It was the best of times it was the worst of times, Charles Dickens wrote in 1859. These prophetic words apply to each year since his original penning. One might even say that they apply to each week or even day since he sat down with his inkwell. The picture he painted with his prose depicts that everything has opportunity cost and always will.
The world economy nose dived beginning with the collapse of Lehman Brothers, September 2008. Some “in the know” Politicians (that may be an oxymoron) and business people have said that if the American people knew how close we came to a full blown Depression, we wouldn’t be able to sleep at night, even now. However, depending on which business news analysts’ are reporting their current research findings, we are finally moving out of the worst historical Recession since the Depression. Except we’re not because unemployment is still too high and those who do have jobs are terrified that they’re going to loose them.
Citibank is laying off over 700 folks here in Las Vegas. Wells Fargo just had a layoff of over 2,000, although not all in Las Vegas. The Stock Market, although volatile, is up this year. Many citizens of this country have a better looking retirement portfolio. This is a good thing but with unemployment is somewhere between ten and fifteen percent, (in real terms) and worry of impending unemployment, folks are not out spending.
They’re saving more money in a traditional savings account (about 10% more) and splurging less; instead of expensive meals and fancy vacations, a $10 bottle of wine (there are some very good varietals at this price) and a pasta dinner, with the advantage of enjoying family and friends, at home is in order. Families are staying home, renting movies, playing games, getting to know each other. Finally people matter again and stuff is very uncool.
Worst times will be ever present but the good news is that so will best times. There will always be the greedy and there will always be the generous. Here’s to always being able to find the best in the worst.