I am no economist but in reviewing the assessments and suggestions of major economists there seems to be some very valid suggestions, at least from what a layman like me can understand.
Despite my lack of economic expertise, I do know the basic fundamentals of the economy and I believe my understanding of those fundamentals is what can sometimes create some confusion when reviewing the advice of so called financial experts and leading economic government officials.
All the suggestions offered by them are based on spending.
Spending is what grows our economy. The more we consume and spend, the more that is produced. The more that is produced increases the need to employ more people to meet those production needs. By employing more people we are empowering others to spend more and from there the cycle continues in an ever growing circumference of increased wealth.
Sounds pretty simple. Yet other factors help to complicate things and break the seemingly simple and free flow of this cycle. Things such as unexpected shortages of materials, import and export troubles, natural disasters which influence the chain of events, and many more all factor in the process.
While understanding this, what is responsible for the current economic crisis?
Has there been some sort of natural disaster that has depleted a particular basic and essential resource that our economic cycle relies on? Has there been a total collapse of certain industries which have thrown the cycle off with an inordinate amount of unemployment and consumption which further deteriorate the supply and demand cycle?
To a certain, small extent, events like that have taken place but not in some kind of all consuming way. There have been droughts effecting crops and downturns in some markets that have produced layoffs. But none have been to the extent which has, for example, made wheat crops extinct or stopped cars from being made.
So what’s the problem?
Well in my unprofessional, economic, opinion, the problem is rooted in something that government financial experts are not discussing. In fact, in my opinion, most solutions being initiated by government officials, past, present and future, are the problem. They are trying to put icing on a cake before they baked it. They all promote spending.
In tune with the laws of supply and demand, spending is good. However; the focus on spending has been accentuated and promoted so much and for so long that it has brought about a couple of misguided generations that have taken that advice too far.
As a society we have become accustomed to spending more than we have, and responsibly. should.
The predatory promotional practices that financial markets undertake ,in an attempt to make more money of their own, is a big part of the current economic crisis. It is a crisis brought about by the chickens coming home to roost and the bill coming forward to be paid.
We have taken the advice of Republican and Democrat leaders and we have spent. The government has even taken their own advice and spends. The government has spent money in order to give us money to spend with. They call it an economic stimulus. The problem though is that
- The government doesn’t really have enough money to do that. They have their own, our own, deficit, and…….
- The money they gave us back in this so called stimulus package was ours, so maybe they should have taken less from us in the first place.
Those two points alone raise doubts about the soundness of the “spending solution” given to all of our problems. Yet, those in charge still offer it as the most sound solution to our problems. They even go a step further and ask people to not save any of the monies given out in stimulus packages.
Although I do not have a problem with spending,………. all you have to do is tag along with me at clothing or shoe store to realize that,….. I do have problem with spending money that we don’t have. And there in lies the problem.
The promoting of spending practices has created generations of spenders. These spenders don’t even use real money. They use plastic. We all use plastic. In some instances you can’t even pay for a good or service without credit.
This has led to our getting accustomed with living on borrowed money,……. plastic,……..fake money.
For decades now, the government has encouraged this practice. Government policies have encouraged borrowers and lenders to enter into deals that neither can really afford. The greatest example of this was the Homeownership Initiative that was created under the Clinton administration. It forced lenders to make a significant number of loans available to unqualified borrowers, borrowers who could not pay these loans back. The practice was so popular that it helped to create the banking crisis that ushered in the current crisis.
The promoted “spending” solutions that have dominated our problem solving efforts with the economy are, in and of themself, part of the problem.
Americans need to get back to an economy that is based on sound fiscal policies. That statement brings into play many suggested economic theories and actions but when I write “sound fiscal policies” I am not making reference to some deep epistemology of mankind or the ontology of finances. Nor am I debating the importance of the Keynesian school of thought. I am simply saying that society…..our citizens, needs to begin living within its means.
If one is not sure if they have enough money to put food on their plate, they should not be buying cell phones and using it to send out text messages asking if they can borrow money for dinner. I mean I am sure AT&T or T-Mobile appreciate the fee that your purchase and contracts will cost you but you will they be pleased with the bill collector that they have to employ to get their money.
My point is, we have gotten away from living within our means. We have become accustomed with living life on borrowed money. This practice has brought us to where we are today. And truth be told, there is no end in site.
I believe that we are about to enter a very tough transitional time that will last for many years. It is a time that will have us getting familiar with living within our means.
Doing so will mean less spending. Less spending will lead to less employment, and so on and so on. But this does not mean that the sky will fall and the economy will ultimately implode. It means that we will endure a difficult adjustment period but once we have become reacquainted with real money, sound personal financial habits and living within our means, the economy will eventually stabilize and growth will again be seen.
I am not alone in this thinking. Former Tennessee Senator Fred Thompson has recently made a video addressing this same issue. In it, he takes a tongue-in-cheek approach to our current “spending solutions”.
Take a moment to view it. You’ll get a kick out of it. It left me wondering where the Fred Thompson, that we see in this video, was when he ran for the G.O.P.’s presidential nomination?
Post Election Toast
The Election Is Over, The Results Are Known.
The Will of the People Has Been Clearly Shown.
So Let All Get Together And Let Bitterness Pass
I’ll Hug Your Elephant, And You Kiss My Ass.