Tuesday, November 18, 2008

The Current Economic Crisis

I watched our President-elect the other night, and I heard him do a good job of making sure people knew that we were not in the same level of difficulty that the country faced in the Great Depression. We're not even close. Where he erred however, is in his statement that this was the most difficult time SINCE then. Again, he's not even close.

Does anyone remember the dark, early days of the Reagan Presidency? Does anyone remember double digit inflation? Double digit unemployment? Double digit interest rates? ALL AT THE SAME TIME? Where are we now? Unemployment at half what it was at its height then. Interest rates are still low. Inflation is under control.

Yes--our stock market has lost value and our financial system is under siege. But great minds on both sides of the aisle (and all over the world) are on the job working to figure this out. I remain bullish on America and her future.

One more thing. I am who I am today because of that earlier period of economic turmoil. Those dark economic times just happened to be when I was in high school. As I looked around at the lay of the land---a father working hard to keep his business afloat while putting two older children through college (and two more to go after me)--I realized that I had a responsibility to pitch in. I went from being certain I'd attend some oppressive little liberal arts school at top dollar (Haverford, Swarthmore) en route medical school, to having Uncle Sam pick up the tab at a state university in exchange for a four year indenture. That four year indenture turned into 21 years of joy, and I am all the better for it. I know I sound like some old fogey hearkening back to the Depression as if it were a good thing for America...I'm hardly saying that. I'm saying there is opportunity in adversity. We all need to keep looking for it.

1 comment:

HamptonPk Fan said...

Good post. I share your sentiment.

I don't want to hijack your blog, but I am quite interested in your take on the Somali pirates and the international call for help. Since we seem uniquely able to combat this scourge, I am sure that all of our fly-by-night friends will be seeking our assistance. I would love to see us negotiate for our services.

Newer Post Older Post Home