Is it possible that many voters don’t think we’re in a precipitous crisis at all? Or that they have underestimated it’s effects? Apparently, even after passage of the Senate bill, members of that body and the Congress are still getting negative emails saying they should do nothing. I wonder why.
For months, we’ve been told by some rhetoricians that we’re in a “recession”. But they’re in-arguably incorrect. A recession is 2 consecutive quarters of negative growth. At this point, we haven’t had even one. Not one. We may get such data tomorrow for the last quarter just past, but as of yet, in point of fact, we have had one quarter after another of growth.
Does this matter? YES. Why? because if we have a real and lasting, correctly defined recession we could easily see unemployment jump to 7, 8, 9, 10%… Like they commonly have in Europe.
We’ve been told, and believed, our gasoline prices are “intolerable” (at $4.00/gal). Perhaps, but in Europe, their prices are usually double ours, sometimes triple, and presently are running at $9. and $10. a gallon. So yeah, we in the US are really hurting…
Living in the land “down under”, when the temperatures dipped into the 50’s, people in woolen overcoats would ask, “How do you like our winters?” Personally, having endured snow-filled Januarys in the US, with the thermometer never getting past 25, in Australia I initially found myself unaware when “winter” had even commenced.
So when the President, and many others, issued rather grave warnings concerning our economy, and what would occur without passage of the bail-out, I wonder if people truly realize what they mean in choosing to use words like “disaster”. I don’t think they do.
Thus there are more than a few Americans who remain unconvinced and seem to believe that we should just let the chips fall. Is it because they instinctively believe in a natural process that in the long-run will be better, or because they have no clue what the critical terms in economic vocabulary actually mean?
What descriptive word or phrase will we use if we get to 9% unemployment? Will we then call that a depression? Then what word will we use if the number goes to 20%, as in the 1930’s? Will we refer to it as a Ginormous Depression?
With all of the money lost in the last few days, it pales in comparison to our apparent lack of perspective. I believe the return of our assets is important, but no more so than a dramatic recapturing of a healthy sense of proportion as it pertains to wealth and poverty, abundance and want.
We are a blessed nation. Have been all along. Forgetting that is where we first dropped the ball.