Dollar Signs of Doom

I don’t know economics. Not micro. Not macro. Not anything in between. I am entirely unqualified to discuss the topic with any authority whatsoever. And yet, I feel the need to vent my thoughts.

The thing is, I think we all need to stop freaking the hell out.

Sure, there are certain groups of us that have every right to be freaking out about this money stuff. Like the people retiring today, tomorrow or next week, as well as the retired folks who currently depend on some of their dividends to pay their bills each month. But the rest of us? Well, we need to learn from this and move on.

The more we as individual people learn to manage our own money, the better our businesses and government will be able to manage their money. Because from the little that I do understand about the whole thing, it’s all the same, just on different scales. And personal responsibility and accountability are integral.

Like smoking, we all know that playing the market is risky. Which is why no one should have all their money in stocks. The other thing that we all should know about money is that when we borrow it, eventually someone’s going to want it back. And if we can’t pay it back, we shouldn’t be borrowing it in the first place.

I have debt. But it’s not much. And we have a plan to eliminate it. We’ve been working on getting out of debt since that first month we couldn’t pay off the full balance on the credit card. It’s our own fault for getting into this debt, our own choice to take on a large mortgage for a property that we knew would likely lose value before it gained any. We are responsible for it all, and we are fixing it through the choices we are currently making with these debts in mind.

But. Other Americans — dare I say most Americans — are not so conscious. Or they just don’t fully comprehend the consequences of their choices. The consequences of accepting more credit, taking on more and more debt in order to have bigger, better, more, now. Thus, when this bad news is shoved down our throats about the economy, which, let’s face it, is a pretty abstract concept to most of us regular “main street” residents even though we are all very concerned about its fate, everyone freaks out. Because if it’s on the news, and all the news people are making sure to tell us how wall street bail outs and bank bankruptcies are going to affect YOU — yes, you there on the couch with your face in a bag of chips — so you’d better pay attention! When really, it’s only going to be all gloom and doom for us all if we freak out and start hording all our cash under the floorboards or something. Because it doesn’t do us any good there, and it doesn’t do anyone else any good just sitting there.

So. Let’s all take a deep breath, shall we? This, too, shall pass. We’ll get through it together. And with any luck, we’ll be better for it, whatever form “it” — this so-called economic crisis, collapse, disaster, however you want to spin it — takes.

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