You’re Just Saying That

“You look good.” “I love your hair that way.” “No, no, no…plaid slacks are making a comeback.” These are all things we say in answer to questions we’d rather not answer truthfully. And the response is usually “Oh, you’re just saying that.” And we are. But the alternative is hurt feelings and at best an apology and at worst a night on the couch.

There is one area of life that the phrase actually is beneficial—even if it is a lie. There are reports all over the news—TV, Print and Web—that the housing market is on the rebound and that the recession is over. Many skeptics poohoo these assertions as being overly optimistic. These pundits maintain that the economy will take at least five years to recover from this devastating recession. These are also the same pundits who maintain that the recession started seven years ago.

If there is one thing that is a constant in our society, it is that we will listen to what is said loudest and longest. If enough people insist we are in a recession, then we believe we are in a recession. And—this is the important part—we ACT like we are in a recession. When we act like we are in a recession, we create a recession.

Our economy is one that works when money is flowing. You earn a buck, you spend a buck. The store that took your buck gives it to a bank who then gives it to someone else. That buck is then paid to someone as wages, and that person then spends that buck and the cycle continues. But suppose that the person who got the buck decided he didn’t want to spend the buck. Then the merchant won’t get the buck and have no bucks to give to the bank. The bank has fewer bucks, so they stop giving the ones they have to others and pretty soon, no bucks are moving anywhere. This is a recession.

What would make a person decide to hold on to the buck? Fear that there won’t be any more bucks coming. This in turn makes it so that no more bucks come. Why was he afraid? The media told him there was a recession coming. How do we fix it? Tell him the recession is over.

Wait a minute…just a cotton-pickin’ minute there, bub! There are thousands of people without jobs. What about them? You can’t tell them the recession is over. Well, yes we can, and the reason we can is that once people start spending again, then employers will start hiring again to fill the needs of the growing marketplace.

This is the big issue. People behave in set patterns. If they believe the recession is over, they will start spending again, the bucks will flow again and then, guess what? The recession will really be over. Even if you think they are lying when they say it, believe it. So when you hear the housing market is rebounding, take heart. When you hear the recession is over, feel confident. Go ahead and spend your money.

They’re not just saying that.

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