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Friday, November 20, 2009

Recession Thanksgiving: Upsides of the Downturn

You know me, always looking for the silver lining!

As Thanksgiving approaches, here are some more reasons that the recession may actually be doing some good for the country:

  1. AAA says South Dakotans will travel 2.6% less this year for Turkey Day. That's less fuel burned up, less pollution. Travel will be up slightly nationwide... but it almost has to be up from last year's amazing 25.2% drop in Thanksgiving travel.
  2. From the same report, air travel for Thanksgiving has dropped an "astounding" 62% over the past decade. Thank high prices... but also thank the Patriot Act: AAA cites "stricter airport security" as one of the factors in less air travel (so, the terrorists are winning?).
  3. Urban sprawl has been knocked on its can. Bedroom communities that relied on long-distance commutes to coax residents to join their housing booms now are looking for ways to develop rail lines, denser and more efficient housing, and local business.
  4. More folks are shopping at Goodwill, Salvation Army, and other thrift stores. The National Association of Resale and Thrist Shops (yes, there is one) reports a 35% increase in resales. Of course, the recession has also cut back donations at some stores, as folks hang on to their old clothes to get as much use as possible from them... although NARTS counters that almost 70% of their members report increases in incoming inventory volume. Good thrift business is good news for the town of Wilmot, South Dakota, which holds the grand opening of its new a community thrift store tomorrow. The Replay Thrift Store is a product of the Whetstone Valley Horizons community revitalization project.
So darn that President Obama, trying to end the recession. Doesn't he see all the good this recession is doing for the country?

We're still far from the hard suffering of the Great Depression that made our grandparents such tough characters. But even the relatively small lemons of this recession may produce some cultural lemonade.


  1. Michael Black11/20/2009 10:26 AM

    My father comments that we are soft and that we do not know what real hard times are. In pioneer times, poor meant that you did not have enough to eat and starving to death was a real possibility. Now poor means that you may not have a job but still have cable TV. That's a big difference. We have not come close to the suffering of the Great Depression...at least not yet.

    You can look at the huge drop in air travel many ways. It might mean that families are not as close because travelers fear the gauntlet at the airport.

  2. A recession is simply a correction by Natural Law for what the Federal Reserve and the government has done to throw out of balance the free markets.

  3. I would prefer it if urban sprawl was held in check by a combination of New Urban Living and farmers not letting go of their fields because of cellulostic (sp) ethanol. We have the ability do these things on our own with out our hands being slapped.


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