Thursday, August 13, 2009

Say What?

I'm getting kid of tired of all these pundits and articles proclaiming that the recession is over. Seriously dudes. The economic factors might be stabilizing, for the moment, but that does not mean that the reality of financial trouble has left the streets. With an unemployment rate near 10%, rising foreclosures as moratoriums run out, and a fresh crop of bad retail numbers, our economy is just as bad as ever.

The problem is, if we fuel another big market bubble with false optimism, we're no better off than we were in 2006. We can tell each other all day that now is the time to buy, that this time it will be different, etc. etc. etc. but at the end of the day, if we don't change the fundamentals of how our economy operates, we will have another bust. Another dot-bomb. Another housing bubble popped on our face like so much Dubble Bubble. Another credit crunch squeezing the air out of our country's lungs.

People, if we continue to spend more than we earn, if we live enslaved to debt, if we don't save for emergencies, let alone for future goals, what do we expect? Do we think that our economy can continue growing when seventy-something percent of our economy is based on consumer spending, and that spending is based on debt? And don't even get me started on the trillions of dollars in national debt that we have created as a result of the fiscal stimulus packages in the past two years. I'm mad at Bush and Obama and all the members of congress that pushed for that.

Now is the time to honestly assess how our culture operates financially. Now is the time to put money into small business and innovation-where actual job growth is created-not keep pouring funds into big banks that will continue to cut more jobs as they tighten their expense ratios. Now is when we reevaluate our personal budgets and our national budget and try to make them match our priorities. But instead we tell people that the recession is over, that they should buy more cars, more houses, more stocks.

If there is another bubble, another meltdown, another once-in-a-lifetime market collapse in a year or two or three, I won't be surprised. In the meantime, I'll be saving and paying off debt, thank you very much.

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