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It was the best of times, the worst of times October 1, 2008

Posted by John M McKee in "John M McKee", Action Plans, Business, Coaching, Personal Success, Veracity.
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The economic meltdown which started in the US and is now impacting most countries more or less, was the result of poor oversight, greed, compensation programs which rewarded bad behavior, and a lack of leadership on the part of the federal government. 

The impact of this financial crisis will be felt for many years.  It will unfairly penalize generations of individuals for the lack of foresight of their parents and grandparents.  

In an article in the October 1, 2008 Los Angeles Times; futurists Faith Popcorn (her book The Popcorn Report is still selling after 2 decades) and Marian Salzman, of Porter Novelli where she is the CMO of that New York based firm, state that we are now entering a very bleak period.  And, they say, most citizens already recognize that the good times are behind them.

“This is the opposite of the American Dream,” says Popcorn. ” It is the American Nightmare (with)…people feeling a tremendous amount of sadness.”  More now than ever, she says, people are going into their own cocoons – almost like hiding under their beds.  According to her, we are on the cusp on a national state of depression not dissimilar to how the masses felt in the 1930s.  She’s not talking about a financial depression but old fashioned blues and malaise.  

Salzman states that young people in particular are going to feel lost during this period, especially those who have just graduated in May or June and can’t find work anywhere.  As the impact of the crashes of large employers is felt; the young job hunters will find their degrees to be of much less value then anticipated when they entered college.

And so – it’s going to be a very good period for businesses who provide entertainment. Demand will heighten for movies, games, tv -anything which will take our minds off how crappy things are in so many ways.  More folks will stay home than go out for dinner.  House parties will become more fashionable than say meeting at the bar down the street.  Movie theaters will enjoy fuller houses – at least when the movies are positive and entertaining. 

Both futurists agree that we are already seeing a few other megatrends which will remain in the collective psyche for years:

– people are hating the banks for their greed which caused many to collapse

– they are very, very angry at the government. “I’ve never seen anything like this,” says Popcorn.

– booze and yes tobacco sales are going up

– people are cashing out – looking to move to smaller and safer communities where they know people around them

– impotence will see a real increase. Salzman notes that,  “there is always a correlation between a negative stock market and impotence.  Men will also start sporting more facial hair to reclaim manhood.”

Finally, both agree that there is going to be much more cross-generational family sharing of homes as the younger ones cannot afford to be on their own as frequently.

So, consider this blog your heads-up.  Act accordingly.

– john



1. Mark McClure Coaching - November 18, 2008

If there’s such a thing as a “national psyche” then perhaps the US is now in the midst of a great “mid-life” transition far beyond economic “boom and bust” cycles of the past.

And whilst there may be some very tough adjustments to come, the optimist within me believes that ordinary citizens will look deep into what they truly want from their lives, communities and nation.

And then will start making that happen in whatever way they can constructively contribute. No doubt the young will be in the vanguard of seeing this become a reality.

“Success is not measured only in profit and growth” – Ricardo Semler

2. Porter Novelli Chief Marketing Officer Marian Salzman on Recession Effects | Big Winner - April 20, 2009

[…] Link: It was the best of times, the worst of times […]

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