The Long Term Consequences of Economic Downturns

Chairman Powell, Secretary Yellen, and President Biden have recently spoken about the long term consequences for many of economic downturns. More should, more often. The Media should recognize how important this is; ask the question whenever it needs to be asked. The Congress should put this front and center in any and all discussions about economic policy.

Why? Because millions of Americans never recovered from 1979-1980. Millions more never recovered from the 2001. More than from either of those never recovered from the recession of 2008. Who didn’t recover? Those who just gotten their first decent job, just taken out a mortgage, just gotten married and started a family, those who had just experienced a family medical emergency, … The types of folks that the likes of Mitch McConnell couldn’t be bothered to bring a bill to the floor for; those.

As they say — say way too damned often — through no fault of their own. It usually isn’t. Almost never is. But it sure does keep them in their place and at hand just in case they might be needed by the economy at some point in the future and no one else is available; and they don’t fall so completely as to no longer be useful. For more on this, visit your local homeless encampment.

Before, other, homelessness, the consequences often include, not in any particular order; bankruptcy, the broken family, divorce, … Seems, when you are knocked down, it’s hard to get back up. Hard enough the first time. Can’t all succeed, can we?

Were you there in 1980 to see the family guy getting caught trying to steal the bag of groceries? When the Market called the cops and had him arrested? When all the engineers quietly lost their jobs, their careers, in 2001? As Hazel sang so eloquently “And they ain’t coming back.”

They didn’t. And too many of them wound up divorced, working at the market, … doing anything but engineering, or whatever other career they might have had before.

If you were at Al’s Big Burger at lunch time one day in the spring of 2007 and overheard the black man with a really good job with PG&E explain to his co-workers the offer Wells Fargo made him on the equity in his house, you knew then and there the stuff was about to hit the fan; you started looking for a place to scream. Fortunately, Angry Bear was at hand.

For the survivors of 1979-80, and 2001, those who were still marveling at their survival, 2008 made those two recessions look like a walk in the park. After 2008, there was no equity to use to get back up with.

‘Tis a sorry-arsed excuse Mitch, republicans, whatever one you come up with next.