Memo To Dennis Kneale: It Doesn’t Matter If the Recession is Over

I don’t intend to weigh back in on the Dennis Kneale contretemps with the blogging community. I had my say on that a week or so ago. I do want to ask a question of Kneale or for that matter anyone else who contends that the recession is over, ending, going to be history toute suite.

So what?

It’s kind of like Goldman earning $2 billion or Intel blowing through all the analysts predictions today. It doesn’t make a dimes worth of difference to the people that are unemployed, under water on their homes or just generally terrified about the future. Something has changed among the rank and file in this coutry and it’s not a change for the better.

Talk to the guys at the bar, or the teachers on break or the kids just starting out and you get the sense that they have no optimism left. That spirit that used to be so prevelant, that tomorrow was going to be better and the next day even more so, that with some education and hard work you could fashion a wonderful life has vanished. In its place there’s a preoccupation with protecting whatever one has left and a vague sense that somehow the whole game was rigged. People feel cheated.

President Obama had an appearance in Michigan today. A state that gave him 54% of the vote and arguably should look to him as their savior. By all accounts he was met by a sullen crowd that wants to know how he plans to pull their economy out of a 20% unemployment hole. They don’t care that the financial system is on the mend or that some economic indicators are picking up. The only know that things are about as bad as they have ever seen and they can’t see how they will get better.

So, Dennis, it doesn’t make any difference when the recession ends. This time it’s different. Corporations might start making money, the Dom might start flowing on Wall Street and the political class may hold some hearings to revel in the recovery but most of the country is not going to notice — and that might be a big problem.

About Tom Lindmark 401 Articles

I’m not sure that credentials mean much when it comes to writing about things but people seem to want to see them, so briefly here are mine. I have an undergraduate degree in economics from an undistinguished Midwestern university and masters in international business from an equally undistinguished Southwestern University. I spent a number of years working for large banks lending to lots of different industries. For the past few years, I’ve been engaged in real estate finance – primarily for commercial projects. Like a lot of other finance guys, I’m looking for a job at this point in time.

Given all of that, I suggest that you take what I write with the appropriate grain of salt. I try and figure out what’s behind the news but suspect that I’m often delusional. Nevertheless, I keep throwing things out there and occasionally it sticks. I do read the comments that readers leave and to the extent I can reply to them. I also reply to all emails so feel free to contact me if you want to discuss something at more length. Oh, I also have a very thick skin, so if you disagree feel free to say so.

Enjoy what I write and let me know when I’m off base – I probably won’t agree with you but don’t be shy.

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