Well, they finally called it.
According to National Bureau of Economic Research, our nation is now officially in a recession. Have been since December of 2007, they say.
Well, gee whiz, who would have thunk that?
I mean, with the housing market still tanking, banks collapsing, credit markets tight and U.S, automakers asking for a handout, I figured things were going swimmingly.
At this point I suppose we could have cellos swoop in to play a dark, yet nervous dirge to punctuate the economic chaos that’s gripping our wary nation. But I don’t think we need it.
If you can find ONE person in Southern California who didn’t think we were already in – or at least close to - a recession I’ll lock myself up in a padded room and listen to Kenny G’s Christmas album.
And believe me, I don’t want to do that.
But the fact is, there are really no surprises here. I don’t think anyone is suddenly clasping their hands over their ears while they and run around screaming, “It’s a recession! It’s a recession!”
Some economists say a recession occurs whenever the gross domestic product – the total
output of goods and services - declines for two consecutive quarters. Our nation’s GDP turned
negative in the July-September quarter of this year, and many economists believe it is
falling in the current quarter at an even sharper rate.
I certainly don’t mean to make light of an economic situation that has cost people their jobs or homes and prompted the closure or rescue of businesses big and small. But there is something curious about suddenly applying a label to all of this as if it were now a different animal.
It’s almost like looking back on a sweltering summer and suddenly saying, “Boy, that was REALLY REALLY hot.”
Yeah, we know it’s been hot. Now we’re just hoping for a cool-down – some return to economic normalcy.
And I firmly believe we’ll get it.