Tricounty News

It's not time to retreat to a cave

The news this week has been full of gloom and doom. While there are very real and deep problems with the economy, it's not yet time to shutter up your house and move into the bomb shelter. Monday's stock market lost $1.2 trillion in value, so they tell us. I don't know about you, but I can't grasp what one trillion of anything would be. There seems to be some recovery today (Tuesday), and I don't think anyone really knows where it will go. I have studied economics, but I won't even pretent to understand what's going on with the American economy right now. What I do feel in my gut, though, is that we are being manipulated into a panic. I'm not sure if the intent is for us to panic and accept any proposal for a solution that comes along. Or is the intent for the American people to feel totally helpless and latch on to one party or candidate ? Whatever "they" want to accomplish with the panic they are fomenting on Wall Street, I refuse to buy into it. Yes, this is definitely the time to get our own finances in order. Stop the unlimited "plastic" spending. Act as if you have no credit cards, pay off debts quickly, and live on a cash basis. Spend what you can afford in cash. As the big, greedy, corporate banks and financial institutions crash and burn, remember the strength and persistence of our local banks. Money kept in local banks (I'm pretty sure this goes for all of them) is guaranteed by the F.D.I.C. and is safe. So let those greedy b******s get what's coming to them - failure and disgrace. I've been saying this for awhile anyway: We need to focus on our local economy. Buy from the local family business that pays local taxes and provides local jobs. Above all, don't panic. All the experts I've heard lately tell us not to pull money out of retirement accounts or the stock market (unless we need to use that money in the next few years). They recommend riding this out, as we have come through past market "dips". I still believe in the free-  market economy, and I believe in capitalism. It's the greedy b******s who have spoiled the system. But they're going to get their just desserts. And the market will right itself. It could take awhile, though, to get back on track economically. I see that as a good thing, at least in a sense. This is a wake-up call. Actually, it's a turn-on-the-floodlights, tip-the-bed-over wake-up call. If this crisis had not happened now, there would have been another crisis just around the corner. This crisis came from within, an inevitable "correction" in economics lingo. I think as a society, though, we're more accepting of crises from without - like the 9/11 attack. It's more comfortable to blame evil, foreign influences than to look at ourselves.   Here's my simplistic assessment of the situation. The cause: Over-eagerness of corporate financial institutions to make wild profits on the backs of Americans who really couldn't afford the credit they were granted. The solution: Let the successful companies buy out failing ones. Get back to living within our means, both at home and at the office. Invest our money in our local community, supporting local families, rather than overpaid corporate executives and bloated mega-corporations. If I'm being a Polyanna about this, so be it. I would rather keep a positive outlook and have that come true, than look for the negative.