Don't Make the Economy Worse Through Fear

By: Roger Sheppard
By: Roger Sheppard

Transcript of Editorial., Sat., Nov. 22, 2008

It's been a while since I've done one of these weekend editorials.

 I've been blogging up a storm at and I invite you to go check those out on the "blogs" page.

 But with all that's going on in the economy...nationally and around the world…I really felt the need to share something with you more directly.

 And that is: despite everything you hear in the national media, things are not that bad here in our valley. And we have a huge role in helping to make sure that remains the case.

Bank foreclosures, triggered by huge banks lending money to folks who really couldn't afford homes, are not up in any measurable way here.

 That's because we don't have banks that made a lot of those risky loans.

 Banks here are generous and willing to help a new business or a family, but they don't want to get people in over their heads.

 The banks here are solid. Your investments are secure.

 While the Valley has lost a number of jobs in the past few years, it has NOT lost any sizable number of jobs in recent months, despite what's being going on elsewhere.

 Gasoline prices, which were over the 4-dollar mark just a few weeks ago, are now half that amount. They probably won't stay that low, but it sure is nice to be able to fill up the tank of the average automobile for way under $50 again!

 I'm not trying to let on as though NO ONE is hurting right now in the Mid-Ohio Valley .

 Certainly there are.

 And there are organizations capable of lending a helping hand.

 If you have a 401-K, I know those investments are looking ugly. But unless you're needing to access that money right now or in the next few months, don't worry about it. The market will come back, and your investments will, too.

 I just want to say that whether things get worse here in our neck of the woods or not, is somewhat under our control.


It's like a domino effect.

 If people listen to the bad news, and then act upon it even if it's not directly impacting them and may NOT ever impact them, by cutting back on spending, then businesses in our area that weren't hurting before, may start to suffer.

 If THEY start to hurt, layoffs can begin.

 Now those people REALLY DO have something to worry about and have to start cutting back on spending.

 Which just feeds into the cycle all over again.

 In the depths of one of the nation's most serious financial crises, FDR told the nation "The only thing we have to fear, is fear itself."

 Those words ring as true today as they did more than 70 years ago.

 We should always be careful with our spending, and not stretch ourselves too thinly, putting things on credit that we don't really need and piling up debt we can't pay.

 But we cannot let problems elsewhere cause us to lose faith in the American system and in the knowledge that things run in cycles.

 What was up, will come down.

 And what is down, will come up again.

 If you're in the market for a new car, a new home, new appliances, whatever -- shop smart, shop now. There are bargains to be had and local businesses who are always glad to see you.

 And as much as I want you to watch WTAP, it's OK if you turn the channel when someone comes on the air telling you how bad things are someplace else. Or maybe just turn down the sound, OK?


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