Hyperbolic Vocabulary

Watching a political spokesperson, who’s party could well benefit from an economy in the ash-can, I noticed she kept using the word Depression.  Indeed, the new cover of TIME shows a Depression-era bread line.


At last count our unemployment rate was holding steady at 6.1% (well below what Europeans commonly regard as normal).  During the Great Depression, unemployment hit 25%Twenty-five percent. 

Not 6%, not 8, not 10, not even 15%…  Twenty-five percent.

Could we be on our way to a Depression?  Sure.  Anything’s possible.  We could also be hit by an asteroid along the way.  We could be visited by aliens.  We could be headed for a lot of things.

But possibility is not probability, not to mention, reality.

Even in good times, if you can’t find work, that feels like a Depression.  It’s painful and frightening.

Still, the classic words we use to describe various phases and stages of our economy are well known and carefully documented.

News magazines ought to stick with what has actually happened, not sell paper with nightmarish images of what could happen.  In the ’70’s NEWSWEEK ran a cover story asking, “The Depression, what will it be like?” 

We never found out, because it never transpired.

Commentators ought to consider what’s good for America, not for their party, and stop the bald attempt at profiting from a world-wide crisis. 

Greed and selfish advancement at the expense of others take many forms, not all related to money.  It’s what got us here to begin with, and it’s high time it stopped.


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