Nobel laureate economist Paul Samuelson once joked that “the stockmarket has forcast nine out of the last five recessions.” But what if some of this gloominess was, instead, eager anticipation? David Goodhart asks a similar question this month: might the UK’s coming recession do us some good? Recessions are a relatively simple phenomenon, occuring when people decide not to spend money. Economists, like Samuelson, argue that such slumps have their good points, for instance by helping to weed out less competetive firms, allowing capital to be reallocated, and lowering trade deficits. In his piece David takes this notion further to ask if the coming recession might also have some political and cultural upsides:
“Socially and culturally, a good recession would mean a narrowing of income differentials and a rebalancing of status between the business middle class and the public sector middle class… Politically, a good recession would make people realise that political institutions matter, and while they might not want to go as far as joining political parties again they would at least turn out to vote”
Read the rest, here, and be reassured about the good times ahead.