This week, we launch a series about the economy. There is little hope of compiling a comprehensive picture of the economy as it stands today since …
This item is available in full to subscribers.
If you're a print subscriber, but do not yet have an online account, click here to create one.
Click here to see your options for becoming a subscriber.
If you made a voluntary contribution in 2022-2023 of $50 or more, but do not yet have an online account, click here to create one at no additional charge. VIP Digital Access includes access to all websites and online content.
This week, we launch a series about the economy.
There is little hope of compiling a comprehensive picture of the
economy as it stands today since the situation seems to change by
the hour. It seems as though we’re still trying to get our heads
around what exactly is being done with the recent $700 billion
bailout package as our new president-elect and his administration
hash out plans for an $800 billion economic recovery plan. It’s
dizzying, frightening and just plain uncomfortable to think
Our goal with this series is to give you the tools to parse the
noise surrounding our economic situation. I, as I guess is the case
with many of you, am not a student of the economy. I do, however,
understand fear. So when I expose myself to the frenzy of economic
news coming at us these days, it seems as though the fear is what
sticks with me but no deeper understanding of the economy as a
whole. My hope is that by learning this, some of the fear will
subside leaving my mind clearer to make good decisions.
Dr. Richard Wobbekind, chief economist at Leeds School of
Business at the University of Colorado in Boulder is quoted
extensively in this week’s first installment of the series. He
makes the crucial point that should be at the center of our
thinking in this economic crisis — what’s real and what’s imagined.
By his estimation, 30 percent of our economic turmoil is reality
and 70 percent is perception.
That’s a tremendous revelation. Instead of feeling powerless, we
need to remember how much power we actually have in terms of
attitude, knowledge, wisdom and patience.
In a way, this time in our lives takes me back to the days
following the terrorist attacks of Sept. 11, 2001. The mourning
period for the lives lost that day soon gave way to a paralyzing
sense of fear. We didn’t understand what had happened to us, why it
had happened, we were afraid of the future and we froze up for a
while. People were building bomb shelters in their basements,
stocking up on water, buying duct tape and gas generators just in
case … well, just in case. I can remember our Littleton office
being closed for part of a day because some fool splashed some kind
of white powder on the back door of our office building and we
weren’t too sure it wasn’t anthrax. It was a surreal time.
Living our lives and moving forward became a deliberate act.
Before we could do anything, we needed to feel safe and we couldn’t
do that unless we understood what was happening.
I became part of a group assembled by the South Metro Chamber of
Commerce that put together something called Standing Tall. The goal
of this group was to speak to as many people as we could about
emergency preparedness in realistic terms. The idea was to make
people understand how to be safe, to trust that they had taken
reasonable steps to protect themselves and more importantly, to get
on with living already. It was a sound idea and it helped some
I think that’s where we happen to be with the economy right now.
We don’t understand it. We don’t know where the future will take
us. We feel stuck.
I don’t think anyone is ready to tell us to pull ourselves up by
our boot straps and head in a certain direction, but I do think we
need to take a deep breath and learn how to make sense of our
situation. Few things in life make you feel as good as getting the
upper hand on a nagging fear or worry. If we can all do that,
imagine where we can take our economy.
Jeremy Bangs is the managing editor of Colorado Community
Newspapers. Look for and contribute to his blog, Jeremy’s Take, on
this paper’s Web site.
Other items that may interest you
We have noticed you are using an ad blocking plugin in your browser.
The revenue we receive from our advertisers helps make this site possible. We request you whitelist our site.