Open Thread on Personal Stories of the Great Recession

by Linda Beale
crossposted with Ataxingmatter

Naked Capitalism’s Open Thread on Personal Stories of the Great Recession

Yves Smith opened a great comment thread on naked capitalism that anyone interested in the way this Great Recession has hit people across the US (and world) should read. It was triggered by the NBER analysis that the recession is over. Her question opens a thread for readers to comment on the recession from their own personal perspectives.

The comments address a range of perspectives, and consider whether the recession is over, what it has meant for them personnally or for their communities and what they see for the future. There are reports from Lansing (like Detroit, hit by white flight to the suburbs –I’ll add that in Detroit, it does gall to see all the suburbanites driving into Detroit to earn their pay at their jobs, then driving out again to spend it in their comfortable, mostly white, middle-class or above suburban communities, so that the dollars created because of Detroit don’t get spent to benefit Detroit at all), from Ohio with its loss of manufacturing, from upstate New York, where are more gradual and longer term slowdown meant that housing prices didn’t inflate as much and the economy stayed more stable, and from all other the country and abroad.

Politicians in Washington who don’t understand the impact of foreclosures, joblessness, and the sheer stress of worries about job security and the future should read the entire string, word for word. People whose job it is to apply economic theory to policy proposals should read it to help them understand how far divorced the mere fact of increasing GDP is from the well-being of ordinary Americans. Everybody should read these comments to better understand the variety of pain and distress that are affecting millions of our fellow Americans. And we all should start demanding more transparent and fact-based discussions of the economy and of processes that create jobs, so that the propaganda sound bites that are being used to determine the votes in this November’s election are at least modified to be closer to the truth and more relevant to the daily lives of ordinary Americans.

Readers, please jump in here or at Naked Capitalism and share your own views on this issue. What bothers you most about the way we as communities have dealt with the incredible impact on middle-class America? What has the recession meant for you personally, in terms of lifestyle and hopes for the future? Do you think it is “over” or do you think that we must adjust to a “new normal”?