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Great Recession Ending? Is Our Detox from Greed and Consumerism Over As Well?

Is the global economy’s recession ending? Some leading economists, including the often skeptical nobel prize winner Paul Krugman, believe we might just be the start of a turnaround. So, are we also done with our greed detox?




That’s really what this time period has felt like to me, a
ideological detox from the notion that greed and indulgence are great
things, no longer the best of human qualities. We have seen the
(temporary) collapse of the philosophy that unlimited growth is
possible for economies, and that conspicuous and opulent consumption is
what to strive for personally.

But how does the mind really work? If the economy recovers in the 2nd half of 2009, as many think it just might, will we just go back to mindless consumption, trashing the planet? How well do human beings remember lessons?

Part of me, just part of me, wishes this financial crisis would cut longer and deeper, so that it would cut into our habitual assumptions of happiness more fully. I want the recession to go on. On the other hand, a lot of my friends are stressed out and out of work, so maybe we’ve already learned our lesson and are ready for the next (impermanent) boom.

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posted May 27, 2009 at 12:09 pm

Well, Krugman doesn’t say he thinks we’re at a turnaround, he says
“I don’t think we’ve hit bottom, but the bottom is not too much further below us. My big concern is that we don’t hit the bottom and bounce, we hit the bottom and stay there. It’s not obvious where recovery comes from. The U.S. dollar is going to fall quite a lot, or at least significantly. The demand for dollars has been temporarily inflated by the crisis. Good news is actually bad news for the dollar. If things stabilize, then the safe-haven demand for dollars falls off.”
So we might have a while before mindless consumption resumes.

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posted May 27, 2009 at 12:15 pm


posted May 27, 2009 at 1:57 pm

Woody Tasch’s ‘Slow Money’ has some interesting ideas and perspectives on investment, and the speed at which money could move..

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posted May 27, 2009 at 11:00 pm

I share you with you that little part of me that wishes this recession would cut deeper so that Americans can build character. I don’t believe that the American public is anywhere near that happening. I was in Sears today and had to suffer through the intercom blathering, at a level that made it almost sub-conconcious: “This shopping experience is about your needs. At Sears, we make it all about you.”
Then again, my grandparents grew up poor during the Great Depression and seem to have made a lifelong habit out of spending beyond their means, especially when others are around to watch them do it.

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posted May 27, 2009 at 11:01 pm

Putting my name on that last comment

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posted November 3, 2009 at 11:40 pm

why do you think the recession happened? the recession happened because it was planned, it was planned by the elites, just like the great depression. Economies don’t JUST FAIL, they go through cycles but the expansion and depression that has happened was planned.

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