Thursday, March 6, 2008
IT'S A TWISTA!!
Hide the wimmen an' chilren - I'm rantin' again.... I just heard ANOTHER news story that contained the word recession. I am sick of the media trying to make the financial situation sound worse than it is! Does the economy face some issues - both short-term and long-term - ? Yes. It always does and always will. This latest "crisis" however is almost totally (IMHO) media based. The employment rate and number (not UN-employment, but the number working) is at an all-time high. (The unemployment is at or near historic lows, however, so don't panic about that one either) Our economy has more people working than at any time in history. The stock market, even with the recent drops, is STILL near all-time record highs. You hear reports that "the stock market took a 112 point PLUNGE today!" , and you feel we are headed for a depression. A PLUNGE - OH MY!! The problem is, a one hundred plus PLUNGE is less than ONE PERCENT! Yeah, a 100 point drop when the DOW was at 2000 was big. Even with the DOW at 4000, but it is over 12,000! 100 points is NOT a plunge. But, it sounds better in news bites. Now my favorite (you can read some of my earlier thoughts on this one in previous blogs - go back) "THE (dreaded) HOUSING CRISIS!! AHHHHHHHHH! The only crisis is idiots that took out a loan larger than they should have, and lending institutions that allowed it. Even with this crisis, 94% or so of all mortgages are current and being paid on time (a number that I found with a little internet research - some sites said 96%, but I went conservative). Most people are fine, most businesses are fine. Some idiots lent or borrowed thinking real estate always goes up to cover a loan that should not have been made. And another favorite - gas prices. The world is going to end because we have to take $40 to fill a tank vs $30. Bull (also another blog - read back again). I know $40 or $50+ is a burden out of pocket for a lot of people. But as I said before, it was never free. We have always paid something for gas. The $10 or $20 extra for the tank is not going to bankrupt most Americans. Now for my "bottom-line". (again IMHO) The real problem with all of these financial problems is - we know too much. There have always been problems of the nature mentioned above. There always will be. We now have the technology to KNOW every little nuance of what the economy and our neighbor is doing at any moment. With news channels on 24/7 - there has to be "news" 24/7 that will grab a large enough audience to get advertisers to support the pay and expenses of those making the money off of the news. You don't see news breaks that say "Bunnies eat carrots and jump around - video at 11". You do see - "Bunnies - rabies risks? - video at 11". It is weird the way it works. If you ask people if they are doing fine, even now, most say "Yes". If you ask if their neighbor is doing fine, they say "I'm not sure. The plant is laying people off. I don't know if they worked there or not. I hope they are fine." When asked if they are worried about the economy and or the future, most answer fine for themselves, but afraid for the great unwashed masses. News outlets constantly blasting bad news/gloom & doom will do that. Don't worry - Be happy.