Thursday, June 25, 2009

Maybe You Should Move to El Paso

My sister, bless her little heart, knows that I really like maps. Especially Google Maps. So when she sent me a link today about an interesting Google Map mashup I was understandably excited. The link she sent, from a company named PSFK who's about section says this:

PSFK is a trends and innovation company that publishes a daily news site, provides trends research and innovation consultancy and hosts idea-generating events. We aim to inspire our readers, our clients and our guests to make things better - whether that’s better marketing, better lives or a better world.

This mission statement nonsense aside, what I thought was interesting was that PSFK titled the page "Google Map: When Will Recession End Locally?" The reason I find this interesting is that when you look at the map on it's original site from the Sacramento Bee, it's not really about when the recession will end per se, rather it is a visual representation of when a certain organization (IHS Global Insight, a "leading economic forecaster") thinks that different areas will return to pre-recession employment levels. Whew.

All this got me thinking about how different people have different ways of measuring what exactly constitutes a recession (or a depression for that matter), how to determine when a recession starts or ends, and how exactly does it affect day to day lives of people. I think we can all agree that employment is a part but is it the only part? I would say no. Then again, I'm 100% unqualified to make any kind of economic arguments. For a good place to read about the economy and finance I would definitely point you to the blog Calculated Risk. They even have a recent post detailing which states are currently in a recession. The answer? Basically everywhere except North Dakota. Maybe we should all move to Fargo instead of El Paso? I doubt we should move to Youngstown, OH or Elkhart, IN though.

No comments: