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Fear of the Economy

I got an email today from Gary Fong. He makes astoundingly overpriced pieces of plastic that attach to your camera to diffuse the light coming off your flash. The thing is, they work incredibly well and I’m more than happy to pay for them because they are simple to use and do what they say (which, for someone with limited photographic skills like myself, is to perform outright miracles).

He was talking about the recession and his message boils down to “Don’t worry about it, work your plan and you’ll be fine”. I agree with him, although I have a different perspective.

An admission – my undergraduate degree was in Economics so I spent many hours swilling beers at UMass learning about concepts such as staglflation and supply-side, (which was on fire then, and the equivalent of “Steal from the poor” to the average academic institution). I eventually came to the realization that Economics is no different than many other systems that are, by nature, chaotic. This could easily be a series of books, but the big idea is that tiny transactions that seem to be random actually roll up into larger patterns, some of which can be identified and can be repeatable.

Please keep in mind that boiling that down to one sentence is like saying “The history and influence of America is that some guys got so pissed about taxes that they started killing people”. True, yes, but calling it a gross oversimplification would be… well, a gross oversimplification.

Are you still with me? Don’t you wish blogs had editors? The punchline is that although the overall pattern shows economic slowdown, you can move in any direction. In fact, I’d say that as a reader of this blog, someone who has the initiative to read about these types of topics in your free time, you’ve got no worries. Recessions are all about that 2/3rds of the population that hate their jobs. They subconsciously want to get fired.

They’re about people in California housing complexes that buy half million dollar homes on less than 100k of income and take out a 3rd mortgage to build a fountain in their back yard. I hate to see anyone lose their home, but it seems like some people are asking for it. Credit is not a way to live in California while your means remain in Oklahoma.

A good marketing plan will succeed. If you ever have a chance to go to Newport, Rhode Island, look around the town and check out some of the mansions that were summer homes to the wealthy. Think of them partying there during the Great Depression.