When your neighbor loses his job, it's a recession.
When YOU lose YOUR job, it's a depression.
I've heard other variations on that as well.
I know what Hristoroquen is talking about -- I live in one of the best areas of the US -- in my part of Texas, there are a lot of military and retired military, so a lot of people have a steady government-provided income to prop up the local economy here -- and retired people choose to stay here.
But even here it's starting to change -- after all, there's only ONE US stock market, ONE US dollar, etc. You can only be so isolated.