[originally published May 30, 2008] —> NOTICE THIS ORIGINAL DATE! I’VE BEEN TALKING ABOUT THIS FOR A WHILE! (And this was BEFORE the crash in October, 2008.)
“This has GOT to stop!” Thus spake my beloved grandmother on the occasion of her 80th birthday, as she craned her imperious, permanent-waved head toward the car’s power window to criticize my father. Several members of the family were packed into two cars and had discovered yet a third Houston restaurant to be closed.
Grandmother’s words were never more pertinent than now: This talk of recession has got to stop!
Every headline reeks of havoc, recession, human-rights violations, oppression, fatigue, war, and Arma-crazy-geddon. I’m telling you, I’ve had it. This has got to stop!
I look around me and everywhere I see a nation of big consumers. Sure, we gripe about the high price of gas, but we keep buying it. We keep driving wherever we want to or have to go. As a nation, we give generously to charitable causes at home and abroad. We keep buying more iPhones® and Wiis® and the other latest gadgets. We have so much disposable income, we now lag only behind Brazil in per capita elective plastic surgeries. And we have so much good food that we continue to be the fattest people on the planet.
Despite the record federal debt, we remain fabulously wealthy, compared with any time in history and any nation thus far. And yet, all we see are headlines and news stories reporting that the Dow dipped again or the NASDAQ saw its worst day since two-thousand-whatever or the economy is headed for heck in a handbasket, if it hasn’t already arrived. A cautiously optimistic headline like, “Retailers rejoice over a strong May” gets buried like it’s decomposing.
Stop it already! The thoughts and ideas that we entertain the most are the ones that continue to grow. In other words, talk of a good economy encourages more of that good thing. Likewise, endless talk of recession creates recession. Think about it. The last time the economy was great, it just kept getting greater. Remember the famous quote from the first Clinton campaign in ’92, “It’s the economy, stupid”? Well, that was no accident. The economy seemed to take on a fanciful life of its own when everyone noticed how great it was.
When was the last time you saw a good headline about the economy? I have actually seen a few, but they seem to be snatched off the internet headlines like dry laundry off the line, to be replaced with dirty laundry about–what else? Recession.
If you need help, here’s a great story to hang your hat on: Very recently, a couple of my friends decided they wanted to move to another neighborhood. They listed their house with a Realtor® and held an open house on a Saturday. That day, there were 11 showings of the house. By the following Monday evening, they had six-count ’em, six-offers on their house. The best one was considerably higher than the asking price.
2011 update: My sister recently sold her house similarly quickly–listed on Wednesday, open house Saturday, three serious offers on Monday, two of whom got into a little bidding war, and my sister and her husband reaped more than their asking price!
This is not an isolated incident, and yet we hear nothing about it in the news. We must find those happy stories and hang onto them with all our might! Believe me, our might is better spent that way than on sorrier tales.
I’m not asking you to give up all bad news. And I’m certainly not suggesting that you live in a dreamy bubble, ignoring war or famine or people who need your care. All I am saying is, please stop writing and reading and listening to the news stories that say only bad and negative things every blessed day. And when you find a good story, for all our sakes, milk it for all it’s worth!
Remember, as Grandmother said, “This has GOT to stop!”