Psychological panic and irrational fear is what got us into this mess, so some positive thinking couldn't hurt in trying to get us out. Lets look on the bright side of the news this week. It's yeah-but news, but still not so terrible:
91.8% of Californians are employed.
If the media would stop banging the Great Depression drum for a minute, they would notice that this doesn't come close to the 25% unemployment of that period. Bush extended unemployment benefits this week, a rare change of heart.
Bay Area home sales are up 39%.
Yes, prices are in the toilet, and many of these sales are foreclosures, but this clears out old inventories and creates a floor for the housing market. Banks won't stop sliding until they know the extent of the damages. It also means people are getting loans. Seems like a great time to buy, if you ask me.
Mortgage rates continue to fall.
They weren't budging despite government efforts during the credit freeze. My home equity line of credit rates is tied to the fed rate, and that means more money in my pocket with falling rates.
The Dow closed 500 points higher on Friday.
Now that Wall Street has learned Obama isn't a socialist--thanks John (Al Qaida hates him too), their fears have been set aside.
Gas prices fell to a 3-year low of around $2/gallon (that's an extra $125 a month for me)
This has been called an "implied stimulus." Did you notice you have extra money in your pocket? This is better than a government check. Prices are half what they were from the Summer high.
Unlike Bush, Obama has a plan for job growth.
Whether it's a good plan or a bad plan is irrelevant right now. A good leader starts with taking a leadership position.
Black Friday (next week) will see excellent bargains at many stores, including 40% off toys at Black Diamond Games.
So most people have jobs, they have money in their pockets, they finally have a leader responding to their problems, and stores are bending over backwards to entice them to buy gifts during the holiday season. Heck, pirates are front page news for a change instead of the economy. The key is not to distract the public, it's to distract the irresponsible media. Did I mention newspaper sales hit record levels in October?