“Stacking the Deck Against the Kids” by Bob Herbert (TIMES, 11/28/09)

          Kudos to Bob Herbert for the following lines: “The American economy is broken,”ruined by the greed and irresponsibility of fabulously wealthy corporate chieftains and their shabby acolytes and enablers in government.”

          A sentence like this one is the reason I make a special effort to read the Saturday issue of the TIMES. It is the day of the week, I’ve noticed over the years, when the editors come closest to living up to the slogan on their masthead.

          I do object, however, to Herbert’s use of the term “Great Recession,” which supposedly describes the present condition of the U.S economy. Accepting the use of “recession” was sometimes difficult for me, a child of the Great Depression (1929-1941), but I’ve learned to live with the two terms (i.e, depression and recession).

          Great Recession sticks in my craw. If the economic situation is worse than a recession, it should be referred to as a depression. Or can Bob Herbert tell us precisely what distinguishes these terms each from the others?

          That one percent of Americans whose collective wealth is greater than the bottom ninety percent can hire an army of doubletalkers who obfuscate or distort the information necessary to understand economic conditions. Let’s not make their sleazy “reporting” easier.  



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