Recession is the new inflation

I don’t want these motes to deteriorate into endless moaning about politics or semantics. That said it was only a month or so ago when I wrote about how misused the word inflation is. You can read the article if you like, but the gist of it is that politicians and the media seem to treat inflation as if it is some kind of dark force. “Inflation gonna get ya!” When in fact inflation is the symptom of our actions not the actions themselves. Sunburn ain’t gonna get ya, but long exposures to the sun without sunscreen on might.

And so now we have recession back in the public consciousness, and the same silly nonsense in how politicians and the media talk about it. Recession may be a noun, but it is not a thing. Recessions ain’t gunna get ya. Recession is just the name we give to a period of time where the economy shrinks. The economy shrinking may get ya, however even that is a pretty big leap. What happens at the macro level is purely the aggregation of all the things that happen at the micro level. In your little micro bubble – your business, your community, your job, your family – you might be living it up, happy as Larry. Recession just means that some micros are not. That might be because a small number of micro bubbles have been absolutely hammered, or it might mean quite a lot of micro bubbles have been impacted a bit.

Don’t fear recession as if it is some kind of demon that we’ve inadvertently summoned upon ourselves. Because it’s just not like that. Keep your eye on the micro bubbles around you – your local takeaway going out of business, your employer saying it needs to cut costs in order to stay sustainable, your local council cutting back services etc. But don’t get swept up in some hysteria about recession. Economies ebb and flow – always have, always will. If anything, fretting and fear mongering about recession is likely to prolong the impacts of national and global economic sloth.

And above all else try not to listen to a word Liz Truss, wannabe PM, says about the economy. Because she doesn’t have the slightest clue what she’s talking about.