Ever since one of Clinton’s sycophants uttered the phrase ‘It’s the economy, stupid’ it seems that’s all anyone talks about when things aren’t going peachy keen. Which is pretty amazing when you consider that that phrase surfaced somewhere around 1992, which makes it what, 17 years or so that we’ve been lamenting about the stupid economy?
In those 17 seventeen years I’ve learned a few things about this topic:
1. Just about no one understands what ‘the economy’ is or isn’t, and does or doesn’t affect.
2. No single individual can make the economy go up or down – although some have tried
3. The economy has cycles, just like the weather – it cycles up and then down in approximately seven year arcs.
4. The reason for these seven year cycles is that it takes a bit of time for good and bad decisions, laws, regulations and actions to affect the current flow of the economy. It isn’t like a Santa Ana wind or a Twister that can shift direction in a matter of seconds (barring war and total devastation, that is).
5. There are those who are powerful enough and influential enough to be able to manipulate the economy and do, at will, whenever they feel like it. Still, there is a delay before the ramifications of same are felt
6. We, the general public, have as much influence on what happens with the economy as most other factors that affect it.
Case in point, people love to praise how utterly wonderful the economy was when Clinton was in office. As though by virtue of his swearing in the economy said, “I feel pretty, oh so pretty, I feel pretty and witty and gay!” What they forget (or don’t know) is that the economy had already begun to turn up before he was in office. Lucky guy, he came in just as the economy was turning around. Then of course when George Bush came into office people blamed him for crashing the economy, yet the down turn had begun on Clinton’s watch. Considering what Bush had to deal with and the potential of damage that could have been done to the economy and wasn’t – post 9/11 – I think he managed to do quite well. At least I didn’t have any trouble finding work while he was in office. And as one last snipe he had a lower unemployment rate than Clinton ever had.
But here’s the catch, the media. Long time lovers of the liberal side of things they have a tendency to downplay bad news when one of ‘their guys’ is in office and just out and out refuse to mention it – and conversely when one of the ‘other guys’ is in office to blame them for everything from natural disasters to their Aunt Edna’s smoking addiction. And the pounding never stops.
And now we come to my point. There is an old political adage that perception is reality, right? What if your reality is simply a perception that has been pounded into you for days, weeks, months, years? You’d start to believe it after a while, wouldn’t you? I mean, if all the major media continually told you that corn was more valuable than gold and they just kept hammering and hammering it at every opportunity, pretty soon you might start thinking that you needed to invest in corn fields, mightn’t you? Silly example, absolutely. Silly point, I don’t think so.
The fact is, that if you open any newspaper, there are hundreds of jobs listed. Any job site has possibly millions. Money is still out there, otherwise we wouldn’t be paying an arm and a leg for bread. If people didn’t have money, no one would be buying that $5 a loaf bread, would they? And money doesn’t just disappear. It doesn’t cease to exist. It just stops flowing. Why? Because you and I have been convinced there is a scarcity. We have been convinced that bad times are coming and we’d better save than spend. We’d better stuff our mattresses than trust the banks. We’d better stop vacationing instead of staying home and mowing the lawn.
And when we stop spending, businesses suffer – they have to let people go because there isn’t enough revenue to support so many employees – or they have to change the insurance plan or your benefits because they aren’t making the profits to offer you that benefit anymore.
Don’t get me wrong, I’ve no doubt that we are in a down turn but I am equally certain that things aren’t as bad as people think or have been led to believe. I think that once again we’ve been convinced to be afraid and fearful, so that we will look to those who have the power and are ever craving more, to help us survive. And we are letting them enslave us with our own fear.
I wonder what would happen if we all just said, no. We don’t believe. You’re full of it. And then we went about our business as usual. What if we stopped watching the news and reading the newspapers, do you think we’d all start to feel better? What if we said, screw this, and started our own businesses? The Internet is there for anyone who wants to use it and that is the global marketplace, right? What if we just thumbed our noses and said three times every night – The economy is booming, the economy is booming, the economy is booming? And what if we told three people a day that very thing? Do you think it would change. I do. Your thoughts?