Prosperity Conscious View of U.S. Economy

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Finally, Some Adult Opinions On The Way Things Really Are

Thank goodness for some sensible information now coming at us from Forbes, The Daily Beast, and Newsweek.  Victoria Pynchon at Forbes called the Daily Beast article, Stop The Panic, It’s Not 2008, the “best economic news in several months.” I would have underlined “news,” as this is just what it is rather than all the doom and gloom opinion we’ve been getting from all sides of the political spectrum.

http://www.thedailybeast.com/newsweek/2011/08/14/economic-recovery-is-on-the-horizon.html

Let’s Put An End To Psychological Poverty Conscious Warfare

The significant news in our economic history isn’t the first downgrade by Standard and Poor’s–what is significant and much more dangerous is the first time the nation’s economy has been used as a political football by politicians, both liberal and conservative (are there any moderates left in Washington?). Over 35 years ago in Moneylove, I said that the economy is not so much about facts and figures as it is about emotions. Today that translates into confidence, confidence in our ability to pay our bills, confidence in the U.S. dollar, confidence in our ability to continue to provide and support the American Dream. But when politicians threaten that confidence, either to defeat Barack Obama’s second term bid, or to demonize the Tea Party and other Republicans, it verges on serious psychological warfare against that confidence.

This is childish and self-defeating, and while it may not meet the definition of sedition or treason, it does smack of serious disloyalty to our nation. I think President Obama was way out of line when he threatened the fiscal sanctity of Social Security checks and military paychecks. I couldn’t believe it when I heard those remarks, and immediately wondered if any seniors with heart conditions would just keel over in anxiety and panic over not getting their monthly check.  And Obama knew very well that these payments were never in real danger–it was a foolish and irresponsible statement at the very least. But of course the Republicans, never ones to miss an opportunity to demonstrate foot-in-mouth disease, then took us to the brink of default with their stupid machinations over the raising of the debt ceiling.  Their action in sabotaging the Boehner-Obama “Grand Plan” that would have reduced the deficit by $4 trillion was a perfect example of snatching defeat from the jaws of victory.

Almost complete consensus from economists on all sides of the political spectrum said that we needed to raise the debt ceiling. Playing games with that truth was an act of immature spite. Now understand, I am not saying we didn’t have to deal with the deficit, but it is far from the primary current concern that Washington has made it seem. I can also understand the frustration of Tea Party members of Congress, in not making any real headway on the promises they made to get elected–but holding what had been a bipartisan automatic activity of government as hostage was risky business, and produced some major dents in worldwide confidence in the U.S. economy. This counts a lot more than how much we owe to China. Frankly, with the high unemployment rate, who cares how much we owe to China? They certainly haven’t lowered their confidence in U.S. Treasury bonds as the safest investment in the world.

It’s time to stop blaming the other side, whichever side you are now on. Both sides contributed to the psychological warfare, both sides have to change. The good news is that things can only get better in Washington. And we should start by stopping the continuing debate about whose fault the debt ceiling fiasco was, and stop declaring one side or the other was the “winner.” The nation wasn’t a winner in this, and we have the opportunity with the so-called Super Committee to come out ahead of the game. We all should put pressure on our legislators to come up with a strong, positive solution and not just reach a stalemate again and let the default position be activated.

And it wouldn’t hurt to give yourself a personal affirmation to repeat often, something like:

“No matter what the economy is doing, or anyone else says it’s doing, my personal economy is improving every single day, with robust prosperous expectations for my future.”

Jerry

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