Thursday, February 5, 2009

Weathering Economic and Meteorological Storms

Anne Applebaum's op-ed column in today's WaPo, "Relearning How To Weather a Storm" draws an interesting analogy between the current economic situation and the reaction of certain English-speaking world capitals to snowstorms:
"Trudging around snowy London, it was impossible to escape another thought: Surely what's true of the weather is true of other kinds of unexpected change, too. People who no longer remember slow economic growth, for example, might not be able to cope with negative growth, let alone a severe recession. In London, it hasn't snowed much for 18 years, so no one owns a snow shovel -- and if they do, they don't know how to use it. In the United States, the economy hasn't really collapsed since 1929, so no one knows how to save string and tinfoil -- and if they did, they wouldn't know what to do with them. A whole set of skills, from cooking with leftovers to recycling bottles (not because it's green, but because it's thrifty) has been lost during two generations of prosperity, in much the same way the British have forgotten how to drive their cars through slush."

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