THE MELTDOWN

What Recession?

By now, we’ve all felt the pain of The Great Recession. Or maybe not all of us? Some states in the country’s midsection are actually prospering during this time of global economic hardship. Much of the area between North Dakota to Texas are listed as not officially in recession—and many other states are only in a mild economic downturn. In Sioux Falls, S.D., for example, housing developments and shopping complexes are springing up at the same pace that stores along Madison Avenue are shuttering. Why? Those states are still benefiting from the lingering effect of the commodities boom, from natural gas to corn. The region also was largely excluded from the real estate boom that precipitated the financial storm. And perhaps residents there just lived a little smarter than their coastal counterparts. "People didn't overextend themselves," one Sioux Falls resident tells the Los Angeles Times, "because they did not have the means to overextend themselves."