The Recession, Pop Culture and You! – Laser Time #354

It’s been ten years since the biggest economic disaster of our lifetime, so we’re gonna do our best to slap on a smile and explain how it happened, the catastrophic fallout, the recession of 2008’s impact on popular culture and whether or not we can avoid something worse in the future. Now more than ever, we wholeheartedly encourage you to leave your ’08 Recession thoughts and anecdotes in the comments below…

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10 thoughts on “The Recession, Pop Culture and You! – Laser Time #354

  1. There’s a really good documentary called, Abacus: Small Enough to Jail, about how this one small, family run bank was the only bank to face criminal charges from the financial crisis and how they fought against them

  2. People joke about the Great Recession like it was no big thing, but I think it absolutely left a major scar on the nation even if people don’t want to admit it.

    I’ve already told my recession story on Thirty Twenty Ten. How we moved out of a dying city the week before the big banks went bust and everyone stopped hiring.

    I was also in grad school around this time for Library Science. I graduated in 2009 right smack dab in the middle of the recession when no one was hiring. On top of that tax revenues were down around the country because a lot of government relies on property taxes and no one was paying taxes on their houses, let alone making their house payments. There was zero hiring. I worked a retail job a lot longer than I thought I would, did an internship, and eventually got a job at a for-profit college.

    The recession was great business for for-profit colleges. They were vampires who popped up with the sole purpose of hoovering up as much financial aid money as possible from people who didn’t know any better who thought a college education would help them weather the recession (unemployment for people with degrees was better than those with only a high school degree or less who really got fucked), but these places provided “degrees” that weren’t worth the paper they were printed on. It disgusted me.

    I ended up working a bunch of jobs where I was underemployed before one of my creative projects took off and I started making money in indie publishing. I know a lot of people who didn’t get that lucky, and even now in 2018 they haven’t recovered totally from the slump that was starting their professional life at the height of the recession. Studies have borne out that people who enter the job market in recessionary periods never recover their earnings totally over the course of their life, and there’s not much you can do about it.

    I also think there are a lot of political problems that can be laid at the feet of the recession in part. You have a lot of disaffected twenty and thirty something guys who are resentful that they aren’t living life on the “easy mode” they see looking at the past with rose-tinted glasses, and that gives rise to the current discontent we’re seeing in our national discourse with a bunch of young males pissed off that they’re not achieving the American dream they were promised and turning to some pretty toxic political ideologies as a result.

    I’m doing pretty well for myself, but I can still feel it myself. It’s sort of like looking at my grandparents’ generation and their insistence on not throwing away food, or my great aunt who had money stuffed all over her house to the point that we had to search everything, including in the walls, from top to bottom when she passed because she didn’t trust the banks. I can feel the same thing, only it’s things like feeling odd when there are actually jobs around, or remembering the indignity of working in a time period when everyone was “lucky to have a job” and management took full advantage of that shit.

    They don’t call it the Great Recession for nothing. Here’s hoping it’s one of those things that only happens once in a lifetime, though I’m not optimistic given how nothing was done the last time to prevent it from happening next time.

    1. Mate it sounds like you had it tough. I agree with a lot of what you said especially the politics. Over here in England I certainly think the Great financially robbery has contributed to crime, disillusionment and blaming the other — leading to us voting to leave the EU. A simple way to see it is: clearly in both of our countries there is to much financial service money in politics.

      Any good to hear you’re okay now.

  3. My experience with this:
    I had a home with my wife, and all was fine. We didn’t have an adjustable rate mortgage because we got some good advice from our family. But then she cheated on me and we got divorced. The great house I had and could afford with two incomes, neither of us could afford on one. So I got to live in a nearly empty house for months because the market crashed, and everyone was selling houses for super cheap. No one would even get near our asking price because houses everywhere were selling for nothing. We finally sold that house, but it cost me 9k to get out of a house I’d lived in for a few years. Watching the Big Short brought back a lot of anger, and so is this podcast, but I really, really appreciate you doing it. I don’t think people realized how it happened, or how it affected people. They also don’t realize how easy it is for it to happen again without normal people knowing till it’s too late.

  4. Apart from The Big Short which I love, there was a great graphic novel called Supercrash. It details the life of Ayn Rand and her effect on economic thinking, then moves on to exactly how the crisis unfolded. The events of 2008 did force me to develop an interest in economics which is one positive I guess. Thankfully I can’t claim to be directly affected but I did see an article about how many couples put off having children, leading to millions ‘lost babies’.

    https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/business-45478670

    Also after the revelation of Chess The Musical, maybe we need a craziest musicals episode?

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