Monday, February 02, 2009

Lighter Side of Depression Economics

If you read Sunday's Pensacola Newsless Journal -- and there must be someone else out there who did -- you might have noticed a curious coincidence. Three out of three opinion columnists on the same day held forth on their optimistic views of the current economic mess. Two with measured optimism, one with what can only be called premature nostalgia.

Here's what we understand to be the central point of each column:

Carl Wernicke: Carl supposes, since he wasn't there at the time, that only "a few people died of starvation" during the Great Depression and some people "even enjoyed it at times." Not seeing any signs that birds are falling out of the sky or clouds have stopped scudding, he's loving the present economic troubles, too.

Carleton Proctor: Hectored by readers to find some "good news" in the economy, Proctor says "things could be worse." One might suppose he means this to be a comfort, not a prediction. One could be wrong.

Mark O'Brien: Looking backward, Mark wants us to know he had a terrific time during the recession of 1982, and since a New York Times headline he read says this one isn't (yet) nearly as bad, he thinks a lot of younger people some day will look back on today's recession and realize that they had a great time, too. Do we detect a note of future envy?

We don't know what they're putting in the water cooler down at the PNJ, but they ought to share it with the rest of us.

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