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Old 06-24-2008, 09:55 AM
 
Location: Alexandria, VA
148 posts, read 588,967 times
Reputation: 120

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One of the reasons I suspect that consumer confidence is so low (lowest in 16 years) is the lack of faith many of us have in our leadership in Congress and The White House.

Nothing seems to get done.

Gasoline and Oil Prices relief (all talk no action)
Immigration reform (all talk no action)
Consumer Credit Issues (all talk no action)
National Debt (They keep spending)
Trade Deficit (Keeps going higher)
Nations Infrastructure (Money being spent in Iraq)
Mortgage Foreclosure Crisis (Congress still talking)

Our political leadership has no plans for any of our economic issues that face America, no wonder why our citizens have no confidence in our economy!
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Old 06-24-2008, 10:25 AM
 
Location: Raleigh, NC
9,043 posts, read 11,824,337 times
Reputation: 1394
Quote:
Originally Posted by total_genius View Post
One of the reasons I suspect that consumer confidence is so low (lowest in 16 years) is the lack of faith many of us have in our leadership in Congress and The White House.

Nothing seems to get done.

Gasoline and Oil Prices relief (all talk no action)
Immigration reform (all talk no action)
Consumer Credit Issues (all talk no action)
National Debt (They keep spending)
Trade Deficit (Keeps going higher)
Nations Infrastructure (Money being spent in Iraq)
Mortgage Foreclosure Crisis (Congress still talking)

Our political leadership has no plans for any of our economic issues that face America, no wonder why our citizens have no confidence in our economy!
Markets are completely rational. Having a Tony Robbins moment with the dollar or consumerism isn't going to help things over the long haul.

Recessions are welcomed to purge the excess garbage and lax credit standards from the economy. Once we start a real recession, we can finally detox our toxic credit/consumer based economy and begin rebuilding it.
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Old 06-24-2008, 05:39 PM
 
947 posts, read 2,883,625 times
Reputation: 729
^^
Tony Robbins moment - hmmm you might be on to something. Seriously though you have a point - maybe this recession is like a much needed enema for some.

Maybe there was a little too much "confidence" at one point and isn't that why so many people are upside down? Upside down on cars, houses, credit cards. There was so much inflated confidence that people went crazy on financing things they could not afford and didn't save enough for a rainey day.(?) Now there are layoff's galore, high gas prices and no money to be found for people to pay there bills. It's a rude awakening.
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Old 06-24-2008, 10:11 PM
 
Location: Boise, ID
1,356 posts, read 5,593,433 times
Reputation: 909
The term political leadership has been an oxymoron in DC since Newt Gingrich left. Love him or hate him, he did have leadership skills.

Consumer confidence is poor because:

1) We have no leadership in DC - from either party.
2) We have a constant drumbeat of negativity in the media.
3) We have a constant drumbeat of negativity from the Democrats who have positioned themselves where they believe bad news for America benefits their party.
4) We have no energy policy from either party. Both sides are invested in making the other look bad and thus also invested in making sure not much changes.
5) We have devalued our currency, in part, with a series of interest rate cuts to avoid a natural correction in the marketplace. In reality, we have only postponed the needed correction and made sure it will be worse. I am not so sure that many in DC are not still convinced they can avoid any downturns in the economy. (Hey, if we can control something as complex as the climate, why not the economy?)
6) Too many people have been conditioned to believe that government can solve our personal problems and ease our discomfort. As a consequence many people fail to plan for their own financial future and then lose any sense of self-empowerment during rough financial times.
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Old 06-25-2008, 07:54 AM
 
947 posts, read 2,883,625 times
Reputation: 729
[6) Too many people have been conditioned to believe that government can solve our personal problems and ease our discomfort. As a consequence many people fail to plan for their own financial future and then lose any sense of self-empowerment during rough financial times.[/quote]

That was really well said.
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Old 06-25-2008, 08:14 AM
 
55,163 posts, read 43,961,465 times
Reputation: 34489
The US economy is about 80% private.

Sometimes the people do stupid stuff and it's our freedom to do so.

To me, the headache started back in the 90's when credit card debt exploded. (This is why the Clinton years looked so good economically as we were adding private debt to fuel the economy instead of public debt (ooh budget surpluses!) and the government stayed out of it.)
Dot com boom came next followed by housing\mortgages.

I honestly don't hold any politician personally responsible. None of them wanted to put the brakes on during their presidency or suffer popular backlash....just leave the problem for the next guy. Notice how the economy started tanking at the end of 2000 and Bush inherited the mess (he was widely blamed for a "bad economy") so his answer was to spend like crazy to push the problem off another 5-7 years.
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Old 06-25-2008, 10:23 AM
 
Location: America
6,987 posts, read 15,767,726 times
Reputation: 2073
Quote:
Originally Posted by total_genius View Post
One of the reasons I suspect that consumer confidence is so low (lowest in 16 years) is the lack of faith many of us have in our leadership in Congress and The White House.

Nothing seems to get done.

Gasoline and Oil Prices relief (all talk no action)
Immigration reform (all talk no action)
Consumer Credit Issues (all talk no action)
National Debt (They keep spending)
Trade Deficit (Keeps going higher)
Nations Infrastructure (Money being spent in Iraq)
Mortgage Foreclosure Crisis (Congress still talking)

Our political leadership has no plans for any of our economic issues that face America, no wonder why our citizens have no confidence in our economy!
None of the above. Its the internet and media. There is just more information available now than ever before. Not to say the information is bad or not right (some of it is good).

So now people are more informed, they can find out what is going on all over the country with a click.
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Old 09-25-2008, 01:25 PM
 
Location: Somewhere out there
9,618 posts, read 11,651,395 times
Reputation: 3745
Default Too much consumin' goin' on 'round here!!!!

Quote:
Originally Posted by total_genius View Post
One of the reasons I suspect that consumer confidence is so low (lowest in 16 years) is the lack of faith many of us have in our leadership in Congress and The White House.

Nothing seems to get done.

Gasoline and Oil Prices relief (all talk no action)
Immigration reform (all talk no action)
Consumer Credit Issues (all talk no action)
National Debt (They keep spending)
Trade Deficit (Keeps going higher)
Nations Infrastructure (Money being spent in Iraq)
Mortgage Foreclosure Crisis (Congress still talking)

Our political leadership has no plans for any of our economic issues that face America, no wonder why our citizens have no confidence in our economy!


How true. but what, exactly, is "Consumer Confidence". Confidence that someone, anyone, will just step in and make all of this right? It's been consumer over-confidence, over-consumption and not keeping up with their burdgeoning debt load, that has brought on most of this. I worked for one of the big 3 auto manufacturers as an engineer until recently, and they were loath to listen to any of the common sense arguments we produced in favor of making signifiicantly more fuel efficient vehicles. They have the technology today to build pickups getting 35 mpg average, and passenger cars that get 40 - 50 mpg. without I might add, uber-expensive technologies (recycled helium-isotope / black-hole bending / fusion melder type stuff. And, by the way, you'll need our new unobtanium / inafordabilium batteries to make it all work. Repace every 2 years...). Nope: they preferred to maintain the status quo which supports the lifestyles of their big-oil buddies. Heck, the "little guy" will pay no matter what, eh? And pass the 100 yr old Scotch would you please?

So what we all need to do is face the frikin' truth here and back waaaayyyy off in our consumeristic habits. Pay off our debts, live within (or below?) our means. Stop the gov't from spending on foreign wars, close off our borders (big walls, electric Gatling guns, you name it; whatever it takes to stem the hordes who have learned there's no consequences for intrusion into OUR country!!!!). And all of the other things you correctly list. Of course if we all stopped consumin', THAT would be a big blow to the economy too. What DO we do, dammit? It's time to git back to the land, darlin"!! And plus: to the majority of our youth: learn how to work hard, but without little white wires connecting directly to your pseudo-intelligence. Be individuals!

Do we stand a chance for this all to work out? not bleedin' likely mate. But perhaps it's worth one more try....

Well, ther yah have it; my rant!
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Old 09-25-2008, 04:35 PM
 
706 posts, read 1,187,823 times
Reputation: 438
Quote:
Originally Posted by Mathguy View Post
The US economy is about 80% private.

Sometimes the people do stupid stuff and it's our freedom to do so.

To me, the headache started back in the 90's when credit card debt exploded. (This is why the Clinton years looked so good economically as we were adding private debt to fuel the economy instead of public debt (ooh budget surpluses!) and the government stayed out of it.)
Dot com boom came next followed by housing\mortgages.

I honestly don't hold any politician personally responsible. None of them wanted to put the brakes on during their presidency or suffer popular backlash....just leave the problem for the next guy. Notice how the economy started tanking at the end of 2000 and Bush inherited the mess (he was widely blamed for a "bad economy") so his answer was to spend like crazy to push the problem off another 5-7 years.
Maybe the political system is wrong. I have long been a fan of a single 6 year term for politicians, no extensions. Under the current system, the minute they are elected they start running for the next term and pandering instead of doing the business of the people.
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