Saturday, January 12, 2008

"The Economy is Falling!"

Chicken Little is alive and well and is a Liberal Democrat.

Anybody remember the recession of 1991-1992? As we headed into the Christmas shopping season of 1990, sales figures were looking good. Even so, the press started talking about recession, and guess what: Retail sales dropped off. Recession came on.

Did the press forecast the recession, or cause it? Well, sales were good, then the reports of recession, then sales fell off, then the economy tanked. You decide what happened.

By the way, incumbent Republican President Bush was defeated by somebody named Clinton, whose campaign emphasized the economy.

So here we are at a Presidential election. Here we are with a Clinton running and a Bush incumbent. Here we are with talk of recession. Interesting!

One difference now is that we really do have a housing and mortgage crisis. We really do have gas prices fluctuating (another area where it seems to me the press is helping to drive up prices by giving a message along the line of "you think this is bad, just wait", which I think only desensitizes the public to the price increases).

But will either of these, or even both, bring us to recession? Only if the public believes the reports. If we do, consumers will buy less, manufacturers will delay expansion, new product releases, etc., and the cycle of pessimism will self-generate and we'll be in recession.

And then the Democrats will blame Bush and his policies and will probably win the White House and Congress. And all it will have cost them is thousands unemployed, production down, and thus government tax receipts down and the deficit up. A real bargain!

So far, though, the public has not bought the story. We'll see if this rare act of intelligence continues. I certainly hope so. My family's income is recession-proof, and mostly we stand to get ahead (make some opportune purchases) if there's a recession. However, I really don't think that's good for the country, and I don't want to see the "little guy" (the one the Democrats claim to be champion of) hurt.

I call for optimism!

There will be no recession! There will be no recession! There will be no recession!

Keep saying that.

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