Feature

The upside of an economic downturn

Not everyone is upset about the prospect of a recession, said Ren

Renée LothThe Boston Globe

Not everyone is upset about the prospect of a recession, said Renée Loth. Many people are secretly welcoming the economy’s downturn, hoping it will provide some relief from the relentless “hyperconsumption’’ that now defines American life. Hard times provide a good excuse to postpone buying that 60-inch plasma TV, and to tell your acquisitive children that, sorry, you cannot have an iPhone. In a recession, everyone “has to take a breath, take stock, and figure out what is really important.’’ People can devote more time to such simple, cost-free pursuits as spending time with their family, reading, or gardening. Unfortunately, when the economy reboots again, all this will vanish and we’ll head back to the mall. “A culture dependent on stuff for its happiness suffers from a poverty no amount of spending can assuage.” 

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