Several of the quotes featured in „‚I’ll Know the Recession Is Over When …,'” which appears in this month’s AARP Bulletin, are somewhat tongue-in-cheek. Nonetheless, they serve to highlight two things: the fact that the current downturn has affected a broad cross-section of Americans in many different ways; and, the shortcomings of the statistics that the so-called experts are so keenly focused on:
While some experts may see a “green soup,” many Americans see the pot bubbling red. Consumer confidence, which had risen last spring, has been stagnant or falling since May. Part of the anxiety is due to persistent unemployment. The rate dropped a scant 0.2 percentage points to 10 percent in November, prompting a hastily convened White House Forum on Jobs and Economic Growth. “Digging ourselves out of the hole … is not going to be easy,” said President Barack Obama.
Some 15.7 million Americans out of work agree: It doesn’t matter what the economic indicators say. To them, the recession is over when they get a job.
But for others, there are personal benchmarks, ranging from the simple to the serious, about when they think the recession will be over. Here are a few:
“When folks smile again—there’s lots of grim desperation out there along with lots of empty buildings.” —Dave Murrow, public relations consultant, Phoenix.
“When I have the confidence that I can get financing and make the payments on a new truck.” —Thomas J. Guldi, electrician, Bridgehampton, N.Y.
“When the car ads on television replace those for depression meds.”—Tom Pryor, director, Small Business Development Center for Enterprise Excellence, Fort Worth, Texas.
“When I become first in line at the stroke of noon at our local thrift shop and the pickin’s are more like they were two years ago. Ohhhh, we used to get some gooood stuff.” —Joy Cadden, handbag designer, Millville, Del.
“When the line at the church for assistance at the food bank is shorter.” —Robert Bogan, volunteer church administrator, Fort Washington, Md.
“When I no longer count mail-in rebates as income.” —Nancy Lombardo, comedian, New York
There’s plenty more — click here to read the rest.
(Hat tip to Real Time Economics.)When WWhen