Sunday, February 08, 2009

Do We Really Have a Problem?

Or is what is happening right now, the solution for the ills of the past? Overlooked in the growing unemployment “problem,” is that many of those jobs lost, were for doing things we no longer needed doing, or were responsible for the egregious excesses of the past -- like rampant real estate speculation and land development, thoughtless overconsumption of fuel and energy, conspicuous consumption -- while fundamental societal problems and needs were overlooked.

None of that real estate development went to addressing the homelessness problem and the unaffordability of housing for people working just to survive from day to day. The people finally wiped out were those speculating and leveraging on such deals as though they thought they would never end -- because they had been so successful up to now. That’s usually how speculative bubbles work -- and finally end. And at the end, nobody thinks it can end that way.

That’s where most of the jobs have been lost -- in the financing of those excesses, while the “average” person, has been more minimally affected, because people are still paying their utility bills to ensure they get by adequately from day to day.

When a bubble bursts, the temptation is to think it will re-inflate as quickly as it did before, rather than that the money now rotates to other areas of genuine need -- at first, which in time, because of its success, also becomes the next bubble, and so on. These undervaluations and then overvaluations until outrageous excesses are not a pattern likely to end -- but a few, will probably get good at riding the waves.

These are the investors of the new future -- or maybe it is proper to say, the emerging citizens of the future, who will be more prone to understanding these things, and perceiving them as they are developing and happen -- rather than being the last person to know, and finally to be left “holding the bag,” wondering where everybody else has gone, when they have finally arrived triumphantly at the party.

In life and in finances, there is no “finally,” and therefore, one lives from day to day, doing the best they can, at any time -- and that strategy works regardless of whether times are good or bad, and can move with that flow and follow the money. Otherwise, one is left hoping against hope that the good times will once again roll in the way one was used to seeing it, not realizing those times have passed them by, and that one has to live in the present realities, and not think they can simply do better, if what they know now, is what they should have known before -- and in that way, is always out of synch with the times, and a step behind, recreating and reliving the past -- as though that was the most meaningful and productive thing one could be doing at any time.


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