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Re-read the story

They aren't exactly breaking into a chorus of "Happy Days Are Here Again" or "We're in the Money."

They are NOT giving our local economy glowing grades. They are simply saying that while it continues to stink, it seems to be stinking less than most places outside our area, and that's true.

As far as whether we're in a recession or a depression, you have to understand that these terms aren't based on individual economic situations or even widespread demographics. They are based on overall performance of the GDP. Increased hiring normally lags the end of a recession by at least six-months. However, we are now in our twenty-eight month since the recession ended with no uptick in employment.

That tells you that we are in uncharted waters, and we are seeing a new global economy that is based upon REALITY settling in on all developed nations. Our economies have been built on easy credit and phony-baloney estimates of value for too long. What we're going through right now is a LONG overdue adjustment back to economic reality. Our "housing bubble" was due to nothing more than government, the associated industries, and all of us doing exactly what Enron did - assigning fantastic values in a fake, mark-to-market cloud of lies. Enron valued an idle power plant in India at increasing billions, just as we saw our $125k home climb to $385k by 2006. Did we complain and tell the appraisers and assessors that they were out of their minds? No, we took out HELOCs and bought stuff!

The poster who stated that we need to remove burdensome governmental regulations is one-hundred percent correct, but it's going to take far more than that to bring light manufacturing back to America. The American worker is going to have to accept markedly lower wages if he hopes to compete with that worker overseas....and you are ALWAYS going to be in competition with that worker. Our artificially propped up standard of living is gone. No one is going to pay you $18 an hour to sew a collar on an assembly line any more.

We cannot jam the global economic genie back into its bottle because of treaties we are legally obligated to follow and a common sense handling of our own economy. The last thing we need right now is hyperinflation, but that's exacty what we would get if we start restricting imports or imposing tariffs.

What can YOU do to help things?

Stop rat-holing money, and start buying things. I'm as guilty as anyone in that regard, but one of the reasons our economy is dead is that consumer demand is dead.

Stop voting for politicians who promise you the moon and have a track record to prove they'll try to deliver. "The moon" is very expensive, and leads to higher taxes. Stop thinking of ME at the polls and start thinking about the city, the county, the state, and the country. Twenty-five cents of every dollar moving through our economy goes to the government, and the liberal nutjobs from both parties in Washington want to increase that amount. Instead of bashing the UNCW economists for daring to use the word "recovery," start thinking about the people you vote for. I don't care about any ancillary issues, be it gay rights, gun owner rights, abortion or the environment, right now the ONLY issue ANY of us should be bringing to the voting booth is lowering taxes and debt to get this economy moving again.

Accept that EVERYONE is going to feel pain as we go through this period of economic adjustment, because there is no sign that it's ending soon....and, if Americans don't start spending money, it's going to get far worse.

Finally, pray. Because if you asked me for an assessment of our economy, local or national, the best I'd say is, "Well, it's not as bad as the Great Depression"....

....yet.

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