We are clearly coming to the end of the first phase of dealing with the pandemic. The first moves are occurring, here and there around the country, to open up for business as usual. Some Florida beaches are open. The state of Georgia is about to allow barbers and hair salons to re-open.
I hope that happens here in Tampa Bay soon. I’m getting awfully scruffy.
Federal guidelines for reopening businesses and getting back to normal have been released. States with 14-days of a downtrending pattern of new cases will have the option to start the process.
Did you know that new cases in Florida have been downtrending since April 3rd? Despite a vast increase in the amount of testing, new cases have dropped to a bit over half of what they were at peak.
It is time to look to the future. Getting back to normal. Getting back to booming businesses, and prosperity for you and me.
We, the people, will determine how this goes. And make no mistake about it. This is going to be the collective will of the population of this country, good or bad. It won’t be the government.
THE FUTURE IS ON US
Many of us are hurting. Tens of millions are currently out of work. Some are doing great, like online vitamin stores. But the economy as a whole has taken a beating.
Economists talk about recoveries as being either “L” shaped or “V” shaped. “L” shaped, long slow recovery. “V” shaped, rapid recovery.
I’m sure we all want a rapid, “V” shaped recovery.
Can we do anything about it?
The economy as a whole is made up of the actions of the individuals in it. And the thing is, this is not a matter of fate. It is not written in the stars.
The fact is that this is a mental phenomenon.
It has to do with confidence.
There is a thing called the “Consumer Confidence Index.” It is a measure of how optimistic people are about the future of the economy.
Why is this important?
The future of the economy is largely determined by what people expect for the future of the economy.
You might want to read that again.
Of course this isn’t 100% true. Until the pandemic hit, no one expected a major economic crash. War, natural disasters can adversely affect the economy. So can stupid decisions by governments and giant corporations.
But mostly, what happens to the economy is what people expect to happen to the economy.
If they are optimistic about the future, they spend money. They start new things.
If they are pessimistic about the future of the economy, they are going to hold onto every buck like it is their last.
If people aren’t spending money, businesses do poorly. People lose jobs. Stock markets goes down and people can’t take home equity loans to buy things with. They worry about their retirement and don’t feel like partying or going on vacation.
This is called “self-fulfilling prophecy.” It happens because people believe it will happen – good or bad.
If you believe it is all out of our control, in the hands of Fate, you’ve come to the wrong place. Because the future is not pre-determined. Right here and now, I challenge us all to turn things around and get back to a booming, happy economy, fast – because we can.
MERCHANTS OF BAD NEWS
The joker in the deck is the small percentage of people who have a vested interest in convincing people to the negative point of view.
Once, not that long ago, an investor managed to start a panic about the soundness of British currency. He became a billionaire overnight because he sold the British Pound short (Literally, you sell it, then buy it. If the value goes down, you can buy it cheaper than you sold it). He scared people into deciding the British pound was worth less, and became a billionaire off of it.
It is a small percentage, but some of them have big megaphones to get their bad news preaching heard. You hear them nightly if you watch the TV news (you might want to skip the news).
They really only have the power to discourage you. Because let’s look at the facts.
JUST THE FACTS, MA’AM
With apologies to Joe Friday, there are facts at work here. Two months ago the economy was roaring along. Unemployment was at historically low levels. Stock market highest ever. People starting new businesses right and left.
Then the pandemic brought all that to a screeching halt. Or more accurately, a dramatic slowdown.
When the economy is reopened, when people can go back to operating their businesses as usual, why shouldn’t things pick right back up where they left off?
Of course there are negative facts. As of now, a lot of people are out of work. If a lot of businesses start selling and buying, a lot of those people will get jobs back very quickly.
Sure, a lot of people and businesses are short on cash right now. But the government is pumping enormous amounts of money directly into the hands of businesses and consumers to help make up for that. They are, so to speak, priming the pump.
We, the American people, have done a fantastic job, preventing the pandemic from becoming a healthcare disaster. Now that same willpower can be exercised to bring the economy rapidly back to battery.
We can do it.
It will take bold moves, ignoring the preachers of bad news, doom and gloom.
If we do, it will be more pleasant for all of us.
Let’s do it.