Thursday, November 07, 2002

Every silver lining has a grey cloud

On Monday it seemed like all the left leaning blogger I read (talking points memo was one) seemed that it was predicting some sort of victory to go to the Democrats, but for some reason I had the persistent nagging reason to believe that it would not be the case. I’m really upset that I was right. I thought maybe that the Democrats could somehow pull out CO, but I wasn't surprised if they lost it (they did). The only real shocker for me was Mondale losing in Minnesota. Even Garrison Keillor was flaberghasted. But other than that everything else went as I had expected. For Kyrk to pull out Texas would have been a minor miracle.

Keeping my expectations low in this race was a good thing. Well, it felt better than 2 years ago, where that horrible sinking feeling I got in my stomach set in. Watching Florida get called for Gore, then go neutral, then go Bush - that initial enthusiasm of seeing Michigan and Florida turn blue (the key states for Democrats) made that sickening feeling so much worse, just so overwhelmingly bad when I came down from that first high. This year it was more like the feeling I got when we received our 401K reports at work – you knew it would be bad and there was no use in hiding from it. The knowledge of just how the terrible the taste of the bitter medicine would be made it easier to stomach. Of course I hardly had anything in my 401K, so to lose 20% of my worth meant almost nothing. Can't say the same for cohorts less than 5 years from retirement! Which brings me to my next point;

Time recently ran an article called the coming job boom (click here if you can't get the article, this will send you to the first paragraph). Its based on the fact that older people, baby boomers, will be retiring leaving a huge gap in the talent pool for the working place in this country. The funny thing is that you can't seem to get away from stories on NPR and elsewhere about older Americans who've retired coming back to the workplace because of their failing 401k! There is NO JOB BOOM coming, not in the next two years.

I’ve never been an optimist, but I’m doing my best to see the positives based on the previous info and this whole situation;

For one thing, and this could be my imagination, for some reason I get the impression that many people in this country believe that recessions are just like venereal diseases, they can be avoided with proper protection. When I was in High School I was taught in economics that recessions are inevitable, just like growth periods. What goes up must come down.

The President is always blamed or hailed disproportionately for the status of our economy when the office probably has less than 25% influence on it. Either way Mr. President I have some bad news for you. The recession is not over, and unless you can pull off more than a couple of minor miracles it’s going to be worse by 2004. There is just no way (word I hope not to regret someday) that after nearly 10 years of growth our economy just going to right itself in an upward direction. And you'd think that all this good news for the GOP would boost the stock market but it isn't happening yet. It is still early, but I don't see it happening anytime soon. Maybe it's because liberals buy stocks just like conservatives, and if those liberals feel as sick as I do right now Wall Street can't just recover based on the good faith of one half of the country.

See! Being a pessimist has it's good points!

For some reason The GOP is known for fiscal responsibility, and yet were running deficits and not cutting spending! There is no way that this will improve with a GOP Congress. My favorite quote from this article is;
"it's likely that the disconnect between government income and spending will grow. More and more, the federal government is coming to resemble one of those little oil companies the president was involved with in the private sector. Every year, revenues go down and expenses go up. Under Bush, government spending has risen at a 6.05 percent annual compound rate, while receipts have fallen at a 4.34 percent annual rate."

Of course why should Congress be any different than the rest of the people in this county, most of whom are swimming deeply in debt. Unfortunately the US Gov can't afford to just pull a Chapter 13 and forfeit all it's debt. Then again, with the GOP sitting in all seat of the government, you too may not be able to declare bankruptcy for much longer either! Not after they pass that bill they've been bandying around for quite a while now! Now that's funny.

Of course I am seeing pessimistic optomists floating around too. I've seen more than a couple of posts by liberals worrying "What if the GOP succeeds?" Success meaning; the economy rebounds (I doubt it), the war in Iraq goes off without a hitch (it won't happen), oil prices fall thru the floor when we take over Iraq and starting pumping all their oil for our SUVs (hinges on previous point), there are no more corporate scandals, ther environment doesn't go straight to hell, the entire world doesn't alienate us.

This is already too long. The new fish names are coming in, next post they'll be up. Hope that'll cheer you up. You're gonna need some good vibes for the next 2 years!


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