Did the Great Recession End?

By: Daniel Nardini

Lawndale News Chicago's Bilingual Newspaper - CommentariosAccording to a report put out by Indiana State University, poverty has gotten worse since the Great Recession started. The report, “America’s Poor: During and After the Great Recession,” describes a national situation where those who were in poverty before have sunk deeper and those who were not have fallen into poverty. According to the report, from 2006 to 2010 the poverty rate in the entire country shot up 27 percent. That is a very hefty increase in just a four year period. However, the report also states that the Great Recession, as this period is being called, actually ended in 2009. Really?! And who said that this period ended? According to the report, leading economists have come to the conclusion that the Great Recession ended at that period. In the same breadth, these leading economists have also stated that the things that started the Great Recession—the mortgage sector crash and the rise of poverty—have gotten worse long after the Great Recession ended.

I have to wonder what world or dimension these leading academics and economists are living in?! If poverty, unemployment (or rather “chronic unemployment” as this report is terming for those who have not been able to find work for a long period of time), and more people are losing their homes and then being put out on the streets has gotten worse, then exactly how has the Great Recession ended? It would be like saying that the Great Depression ended in 1930, or one year after it started, and that everything that happened afterwards was just happen stance. The fact of the matter is that the Great Depression really did not end a year after it started, nor five years after it started. Why? The reasons were plain enough. Massive unemployment extreme poverty, destitute people searching the land for any kind of work, and those who still had homes at all while living in a state of uncertainty all scarred this country. It took years to overcome these horrid conditions, and for all due purposes the Great Depression was really not over until 1940, or 11 years after it started.

To me, it is sick when researchers, academics and “leading economists” play God with statistics and information. It is a moot point to say whether the Great Recession is over or not. In my view it is far from over. But one thing that cannot be argued with is that the conditions it spawned have gotten deeper into our society and these are affecting tens of millions of people in the United States. These conditions are real, and the lives they affect and destroy are all too real as well. If it was the intention of the report to make this clear to a general audience then it has succeeded.

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