FRIED LIGHT: Fast Forward

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By Roger Snodgrass

For more than a year we have watched the economic crisis wink into existence, signal its approach and finally melt all over us in painfully slow motion.

Because the technical definition of recession is six or more straight months of declining gross domestic product, the advance of the illness could be seen coming from a long way off and its likelihood has been left to grow wildly in the mind without definite confirmation or determined response.

And then the statistical lag time dulls the impact a little more.

Earlier this month Moody’s Investors Service finally declared that 30 U.S. states were indeed stuck in a recession and 19 others were threatening to join them.

Never mind which ones. Don’t act like we weren’t warned. Let’s just say it: We’re in a recession and now we’ve got to turn our minds to getting out.

Although it has been Topic A for the entire year and was clearly the single most decisive factor in the presidential election, this slow descent into a nameless futility has itself been debilitating, particularly when the political response was so typically flailing and feeble.

They really know how to milk a panic.

It doesn’t take an economist to see that the way to get out of this is fast forward.

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