We were just humming along, life was good and then all of a sudden, a pandemic hit. Besides the health effects, it also gave our divided world two sides to take, as other problems began to emerge like supply-chain issues, empty store shelves, and people began to panic.
With the same political thinking of “It’s the economy, stupid” that helped Bill Clinton defeat the older President Bush, once again, all of the country’s problems fall at the feet of the President, whether he is fully responsible or not.
It’s easy to say, “Oh, Joe Biden caused all this inflation and steered us into a recession with all that reckless spending.” Gee, it must have been pretty reckless because it also caused the entire world to also go into a recession. Economists say that, in England next year, inflation could hit 25%. How did Joe do that?
The bottom line is, there are a zillion factors that go into what makes an economy hum and what sends it into the tank. The trendy thing is to run around and yell, “The sky is falling” and once you do that, you’ll be on the news at 5 o’clock. Just today, a new Bloomberg Economics model is now predicting a 100% chance that the U.S. will be in a recession next year. In fact, with inflation, it’s actually 110%!
Having lived the decades that I’ve put in on this rock, I’ve seen stuff like this before. Picture us sitting around the campfire, a harmonica playing in the background and me saying, “You know, back when I bought my first house in the early 80s, it came with a 14% mortgage.”
Yet, somehow, I lived.
You just make adjustments, keep level-headed, try to think ahead (for example, stocking up on food and things you can store at today’s prices) and you’ll come out on the other end stronger than ever.
There was another financial time I remember when the unemployment rate was really high and it seemed like a lot of people I knew were getting laid off. They would say, “Tim, you don’t seem to be worried about the economy” and I would reply that they were just now living in my world. In the radio biz, jobs come and go with the drop of a hat and if you don’t have a hat, a visor.
It doesn’t mean there won’t be tough times in the months ahead. Every $80 fill up at the gas station is a punch to the stomach. A trip to the grocery store usually results in me saying, “Those cost that much now?”
What one side says is over-spending is the other side’s investing in America. Is it a smart move? Only time will tell. In the meantime, we need to bring it all home and do what we can to make it through the latest economic bump. I guarantee, this won’t be the last one and you younger readers, by the time you reach my age, you’ll have that experience under your belt to better handle things.
Have a good financial advisor, don’t get caught up in the headlines and daily panic, as those are designed to make you stick around and hear what’s now wrong. Inflation is high, but unemployment is low, we’re not being targeted by suicide drones, and even though the Mariners got knocked out of the playoffs, they’ve got a competitive team and a brighter future.
If you have to cut back here, or reduce spending there, do it and get back to the important stuff. To be honest, you don’t really need 8 streaming services.
Just do the smart stuff and ride it out. Be strong.