I think we're in an economic downturn when I see _______

Friday, May 02, 2008 - 12:00 AM

Economists have the gross domestic product, unemployment rate and consumer price index to tell them if we're in a downturn, recession or depression. But what's your personal economic index? The number of empty storefronts? The length of the line at Starbucks? And what does it tell you about the economy?

mytake@thetakeaway.org | 1-877-8-MY-TAKE

This is a different kind of radio show. You are a big part of it. Send us your story and we'll read or play back the best of them on air.

Here's how:

Leave a message for John and Adaora on our SpinVox line — 1-877-8-MY-TAKE (1-877-869-8253)

Email us from your computer or phone — mytake@thetakeaway.org.

Or click on "get in the mix" to add your story to our Web site.


Adnaan Wasey


More in:

Comments [41]


I think we're in an economic downturn when I see _______

...crap like this show making it into the NPR lineup.

Jun. 06 2008 12:16 AM

[[comment moderated. Moved to "Mornings Need a Makeover."]]

Jun. 02 2008 07:43 PM

This show is bloody terrible. I'm a brilliant regurgitator of news that I've just heard--even if I remember only half of it--but with the TakeAway, I remember nothing!

May. 21 2008 11:48 PM
Jean Benmoha

I'm a little disappointed in this show. I find the journalists too flippant in their reporting and feel that their stories are expressed in a way that dumbs it down. I was 17 once, too, and still listened to news reporting that didn't involve chuckling. You both can do better.

May. 21 2008 11:37 PM
Brian Nagle

Please change the time slot for this show. Anything after 8am will not interfere with my sanity. This format sounds like every other radio program - the very reason why I escaped to Public Radio. If I want to listen to stupid banter and personal agendas I can get it for free EVERYWHERE else. Getting angry AND being ill informed before I get to work is not something I want to pay for. Thank You, B. Nagle

May. 19 2008 06:47 AM
Pat Shepherd

I have been listening to NPR for several years and waking up to it every morning for many of them. As a result, I need to comment on this new morning program, The Take Away. I don't like it. I don't like the banter -- the attempt at conversational news reporting (with reactions like "wow", "gee") is reminiscent of our banal television local news stations. I don't care for listener participation, for instance what listeners have to say about the last time they gave to charity or if they have a favorite endangered species. The hosts frequently interrupt, and talk over, interviewees and each other.
I assume there is a method to timing interviews and guiding the process to have a beginning, middle and end. However, interviews are frequently abruptly stopped, with guests in mid-sentence, and concluded with a clumsy comment. Furthermore, what exactly does "Take Away" mean? Please, just take it away

May. 13 2008 07:00 AM
geraldine denecke

the Take Away , a new show that is up and running on NYC is awful!! WNYC in ist asssociation with NPR is a wonderful comprehensive out of the ordinary radio station. The Take Away, which I listen to again today, is nothing but absolute commentator drivel, by 2 people who are pretending to be funny and interesting. They are neither. I will be dumping the station very soon if this show continues on the air.

May. 12 2008 07:37 AM
Mark Jeffries

Nos. 31-34:

What does this have to do with the topic of the thread?

And I thought you alleged progressives were in favor in change.

May. 09 2008 10:10 PM
Bronnie Roxenberg

I have been an avid listener and a contributor to NPR. My clock radio and car radio are set to listen to Morning Edition. I will now change both because the new show TAKEAWAY is just awful. I do not like the silly chatter or the music. I cannot imagine why you would remove what I think is a wonderful show to substitute with this one.

May. 08 2008 04:38 PM
Beth Herman

I am an NPR subscriber and have been listening to the station for about 20 years. I always wake up to Morning Edition at 6:15. I am writing to complain about the new Takeaway section. Are you - god forbid - trying to copy Howard Stern? It sure sounds like it: (1) two people rudely talking at once and interrupting each other and the person they are interviewing, (2) lots of giggling (3) pounding headache-inducing background music (4) no
periodic mention of the truly important thing in the morning, ie. WHAT TIME IS IT? I really dislike this show. I know you are trying to be more up to date, but personally I hope you tone it down or get rid of it. Loyal listener (and old fogey of 59).

May. 08 2008 11:38 AM
Jeffrey Ginsberg

I prefer Morning Edition over The Takeaway. In addition consider that BBC news is also on NPR. My impression is that Morning Edition is calming but provides stories of sufficient lenght to be informative.

May. 07 2008 08:37 PM
Robert Sivori

I've enjoyed listening to Morning Edition for over 10 years. The new format that is being used in the time period called The Take Away feels like an assault to the senses. I hope this is a pilot or experiment and that it will come to an end very soon.

May. 07 2008 07:02 PM
Johnathan Grant

I found a video that really demonstrates the economic downturn. It's by a hilarious vlogger I recently ran across on YouTube.

Once someone sets this to music - watch out! It will be a new hit single. :D

May. 07 2008 01:56 PM
John Hahn

I have stopped buying bagels.
In Northern NJ bagels were $.45-$.55 now they are $.75 to $1.00 sans butter or a smeer.
No bagels for our houslhold

May. 05 2008 07:02 AM

Fewer people coming to the Farmer's Market.

May. 03 2008 09:01 PM
Johnathan Grant

I think we're in an economic downturn when I see that stores have endless clearance sales, and even then, merchandise doesn't seem to be moving. Most people I know plan to use the "stimulus" check to pay their bills.

Also - what's up with the labor underutilization? There is a significant group of "engineers flipping burgers" - that is, people who are qualified/educated but cannot get a decent job in their chosen field. These people are not counted as unemployed, but surely this is a negative weight on the economy as a whole.

Furthermore, another commenter posted, and I agree, that there is statistical manipulation going on in terms of the official unemployment numbers. After people are no longer claiming benefits, they're dropped, because it's assumed they no longer want a job, even if they do.

And - what is up with the "Birth/Death" model that is used to calculate unemployment? Is there any hard evidence to back it up? Or is it just political/statistical manipulation?

May. 03 2008 06:55 PM

I know we're in an economic downturn when I see Mike Bloomberg eating at a soup kitchen.

May. 03 2008 06:32 AM

when I see many churches begining to start advocating and preaching on social justice and solidarity among disparte groups within the lower and (vanishing) middle class.

May. 03 2008 12:34 AM

I think we're in an economic downturn when I see _______

recent engineering grads making movies and posting them on Youtube criticizing Milton Friedman and our foreign policy and supporting immigrants rights because they realize its not theforeigner it's our government and it's corporate friendly policy...and now they are effected and going to do something about it!

May. 03 2008 12:32 AM

When the subway musicians are really good, you know economic times are really bad.

May. 02 2008 10:37 PM
john Veit

public radio stations resort to chatty breakfast show formats with annoying Fox-like dings between stories. It's bad enough that I hear a constant barrage of advertisements on what used to be a public station — now I feel like I'm listening to the View on the radio, but worse. I suppose it is a sign of the times that the Takeaway was cooked up to grab the Ipod crowd. Your outreach will hopefully fail. Please take away the Takeaway.

John Veit
Rockaway Beach

May. 02 2008 01:48 PM

I think we're in an economic downturn when i see all my friends selling their belongings on ebay just to get by, never mind paying the bills.

p.s. i love your show, but that incessant computer bleeping sound is REALLY starting to annoy me and "takes away" from my enjoyment of listening. The first few times I heard it I thought it was something in my apt., smoke alarm needing a battery etc. it's horrible - could be a deal breaker for me....

May. 02 2008 12:16 PM

You know you're in an economic downturn when people begin to make significant behavioral changes in their lifestyle (jobs, dinners out, driving distances, etc). It's scary but there's a certain positivity that comes with living deliberately and thinking about what in life truly matters to us. I live in the Boston burbs and it's not necessarily convenient to public transportation. But over the past few weeks, I've made an effort to use it about 90% of the time. I've noticed the parking lot at work is less full so I know I'm not alone in this. It's a mindset change.

May. 02 2008 10:46 AM

My name is Amy from Oklahoma
You know things are getting bad, when you actually see people in the parking lots and stores, bending over to pick up change that they dropped. In better times it is usually to much of an effort(to some) to bend over for those couple of pennies/nickles/dimes and sometimes even quarters that they dropped.I have even heard people say(in the past) "Well really what can you get for a dime these days." But now I have seen people chasing down pennies that tried to roll away...

May. 02 2008 10:27 AM
Peter Friedrich

I have a LEADING indicator! Drive the streets of your area - and as you do, survey the vacancy rate of retail establishments and Industrial parks.

Thus, as indicators, Industrial vacancy leads, retail lags.

Industrial park vacancies indicate employment stress and leads future disposable income. Retail vacancy is the symptom of disposable income stress.

This has been working for me for over 15 years.
I'm not in real estate, but it shows local conditions quite well. The new element this time is a tide foreclosures.

My current (amateur) impression in New Jersey is slow industrial improvement (Vacancies are quite high locally, but no longer deteriorating). The Retail economy will likely be deteriorating for perhaps a year.

May. 02 2008 09:45 AM
Andreas Jenny

...George Bush announcing tough times (think of what happened after he announced 'mission accomplished').

May. 02 2008 09:34 AM

Hey, it's Joe from Manhattan and my economic is been here. It's been like walking the street in Manhattan in the morning and see longer lines at the coffee truck.

May. 02 2008 09:16 AM

Hi my name is Troy. I'm from Grand Forks North Dakota and my favorite economic indicator by far is the recent stock and profit troubles of the coffee juggernaut Starbucks.

May. 02 2008 09:14 AM
Hiland Hall

A Big economic indicator in New York is the cost of a slice of pizza- a cheap food that lots of people rely on for sustenance. As the cost of pizza pushes $3 and $4, there's a lot of people that have a hard time feeding themselves.

May. 02 2008 09:00 AM
Bob Braczyk -Bra as in brave, czyk as in popcycle

I know we are in an economic downturn when the professional dog walkers start disappearing from 5th Avenue.


May. 02 2008 09:00 AM

four people at different times of the same day with pieces of farewell cake in The New York Times elevators.

May. 02 2008 08:49 AM

When I *finally, finally* hear reporters talk not only about the delusionary unemployment numbers the Dept of Labor picks out as "claims for unemployment insurance" but also includes the *number of people who have stopped looking!!!* for jobs.

May. 02 2008 08:43 AM
Mike Evers


I know the economy is going through a bad spell when the glee expressed in the Mainstream and left-of-center media increases AND the GOP holds the White House. The worse the economy, the greater the glee.

When the President is a Democrat -- I'm old enough to remember Kennedy -- Media Glee assumes an inverse relationship.

May. 02 2008 08:21 AM

Adaora, Giggling at someone else's troubles is not very professional. The economy is in trouble, people are having trouble paying their bills, if they can make their dollar stretch more by shopping at the Salvation Army, it is not something to laugh about. And, who said they weren't there donating something? In any event, giggles during a discussion on today's sad economic situation is not appropriate.

May. 02 2008 08:16 AM
Nancy C

Madison Avenue guys in good suits buying lunch from the chicken/rice vendor for under $6

May. 02 2008 07:19 AM

People are working more diligently at their jobs.

May. 02 2008 07:16 AM

Two of the last three times I was out to dinner (in two different states!) the folks in the immediate next booths had their credit cards declined. Both times the manager was involved and it was so awkward (and sad), I've sworn off going out to dinner until the economy is looking rosier. (I really like your show by the way). Rick, Long Island NY.

May. 02 2008 06:57 AM

I'm Annmarie from Massachusetts. You know it's pretty bad when people are waiting in line to buy gas for $3.48 a gallon. I was waiting in line and I pulled up to my slot and a young guy just turned and tried to back into my spot I peeked at him and I said hey, I been waiting in line, and he was like, oh oh I didn't realize there was a line so luckily we didn't come to fisticuffs. I remember in the 70's when I was a little kid how it was just crazy people waiting in line for gas and fighting about it and so that's what makes me think that the economy is doing pretty bad when people are but waiting in line for that price of gas and fighting about it.

May. 02 2008 06:55 AM

I'm Barbara in Rhode Island. For me I know the economy is bad when I start thinking that I might have to look for a job closer to home. I drive 21, 91mi round trip every day to get to a job that I've been at for 10yrs and that I love, but when I start thinking that the gas prices are getting higher and higher and more and more of my weekly income is going into my gas tank. Then I start thinking that maybe I need to find something closer to home. Then I know things are getting bad cos I love my job. Thank you.

May. 02 2008 06:52 AM

I notice when times are hard. I feel like my social relationship with my friends suffers because you know we just don't see each other any more. Everybody is usually working more and we don't have the money to go out. You know we're college students and we're poor so you know everybody sort of like just tones down. Honkers(?) down and works I guess.
Frans from Rockland County.

May. 02 2008 06:50 AM
Ellen Mazzaglia

I tend to watch the E-bay indicator. When times get tougher, items like jewelry are more plentiful and auction for lower prices. Grandpa's pocket watch and Great Aunt Tillie's cameo are amoung the first things people seem to put up for bid.

May. 02 2008 06:28 AM

Leave a Comment

Email addresses are required but never displayed.