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Old 11-03-2014, 05:01 PM
 
Location: Paradise
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I was a teenager in the late 70's/early 80's when our country went through, what I thought was, a recession worse than what we just experienced.

It seems to me that the national unemployment rate was similar. Where I lived, it was 25%. A depression.

If you have never lived through a significant recession before, then, I suppose, the most recent one would appear like the Great Recession. But I have a different perspective.

Those of you that remember the recession from that era, do you think the most recent one was that much worse?
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Old 11-03-2014, 05:24 PM
 
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The recession of the early 80s was gone as fast as it popped up. Our economy in every single indicator was worse during the Great Recession than back in the early 80s.
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Old 11-03-2014, 05:26 PM
 
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Long term unemployment went right back to normal in 1983. The Great Recession has caused a new normal of long term unemployment following job loss.

The tragedy of long term unemployment

It was also easier to be counted as unemployed back in the 80s, so the unemployment rate looks higher than it really was using today's criteria to be counted as unemployed.
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Old 11-03-2014, 08:12 PM
 
Location: Paradise
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Maybe it just seemed worse to me because of where I lived at the time. It was so bad I had to leave and I don't think it's ever really recovered. And it the worst of it lingered for years. It really impacted me to the point that I realized that I needed a recession resilient form of employment.

I've spoken to other people who felt the same way regarding the two. To me, this one was easier to manage, but I do see what you mean about the new normal.
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Old 11-03-2014, 08:57 PM
 
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I don't know if it was worse. But it was bad. We had family friends who were unemployed for literally years, and at least some never got back on track. That's probably similar to now.
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Old 11-03-2014, 08:59 PM
 
Location: DFW
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I wasn't born yet at the time but I seem to have the notion that the early 80s recession was worse than the Great Recession (if you count the 2 recessions with the brief recovery in between as 1.) At least inflation was slighly below 0% in the Great Recession.. in the early 80s one, it was over 10%.

The stock market held up quite well in the early 80s than 2008.. but I guess the high inflation rates give a false sense of performance which is actually much bleaker after you adjust the prices for inflation.
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Old 11-03-2014, 10:19 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ragnarkar View Post
I wasn't born yet at the time but I seem to have the notion that the early 80s recession was worse than the Great Recession (if you count the 2 recessions with the brief recovery in between as 1.) At least inflation was slighly below 0% in the Great Recession.. in the early 80s one, it was over 10%.

The stock market held up quite well in the early 80s than 2008.. but I guess the high inflation rates give a false sense of performance which is actually much bleaker after you adjust the prices for inflation.
. Inflation isn't nearly as bad as not being able to find a job. Finding a job was much easier during the early 80s recession compared to the Great Recession.
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Old 11-04-2014, 01:57 AM
 
Location: Paradise
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ragnarkar View Post
I wasn't born yet at the time but I seem to have the notion that the early 80s recession was worse than the Great Recession (if you count the 2 recessions with the brief recovery in between as 1.) At least inflation was slighly below 0% in the Great Recession.. in the early 80s one, it was over 10%.

The stock market held up quite well in the early 80s than 2008.. but I guess the high inflation rates give a false sense of performance which is actually much bleaker after you adjust the prices for inflation.
I remember it being shut down because a free fall and there was worry that it would be just like during the Great Depression. I didn't really pay too much attention, but I do remember that.

Quote:
Originally Posted by CravingMountains View Post
. Inflation isn't nearly as bad as not being able to find a job. Finding a job was much easier during the early 80s recession compared to the Great Recession.
I had the opposite experience. But I am only one person.

There were so many things that were wrong, though. I think that time has been a good eraser.
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Old 11-06-2014, 06:01 PM
 
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Unemployment (which has been defined the same way for decades) was above 10% for ten straight months in the 1980's versus one month in 2007-09. Each event at the time was the worst economic collapse since the Great Depression. The 1980's disaster caused the northeast manufacturing corridor to crumble and erode away into what became known as the Rust Belt. Quite costly. And that before even considering the staggering human toll -- millions of proud, hard-working Americans left without a job, an income, or a pension. Certainly, Reagan didn't lift a finger to help them.

But the problems of that era were the result of almost garden variety economic mismanagement. The more recent collapse had its roots in the same sort of soil of ineptitude of course, but what flowered from economic incompetence this time was a credit-driven, self-reinforcing downward spiral. No one had even seen such a thing before, so no one really knew what to do about it.

FDR had confronted that same lack of obvious answers in 1933, so he tried almost any hare-brained idea at all and then followed up on the ones that seemed to be working. Obama was able to be a bit more precise than that, but there was still plenty of trial-and-hope involved for him as well. Too rarely mentioned in recountings I think is the success that he and Geithner had in getting virtual unanimity out of the Finance Ministers and G-20 meetings in the Spring of 2009. With virtually the entire globe on the same page going forward and stimulus being poured in by economies large and small, a bulwark against the worst of the worst was built, meaning that economies would one by one have the chance to wink back on. Germany and China of course cheated, but at that point, any sort of success was welcome news.

All in all, recovery from 2007-09 was slower than in the early 1980's and slower than it might have been at the time. This was mainly because expansionary fiscal measures were abandoned in 2011, leaving the Fed to make a go of it alone with quantitative easing. QE is not a powerful tool.. They could have used some help from the other end of town.

Bottom line: the 1980's were unnecessary and very bad, but there was never a larger long-term threat involved. The 2000's were also unnecessary and very bad, but the real threat of a much larger and more pervasive crisis made it stand out.
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Old 11-06-2014, 06:42 PM
 
Location: Someplace Wonderful
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The recent recession lasted a mere 3 quarters, tops.

But the subsequent recovery has been pathetic, a mere 1% to 1,5% for something like 16 quarters, and unemployment has been stubbornly high until just a couple of quarters ago. And that only because of people leaving the work force as retirees or through disability.
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