Ten Odd Lessons the Recession Has Taught Us

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The recession has provided a moment to step back and contemplate, to come to a truer understanding of life lessons like that happiness is not derived from material things. The financial downturn has also passed along some slightly odd teachings, like that fewer people die at the workplace when there are fewer people actually at work.

1. A state with tough restrictions on getting a mortgage can avoid a housing bust—but that’s not necessarily a good thing. Interestingly enough, the state in question (Vermont) also has the healthiest habits—but that doesn’t translate into lower health care costs.

2. The financial crisis is just another hurdle for gutsy heroines to overcome, as lots of new chick lit attests.

3. When the economy is struggling and stress is high, there’s one thing that may provide even better, more satisfying escapism than either chick lit or romance novels: It’s called sex.

4. Even self-professed cheapskates will spend money for quality goods, even during difficult financial times.

5. Most people really don’t need bottled water.

6. Fewer people die on the job when there are fewer people with jobs. Even if they’re safer, those who still have jobs don’t seem all that happy: At the same time that overall workplace deaths decreased, the number of on-the-job suicides surged 28 percent.

7. Eating on a $50-per-week budget is for amateurs, according to many cheapskates out there. But eating on $1 a day? Quite impressive.

8. Fast food, yoga, condoms, pets, lottery tickets, and smartphones all have something in common.

9. “In the aftermath of a layoff, style is critical.”

10. There are always new words and phrases to create—like “mancession” and “co-working” and (a personal favorite) “recession porn.”

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