Monday, October 6, 2008

Oh, Woe Is Our Economy!!

Well, they did it. They passed the legislation -- a pork-filled-piece-of-junk legislation, but they passed it anyway. They passed it warning of dire consequences if it didn't pass... and no real promise of a rosy future once the money was promised and spent. 

Of course, it's a good thing they didn't promise any such thing. Have you been watching the stock market lately?? The DOW closed today at 9955.50. The year to date change in the DOW has been a whopping -2939.44. Anybody care for a spoonful of economic doom and gloom? 

The one good thing that seems to be coming of all this is that Americans have stopped spending everything hand over fist and living large. Better late than never, I guess. This could have something to do with the fact that many Americans aren't making enough to cover living that large even on credit, but I think there are a decent number of responsible Americans out there still... Americans who are seeing the downward trend in the markets and are trying to tighten their belts early, knowing that it's going to be a necessity to do so down the road. 

I talked with a neighbor the other day. She had been watching the nightly news and they were saying, "Don't buy anything unless you absolutely have to." And while I think this is probably good advice, I also think it rather obvious that this action is going to further slow the economy. 

The fact that people have been living on credit to such a large degree in order to grow the economy should tell us something. This recession is a market correction of its own sort. Credit has dried up and people can't spend... the economic growth up to this point hasn't been real growth. It's a bit of a mirage. Almost like claiming my salary grew simply because somebody enlarged my credit line. 

Don't get me wrong, I'm not hoping for some vast depression to sweep the United States to teach us a lesson. But if we're hit by a serious recession, even a depression, I sure hope that we're willing to learn a lesson from it.

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