General Question

Pol_is_aware's avatar

What are some advantages of recessions?

Asked by Pol_is_aware (1805points) April 14th, 2009

We all know times are hard, but will this “economic crisis” make us stronger? If so, how so.

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36 Answers

oratio's avatar

I think you get stronger if you get out of an ordeal victoriously. I don’t see the victory here though, only people biting it together, with more distrust in the system than ever. But I guess there might be a silver lining somewhere.

Pol_is_aware's avatar

@Oratio: Maybe our main problem was we had too much trust in the system.

oratio's avatar

Maybe. I guess. Or maybe people didn’t care.

I was thinking about the bush-years and the distrust it brewed, and now this on top of that.

qashqai's avatar

Only the ‘strongest’ survive. (May it be a company, an individual, whatever.)

A kind of 21st century darwinian natural selection.

willbrawn's avatar

People are more humble. People aren’t spending money they dont have anymore. And are grateful for what they have. Thats a great blessing from hard times. Maybe the younger generations won’t be so ungrateful (not saying they all arent).

TitsMcGhee's avatar

The Ramen noodle industry sees a huge upturn? Microbreweries are doing better?

jsc3791's avatar

I already see a return to and appreciation for the “simple” things in life. More people out walking their dogs, taking their kids to the park, having outdoor picnics, staying in for movie night with the family. I can only hope that this trend will continue and serve to remind us all of what is really important in life; not material things but the people who make us happy.

ShauneP82's avatar

Lower gas prices, and cheapers houses…if you have a job. lol.

Bagardbilla's avatar

On the grander scale, Recessions are a “stress test” of economies.
They weed out inefficient companies and allow precious resources to be allocated to smarter more efficient companies, thereby making those economies stronger. It’s almost like natural selection if allowed to happen NATURALLY, Laissez-faire, (French, a non-interventionist policy (lit. “allow to do”)
On a smaller/individual scale, it will force us to appreciate the little things in life (like taking a walk in the park with a friend instead of going to the movies and staring at a screen), realize that consumerism is not the “be all & end all” to life (like making a gift for a loved one instead of giving them a gift certificate), appreciate and look out for those who have less then we have (like volunteering at a food shelter instead of staying home and looking forward to the next unemployment check), and hopefully reconnect with family (like cooking a meal together and having friends over instead of going out to eat.

The_Compassionate_Heretic's avatar

Times like these force people to reevaluate their consumption habits and waste less.

mattbrowne's avatar

Crisis is the mother of invention.

hungryhungryhortence's avatar

Crisis and hardship push people to adapt and change for their better. Some who’ve been through hard times before and changed their lifestyles have never gone back and feel more content, feel more in control of themselves. People learn about themselves during hardship, they grow and some excel to find new potential and strengths.

IchtheosaurusRex's avatar

Sadly, as soon as things pick up, people forget about them – unless the recovery passes you by, as it did a lot of people in 2001. The economy as a whole recovered in that one, but people who lost their jobs in the dotcom bust still couldn’t find work, at least not the kind of work they were used to. Many took lower paying jobs or changed careers. Some just gave up.

That makes me think it wasn’t really a recovery, just another bubble driven by speculation and greed. This mess is the other shoe, and if we pull out of this one, things might get better for real.

kenmc's avatar

My personal favorite advantage to the recession is getting to see rich people become poor. It’s funny. No more country club for Thurston! Boohoohoo.

SquirrelEStuff's avatar

That it brings to light that out economy is nothing but a ponzi scheme

YARNLADY's avatar

I don’t believe there are any lasting lessons from it. Our parents/grandparents lived through the “Great Depression” and the next generation went right back to same ol’, same ol’

DREW_R's avatar

It might force afew back to the basics. Big plus there. ;)

ru2bz46's avatar

@boots That formerly-rich poor person is no longer able to give you a job. Boohoohoo :’(

kenmc's avatar

@ru2bz46 Where I work hasn’t really been affected. Yet, anyways.

I just enjoy seeing those that love perpetuating the gap between middle income and high income falling on there faces.

ru2bz46's avatar

@boots It’s easy to feel shadenfreude when you are unaffected. What about your friend or cousin who is out of a job because a rich person is now poor?

The_Compassionate_Heretic's avatar

@boots Those aren’t the ones who are suffering. Thorston still gets to go to the country club. They’ll complain about paying more taxes over their 3 martini lunches.

The ones who are suffering are the middle class people like my sister and brother in law who have 2 kids (1 autistic) and both lost their jobs this year. Mortgage + no income + special needs child = a lot of tears.

MooKoo's avatar

At the moment, I’m not really seeing anything positive coming forth out of America’s current recession. If people realize what got them into the predicament we’re in right now, then positive might come forth, but only if they realize this. People need to learn to fend for themselves, and not rely on someone else to get them something that they don’t need.

kenmc's avatar

@The_Compassionate_Heretic Oh, I know. I was just naming an advantage. That doesn’t happen as often, but when it does, it inspires my faith in humanity again.

The_Compassionate_Heretic's avatar

So what constitutes “rich” to you @boots ? A household Making 100+ year? In some regions of the US that is not rich by any means.

cak's avatar

Overall, things have remained the same for our family. We have credit, but don’t overuse it. We’ve never been ones to spend a lot of money – so we’re following the same patterns. What I like seeing is people trying to change some of their views of some of the things they buy. I have several friends that never thought twice about a $5 cup of coffee, but have all but stopped doing that daily activity. I never realized how much people spend on coffee! One friend didn’t hesitate at the thought of dropping several hundred dollars on a purse, but not considers it absurd.

I hope it sticks, but I don’t have complete faith that people will really think about how they spend money.

@The_Compassionate_HereticI’m sorry to hear that your sister and BIL are having such a hard time right now, it’s gotta be really difficult, especially with a special needs child. My mom takes care of my special needs aunt – we’re all pitching in to cover costs. things just got too tight, financially.

@boots – Wow. Really? You hope to see people lose everything? It rolls downhill, you know.

The_Compassionate_Heretic's avatar

Thank you @cak They have a good attitude about the situation instead of blaming others for their problems. This is what will get them through the tough times. My family… we’re hearty stock for sure.

cak's avatar

@The_Compassionate_Heretic – Good people! :) My family is like that, too. Best not to wallow, you’re still in the same situation, just miserable. I’ve been poor before, I don’t take things for granted and the man I’m married to, is the same. You never know what life is going to hand you. Best wishes to you and yours.

The_Compassionate_Heretic's avatar

@cak I’ve been poor too and (to no one’ surpise) it sucks ass! So I’m not going to wish for anyone to be poor.

Sometimes the actions of the über rich are annoying and self indulgent but I don’t want them to suffer. I just want them to act ethically and in the best interest of the people their actions affect.

cak's avatar

@The_Compassionate_Heretic – I agree, but I guess I just have that side of me that is taken aback when it seems like someone wants to see people fail. I would love to see some of them change their attitudes about things and see things from the “normal” side of life; however, I know it’s not likely to happen.

The_Compassionate_Heretic's avatar

@cak I can understand the perspective though. People are angry at the irresponsibility of the rich, especially when they take our money and use it for their own obscenely decadent indulgences and then have the audacity to come back and ask for more. I just can’t bring myself to wish harm or suffering on them though because that lowers us when we do that. Anger and animosity aren’t what get us through the tough times.

Nially_Bob's avatar

Social solidarity, people may bond over their shared grief during strenuous times.

Tobotron's avatar

you could say a recession is capitalisms way of weeding out the non viable and non sustainable businesses and behavior in society…its our way or keeping ourselves in check…I have no idea how this could be implemented but if you’ve heard of a resource society it would seem to be the answer…for the moment though its just a nice idea.

jackfright's avatar

it becomes an employers market.
here are two examples of benefits i’ve experienced so far;

1. i’ve successfully eliminated borderline staff that i couldn’t before (with as much ease) under the blanket of retrenchment. this in turn created a temporary productivity boost from the remaining staff that we’re still benefitting from.

2. larger pool of available talent in the market, at a lower cost.

CMaz's avatar

When I hear the word “recession” I think of the movie The Matrix.
Neo walking up the stairs, the cat walks by then the cat walks by again. “Recession” is a change to the system. We are really not in a “ression” (it is not like getting the flat tire fixed) we have been put into a SUPPRESSION.
Fluther has a question out there.
“Why didn’t anyone read the stimulus bill?”

It is a good read.

kellylet's avatar

I think it’s an incredibly interesting time. I love the “dance” of business. It’s exciting to see companies thinking on their feet to meet new demands.

Restaurants have created special happy hours, tapas menus and come up with some really creative new ideas with wine service. Fine dining places have made special pre-fixe menus.

A fashion trend that started 10 years ago has really taken off even more this year. High end couture designers are offering more affordable and accessible lines. Even fashion magazines are focusing on savings.

For myself, I am currently looking for work. During the time I’ve gone without has taught me a lot about myself and is really forcing me to face areas in which I need to improve personally and professionally.

Haleth's avatar

The greatest benefit I see is that people are changing their spending habits and learning to save money. This is still tough on the economy as a whole, because we need consumer spending, but hopefully these good habits will stick around. I’m becoming a lot more frugal, too.

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