Confused By The Economy

Back when I worked in Buffalo we tried our best to not show conspicuous consumption, lest we upset our viewers. The whole world is now Buffalo.

I know few are calling the economic problems we’re experiencing a depression… but they’re depressing me. It’s all anyone talks about and constantly on my mind. Yours too? Probably.

We have lost jobs where I work. Obviously we are not alone.

The problem is people who do have jobs are worried too. I’m certainly worried. And when you’re worried you spend less. The whole thing spirals out-of-control.

Back when I worked in Buffalo we tried our best to not show conspicuous consumption, lest we upset our viewers, most of meager means. The whole world is now Buffalo.

Do I want GM execs riding in corporate jets or the officers of failed financial firms getting bonuses? No. But we need to see money spent and spread around.

I think the depressing part of this whole equation is if there is a way out, I don’t see it. You probably don’t either. We need spending, but the underlying problem which caused our problems is too much spending. Can you drink to cure alcoholism?

Is the money authorized by the president today the financial equivalent of end-of-life care? Are we propping up a patient that’s going to die anyway? And if the economy fails what happens to all of us?

I haven’t heard many talking about inflation. I suppose that’s a possibility. Companies will be able to pay off loans with much cheaper dollars. Of course it also means my 25 years of saving for retirement will be pissed away along with my home’s equity. I put away from my future therefore I am a sap.

Please deposit $25 for the next three minutes.

We set up a financial system where those who played by the conservative old school rules did poorly versus the gamblers. If you wanted to get ahead in your company you had to gamble.

I wasn’t even playing in the game and I’m losing. This sucks.

2 thoughts on “Confused By The Economy”

  1. For what it’s worth, I don’t know how we’ll get out of this mess, either. But then, that’s the operational definition of a crisis, isn’t it? Something awful happens, and no one’s sure what’s going to happen next.

    That said, I take some comfort in the fact that, despite what we may think, virtually all of us are absolutely terrible at predicting the future. Ask someone what’s going to happen in the next five years, and they’re likely to describe to you a continuation of whatever trend is in force at the moment. Ask someone in 1999 about the stock market, and they’ll say it’s going to go up forever. Ask the same person now, and they’ll say it’s going to crater and never recover. Most of us seem constitutionally incapable of seeing beyond what’s happening at the moment. There are some outliers, like those who always predict doom, and by virtue of their consistency are bound to be correct now and then, and wrong the rest of the time.

    So, you bet, we’re in a whole lot of trouble. But take some solace in the fact that those predicting an End To Life As We Know It don’t know what they’re talking about, either.

    Despite being an ardent capitalist, there’s one thing I do know for sure: markets, like any endeavor that involves human beings, need sensible regulation. If, after the current fiasco, anyone tries to tell you that the market works best without any interference from the government, it is your patriotic duty to give them a good kick in the shins.

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