Some positive spin on a nasty recession

Rather than mourning the demise of my 401K, I’ve decided to put some positive spin on the economic collapse. I am a PR pro, after all. And a PR pro can always find a positive story if he turns over enough rocks. In my case, I simply looked in the mirror and counted my blessings.

5 positives I found in this recession.

poorguyMy job is relatively safe. No job is totally secure in these times, but according to this story from MyEdu, education is rated the #1 employment category likely to endure these hard times. And there’s a bonus in it for me, since the #2 category is accounting, my wife’s vocation. This is such welcome news I’m thinking of buying a Hummer and extending my sabbatical until next June.

My university is in better shape than Harvard. Because Kent State’s endowment is under $100 million, we stand to lose a whole lot less than Harvard as the market tanks. Havard’s endowment is/was at $37 billion, and administrators there depend heavily on endowment income for operating expenses. Kent State does not.

blimpMy favorite local stock is such a bargain it’s almost free. So I plan to call my broker today and buy Goodyear. Unlike the banks and the automakers, Goodyear is relatively solvent (emphasis on “relatively”).  The last time it hit $5 a share, I ignored the deal then watched the stock price rise to $30+ over the next 36 months. Goodyear can’t possibly go down. I mean, they have all those blimps.

My children are in great financial shape. Because my boys are 20somethings only now launching their careers, they’re in a perfect position to ride out this recession. Both are virtually debt free, and because they have no investments they have nothing to lose. Both do great work for relatively little money, thus they represent a bargain to their employers. It’s one of those rare times when being poor is an advantage.

deerIt’s deer season in Appalachia. I leave tomorrow to catch opening weekend of deer season in New York State and will do the same in Pennsylvania on December 1. With a little luck and some good shooting, my boys and I will fill our freezers with a year’s supply of healthy, hormone-free red meat. If times get really bad, at least we won’t go hungry.

So as I head for the woods amid the worst economic climate of my 55 years, I remain upbeat. Join me, won’t you? Forget your investment portfolio and see if you can’t find five positive things about the coming recession — even if it takes a little spin.

If that doesn’t work, drink heavily. But not before you go hunting, OK?


7 Responses to Some positive spin on a nasty recession

  1. I think this is a great idea, and much needed. Not sure if you wanted people to leave their ‘5’ in the comments, but here are my positive things:

    Buying less stuff. I think the current economic climate has people thinking a lot more about what’s really important, and are buying less stuff. Yes, I realize that this is ‘un-Americun’ to say, but really, how many nick-knacks are needed? It will be painful for a while, but this is a necessary recalibration, IMHO.

    I love my job. Even if things collapsed and I lost it tomorrow, I’ve learned a lot, I enjoy my work, and the experience has been invaluable.

    I’m in good shape financially, and I’m healthy. Thanks mom & dad, for instilling a strong ethic to save, pay off debts, exercise, and eat well balanced meals.

    I’m in a fantastic relationship with a man I adore, and I have a great family. Doesn’t get better than that, really.

    I have a while before retirement. The market is a bargain, and it will recover. As I saw on another blog, “the market’s not down, it’s ON SALE!” Okay, maybe that’s a girl thing, but I thought it was funny. 😉

    Great post. I’m generally a happy person anyway, but it’s always good to remind ourselves of the positives when things seem bleak.

  2. Bill Sledzik says:

    Thanks, Jen, for sharing your thoughts. Good points all, so long as “buy less” doesn’t apply to wine. Have to draw the line somewhere.

    I thought (for about 2 seconds) of making this a meme, but I’ve been so critical of memes in the past I thought it best to be consistent. Amen to all of your points.

  3. Eric says:

    You forgot $1.79 a gallon gas! Never imagined I’d see fuel prices that low again.

  4. Jenn Mattern says:

    Great post Bill! I’ll throw my thoughts into the mix:

    1. Now that I’m a full-time writer (left the PR world behind for the most part), I’m actually earning more than ever, and it keeps on climbing.

    2. I don’t invest in the stock market, so I didn’t lose anything there, and any of my family who do are young enough that they’ll ride it out.

    3. I’m also one that loves what they do. Even if I had to do it for less, I wouldn’t trade it for the world.

    4. Quite a few of my clients are based outside of the US – so our employment woes don’t always affect them, and if our dollar value dips, they actually tend to order more work. And if it goes the other way, it’s rarely a problem finding more US-based clients.

    5. I just found out from the German consulate that I was born a dual US / German citizen and the family never knew it (only me, my brothers, and my father fall under the rules – lucky ducks we are). So if things get REALLY bad, I’ll apply for my German passport and go move somewhere more economically hospitable in the EU. lol

  5. Bill, if you saw my NH liquor store receipts, you’d know that ‘buy less’ certainly doesn’t apply to wine in my household! If anything, I’m considering asking Chip Griffin what his recommendation would be for an investment in a case of the 2005 Bordeaux vintage. I have my limits on fiduciary austerity. 😉



  6. Shelley Prisco says:


    How are the KSU PR students fairing with finding jobs in this economy right now? Do you expect a lot of companies to be hiring after December graduation?? It seems like the economy is worse than when I graduated in 2003.

  7. Bill Sledzik says:

    Not sure what to expect on the job front, Shelley. I think we’re in panic mode right now. I’ve heard of several layoffs by PR employers trying to cut costs, and it’ll likely get worse before it gets better. But PR delivers a lot of bang for the buck, so we may fare a lot better than our friends in advertising. At least that’s been true in past recessions.

    The economy in 2003 was robust compared to 2008. I miss those days. Whatever happens, I suspect we’ll all survive it.

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