Monday, January 25, 2010


Recession looms over us and it rhymes with depression. And "heavy heavy what hangs over." Like the Rockwell Kent picture, it is depressing.

Still, it's comforting to know that we've been through it before, and not only rebounded, we grew, and grew beyond where we were before.

Much is being said, right now, about the way we used to be twenty, forty, sixty years ago, and the "Recession Generation" -- the youngsters growing up now -- where are they heading and what will become of item?

What will the younger generation think about money, jobs, owning a home -- having babies, a fancy car, a flat screen TV, dining in the best restaurants, taking vacations in foreign lands?

Rana Foroohar's article, in January 18's Newsweek magazine. stated, then proved with various examples, how we are affected all our lives by our parents, and concluded, "Just as our tea-bag-saving grandparents who grew up after the Great Depression, seemed to do fine with less, so might the children of this downturn."

Her article in Newsweek predicts, "The 'New Normal Americans' will be holding wrenches and loading cargo (from solar panels to bags of grain) onto trains, à la the post-Depression generation, rather than fiddling with BlackBerrys."

It left me shaking my head -- not sure that what I'd learned, related to what I what I've observed and feel.

(I do better when I amble around in what I, myself, have done, or experienced vicariously.)

I think times have changed, and what influences us has changed. I think the younger generation is more affected by what they see in movies, TV, comics, and advertisements, than what their parents did.

I think the academics' and economists' predictions belong to the past. The concept of labeling a generation is out-of-date. The term brings comfort to the money-makers who speak about the future as if money rules the world.

It doesn't if you aren't living on Wall Street. The next generation of youngsters is already in touch with the world -- a different and larger world than the world of the past generation.

The life and death stories that move them, touch them, scare them, belong to a much larger world. The world is their family.

The recession generation won't buy into frugality, or the hyper-capitalist culture. They'll do what they have to do, to survive in the "New Now," which they define by what they can count on.

Is there a future? Is the future shaky? They see it differently from what I see. They are not hemmed in by our out-of date labels.

The new, up-and-coming younger generation will take what's there -- enjoying or hating what's there, using and re-shaping it if they have to, in order to survive.

Sorry, Rana Foroohar -- it's an interesting "top story" for Newsweek, but your predictions seem to me, to be quite wrong. I'm counting on the children to pick up where we've left off, and forage a much better future.
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