Tuesday, November 13, 2007

The Jubilation of a Faltering Economy

The headlines ring out with glee - bankruptcy, debt, foreclosure. The talking heads speak of slowing growth, increasing debt, higher oil and lower dollar. And they do so with great enthusiasm. Welcome to the American media.

For 5 years now, the media has spoken of the troubled American economy. They constantly talk of recession as though we were in the middle of one. They speak of the increased crunch high oil and gas has put on the end-consumer. And through it all the American economy has soared and the stock market has risen to record highs.

But the media may finally get their wish. High consumer debt, increasing pump prices and a housing market ripple may finally give the mass media what they have been hoping for many years: a stagnant economy. They will cling to any numbers that show any decreases in economic activity and rush to call it a recession. They can barely keep themselves from using the R-word now. They want to so bad, it's actually hurting. And, by playing their fear-mongering game, they accomplish another task by huring consumer confidence further increasing the chances of a full-fledge recession.

Personally, I do see a rough economic patch coming. Increased energy costs, high consumer debt, record low savings and decreased credit opportunities will slow growth. And the media will be sure to add another element by continually attempting to erode confidence in a quick rebound. But I think there will be a quick rebound. The American economy continues to roar. Unemployment remains very low and, despite the record low of the dollar, consumer buying power remains high. Exports will increase due to the low dollar and that will begin the rebound. The housing market may suffer for a couple years but the ship will right and all will be fine. But don't count on the media to recognize the good signs until they are impossible to ignore...

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