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The National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER) – a panel of economists entrusted with the responsibility to officially declare the beginning and end of recessions – declared Monday that the longest recession the country has endured since World War II officially ended in June 2009.
Funny; I’m sure there are many Americans that feel like it is still going on.
President Obama spoke to the Congressional Black Caucus Foundation dinner this past weekend and reaffirmed his Administration’s commitment to restoring the economy and creating new jobs.
About 6 minutes into the video, the President makes the point that from 2001 to 2009 the income of middle-class families in the US went down 5%. In other words, the problems that became evident at the beginning of the recession (12/2007) were building for years, and fixing the problems will take time.
Our US Representatives and Senators know this, but if you watch the rhetoric of the political campaign season it would appear that many are content to over-simplify the complexity of our national economy and suggest a quick fix to the sluggish recovery is possible simply by voting in new leadership. Sadly, many American voters will believe the claims of these candidates for office…because they desperately need it to be true.
Steve Chapman with the Chicago Tribune made this point yesterday:
A recession begins when the economy starts shrinking. It ends when the economy stops shrinking and resumes growing — nothing more. The conclusion doesn’t mean we’re getting rich. It merely means we’re not, as a nation, getting poorer. That may sound like a minimal achievement, but it’s better than the devastating contraction that went before. It’s the first step on the path to prosperity. We’re like…a village after the tornado has passed through. The danger may be gone, but there’s a lot of rebuilding to do.
Perhaps the recovery will be quickened if businesses and individuals actually tune out the fear-mongering politicians (whose election depends on an angry electorate) and actually begin thinking and acting as if the recession, in fact, is over. There is money to spend and jobs to create, people to hire and products to develop. Wall Street got the message! What will it take to get the rest of us going?
Lust. According to author Sally Hogshead, lust is a universal trigger that I just happen to use to fascinate others. Who knew? Over the weekend I revisited the brief online survey based on her popular new book, Fascinate in which she explores the multifaceted world of what makes things…well…fascinating!
She describes fascination as “the most powerful way to influence decision making. It’s more persuasive than marketing, advertising, or any other form of communication. And it all starts with seven universal triggers: lust, mystique, alarm, prestige, power, vice, and trust.”
Through this framework, Sally prompts marketers (among others) to think about the way their messages inspire consumers to create messages of their own about the brand:
“Fascination plays a role in every type of decision making, from the brands you choose to the songs you remember, from the person you marry to the employees you hire. And by activating the right triggers, you can make anything become fascinating.”
What triggers do you use to persuade? Take her test here.
“For the economy to reset itself takes a long time, and the main point of the book is that it’s not just technology that resets us… it’s not just government spending. It’s new ways of living and working.” — Richard Florida
Richard Florida, author of “The Great Reset: How New Ways of Living and Working Drive Post-Crash Prosperity,” says the deep recession has fundamentally altered how we feel about spending and saving. He spoke to John Hockenberry on The Takeaway and suggested that we’re all in the process of resetting the way we work and live. What do you think?