It was nearly a year ago when I made reference to the big assumption underlying most efforts to reverse the tide of rising red ink and economic destruction unleashed by the Great Unraveling:
Throughout the financial crisis, policymakers have focused on keeping things afloat until the storm passes. They've spent vast sums of taxpayer funds trying to jumpstart growth until the economy is back on track. They've encouraged people to keep the faith until businesses start hiring again.
But what happens if all those "untils" turn out to be wide of the mark? What if the carnage we've experienced so far is structural, not cyclical? If that's the case, then Americans are going to find that instead of experiencing better times ahead, they are going to be much worse off than they were -- or are.
Little did I realize back then that the widespread failure to acknowledge reality would evolve from a cruel hoax perpetrated on the great unwashed to a cynically hip sign of the times, as Infectious Greed reveals in "'When the Economy Picks Up,' For Fun and Merriment":
The phrase "when the economy picks up" has apparently become ironic. Nice. The Urban Dictionary declared it Word of the Day today, and suggests it's a handy-dandy way of saying "whenever," pace the Spanish "mañana."
when the economy picks up
January 10, 2011 Urban Word of the Day
Common beginning or ending to a sentence. It can serve to:
1. provide an excuse for why one has not yet done something.
2. suggest a vague intention of doing something later (similar to how Spanish speakers use the word "mañana.")
3. add minimal credibility to an idea that is a pipe dream.
1. There's no point in looking for a job until the economy picks up.
2. I'll start my business when the economy picks up.
3. Unemployment levels will go back down to the levels they were in the late 1990s when the economy picks up.
Handy. Try it yourself: I'll get better at golf when the economy picks up. Whoa, it works. I believe me!