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Living Freedom by Claire Wolfe. Musings about personal freedom and finding it within ourselves.

Want to Comment on a blog post? Look for and click on the blue No Comments or # Comments at the end of each post.

Claire Wolfe

10 Reasons to be optimistic about the economy

Thursday, June 16th, 2011

Optimism? Optimism? Does that preposterous word dare raise its head around here — again??? And in association with matters economic?

Never fear. I know nobody in these parts is as blind as Bernanke or as oblivious as Obama. Is the economy going straight to hell? Yes, of course it is. Are things likely to get worse long before they get better? You can bet your six-gallon superpails of hard red winter wheat on it. Are your children’s futures in peril? Oh my. Will politicians continue to try to “cure” the economic poison they administered with ever-higher doses of the same stuff? Are we likely to get even more of a police state than we already have as Our Glorious Leaders struggle to keep up their pretense of governing us? Yes, yes, yes, yes, yes.

So what on earth have we got to be optimistic about?

A lot, actually. Let me count (a few of) the ways:

1. The fever needs to break before the patient heals. Since 2008 (or since 1971, if you want to take the longer view), politicians have been administering drugs designed to keep the economic fever down. TARP, too big to fail, the stock market’s so-called plunge protection team, mega-loans, bailouts, coverups, monetizing of the debt — they’ve all been designed to prevent the inevitable crisis from boiling over. The day all that has to stop because politicians and their mega-banker buddies can’t keep all the balls in the air any more (sorry for the mixed metaphors; hey, it’s a blog post, not a Shakespearean sonnet) — the day we appear to go from bad to worse — is the day we can begin to address the underlying problems and hope to get well again.

2. When things look the worst, people get creative. Tuition goes so high you can’t send your kid to college? People start developing alternatives. Can’t get a job? Maybe it’s time to become an underground entrepreneur. The NASDAQ tanks? There’s always the GLBSE. (H/T. btc) Big box stores go bust? Mom and pop become competitive again. Cars aren’t selling? Well, there’s always art.

3.The fiat dollar needs to go. Once the dollar finally dies after 100 years of Fed-inflicted, politician-induced torture, we have a hope of restoring that greatest of all social blessings, sound money. And when I say “we” I don’t necessarily mean government. Money of, by, and for the people seems more do-able the longer governments make a mess of things.

4. When you can’t afford stuff, you rediscover self. And neighborliness. And making music. And clever ways of making do. And healthy alternatives to hopping in the car for every little errand. And home-grown food. And common sense. And 100 other things.

5. Imagine a world where people no longer have faith in government. No need to say more.

6. A glimmer of the Enlightenment still shines. It’s as CS says. Those ideals, and our history, give us hope of journeying back out of the coming darkness.

7. There is no such thing as “the economy.” When THE economy goes to hell, we have opportunity to create our own mini-economies. Don’t let the doomers get you down.

8. When things crack up … oh, what opportunities to slip between the cracks.

9. The crapiest times tend to produce the best movies. And art. And literature.

10. When it all comes down, you will be among the prepared. Sure, it’s a curse to live in “interesting times.” But unlike your neighbors who might still be parroting the official line — “Nobody could possibly have seen it coming!” — you’ll be ready, psychologically, if not financially. You and your family will have the best chance of landing on your feet and actually growing from the experience rather than being crushed by it.

17 Responses to “10 Reasons to be optimistic about the economy”

  1. naturegirl Says:

    I actually think it needs to crash and burn and “redo” into better ways…..that’s about the extent of my optimism….If I only had the faith in people learning their lessons and attempting to create more sensible living afterwards I’d be looking forward to it…..The odds of stupid people changing into smarter people suddenly is even slimmer…..

    As for “surviving” the chaos, I think most prepper/survivalists have already chosen a better lifestyle and so they won’t have the “crash” as bad as the masses out there will suffer thru…’s its own type of optimism, based on the fact they they know how to do what it takes to make it thru (and maybe even direct the rebuild into a better model)……

    But I must admit, I did snicker when reading the title….followed by a “Yeah, right!” – bad habit of reacting before thinking first, hehehe….simply because I think the corrections are long overdue & need to be made; & hopefully when the dust settles that will be what happens….

  2. ms jordan Says:

    Nice piece Clair, Some I had already thought about, some I didn’t – as usual you keep the old hat rack spinning

  3. Pat Says:

    “I actually think it needs to crash and burn and “redo” into better ways…..that’s about the extent of my optimism….If I only had the faith in people learning their lessons and attempting to create more sensible living afterwards I’d be looking forward to it…..The odds of stupid people changing into smarter people suddenly is even slimmer…..”

    Thirty lashes with a wet noodle for you, naturegirl — that’s Optimism? :-)

    Actually I do think people will learn from their “stupidity” as they work through the “getting worse before it gets better” scenario. People have learned an awful (no pun intended) lot from Katrina, the housing/Fed/bailout messes, Bush’s ineptness, the Obama “promises” that never took place, the groping of TSA, the Patriot Act and NAIS that rapes privacy in the name of security, the increasing toll of the War That Never Ends, etc.

    While there are many out there who will never “get it,” that’s true — there are so many other middle-class [shruggers or not] who remain suffering in silence as the cost of living goes up every day. Granted, _my_ optimism may be wishful thinking, but I don’t believe they are the sleeping masses they once were. This is not to say they will turn the tide — I too think it will get worse — but I’m not willing any more to predict where it will end up.

  4. naturegirl Says:

    It’s optimism after the pessimism is over with……

    As for the masses who have bought into some of the things that contributed to this mess (and that’s a wide range of subjects), the crash is going to be very painful…..altho there’s no guarantee once it’s ended/stopped/whatever that they won’t turn around and go right back to making things “they way they use to be,” because that’s easier than it is to correct bad habits……- that is probably more geared to some kind of financial disaster, than natural disasters – and I cringe at saying that because it automatically makes it sound like “my way” of thinking how things should be done is in some way superior to what they have done all along…..I’m probably better off saying that rather than a reset button afterwards, there should be a “start over” button that allows individuals to make their own choices….

  5. Pat Says:

    All true, ng, and no doubt there will be some — maybe many — who will quickly forget and revert back to the status quo.

    But part of that is because no living thing — especially sociable, compromising humans — can live perpetually in crisis, or in flux; we’re inclined to get back to “normal” (however defined) as quickly as possible — and that means back to what is familiar.

    But more importantly: what we, as humans, have learned can never be unlearned. We are always building on what we know, and our attitudes — and actions — change with that knowledge. While the older generations may not take the opportunity or have the time to “start over”, I believe the younger generations who live through the political/financial crash WILL learn from it. Information is out there as to cause and effect, and they can’t help but be aware of, and wary of, situations which brought about the downfall. That is the reason for my (so-called) optimism. I personally don’t expect to see the Good Life, but I have hope for it.

  6. Rick Burner Says:

    Yes, it will get ineresting–and there is no way of telling which way things will go. More freedom or more tyranny, which will it be?

    I liked #4: “When you can’t afford stuff, you rediscover self.”
    The average person can navigate a 3000 lb. missle at speeds exceeding 88 ft/sec day after day without hurting anyone (I said “average”). This is done with minimal or no training. These vehicles have tanks full of a dangerous liquid (which can explode under the “right” conditions). Gasoline contains 8 times as much energy per pound as TNT? Are these people stupid or incompetent? No, they’ve simply been brainwashed into thinking that they cannot do certain things for themselves.

    When the government checks stop coming (or won’t buy anything any more) these same people are going to discover abilities and strengths they never knew they had.

    Some will turn to evil actions but I believe that most will not. The “good” ones will learn they can defend themselves.

    As Pat pointed out, these new skills and attitudes cannot be unlearned. Joe and Jane Average will probably become much more suspicious of earthly saviors who try to convince them that they must revert to being helpless.

  7. ff42 Says:

    ” they’ve all been designed to prevent the inevitable crisis from boiling over.”

    I don’t believe for a minute that actions taken by politicians, etc. have been designed to prevent anything, but have purposely been put in place to transfer control (sometimes in the form of ‘money’) from us to them.

  8. Jake MacGregor Says:

    Claire, not sure these 10 points make me feel all that better about our near term future … but no worse :>)

    not that i/we have a choice about accepting our future, and yes we will be better off than the 99%

    I often wonder if our great grandchildren will look at highway overpass, malls, and football stadiums and wonder if aliens built them and what they were for much like the 6th century Britons marveled at Roman Works and attributed the ruins to the Gods

    but I do accept your point about re-learning glimpses of joy in a home grown meal, the laughter of a child, music slipping through a neighbors window

    However, I think the journey from here to there will suck

  9. Matt Says:

    #9, I’ll agree with art and literature. Movies are a panacea for crappy times, no matter how good they may be. The motion picture industry was developed as much to keep the masses minds off of bad times as for the sake of “art.”

  10. Scott Says:

    You not only hit the nail on the head,but drove it home. I’m not a pessimist by nature,and one thing I’ve observed as a maintenance guy is that the best way to fix something is to let it go completely to hell first. No running around patching/MacGyvering to keep a POS running. Let it collapse,back up and look at the big picture,and decide what you need to. For me, #4 says it all..the best times involve being out with other people, and creating your own fun,be it nothing more than a good long bike ride,group trip to a used bookstore, or maybe a day fishing..

  11. Chris D. Says:

    I think people will eventually rise out of the ashes of what’s left and rebuild it better. I believe that it is an instinct in humanity, though it’s been lost for what seems like ages.

    A good example of it is how folks are performing more DIY and displaying it at these awesome Maker Faires. They’re growing every year. I plan on being at one tomorrow in Raleigh, NC with my family, but they have them other places (and much bigger). I am hoping it will inspire my kids to do cool stuff.

    Just do a search for Maker Faire and see what pops up.

  12. Kyl Says:

    I sincerely hope she’s right about all this, but I regretfully must say what no one else yet has, and that is how martial law will affect these ten things. We’ve become spoiled as a people, and when the “Fraud at 1600” and his minions finally collapse the economy we will react violently, and give him the excuse to declare martial law and suspend all elections (for the good of the country, of course) until such time as law and order are restored, which!, if he succeeds, will be never. Once he establishes himself as “Presidente for Life” who the hell knows what this fool is capable of?

    God I hope I’m wrong about all this.

  13. Ron Johnson Says:

    I have a high degree of confidence that the current system will tumble, but a low degree of confidence that my fellow humans will rise to the opportunity to set the world on a different course. I am concerned that my unprepared neighbors and friends (heck, I’m not all that well prepared, either) will demand more safety than freedom, and we’ll end up with something worse than we have today. Black thoughts today. Will try for something brighter tomorrow.

  14. Standard Mischief (dot) com Says:

    Maybe #11 – Someone at the AARP seems to have snorted a line or to of reality.

    Though what ever Erskine Bowles has been smoking, it’s some crazy stuff. He’s still hallucinating that there’s a “Trust Fund”.

  15. Jim B. Says:

    There is a soon to be possible event that could have a chilling effect.

    I’m thinking of government events that develops into something that wasn’t planned. They may order all devices shut up so they could do “crowd control”.

  16. NEWS NOTE: 10 Reasons to be Optimistic About the Economy « CopyLogic: The Blog Says:

    […] Read Claire Wolfe’s essay here. […]

  17. Michael Louis Weissman Says:

    Very inspiring essay. Perhaps we will see a new, revitalized American after this dreadful experience.

    NEWS NOTE: 10 Reasons to be Optimistic About the Economy –

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