The economy of the US recovered from the global economic crisis of 2007-9 brilliantly. Unemployment rates dropped off a cliff, Western Europe is enviously eyeing “the American economic miracle,” the most underdeveloped regions of the US have gone back to full-scale constructions, expensive chic restaurants started mushrooming even in our small town in the middle of nowhere, job recruitment agencies are overworked and overwhelmed, etc.
However, the American people don’t seem to be happy. They went to the polls two weeks ago to show their discontent to the president who walked the country out of a crisis that is still ravaging other developed countries. There are constant reports that the general public believes we are still in a recession and does not notice any improvements in the economy.
Are the American people simply stupid? Can they not see how different today’s economy is from what we were all experiencing in 2008 and 2009?
No, of course, they are not stupid. The American people have a deep-seated and completely justified suspicion that the old world order is gone for good. The economic crisis of the 2008 is gone in terms of the economy but it is still very much here in every other sense. The Great Recession coincided with the moment in time when it became completely clear to everybody that there was a massive transformation underway of both the global world order and the structure of the nation-state. Since there is no public discussion of this enormous tectonic shift, people are verbalizing their preoccupation through the familiar language of recession and unbalanced budgets.
The conscience of crisis remains even after the unemployment rates have climbed down. This would be a great time to talk about what is really going on and why we feel like the crisis is only beginning. However, what is the likelihood that anybody will put aside the comforting party slogans to look for new terminology that will be relevant to the new reality?