Comparing Recessions III

Here are a few key graphs from Time Magazine's cover story.  Read them carefully.

…why are Americans so gloomy, fearful and even panicked about the current economic slump?

..The slump is the longest, if not the deepest, since the Great
Depression. Traumatized by layoffs that have cost more than 1.2 million
jobs during the slump, U.S. consumers have fallen into their deepest
funk in years. "Never in my adult life have I heard more deep- seated
feelings of concern," says Howard Allen, retired chairman of Southern
California Edison. "Many, many business leaders share this lack of
confidence and recognize that we are in real economic trouble." Says
University of Michigan economist Paul McCracken: "This is more than
just a recession in the conventional sense. What has happened has put
the fear of God into people."

…U.S. consumers seem suddenly disillusioned with the American Dream of
rising prosperity even as capitalism and democracy have consigned the
Soviet Union to history's trash heap. "I'm worried if my kids can earn
a decent living and buy a house," says Tony Lentini, vice president of
public affairs for Mitchell Energy in Houston. "I wonder if this will
be the first generation that didn't do better than their parents.
There's a genuine feeling that the country has gotten way off track,
and neither political party has any answers. Americans don't see any

…The deeper tremors emanate from the kind of change that occurs only
once every few decades. America is going through a historic transition
from the heedless borrow-and-spend society of the 1980s to one that
stresses savings and investment.

Did the last line give it away?  The article is describing the recession of 1991, an unusually mild recession that preceeded one of the biggest expansions in American history.

Thanks to Roger Congleton for the link.


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