Thursday, January 05, 2006

Trashing the Economy

Major Mike

While I am not an Economist; I am a consumer, a house owner, a stock holder, a 401K owner, a mutual fund owner, an IRA owner, an employee of a manufacturing company, and a pretty nice guy. As with most Americans, my economic fate for many things is tied to the overall economy…raising money for college tuition, the potential for early retirement, retirement savings, continued employment, and overall quality of life.

Like most of us, (Google search “consumer confidence index” and note the positive trends for the EU, the US and Asia) I believe that the economy is chugging along. I feel good about my position in manufacturing, the recent increases in the value of my house, my modest, but positive, returns on my securities investments, and life in general. Interest rates are moving with the demand in the market. Inflation is low. And unemployment is at about 5%.

So, while I am not an Economist, I am a Historian. And while I may be unqualified to comment as an Economist, I think I am more than qualified to comment on our economy as a consumer and as a Historian.

I think the global economy is pretty good shape, although I do have concerns about the containment of terrorism, the growth of international gas prices, stagnate EU productivity, and an increasing dependence on China as an outsourcing base for many US companies.

I think the US economy has rebounded well from the only real “bubble” of recent note…the false economic bubble created by unchecked corporate malfeasance during the Clinton years. I think US productivity rates are carrying the economy. I think that sound economic practices by the Fed during our economic slowdown, spurred opportunities for many to own homes for the first time, and kept inflation in check. I think that many of the corporate accounting controls now in place will prevent a recurrence of the Clinton bubble. And I think we’re on the verge of the fusion of technologies that will increase productivity further, and lower costs to manufacturers.

So, what am upset about? Like most of you, I am investing for the future. I don’t mean the next five minutes. Or the end of the trading day. Or triple witching day. Or the next Fed Report release date. I mean the future…months, years, decade(s). So I get livid when I see this from CNN…Hoping for the Worst on Jobs

Has our assessment of our economic opportunities for the future become so perverted, that when we get a positive growth in employment opportunities…read as, salaries, taxes, consumer spending…we would trade that for some bad news in order to get some short-term bump in the market that my fund managers would probably fumble anyway?

Geez, this economy has rebounded from March 2000 with a steady effort from the housing industry, manufacturing productivity, consumer spending, and good fiscal management strategies from the Fed. Why would we want bad news just to float the Dow a few points? The Dow should be floating because of the reasons listed above, not because we are all quivering about what some Morgan Stanley salesmen heard at a strip club. The Dow should be rising because the US outlook looks good, the global outlook looks good, AND because those in the economy (us) believe that the “future” will be good.

I believe that all the negativism about our economy is slowing the potential growth. And I do believe a lot of it is politically motivated…attempting to mitigate the growth until we are past the next election cycle. But what do I know…I am not an Economist.

Let’s print the news, not some perverted projection of possibilities, postulated solely for political gain. Those of us investing in our futures are sick of it.


CNN wants to have it both ways... As they now dump on the President for "disappointing news."
"President Bush and leaders of his economic team fanned out to trumpet encouraging signs in the economy but were confronted Friday with disappointing news about weaker-than-expected job growth."
I am shocked that the economy has moved a muscle in the last 6 years, with all the naysaying, negativism, and politiking. Apparantly the "Perfect Strom" of economic events must collide in order for people to believe that the future holds promise and for the strength of our economy to be recognized.

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