The Fragility of a Consumer Economy

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When an economy is based on healthy, sustainable activity with a balance of production and consumption, the type of depression we are in can’t happen. In our consumption-based economy, on the other hand, nothing can “stimulate” things back on track. This is because the track we were on is unsustainable. There’s no going back on it. American consumers can’t spend & consume more today in an effort to “save” the economy because we already spent and consumed the goods of today.

Despite the “green shoots” talk that all the economists and politicians are spreading on TV and in magazines and newspapers (pay no mind that these are the very people who didn’t see the crash coming–we are expected to now value their opinion about what’s going to happen next), what’s next isn’t good for the general economy. As illustrated by Ian Mathis of at Daily Reckoning, by the end of the year about 1.5 million jobless Americans will exhaust their unemployment benefits.

We know that unemployment is sky high right now (10% official figures and 20% as figured by shadowstats.com), but millions of those jobless Americans are receiving checks from the government that are continuing to pay for their rent, groceries, Venti 7 Pump White Mochas, etc. By year’s end, about 1.5 million Americans will no longer have a source of income. In other words, the further reduced consumption affiliated with unemployment hasn’t even come home to roost yet.

Waiting for the “general economy” to be brought back to life will turn out to be a disappointing plan. Your personal economy is what matters, and thriving is a matter of what you make for yourself. Just as the Soviet Union taught us that central planning doesn’t work, we will relearn that lesson as central planning continues to fail in the United States. Don’t wait around for stock markets to go into a long term rebound (as opposed to the bear market rally or “bounce back” that comes before the next leg down in every stock market crash) or for the government to get your job back for you. If anyone’s going to bring your prosperity, it’s going to be you!

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