Three Scary Phrases Economists Use

There is so much going on in the economy, and much of what economists put out there about it is pretty depressing news. Three of the phrases that economists will continue to throw aroundalthough scaryare ones everyone should be familiar with and know what they mean. 

Article written by guest writer Rin Mitchell


What’s the Latest Development?

The economic slowdown is in response to the fear of the unknown. Due to the problems at the forefront of Europe, China and the United States, economists say investors and employers are not making any major moves at this uncertain point in time. The public has been informed as to what economists have to say about the economic situation, but they use a whole lot of economic jargon. Although a lot of the reports made by economists  can be depressing to hear, there are three key phrases used that are pretty frighteningyet the public should be familiar with. They are “fiscal cliff,” “muddle through” and “hard landing.” Since these phrases will be thrown around for months to come, it is good to have an idea of the meaning behind them. First is "fiscal cliff," which is in reference to the U.S. government’s budget or financial woes. Next up is "muddle through," it relates to the back and forth debacle as to whether Greece will leave the euro zone and return to the Greek drachma. Due to the debts and “weak banks,” economists are discussing ways to “muddle through” without causing too much economic chaos. Last is "hard landing," which describes what will happen if China’s economic slowdown turns into a downward spiral. 

What’s the Big Idea?

The issues going on in China, the U.S. and Europe are hot topics, and economists are analyzing and predicting every move. The economy in Europe is suffering, the U.S. is still in recovery mode and the bright light in China’s economy is growing dim. These situations are frightening and have led experts to believe the economic suffering will be extended. Three phrases "fiscal cliff," "muddling through" and "hard landing" will repeatedly be heard in the trending topics. So it is best to be able to understand what all the jargon means.  


Stress is contagious–but resilience can be too

The way that you think about stress can actually transform the effect that it has on you – and others.

Big Think Edge
  • Stress is contagious, and the higher up in an organization you are the more your stress will be noticed and felt by others.
  • Kelly McGonigal teaches "Reset your mindset to reduce stress" for Big Think Edge.
  • Subscribe to Big Think Edge before we launch on March 30 to get 20% off monthly and annual memberships.
Keep reading Show less

Think of the closest planet to Earth... Wrong! Think again!

Three scientists publish paper proving that not Venus but Mercury is the closest planet to Earth

Strange Maps
  • Earth is the third planet from the Sun, so our closest neighbour must be planet two of four, right?
  • Wrong! Neither Venus nor Mars is the right answer.
  • Three scientists ran the numbers. In this YouTube video, one of them explains why our nearest neighbour is... Mercury!
Keep reading Show less

Horseshoe crabs are captured for their blue blood. That practice will soon be over.

The blood of horseshoe crabs is harvested on a massive scale in order to retrieve a cell critical to medical research. However, recent innovations might make this practice obsolete.

An Atlantic horseshoe crab in an aquarium. Photo: Domdomegg via Wikimedia Commons.
Surprising Science
  • Horseshoe crabs' blue blood is so valuable that a quart of it can be sold for $15,000.
  • This is because it contains a molecule that is crucial to the medical research community.
  • Today, however, new innovations have resulted in a synthetic substitute that may end the practice of farming horseshoe crabs for their blood.
Keep reading Show less

10 novels that brilliantly capture the American experience

The distance between the American dream and reality is expressed best through literature.

American novelist, writer, playwright, poet, essayist and civil rights activist James Baldwin poses at his home in Saint-Paul-de-Vence, southern France, on November 6, 1979. (Photo: Ralph Gatti/AFP/Getty Images)
  • Literature expands our ability to feel empathy and inspires compassion.
  • These ten novels tackle some facet of the American experience.
  • The list includes a fictional retelling of the first Native American to graduate from Harvard and hiding out in inner city Newark.
Keep reading Show less