Sunday, November 30, 2008

It's Maddening

Question: How much of this recession is a result of people acting on media-driven perceptions? My husband thinks it's about 100%.

7 comments:

Mallory said...

I've often asked myself that same question. I would agree with dad. I mean, if the media weren't driving the recession topic so hard, there wouldn't be such a massive number of people pulling out of the stocks, etc. There would, surely, be a dip in the economy (which means I don't think it's quite 100% the media, but at least a good 90-95%) but nothing drastic. Good grief people. Let's get ahold of ourselves!

yesweareonmars said...

I've heard many times by people who analyze, work and teach management, economics, marketing and the like that banks and companies in trouble have had a culture of making wrong decisions and poor management. It seems to me that if you get 20 million whether you make successful decisions or not, what is the incentive to take your job seriously?
Just Friday Woolworths of England said they are in trouble and that is a company where the competition is doing great. They say 20 years of poor decision making within the company has done it. I also understand the U.S. car industry is the same. Other car companies are doing fine.
Why don't they give me 20 million a year? I can't do any worse then they.

Calandria said...

There are many factors, and you can probably find a more direct media influence in some than others. Why have people in the U.S. been living on the equity of the inflated price of their homes for so many years? The media could have had some influence there, I suppose, in helping create a false sense of wealth? Why do people here spend so much more than they earn? People in other countries don't, and yet they have similar media pressure to buy.

Mallory said...

I do not think that American's live outside their means more than other developed nations. Look at Asia: they may have modest homes and vehicles, but when it comes to technology, they will live in a tin shack and bathe in the streets before they even consider not having the latest cell phone (and that is true). The British have been living outside their means far longer than Americans have, and that has not changed. People are in debt all over the world. Wanting more than you have finances for is not an American problem, it's a human problem.

I've changed my mind a little on the initial issue. I think that there is certainly something wrong with the economy (as I said before) and that the media exploits it, but a colleague points out that it is probably more the fault of poorly educated citizens than the media. I agree. If you can't make an informed decision on your own, then there is a far greater problem than the media. Putting the blame on education also gives us something that is fixable. Putting the blame on the media (which will always exploit and do what it must to "succeed") is only giving us something to be mad about, not something we can say, "Look, here's what needs to happen" and then make it happen.

yesweareonmars said...

According to allcountries.org, the U.S. dept per person was lowering during the Clinton administration but has skyrocketed during the Bush administration. A British person has a much lower dept and that dept lowered during the Blare administration which was the same time as Bush.

Lets face it...if you try to get a hotel room, rent a car, book a cruise or many other things, you have to have a credit card to do it. That's got to tell you something. Its not natural.
Meg and I were stranded in Philadelphia. I had plenty of money for a hotel room but could not find any that would take cash. Credit card companies and banks have the world in their hands. Its legalized extortion.

Mallory said...

I don't have a credit card. I just use my debit, which only uses money I have in my account. Mike doesn't have one either.

yesweareonmars said...

I don't have a credit card either and there have been times that I have to borrow someone else's just to do basic things. btw, because I didn't have a credit card Meg and I were sleeping on the airport floor for two days even though I had plenty of money. Ridiculous!!