Behavior: Depression Fever

Just about everyone is convinced the U.S. is heading toward hard times. And just about everyone is dismayed at the prospect. But there are a few exceptions. From down-and-outers, who have little more to lose, to rootless young people looking for new experiences, a tiny minority of Americans are at least halfway looking forward to a depression.

Revenge against the rich and comfortable is one theme. Alice Arnold, a social worker in California's San Fernando Valley, is struck by how many poor people seem to be rooting for a depression on the theory that "it would be good for the affluent to...

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