A feel-good piece in the Wall Street Journal that says a second Great Depression wouldn’t be so bad, ’cause we wouldn’t starve and we only would have to give up our Ipods and lattes.
What economists don’t get is that depression – economic or clinical – is a relative state of mind. Having enough to eat may have been the yardstick of woe in the 1930s, but Americans today judge their well-being by whether they have health insurance or they can send their kids to college. Depression – financial or mental – is the inescapable feeling that things are bad and they’re not going to get better. America’s angst hasn’t reached that point yet, but if it does, it won’t be because some economists decided that 10 or 20 percent unemployment was the tipping point.