Why the world needs America to cheer up
October 25, 2001 6:35 AM   Subscribe

Why the world needs America to cheer up This article claims America and New York in particular have lost faith in an economic recovery. Can any New Yorkers tell me whether this is true? A side note: The (London) Times has been excellent since 9/11 IMO, although the site desperately needs a redesign. I'll do it! Employ me!
posted by Summer (8 comments total)
This article asserts that the terrorists succeed beyond their wildest dreams if they subvert America's self-confidence, but if they're to be believed, they don't want us merely unconfident; they want us dead. So I'm not sure that I'd call their actions successful. At least, their results haven't wholly matched their stated aim, so either they're working at cross purposes or they're disingenuous.

Also, the article itself recounts the recent business cycles of prosperity and decline we've had. As often happens, we Yanks are pretty bad at recalling our own recent history -- here, we're being reminded of it by a Brit jounalist -- demonstrating our intellectual and cultural event horizon of about six months.

As my late father, who survived the Depression and the Wehrmacht, would've put it, "Tough times never last. Tough people do."
posted by alumshubby at 7:45 AM on October 25, 2001

Summer: let them know quickly! I read somewhere, very recently, that they're amalgamating The Times and The Sunday Times websites and that a redesign is in the works. They could surely use your enthusiasm. If you want a quote for your letter, how about "Summer - we all realize you love The Times and we've often drooled over the redesigns you've shared with us, but surely all this work should be shown to The Times itself! MiguelCardoso, Metafilter, 25 October 2001"
Will this do? Thanks for the Simon Jenkins link yesterday. I used to be a Times reader before age and murdochitis set in. Now I'm afraid I'm a Telegraph man - in fact, terrified.

Now excuse me while I go and read your link...
posted by MiguelCardoso at 7:49 AM on October 25, 2001

Thanks Miguel, that's bound to swing it. I like the Telegraph too, only trouble is the right-wing commentary gets right up my nose.
posted by Summer at 8:03 AM on October 25, 2001

The author's premise is contradicted by the Dow recovering more than 1,000 points since the low hit after the Sept. 11 attacks. Pessimists may be getting more air time today than they did six weeks ago, but investors don't seem to share that view.
posted by rcade at 8:04 AM on October 25, 2001

This article assumes that the current economic correction has hit bottom, and all we need is for consumer confidence to recover so the upswing can get going. According to this Economist article, though, overinvestment in the 90s gave us a major production capacity glut which is the root cause of the current recession. Compared with that, the possible effects of terrorism on consumer confidence seem minor.
posted by lbergstr at 8:24 AM on October 25, 2001

> Americans who were not directly affected in September’s
> disaster feel a sort of moral duty to share in the
> suffering. They also feel that they ought to do
> something — to change their lives in some way — in
> order to do their part in the fight against terrorism and
> also to protect their own families. The tragedy is that
> everyone’s instinct in such circumstances is to save
> money, cancel holidays and cut back on luxuries. This is
> exactly the reaction that will do most economic
> damage — and will add to the terrorists’ triumph. Yet
> President Bush has done nothing to warn Americans
> against the disastrous consequences of such misguided
> self-denial.

Aha. The world (or the Times, anyway) needs us to keep on partying brainlessly -- in fact, party harder than ever, just as if nothing had happened.

> To destroy America’s self-confidence would be to
> undermine the most important prop for the prosperity of
> an economy built on consumption, credit and strong
> financial markets.

Self-confidence is the certainty that we can live, and live well, without the frantic overconsumption and overextended credit of the last decade. Where is the Times's confidence?
posted by jfuller at 9:11 AM on October 25, 2001

I'm just gonna tell The Times to deal with it. We're trying our best.
posted by QrysDonnell at 10:04 AM on October 25, 2001

Working at News International's web division is one of the most heartless tasks anyone could possibly undertake. You really wouldn't want to do it, Summer.
posted by kerplunk at 3:58 AM on October 26, 2001

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