Tuesday, December 2, 2008

• Recession? Depression? Deflation? Inflation?

The world of internet search has become a reasonable gauge of a population’s concerns. Obama has almost disappeared from the top of the list and has been replaced by the economy. The shift suggests more than an elemental change in unfolding interests. The first has been a result of serious preoccupation with the new face of America as he becomes the 44th President, the latter and current driver of search engines, is a deepening concern for personal economic well being.

Our stress propels the investigation. We are anxious. The uncertainty of tomorrow, clouds our present. Until we find answers that might lead to a plan, the apprehension will persist. On our individual paths, along the trail of our human endeavors, we encounter various challenges to our physical, intellectual, emotional, or spiritual vitalities. Relief usually arrives in the form of clarity and a plan. Knowing what we are going to do provides a relief valve for the anxiety, even before we step into action mode. Our disposition improves and we then walk with purpose.

This week brought news that the U.S. has been in a recession since December 2007. That is what economists have decreed, after thorough analysis of past economic activity across numerous indicators, including incomes, production and employment. That is not helpful to our cause. The ability to look backwards is great, but what will tomorrow bring, and how do we deal with it? Expertise tells us that we are in a deflationary period. No one is raising the likelihood that inflation may be around the corner as the printing presses accelerate to satisfy the currency demands of the national debt and payments on maturing obligations. (more on this in future articles)

Our media is particularly adept at elevating confusion and adding drama to the unraveling economic events whirling conscious thought into a frenzy. This also is not helpful. One pundit provides an explanation and prognostication that appears valid, only to be immediately followed by another expert with a completely different and opposite view, which also seems valid, and based on its delivery, appears even more so. And both read the same tea leaves.

No matter what comes tomorrow, or next year, whether recession, depression, deflation, or inflation, you will get through it because what matters is not so much what might be, but what is. Your common sense will guide your steps as it did yesterday. You already know that it is time to do all that is in your power to get rid of your personal debts starting with your credit cards. You already know that it means making extra payments, however small, until debts have all disappeared. You also already know that it means doing without a long distance holiday, or taking the time to look for discounts on daily purchases. Your natural spending to meet your needs will over time sustain the economy. Discount any implorations from certain leaders who would want you to return to profligate spending.

This economy will lead us to become more reliant on communal groups, including family, where support and encouragement is available, and where shared perceptions can yield gratitude for the smallest gifts of life. Attitude can lighten the path and crystallize solutions, easing anxiety. We will all become just a little more productive in small ways that impact the whole.

Perhaps the internet will soon gauge that the level of voices clamoring to be heard by their elected officials represents a majority of traffic until common sense is evidenced in Congress, reversing the abusive past indiscretions and their listening skills have been sharpened. Then we can expect some abatement in national anxiety levels and the next July 4th celebration will be an observance of national renewal.

blog comments powered by Disqus