I am well aware that our economy faces many challenges over the next few years. Furthermore, there are certainly some fundamental problems with the United States economic system. However, we must recognize that things are never quite as bad as they might seem due to the overexposure of our modern media.
Here is the problem: we know too much. Every little shiver of the market or oil supply interruption or threat of war or tick of inflation is shouted and repeated all over the web, cable news and the local newspaper until we are whipped into a frenzy. I personally have fallen prey to the influence exerted by what the kids call TMI or too much information – because I keep a browser bookmark dedicated to the price of oil per barrel and check it constantly during the day. I cheer or boo every price change, depending on how it affects my bottom line.
In the interests of presenting some encouraging news, here are some things to remember in relation to our economy:
- Unemployment always goes up in January and February because the weather decreases the number of seasonal jobs that are available.
- But don’t worry because it always goes down in March and April when construction season starts again.
- The price of gas eases in March and April because demand lessens due to warmer weather.
- The price of gas always goes down in the fall as gas pumps switch to the “winter blend”.
- Housing starts are always down in February and March and then go back up in April.
- Real estate was most certainly over-valued and correction was needed. Eventually, we will find the bottom of the market.
Here is my point, the economy has a natural ebb and flow. Lows become highs and vice versa as long as we all stay calm. The phenomenon is a little like when the news gets slow in the summertime and news outlets start to focus on certain crimes like kidnapping or shark attacks and it starts to seem like both tragedies are on the rise, even though the reality is that they might even be decreasing. The truth is, that we never used to find out about kidnappings in Atlanta or shark attacks in Florida. Now, we see news reports about every one of them – and it seems like the occurrence of such events is increasing all around us.
And what if the economy actually does crash? You wouldn’t have been able to prevent it by panicking anyway. Be cool.