Are we in a Recession?

The working people I see on tv & talk to say ‘yes’. But the big financial people say ‘no.’ The stock market seems to say ‘yes’. So what do the people think?

From a purely subjective point of view, I have to say, “no.”

I live in tech-heavy Northern Virginia, yet nobody I know is feeling the bite. Several of my friends have recently quit their jobs and found new ones easily, others have struck out on their own with marked success. Many of us, including me, hold improbable jobs which would not be viable in an actual recession, much less something worse.

I’m a cynical motherf—er, and there is a large part of me that truly believes that the R-word is being tossed about in order to seed the field for justification for mass-layoffs and downsizings. But I hear too many stories of chronic understaffing and a lack of good professional help to fear for those who are going to get axed–they’ll simply fill needed positions elsewhere, in smaller, more forward-thinking work environments.

I welcome such action on the part of large, ungainly mega-merger corporations. I’ve always looked at downsizing like this: you have a one-battleship navy and decide it’s time to downsize it to a cruiser. So you park the battleship three miles offshore, remove the lifeboats and flotation devices, and sink it. Those who make it back to the beach get to crew the smaller ship. One thing is guaranteed about such a new crew: they’re all swimmers, or to briefly step away from the analogy, they’re all office-politicking-borderline-sociopathic assholes. They’re hardly the kind of people I want on my staff.

But to return to the analogy, this time there are other, smaller ships snapping folks up before they become fish-food. They know that the real professionals might not be such good swimmers, but they very well might be excellent at their jobs. Those folks who get picked up are going to be pissed off and hungry for success. And they will succeed, to our collective benefit and to the detriment of their former employers.

Smaller businesses which are willing to sacrifice short-term profit for long-term success cannot help but benefit from their larger cousins’ cast-aways. That’s why I don’t fear for a “real” recession–not just yet.