The Economist magazine has diagnosed that the US economy is in a depression , not a recession.

While the throngs of journalists, publicists, politicians and other folks are loathe to confess that North America has entered the greatest recession on record, I commend the Economist for having the balls to finally show it like it is, even if they’re still very indirect about it.

Now … let’s do something about it.

First , we need to acknowledge that a drepession may not be all that bad, assuming of course, you don’t believe the media version of economic crisis.

What we’re going through is a radical structural and social change.  The folks who make money today and in the future are not the same folks who used to make money.  Nor should they be.  We used to support a lot of inefficient enterprises and that should end.

Expanding that idea, we need to do a lot more research into the health enterprises of today versus the unhealthy corporations of yesterday.

My gut is that we’ll discover a very vibrant and cohesive economy of smaller businesses doing things like selling organic produce through online delivery or co-ops with unheard of loyalty to their brand because they make quality, fair-trade product.  We’d also find that the average consumer no longer wants an SUV, the most profitable item for a car manufacturer to sell, not just because it’s a gas guzzler, but also because we’re bothered by the excessive footprint that a car that will last just 4-5 years will have on our planet.  People want products and services that will actually a little longer than lettuce in your veggie drawer (and don’t get me started about fridges, either).

We’ve handed over our ability to control the economy to a small group of monopolists who believe that centralized control is the best thing for us and we’re proving time and time again that this is the absolute worst thing that we could do.

But that’s just a hunch.

The second thing we have to do is something that I recommend again and again:  act with your wallets.  When you shop at places like Wal-Mart or Dollar Stores, you throw good money after bad and you endorse the cycle of poor decision-making.

When you shop for the things you need, buy local.  Buy organic.  After that, don’t buy.  Save your cash, assuming you’ve got some left to save.  Donate to smaller, non-religious organizations that return that money to the community ten-fold.

Finally, the third most important thing we can ALL do is become active advocates.  We need to be so loud that it will be impossible to shut us out.  Demand that we stop bailing out all of these losers.  When you were growing up, did the teacher always pass the failing student?  Well, sometimes they did with a little trick called ‘bell curving’, but that’s a different topic.  Were we told that coming in last would get you the biggest pay-cheque?  What kind of message does it send when governments respond to people that create money pits for taxpayers, all the while taking home record incomes?

It’s time we stopped the bailouts and started spending money on more productive efforts like a green economy and a new social and physical infrastructure.

Anything less would be depressing.

By the way, I’m not the only one with this opinion:  it seems the idea of being sensible is taking hold with a number of other bloggers, including this one:

A Creative Revolution

If you feel the same way or know of others who are trying to send the same message, please post a link below.