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How Bad Is this Economic Downturn?

I wonder why so many self-described citizens of the "reality-based community" — generally, the "progressive" left — remain so stubbornly blind to the reality of the current downturn, as explained today by Alan Reynolds.  Here's a sample paragraph:

With one exception – the steep 45 percent drop in the S&P 500 stock
index since October 2007 – few other indicators of economic distress
could support this being the worst postwar recession. Thanks to low
inflation, for example, real disposable income rose every month during the fourth quarter – at an annual rate above 6 percent.