It's not a depression if "depression-themed" merchandise is salable.
First, it's not a depression if people actually have money to buy cutsie depression-themed junk, as opposed to, say, food, clothing, and shelter.
Second, it's not a depression if people are able to see anything remotely humorous about the state of the economy or the possibility of a depression.
I'll be kind and assume that those who see economic depression as a market opportunity simply don't know what they are talking about. And so I'll suggest that such people browse the Dorothea Lange archives rather than speculating on the sort of personality that might see bread lines and massive population displacement as a good thing.
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The bit about the "Gourmet" mag freelancer writing a book about cost-saving techniques did, in fact, make me smile. (And also prompt to update my resume...)
To your larger point about such enthusiasm over an economic point-in-time that should be anything but positive...perhaps it's just leftover pent-up fin-de-siecle demand that we didn't fully abate 8 years ago with the Y2K bug...
But agreed, not many people are putting "depression" into proper context. Consider: NYC workers lined up at the under-construction Empire State bldg, hoping for a chance someone would quit/get fired/injured/killed and thus take their place...and the actual workers above toiling at breakneck pace knowing both their luck at being employed & desperation of potential replacements below. Perhaps look to Detroit for similar hardships?
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