Monday, December 28, 2009

Pen Meets Paper Dec.28'09

Opinion by Helge Nome
Looking back at 2009, one thing stands out: Uncertainty.
Be it the weather, communicable diseases, the economy and its lack of jobs, or whatever, we seem to have great problems predicting what is going to happen next.

Amidst all the speculation about our future, I find the position of the establishment media to be somewhat unbalanced:
One the one hand, dire consequences are predicted from claimed climate change
(which used to be called ggglobal wwarming) and from the new “monster” labelled
H1N1 (hopefully, in spite of same initials, I’m no relation).
On the other hand, the same establishment media are rolling in rosy predictions about our economic future in spite of fact that financial credit continues to be severely restricted in the productive economy. “The boom times are surely just around the corner”.
It is as if they believe their own verbiage will bring about the desired results.

The boom mentality appears to have taken hold in the minds of a lot of people and they are just not willing to let it go, so numbers are suitably masked to conform with prevailing beliefs.
Consider this: Many employers and organizations are avoiding employee layoffs by introducing job sharing. That means that the total amount of purchasing power available in the economy is reduced (by way of reduced wage costs) while official unemployment numbers remain relatively unchanged.
Reduced purchasing power means less demand for goods and services, putting more pressure on employers to cut back on staffing.
It is a vicious circle.
Meanwhile, the financial markets (read “Casino Circus”) rebounds, making all the speculators happy. But less goods and services of value are being produced because the productive economy is being starved of the money needed to make it function properly.
How do we deal with this going into 2010?
It is not as difficult as you might think. Expect too read more about it in this column in the time ahead.

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