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Failure by DesignThe Story behind America's Broken Economy$
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Josh Bivens

Print publication date: 2011

Print ISBN-13: 9780801450150

Published to Cornell Scholarship Online: August 2016

DOI: 10.7591/cornell/9780801450150.001.0001

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The Great Recession

The Great Recession

The damage done and the rot revealed (p.6)

(p.5) The Great Recession
Failure by Design

Josh Bivens

Lawrence Mishel

Cornell University Press

This introductory chapter argues that the consequences of the Great Recession are driven by social and political choices about how the economy is managed. It was not inevitable that the significant run-up in home prices that began in the late 1990s would end with more than eight million Americans losing their jobs and unemployment hitting a twenty-five-year peak. The chapter argues against ascribing the impact of the Great Recession to mere fate, instead it draws comparisons between the shockwaves generated by the economic recession and that of another recent catastrophe—Hurricane Katrina—thus highlighting crucial choices made during and after the aforementioned disasters struck.

Keywords:   Great Recession, unemployment, housing bubble, economic recession, Hurricane Katrina, economics

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