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So what is this recession we keep hearing about? The word recession comes from the Latin recedere, which means “to move backward.” What is it that moves backward in a recession? Sadly, it is the e

So what is this recession we keep hearing about? The word recession comes from the Latin recedere, which means “to move backward.” What is it that moves backward in a recession? Sadly, it is the entire country. In a recession, a nation grows worse (sometimes dramatically so) rather than better. (clarity)

2The most recent recession in the United States began in 2008. It was in that fateful year that the stock market crashed, the real-estate bubble burst, and financial firms such as Lehman Brothers collapsed. The consequences of these events for ordinary Americans are far reaching. Millions of Americans lost their jobs. Millions of others saw their income decline drastically. Families lost a lot of stuff. (precise vocabulary)

3What caused this catastrophe? In short, the financial crisis was brought about due to the fact that there was a whole bunch of overspending. For years, ordinary Americans bought things they couldn’t really afford by charging them on their credit cards. Unable to pay their full credit-card balances each month, many people made only the minimum payment and therefore ended up owing much more than they charged in the form of added interest. (effective phrasing)

4Unfortunately, people overspent not only on relatively small items. They overspent on things like dinner and a movie or a new video game. People used their credit cards to buy more expensive things like computers, high-definition televisions, or vacations to Europe. Such people count on their ability to pay tomorrow for things they enjoy today. Sometimes, however, tomorrow never arrives. (sentence combining)

5When overspending escalates, it can extend even to houses. It has long been part of the American dream for people to own their own homes. In recent years, it has become easier for people to qualify for mortgages. Which are loans that enable people to buy houses they cannot buy outright. Sadly, many people bought houses with little or no down payment, houses that were too expensive to begin with. Often these houses were purchased with loans involving a variable rather than a fixed rate of interest, this means that people borrowed money from banks without knowing precisely how much their monthly mortgage payments would be in the future. (sentence structure)

6Eventually, the so-called real-estate bubble burst. People could no longer afford their mortgage payments. Banks foreclosed on homes. The value of homes all over America dropped precipitously. Many people who did not lose their homes nevertheless found themselves “underwater,” meaning that they owed more money to the bank than their homes were worth. So many Americans were underwater on their mortgage that banks agreed to “short sales” in which houses were sold for less than the amount owed. Banks were forced to take a loss on the houses sold in this manner for fear of a worse alternative, namely, absorbing the costs associated with maintaining a large number of homes until the value of these homes rose enough to sell them at a profit. (sentence variety)

7As a result of the real-estate crisis, many banks went under. The failure of banks on a grand scale sent ripples throughout the nation. It was not merely individuals who were “underwater.” The entire nation seemed to be drowning in debt. Midway through the year 2011, the United States national debt was estimated to be over fourteen trillion dollars: that’s a fourteen followed by twelve zeros. While some see signs that the financial crisis is ending, others are fearing that the current crisis could develop into a “double-dip” recession. There are risks associated with both continued overspending and with spending cuts, a depressing fact that leaves many Americans wondering whether their country will ever again be the symbol of prosperity to which other nations aspire. (parallel structure)

In paragraph 2, the author begins his argument by


quoting experts on his topic.


listing reasons for his position on the topic.


providing the historical background to his topic.


referring to other people's opinions about the topic.

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