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Spring will come


Sat, Mar 28th, 2009
Posted in Commentary

Maybe what we all need is a little pep talk. The news these days is heavily burdened with bad economic information and we at the same time are finally putting a long winter behind us. The grass will soon be turning green and those hardy Crocus and Daffodils will dependably emerge to brighten our days. The first Bluebirds have started their house hunting and I spied my first Robin on March 9. I couldn't help but wonder where they hunkered down during that sub zero, blustery period a few days later. I look forward to those refreshing spring rains that thaw the earth, the smell of newly turned soil, and baby calves with tails high, kicking up their heels in playful romps in the evening.

The economy is so intertwined these days that when some greedy and unethical people started with some ill advised and inadequately regulated loans, was then driven by the masses causing a housing bubble. Then add in an oil price bubble causing soaring gas prices and a consumer credit purchasing bubble and we have a recipe for economic disaster. The resulting loss of savings for retirement and jobs has deepened the pain and snowballed into a palpable fear that feeds on itself and intensifies the economic woes. This is worldwide, for better or worse, as our prosperity is tied to that of much of the world and theirs to us.

It almost seems now that the fear and irrational pessimism has developed into an avalanche taking down and threatening to bury whatever is in its path. With the spring melt and the promise of new life comes a renewal of optimism and growth. Any farmer or gardener who year after year plants that tiny seed and trusts that it will grow, flourish and produce fruit knows the optimism of spring.

The recession deep freeze will be thawed when many of us emerge from our hibernation and face the new season, hungry for bargains. Perspective home buyers will hurry to purchase before the prices go up as will automobile buyers and the feeding that will start to drive the economy out of its winter doldrums will begin in earnest. A few of the brave early birds could hit a short rough winter spell like those early Bluebirds and Robins but most will survive to enjoy the lushness of spring.

Government at every level is on oxygen support. When the economy suffers, unemployment increases causing tax revenues to shrink just when the needs for those people now out of work escalate making even more demands on government. This has added to the fear, especially with the unprecedented stimulus, big business bailouts, and spending by the federal government skyrocketing the deficit.

The economy runs in cycles like the seasons. This has been an especially bad winter metaphorically speaking, but spring will come. That is not to say that we have experienced the last arctic blast from this economic winter to be endured, but I believe we are hardy and confident enough to make it through to grow and flourish.

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