Wednesday, November 22, 2006

After Thanksgiving, we need to be happy and SPEND!


Here we are on the day before Thanksgiving and two days before the start of the shopping season and wouldn't you know it....we get news reported that consumer sentiment has dropped in November.

The article note: "The University of Michigan's final reading of its November index of consumer sentiment fell to 92.1 from October's final reading of 93.6. Economists polled by Reuters had expected a final November reading of 93.1."

So there is concern that the holiday shopping spending may be down and that anemic holiday spending might slow the economy even more. Hey, perhaps people are actually looking out for themselves rather than going even further into debt. (what a concept....and perhaps a sign that people are learning!)

The second bit of news might be a part of the problem causing the slip in sentiment....jobless claims have risen again.

Another article said: "The number of U.S. workers applying for jobless benefits rose by an unexpectedly steep 12,000 last week to 321,000, government data showed on Wednesday...."

Hmm....the troubling comment in there is "unexpectidly".....

Working in the computer industry, and seeing the massive desire and reality of outsourcing, I see reason for people to worry. At least the people in high tech.

But I am guessing that we will be told to "not worry about the man (problems) behind the curtain"....and something to the affect that it is our patriotic duty to spend and keep the engine of the economy running. (in the old days we were told to work harder....now all we need to do is spend harder....it all sounds so easy, except now that means more debt!)

Well, spending makes sense to me when it is connected with investment. That is, when the money you put out there is being used to enhance a process, build up an asset (like a property), invest in a company, get an education...things like that. That is money well spent. (it is actually growing the money)

Spending to buy the latest consumable isn't even a close second....but I can see doing this as a form of relaxation....or when giving a present to a loved one.

But going into debt to spend on consumables that do nothing to grow your net worth....that's shear folly. But this is what we are asked to do....

Do yourself a favor.....save money. I'm not speaking in "government double-talk". I don't mean lower the rate of increase of your debt spending...I mean start increasing your net worth by saving!

We can have fun by baking cookies, talking about old times and enjoying our friends and family. Those are the most important things in life anyways...right?

I hope everyone has a very Happy Thanksgiving Day tomorrow!

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