Wide Awake in Wonderland

We’re only dancing on this earth for a short while

Global Gloom and other encouraging word combinations December 1, 2008

2356411353_74c4a3912fSo I have these moments where I come up with a thought that makes me think I may be really smart. Crazy smart. Einstein smart. And then I hear a cricket chirping and forget what I was thinking about.

Seriously though, I have a line of thinking going, and it seems pretty good. For starters, what better way to get the masses into ‘herd think’ and control their actions than to scare the crap out of them?  All these headlines we’re battered with daily are an excellent case in point:

  • “Economic downtown has folks stashing their cash”
  • “Short selling declines as US stocks scrape new lows”
  • “No 401K worries in the afterlife: More people consider suicide a ‘viable option'”
  • “Stocks fall sharply on consumer spending worries”
  • “Treasurys rally, yields slide, on gloomy economy outlook” (this really is an actual headline – all weird and badly spelled like this. Or maybe that’s good grammar at the school Nick Godt of Fox News attended?)
  • “Miami protesters to new parents, ‘What kind of selfish jerks bring a baby into this horrible world?'”
  • “As unemployment rises, work-at-home scams flourish.”
  • “Manufacturing crash adds to global gloom”

(Okay, I admit it. I made a couple of those up. I like to make sure you’re paying attention.

Meanwhile, to the good folks at The Onion: My rates are steep, but you need me. And you can’t put a price tag on quality like mine. Actually, on second thought, you can, and it’s in the six figures.)

So back to my big idea: A friend loaned me this Tony Robbins CD I listened to last weekend on the way to Seattle. In it, he was talking about how money is always in motion and movement and constant flow. What you put into the bank is given to a business who spends it to create something that someone else buys and it goes on and on like this. That is, unless someone hoards it up and stops the flow and causes the smooth cycle to grind to a halt – otherwise known as a recession.

Wikipedia defines it similarly as, “A recession is a contraction phase of the business cycle, or “a period of reduced economic activity.” The U.S. based National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER) defines a recession more specifically as “a significant decline in economic activity spread across the economy, lasting more than a few months, normally visible in real GDP growth, employment (non-farm payrolls), industrial production, and wholesale-retail sales.” A sustained recession may become a depression.

So, in short, a recession is when people panic and sell their stocks and put the money under the mattress and don’t buy anything so the people making stuff have no one to sell it to and have to raise prices and close stores and lay people off or otherwise compensate for the lack of income until the whole thing becomes a spiraling self-fulfilling prophecy of doom.  (And imagine that sentence delivered all breathless and urgent, like any good conspiracy theory must be.)

But seriously, think about it. That first headline alone caused me pause and ponder, “Maybe I should take what little money I have and cling to it like a dying man, adrift at sea with only a raft?” All this negative input and fear mongering in the form of ‘news’ is making people panic more. And recess more (so to speak).

Imagine the following thought experiment (proposed by my clearly genius friend Cheryl):  Instead of these kinds of headlines about how it’s all going to hell in a hand basket, what if the only feedback people got was that stocks were set to rally tomorrow, and the U.S. is doing better than it’s ever done, and the world is poised to reach new heights and greater widespread abundance and peace than we ever thought possible by 2010? If people were told to resume buying stocks and buying things and living without fear and moving confidently and happily toward tomorrow and basically acting like they did before being badgered by images of ‘global gloom’, then the wheels start slowing turning again. And then, before you know it, the recession is over.

And when you step back and see how it all works and how this is actually 100% plausible, how totally spooky is that?

One more point for Team “What You Believe Is What Becomes Real.” And I rest my case.

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4 Responses to “Global Gloom and other encouraging word combinations”

  1. O-zone Says:

    You are probably right. This way out of recession would work out perfectly, if everybody followed your advice and spent more money instead of stacking them at home. The only problem is if YOU start off sending all YOUR money out in the big moneyflow, and nobody is following your good example. Then you will still be in a country of recession, but you will not have the small raft of money in your mattress anymore.

    I believe this is a special case of the “prisoners dilemma” in game theory – and it might very well be the sole reason that our world is going straight to hell in a hand basket. Even though everybody would benefit by doing something, nobody wants to be the first one to do it, because it will be a disadvantage to be the only one doing it.

  2. wideawakeinwonderland Says:

    I’ve always hated that prisoner’s dilemma…except in that case the loser is the OTHER person (if I act).
    There was some movie I saw recently where they used that. Can’t remember. Was it the new Batman?
    Anyway, last night I saw this analyst on CNN talking about how global recessions last 16-18 months. However, since it’s now been decided that this one started a year ago, we (maybe) only have four to six months to go!
    Or at least that’s how I’ve decided to look at it…
    Hope all is well in Denmark!

  3. O-zone Says:

    That sounds like the right spirit! 🙂

    On the bottom line I’m not even sure that this recession is all such a bad thing. I think the environment has suffered from our excessive consumption of the global ressources quite a bit lately. So it might just turn out to be a good thing if the western consumer oriented world gets to hit the brakes a bit now.

    Everything is just fine here in Denmark, thanks.
    We have recession, falling house prices, growing unemployment and all that stuff here too (and even bad weather for the moment) – but none of this is going to ruin my good mood for one second 🙂

    Some crooked CEO has just escaped with around 170 mio. US$ after years of embezzlement in a danish IT company that won the “2008 most promising company” award less than a week ago.

    It appears that the company has got no real value at all, and that every dime he ran off with came from clever scams. So now the danish banks has got one more thing to worry about.

    If that really was the most promising company in Denmark 2008, then I guess the future doesn’t look to bright for us. Ha ha! 😉

    Anyway, we have not been elected the most happy people on the planet for nothing, and we do have a saying (I’m not sure the translation serves it quite right, but in Danish it makes sense):

    Money isn’t everything – even though they are quite good as currency.

    Have a nice day! 🙂

  4. Cheryl Says:

    Thanks for my “genius” shout out. I like the idea even more now that it’s in print. Positive thinking gurus would be very proud of us.

    Maybe we are on to the start of something big…


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