I was lucky enough to find and cultivate a love of economics five or six years before Freakonomics or The Tipping Point became influential books. I was initially very annoyed that the elegant and often very simple rules of the dismal science had become so accessible. I am not sure why I was so troubled. I should have been ecstatic that so many were paying attention. The old school guard was all too happy to lap up the praise that the fairest pursuit of knowledge very fairly garners our predecessors. Clever folks were standing on the shoulders of great men and telling us that pimps pay efficiency wages or that owning a house made you much more likely to be unemployed. However, the Economist today finally gave me a short and very quotable phrase for why I was so troubled with Pop-Economics: “File this under probably true but unhelpful.”6 years ago
So folks, it’s that time again. Yes, it’s been a full 7 years since our last recession. I remember my high school mock stock portfolio completely tanking during the last one. I find recessions insanely interesting for several reasons (1) My life has never been directly affected by one and thus I am able to remain a dispassionate observer, and (2) they are thought to be between 40% and 60% self fulfilling prophecies. The latter point is confusing to a lot of people. Yes, there is some wicked subprime shit going down. No, the geniuses behind pets.com never actually tried to make any money. That, however, should not necessarily impact Asian markets. Though the U.S. demand makes up the biggest single demand for Kias and Samsung TVs, it’s still only 8% of the total. There were some commentators who believed that there would not be global effects to this uniquely American fuck up. Then the markets opened Monday and tanked. However, I remain optimistic about the future. Here are some reasons to keep your spirits up in these moderately tough times.