So no I don’t think we really “recovered” from the Great Recession. Some of us did. Some of us didn’t. Some people’s lives are getting worse.
And though I don’t expect another dot-com bubble, there’s plenty to be concerned about. I’m concerned about student debt, about income inequality, about whatever Putin is up to in Russia, about the climate. Narrowing this down to economic issues, we’ve got enough going on that at some point we can expect another big bump in the economic road.
Another recession. Another thing akin to the housing market collapse if not quite as bad – general slowdown, the student loan debt issue spiking early, more middle east trouble. There’s enough problems we can expect something.
There’s two factors to consider here.
First, we all have to be ready, because I think the next bump, the next recession is a “when” not an “if.” There’s too many threats to economic stability to ignore, let alone the fact that there’s always cycles of up and down. Everyone should have a plan to:
- Save enough money to survive a downturn (I figure minimum going six months with no salary whatsoerver).
- Be able to relocate if needed with relative ease if needed – or work elsewhere for awhile.
- Have a few branching possibilities for their life and career.
It’s not survivalism (which I don’t support, survivalism has a way of being a self-fulfilling prophecy), it’s just having that plan in your pocket just in case. You may never need it, but having one helps.
But the other factor?
Secondly, how many people won’t have a plan for the above or can’t.
That’s actually a bigger concern. After the Great Recession wore people out, destroyed savings, disrupted lives, I’m concerned a lot of people simply can’t survive another recession, as previous experience has left them without the savings, with debt, and with low income – an issue that has been discussed for years. Note discussed, not much has been done.
So when we hit the next economic bump, how many people won’t be able to make it?
That’s a real issue that’s hard to plan for. If the American economy hits a bad streak, it could devastate a lot of the population. That may mean the next economic downturn is going to have a lot more severe consequences by the fact so many people are living less stable lives.
And . . . it’s hard to plan for that. It’s hard to get a grasp of how bad it is for people, how vulnerable they are – and what it means for any economic downturn. Your survival plan, my survival plan, for a recession may not be as effective when so many people’s lives become much worse. Any recession could be worse than past data predicts because our socio-economic foundations are much weaker.
It’s also a reminder that part of your life plan, your career plan, of just being a good citizen is to be aware of these issues and vote on them.
I’d still make plans for the future, to be ready for that bump. Just remember it may be a lot bumpier, so make wise choices . . .