Double Dip Recession Or Two Scoops Of Optimism?

We have been hearing a lot lately about the possibility of a “Double Dip” recession lately from President Obama on down to local news reports. It seems like Economists, Prognosticators, Politicians (I know, what do they know) Pundits, Talking Heads, and every other “Tom, Dick, and Harry” seem to have an opinion on the status of our Economic Recovery. What I have found, empirically and anecdotally, is that there are multiple “right” answers to the question.

Many “Leading Indicators” foretell a path to recovery, but there are certainly many statistics that one could cite which inidicate that we are at the beginning of a steep, and/or long, decline. What I have observed is that both may be occurring at the same time; it depends on the “when and where factor” when the number measurement was taken and where you are – your perspective. There certainly are indications that our economy is improving – GDP Growth, Industrial Output, and Retail Sales are all up, but Diesel Fuel Sales have stalled1, our National and Trade Defecits are at records levels, and the number of Americans receiving food stamps is expected to rise from 40 to 43.3 million in the next year. Perhaps, what matters is how each one of us individually is impacted. Personally, I know individuals who are doing quite well financially, in a lousy economy in a state with one of the highest unemployment and foreclosure rates in the country; and others who are unemployed, under-employed, or whose businesses are struggling. Believe me; both groups have a different take on the state of our economy. These are people who work hard, work smart, and are resourceful – but with different outcomes.

Does it matter if the economy is up or down? As I write this I am watching numerous different breeds of birds “attack” bird feeders, fending off rivals to take advantage of an opportunity for an easy meal. If food is scarce or in abundance elsewhere in the neighborhood doesn’t matter. They are all amply fed now, as they have been for years; by the bird feeders. If the bird feeders disappear these little feathered friends will do what’s necessary to survive. Until then, they make sure they eat what they can to remain healthy and strong. Maybe there’s a lesson to be learned from these finches, hummingbirds, woodpeckers and sparrows. Double dip recession or two scoops of optimism? Who cares! Let’s just do what we need to do… and cherish each day as we do it.

1UCLA-Ceridian Pulse of Commerce Index

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May You Be Healthy, Wealthy, & WISE.

Congress Needs To Act To Ease Credit/Lending For Challenged Commercial Markets

Jim Helsel, the Treasurer of the National Association of REALTORS® testified before a House Panel on July 29th. He stated that a strong commercial real estate sector is vital to millions of U.S. jobs and helps keep the national economy afloat. Perhaps the esteemed members will listen to testimony “from the trenches” of small business. Tax credits and assistance to hire employees are of little value if there is no capacity to retain them. Businesses need access to capital when cashflow slows to maintain or increase inventories, acquire other businesses, or for new construction. Small business vitality is what would help “prime the pump” of our economy; it needs to grow from the bottom up, not the top down. Lending institutions are relucant to lend because of the presence of “Big Brother” and restrictive regulations.

Congress has acted to help address the situaton; the Small Business Lending Act of 2010 is greatly appreciated but we need more. We are not asking for money, or tax breaks; rather small businesses need access to capital (which is not a “handout” from the government) for QUALIFIED business borrowers. Hopefully they will hear us and respond positively.

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May you Be Healthy, Wealthy, and WISE.

Happy Monday! How Positive Is Your Attitude?

Welcome! This is my first entry in my new Blog. Hopefully this Blog over time will pique the interest of my friends, colleagues and business associates so that you will continue to stop by to read and perhaps leave comments.

In today’s 24-hour news cycle, we are continually bombarded by information: sound bytes, financial data, news images, and plain old chit-chat from friends, family, and clients. Unfortunatley, much of what we are bombarded with is negative. Politicians complain about the other political party, economists and pundits drone on about the “worst economy in dacades”, friends/family/clients complain about one thing or another.

Yet, in the face of all this, it is important that we remain positive and upbeat. It is challenging, because we all have, or know someone who has, to overcome difficult circumstances. Brian Tracy, the Self-Help author, advises us to avoid the bombardment of negative information. We must stay positive by being positive; and surround ourselves with positive people. According to Mr. Tracy, the most powerful influence n your attitude is what you say to yourself and believe. Personally, I have found this “Self Talk” to be a great first step because it is not dependent on someone or something else; I have complete control over my thoughts and attitudes. Besides, it simply takes too much time and energy to always debate people with a negative outlook. Many people engage in physical activity to stay focused on what’s important; others attend religious services, read or do some combination of the above. I would like to close with a quote from Abraham Lincoln “Most folks are as happy as they make up their minds to be”

What works for you?

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May you be Healthy, Wealthy and Wise.