Scott McMahan wrote: If the media did not constantly tell us we were in a "great" recession, would anyone be able to tell by looking? We're living in an age where poor people have cellphones and cable. Pro sports is spending record amounts on free agents, because they're making record revenues from TV. Since the recession started, not a single sporting event has been canceled because no one could afford it. If it wasn't for the media, I'd say we were in a golden age of crazy prosperity.
Anachronistic reasoning, cellphones did not exist in the earlier recessions. They are cheaper than landlines, and one or the other is essential for job hunting.
Further you neglect the significant cord-cutting that has occurred in the cable TV industry. "New York, NY; June 6, 2011: According to new research by Knowledge Networks, the number of Americans now relying exclusively on over-the-air (OTA) television broadcasting in their home increased to almost 46 million, up from 42 million just a year ago.┬╣ The recently completed survey also found that.." Partly due to poverty, but also due to the culture and technological alternatives changing with time.
In all recessions there has been great wealth held by some. Pro Sports is just a subset of that.