I'm a pretty big fan of pop psychology. I love it when people tie huge complex issues up into nice little dumplings of knowledge, even if they aren't necessarily true... and it makes me happy to know that there'll be plenty of deodorant to go around.
During a recession, laxatives go up, because people are under tremendous stress, and holding themselves back," said Shapiro, now chief executive of SAGE, a consulting firm in Chicago.
"During a boom, deodorant sales go up, because people are out dancing around. When people have less money, they buy more of the things that have less water in them, things that are not so perishable. Instead of lettuce and steak and fruit, it's rice and beans and grain and pasta. Except this time the price of pasta's so high that it's beans and rice." A recent Nielsen report listed tobacco, carbonated drinks and eggs as especially vulnerable to recession, and candy, beer and pasta sauce as recession-proof.
"Death rates fall, people smoke less, drink less and exercise more. Traffic fatalities go way down, which is not a surprise when people drive less. Heart attacks go down. Back problems go down. People have more time to prepare healthier meals at home. When the economy weakens, pollution falls."