousness. For free!

2. No pressure about what to wear to work. If you have work. If not, you can finally get some much-needed sleep, in between tearing your hair out, getting drunk, and stressing about finding a job, all while still having no pressure about what to wear to work.

3. We start to live with less. This is good, right? Right? And we get really good at asking for doggy bags in restaurants, and then actually eating what we brought home instead of leaving it in the restaurant or on the street corner.

4. Going without a haircut for a year is an adventure. Who needs a trip to Thailand? Or a passport? You’re practically a different person already! And everywhere you want to go is already on Facebook.

5. People are getting married in McDonald’s. And T.J. Maxx. And Home Depot. This can only make the rest of us look good.

6. Everyone gets to hate on rich people for a change. In fact, you get to hate on whomever you want, and you can rest assured, some angry nutbag will agree with you. And probably run for office (see above).

7. A lot of people who should have been canned long ago finally get canned (see Rick Sanchez, et al.)

8. Snooki gets a book deal. You can’t tell us this would have happened in boom times. Not a plus to you? Oh, just you wait!

9. America finally learns what “tepid” means. As in, “What a tepid recovery this is! Please pass the boxed wine.”

10. Renewed satisfaction in the small things, like rabbits twitching their noses while sitting in cups. These are the simple joys upon which our nation was built — think Laura Ingalls instead of Donald Trump — which we would never have time to appreciate if we were being chauffeured from luxury boutique to luxury boutique in search of the latest diamond Rolex. And how dull that would be! God, we were jaded.

Plus! Duane Reade coffee. See, it’s not all bad. Well, some of it is.

This article from the Village Voice Archive was posted on October 13, 2010

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