Recession Marks the End of Supersized America
'Great Recession' comes as a reality check after decades of '80s-style excess
By Rob Quinn,  Newser Staff
Posted Mar 28, 2009 11:11 AM CDT
"Popular culture tried to warn us," Andersen writes. "We've had Homer Simpson's spot-on caricature of the quintessential American: childish, irresponsible, willfully oblivious, fat and happy."   (Shutter Stock)
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(Newser) – The recession has brought the long '80s boom to an end, but maybe a better America can emerge from the ashes of a self-destructive age of excess, Kurt Andersen writes in a Time cover story. It was plain that the years of giddy growth that started around 1983 had to end sometime, Andersen writes, observing that since the boom began, the average house size grew by half and the average American has put on 20 pounds.

America is now going through a painful withdrawal, Andersen writes, but the pendulum has swung this way before and the country has emerged stronger. Now is the time to come back to reality, Andersen concludes, to ditch our economic, political, and environmental bad habits, and to look forward to a new era "as America plots its reconstruction and reinvention."