31 January 2009

Judge Posner: Why yes, we are, indeed, in a depression

Judge Richard Posner of the 7th Circuit says we're in a depression:
I suspect that we have entered a depression. There is no widely agreed definition of the word, but I would define it as a steep reduction in output that causes or threatens to cause deflation and creates widespread public anxiety and a sense of crisis.
And who am I to disagree?

Later in the article, the author quotes what he says he thinks is the "best definition" of a depression: "when the unemployment rate breaches 12%, or stays above 10% for three years."

Unemployment rates, though, don't take into account underemployment. With my degree, skills, and family obligations, I probably won't let myself be unemployed for too long after I've taken the bar exam. The question will be whether I'll be working as a lawyer -- or as a copyeditor, or barista, or dogwalker.

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