Hi boys and girls. Hang on to your wallets and your valuables because I’m your friend and mine, The Economy!
When I get bigger everyone is happy. When I shrink everyone is sad. But what am I?
On so-called “Cyber Monday” yesterday internet purchases were up 27% from the year before. This is because consumers have higher confidence in me. Feels good! Yes, I need that sort of validation. I get off on you getting off on me.
What? You had some seeds? And they were handed down by your family ancestors and not purchased from a store? Ouch. That really hurts. And then what? You planted those seeds and grew your own food? Which you ate? To stay alive? Shame. Shame. Shame. Okay, you were self-sufficient. You may have sated your hunger but you did nothing for The Economy. If no money changes hands you’re doing it wrong.
When I feel weak it is bad for you. High unemployment is the result. People aren’t able to work to satisfy one of their basic human needs. Work is fulfilling. For many of you it is where you hang your hats on self worth and confidence. You want to provide for yourselves and your families.
The problem? Too many people aren’t doing their part. They aren’t buying enough things. They aren’t consuming to their full potential. They aren’t burning up energy and material goods as fast as possible. What if everyone could somehow provide for themselves and already had everything they needed? Why, I wouldn’t even exist!
I’m The Economy. I am most powerful when I am growing. Obviously it is bad for me (and you) when I’m getting smaller. That goes without saying. But stagnation is just as bad. I need to be growing. Equilibrium merely makes me angry and then I show great magic. Say what? Your business has had growth for 36 consecutive months? Good for you. Thanks for doing your part. But don’t stop. Don’t ever stop. The minute you’ve achieved maximum penetration and your market is saturated your company is doomed. One minute it’s high on the hog and the next the company ceases to exist.
Don’t try to think about it. It doesn’t have to make sense. Only growth is good. Sure there’s no such thing as a perpetual motion machine and growth can’t last forever. Don’t let thoughts like that distract you. Remember, only more is better.
Work. Spend. Consume. Keep passing around those little slips of paper that only have value because you think they have value. You give me an hour of your life and I’ll give you a $5 bill. Yes, feel that free market. Now you’ve got something that you can trade to someone else who thinks it has value, too. Maybe they’ll give you a hamburger, fries and a drink for that $5. Spend it and you’ve already helped The Economy twice. When I give you that money I’m giving you the assumption it will be regarded as having value by someone else. Don’t worry. You can always trust me. Money even says so right on it.
Politicians have been talking a lot about me lately. They always do. They want me bigger. Stronger. Growing. That means most of you need to have more money and you need to spend more of it. You need to be buying more goods and services. More consumption. More material things. That will bring more money to employers who will need to hire more people. As long as it keeps going like that everything is swell. There’s no end in sight. The sky’s the limit!
As long as you feed me we’ll all be fine.
Rather frightening, honestly.
If we accept the truth that the economy needs to grow and the other truth that the economy can’t grow indefinitely, what then? That is a frightening thought.
Thanks for commenting on this far out post. 🙂