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America must work around its latest test

It might seem foolish to try to find anything positive about the chaotic economic situation in this country at this time, and it is true that many people will flat-out refuse to even try.

That is their prerogative.

But one basic fact emerging from any open-minded study of economics is that there are “mountains” — good times — and “valleys” — times not so good or just plain bad.

The key to overcoming the valleys is to initiate the right policies to break the fall, but first there is the need to identify the best options and actions available, and then to know how best to implement them.

For a number of years, America’s economy remained perched on what many people regarded as a mountaintop, but now the national economy is reminiscent of a skier sliding down a mountain uncontrollably with not a clue of what his or her ultimate fate — when the end of the downturn — might be.

The current “valley” is particularly unnerving, though, not only from the troubling statistics being reported on virtually a daily basis, but because of the continuing grip of two major factors that were instrumental in helping to initiate the economic reversal in the first place.

Of course, those two major factors are COVID-19 and the Russia-initiated war in Ukraine that is responsible for sanctions that not only continue to hurt Russia but also have produced negative consequences for America and other nations.

Consequently, America now is being tested in a way not envisioned even a year ago.

Decades ago, college economics professors proclaimed that there never would be a depression like that of the 1930s, because of the purported understanding that existed regarding how to prevent and deal with one.

No doubt, many Americans are having doubts about the validity of that viewpoint.

This nation’s younger generations, old enough to understand that there is a big problem and who also are experiencing the ill effects of what is happening on the economic fronts to varying degrees, need to pay attention.

They won’t be fully able to comprehend all that is taking place around them, but someday those generations will be charged with making the right economic decisions for themselves and their countrymen, based partly on whatever they are able to learn and retain at this time.

Such realizations and understandings will have the potential for being a national treasure in the future.

That is the one broad, identifiable positive that can be garnered during this time of economic distress from Wall Street, local businesses and industries, from governments at all levels and, especially, from the financial realities of one’s own home.

Indeed, the current developments are daunting, but they are markedly instructive.

But how many people — including local people — truly are listening and open to the kind and level of cooperation essential now and for the future?

If there is no willingness to work together, headlines about rough stock market weeks, job-market slowdowns, weaker industrial output, additional interest rate increases, and predictions like that of the Federal Reserve Bank of New York that a “hard landing” could be forthcoming will continue to rattle people’s and businesses’ nerves and produce panic among investors.

A workable foundation must be put in place quickly for the current deep valley to start giving way to “mountainous” economic terrain.

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