Following Up: The Upside of a Downturn

Friday, January 18, 2008

Daniel Gross, columnist for Newsweek and and the author of Pop!: Why Bubbles Are Great For The Economy (Collins, 2007), explains the upside to a recession.


Daniel Gross

Comments [9]

Edward from Clinton Hill, Brooklyn

also if our government actually supported the arts like most developed countries do, it wouldn't be necessary for artists to make use of safety nets.

Jan. 18 2008 02:46 PM
Edward from Clinton Hill, Brooklyn

wow i've never been called a parasite before that's a first. No, actually over the past many years that i've been working full time and making a great living, i've paid a lot of taxes, so actually i'm making use of money set aside for exactly such a purpose. i don't see how starting a new creative career, one where i do plan to make a living, is an illegitimate use of the money that i've paid into the system. it simply takes a little while to get the career to the point where you're making money off it. isn't that what unemployment is for?

Jan. 18 2008 02:44 PM
James from New York

"many of us have recently quit/lost our jobs, and gone on unemployment to pursue our art"....uh....that's NOT being an artist, that's being a parasite. Is it any wonder that some people oppose social welfare & safety net programs established to provide the truely needy when they become aware of the considerable fraudulent abuse of such programs by "artistes" & others???

Jan. 18 2008 12:08 PM
Jack from Manhattan

“Anyone who believes exponential growth can go on forever in a finite world is either a madman or an economist.” -Kenneth Boulding

The idea that we simply need to encourage growth and then and equity and stability will follow is ludicrous. Recession isn't the only alternative to growth - there is the steady state economy. And with a taxation system that discourages large wealth holdings without fettering production or consumption, by taxing land, we can solve our equity problems without reckless growth. Real wages have hardly budged in the last 30 years - where has all the growth gone? Check out for more on these ideas

Jan. 18 2008 12:07 PM
James from New York

A real wake-up call would be for ALL Americans to resolve to live within their means - starting with the federal government. The unnecessary & counterproductive deficit spending in the form of excessive tax cuts for the wealthy not offset by spending cuts (during boom times no less!!!) along with the propensity for many middle income to give up on the historical norm for middle income folks to understand spending LESS than your income & saving & investing for the future is the only way for America to avoid the fate of Argentina and the many other countries which lost sight of the source of wealth-creation.

Jan. 18 2008 11:59 AM
Edward from Clinton Hill, Brooklyn

First of all I think this recession may be more of a long term adjustment, but I'm an artist as are many of my friends, and many of us have recently quit/lost our jobs, and gone on unemployment to pursue our art. i think what happens in a recession is a feeling that 'i'm not gonna find a job anyway, why not do what i want?'

Jan. 18 2008 11:56 AM
Jonathan Gabel from Brooklyn

Whenever I hear the "terrible news" that new housing development is in decline, I think, from an environmental perspective, this is great. Do we have to keep sprawling across the landscape in order to have a good economy?

Jan. 18 2008 11:52 AM

Housing prices -- today -- in this metro area, are up about 300% over inflation since 2000.

THAT doesn't sound like a recession to me, no matter what your criteria, or what the pundits decide to declare...

Jan. 18 2008 11:51 AM

The end of the Great Depression of the 1930s, I learned, was the government-led economic stimulus of World War Two.

Auto makers. Airplane makers. Services including telephony and even computers IBM!) all boomed from billions in US government spending (not to mention strong intervention from the Fed and high foreign investment).

So -- is it possible that "all we really need is a good war?"

Jan. 18 2008 10:48 AM

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