Whether or not the recession is a good or bad thing might seem obvious. Lost jobs, fewer prospects, foreclosures -- it all adds up to a miserable time. But in today's Washington Post, Michael Gerson argues that the recession contains "hidden virtues," including a return to family bonding and possibly better health, as people struggle to control what they can.
The New York Times' David Brooks said just the opposite back in November. He wrote that while it's tempting to see economic downturns as "an occasion for moral revival," to do so would be a mistake. Because recessions "are also about fear and diminished expectations. The cultural consequences of recessions are rarely uplifting."