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Economic Pessimism: Objectively Critical Or Dr. Doom?

24 March 2011 9 Comments

If you read this blog, you know I’m pretty negative on the economy overall.  I think there are structural issues that are going unaddressed and are not easily fixed as a result of decades of various economic policies.  The result is a coming adjustment in the average standard of living for Americans in my opinion.

When I talked to people, I’m often categorized as just overly negative, or someone who thinks the world is coming to an end.  I’d like to clarify this a bit…

First, I’m not negative for the sake of being negative.  I would prefer a great, booming, growing economy.  Why?  Because, well, I’d probably make more money in an easier fashion.  It’s hard to make money.  I work hard in my job to help my company bring in business and make money.  It’s not automatic, it requires effort.  A booming economy might translate to bringing in more business easier.  So, I’m not negative for the sake of being negative.

I’m not an expert, but I have an intense interest in economics and the markets (for some strange reason) and I listen to and read every viewpoint and opinion under the sun.  My viewpoint is formulated upon the myriad of information that I process and decide that one argument is more credible than the other.

Now, my economic views are well documented.  I think it’s near the end-game of our little Keynesian experiment of printing money, borrowing money, to prop up an over-consumption-based economy that produces very little.  Do I think that this is the end of the world and we should dig bunkers into the side of a mountain and go live there?  No.

Why do people who are bearish on the economy get labeled as crazy and doom-and-gloomers?  I’m neither.

The reality is that life will likely go on just fine for most people.  It’ll just be different than it is today.  There will be pain of course.  There’s pain whenever any sort of economic contraction occurs and people will throw a hissy fit (see Wisconsin protests) when anything is taken from them whether it is warranted or not.

My hope is that people think objectively, form their own opinion on the economy, and then prepare for that outcome.  That might mean just spending a little less money and pooling some cash in case things don’t turn out as rosy as we’d like.  Not doom-and-gloom, not even that big of a deal, just smart and practical and objective.


  • Josh said:

    Funny, I hadn't visited this site in awhile, and I just thought to myself, "I wonder what Dr. Doom has been writing about lately?" — so I came over and this was the top article. I like your site and viewpoints though despite thinking they are overly-negative, as I tend to be overly-optimistic and try to find the right balance of information!

  • Ragnar said:

    People who do not support the party line have historically been marginalized via murder, imprisonment, labeling or name calling to make people disregard or just not hear them. People want only good news and good thoughts on things that affect THEIR lives. They're ok hearing and learning about bad things that are thousands of miles away. But heaven forbid you mention the fact that they're exporting your job next week and your company gets a (large) tax break for it!

  • TechRambo said:

    I took the day off today to look for a new job. After 4 years, my company hasn't been able to give me a pay raise, despite working my behind off. They claim there is no money in the budget. How can I dispute that claim? Many of the people in my section haven't gotten pay raises either, so it seems right. The ones that did aren't going to divulge that information. I suspect a lot of folks are on the Internet looking for new opportunities while on the clock; that's not surprising. What has surprised me is how tough it is to find meaningful work that is better overall. I would consider better to be over $50K per year (in the southeast U.S.A.) with some benefits. Even the I.T. industry is tough. Sure, there are a lot of companies out there advertising for part-time contract work or they want an impossible combination of skills. If they are not asking for the impossible, they are not providing any benefits. It's all shady business, I tell you.

    I took a pretty hard skills test and two phone interviews before I was called in for a face-to-face. When I showed up bright and early, I was told the position had already been filled–that's maddening. Two vacation days were wasted on a wild goose chase. If things don't go well after sending out my resume today, I'll have to tighten the budget even further and hope for a raise. The fact that gas prices and food prices are going up again isn't making it any easier.

    All signs are pointing to a major rebalancing between the first and third worlds. Countries like Brazil, China and India are growing real fast. If that's the case, should I be learning another language and possibly be looking for opportunities outside the United States? It's just a thought.

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