New Will 2 Power? That’s What They Say

Discussing the economic downturn

I say we throw a spell on the whole thing

The stock market is perhaps more volatile and turbulent than it has ever been. Wild points swings of 400-600 points each day are now commonplace. And the word is that a new downward spiral is in progress. Will it bottom hard like the horrific crash of 2008 still fresh in our memories? No one knows, but here’s the strange thing. Unlike in 2008, when a glut of junk mortgages plagued our large banking institutions and ultimately killed Lehman Brothers and Bear Stearns, the fundamental numbers that should be determining market values are in reasonably sound shape. But something else is driving the market. That something is fear. And that fear is being fueled relentlessly by the media. The conversation grows darker daily, and there is suddenly talk of a new recession. It’s almost as if the collective voices are trying to “speak a recession into being.” I know that sounds mystical, and I suppose it is. Speaking things into being used to be the province of witches with dusty old incantation books, but the new magic may be even scarier.

See, so much of what we “know” is based simply on what we hear. If we hear 20 people say we’re headed into a new recession, we assume it must be true. That’s mostly because we have some innate faith that these people have some source we don’t know about. They don’t, but they do have an unlimited supply of supposition conjecture. Knowing now that there’s a new recession upon us, we naturally retreat to a defensive mode. We burst through the front door and announce, “Honey, there’s a new recession on! Batten down the hatches and sell the dog! We can’t afford him anymore!” Then we get on Facebook and tell all the friends. We jump on Twitter to save people. And we refuse to go to Best Buy to even see the new Google TV. It so happens that about 70% of the U.S. economy is currently driven by consumer activity, and since we’ve just stopped spending on anything that isn’t bleeding, we actually do go right into that recession. Bam! The talk is cheap, but the results are expensive.

The real power lies with the collective

Just imagine what could happen if that collective power to create change was directed the other way. I’m certainly not advocating a lifestyle of un-bridled spending, but our national economy is in desperate need of a big time electrical jolt that will make it move again. We’re stuck in neutral, and no amount of money showered on the banks will change that condition. However, if a swarm of people descended for a single weekend on retailers of every variety and bought as if the good times were here again, we’d put ourselves on the road to that very thing. It’s all about momentum. Fear breeds fear, and confidence breeds confidence. The volume of conversation now contained within the social media sphere is enough to have a powerful effect on the current lackluster condition of things, and may actually be the quickest way to mobilize the army of like minded people it will take to reverse course. Then, the media would really have something to talk about.

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