Monday, March 17, 2008


Tom Weber:

If you’re paying attention to the economy, television ads these days can have a “Pleasantville” quality. In that movie, Tobey Maguire and Reese Witherspoon play teenagers magically transported to a fictional town from a ’50s sitcom. Pleasantville is an innocent place, free of worry until the future kids arrive.

In TV ads at the moment, some of the fictional characters seem trapped in a yesteryear, too. It’s a time when the stock market was climbing or at least holding its own, and recession seemed like a distant possibility. In this world of ads, most people are still living it up–though a few seem aware that not all is right.

As I've written several times before, it's been a long time since there's been a severe downturn and much of the country has lost any psychological connection to the possibility. Yes there have been regions which have done badly and of course individuals have had personal financial hardships, but there hasn't been an extended national moderate-to-severe downturn since the early Reagan years.

Things could be weird.