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Friday, August 15, 2014

The One Word it Takes To Sincerely Build Consumer Confidence

Today the University of Michigan's consumer confidence survey (which they do monthly) shows a drop to 79.4, the lowest its been since last November meaning in spite of the gluttonous Wall Street stock figures, people are feeling rather pessimistic about things...

In the survey, any number around or over 100 means people feel very good about the economy and the state of their own lives as consumers.

The last time the number was even close to 100 was early 2007 which was right when the first pre stock crash recession began.
In order for the economy to truly function as its supposed to, there is one word which full encapsulates what must happen for people to have confidence to spend freely again and we're not talking about a tangible word like 'money' or 'gold'..

It's also not 'Hope'..  It's not 'Faith'..

The word is Belief.

Now the 3 words may seem like they're pretty much one and the same but they're not..
Hope is based on feelings and wishes and connotes uncertainty  (Ex: 'I will pass the math test' vs 'I hope to pass the math test')

Faith is based on things not real-world provable.

Belief is a conviction based on a confidence something will occur as it has in the past.

For instance, when you sell something to another person and he/she hands you a $20 bill, do you hope that money will be accepted at your local supermarket, do you have faith it will, or do you believe it will?
And when you use a credit card with a merchant (assuming your card is in good standing) do you hope its accepted, have faith it will be or believe it will process the transaction with no snag?

And when you go online to to your bank's website to check your account balances, do you Hope that $1000 in your Checking is available to pay bills, do you have Faith it will be, or do you believe that digital '$1,000' on screen is real?

For many years, we've been sold 'Hope' and 'Faith' and other nonsense like 'Patience' as in so-called 'recovery' takes time and 'Trust' as in trust our leaders and other empty words

But for most, little to nothing has occurred to make us sincerely believe things are better or progressing toward that resolution.
The government can fudge the job figures all the live-long day but people who take the time to look in the classifieds or out there pounding the pavement with resume in hand know the deal..

And banks can loosen all the credit they want for mortgages, car loans, credit cards, etc but all one has to do is to look at the interest rate accompanied or what's in their personal checking account to know the truth..

There should be a survey created where only Mothers of children up to 12 years old participate. Among questions asked would be:

 'How often in past month have you have to tell your child to put something they picked up back on the shelf because 'Mommy couldn't afford it'?'
'How many times in the past month have you stepped foot inside a Wal-Mart or Dollar General vs Macy's or JC Penney, even if only to browse?'

Or 'How many times in the past month, have you used your credit card to buy groceries, gas or other essentials and Hoped the card would not be declined?'

Then compare Q's like that month to month..

Then you'd see the real economy and all its blemishes.
There must be belief in people that all that wasted time going to college and all that needless brutal debt accrued will have a positive outcome i.e. a good paying job or career allowing someone with hard work to achieve their dreams

There must be a belief that there's at least some semblance of fairness and justice that everyone has opportunity to slice out a piece of the proverbial 'pie' rather than a few i.e, the 1% taking most of it and leaving the rest as leftover scraps for others to converge upon..

There must be a belief that even if there's political gridlock, that both parties are trying to come up with real solutions instead of sitting back, doing nothing but playing strategy games over mid-terms and 2016..
There must be a belief in people that things will improve for themselves and/or those they love, especially their children..

And how can any person have any belief in any of that when prices keep rising, wages keep stagnating, debts keep increasing and good paying jobs are continually in short supply..

And that God-Damn stock market still keeps a' rising..

And that's when 'Belief' devolves back to 'Hope'

And as meaningless as that word is, having 'Hope' we suppose is better than having none at all..  Its just a sad way to live compared to Belief