"for the sake of the suffering economy" - hell no, the "suffering economy" hasn't rewarded me with higher rates during its higher prosperity so now roles are reversed I'm going to give them a taste of their own medicine. If I drop my rates it's for my benefit and so that I keep getting an income, charging $400 and getting $400 is better than charging $500 and getting $0. Anyway, it's recession, not deflation, so the economy is still growing, but at a lower rate than before. So instead of increasing my rates 500 510 520 etc I should only be considering increasing them 500 505 510 etc.

But yes I also agree with Shabbir - if you haven't got enough clients then a rate drop is the natural response in a free market.