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Economic downturn? Don’t ‘Panic’ — take a closer look at U.S. history


“There are two times in a man’s life when he should not speculate: when he can’t afford it, and when he can.” — Mark Twain

Pardon my absence from the blog in recent weeks. I’ve been just too caught up in, first, the big presidential election, and, secondly, the horrendous economic contraction/melt-down we’re currently going through.

I think we all can conclude that we are in the End of Days with such economic disasters. First, we’ll all go broke. Then, we’ll all be booted out of our houses, our children will be pulled away from their mothers, we will have our clothes torn off our backs, and we will finally starve to death in the bleak, cold streets of the city.

Or — maybe not. Probably not.

Shucks, folks, if you’re one of those people out there adding to the panic, you really need to take a deep breath, step back away from the stock market before you hurt us all, and just RELAX a little bit.

Take a long look at the history of the U.S. Or at least take a look.

If you look at our history, you’ll find some terrible economic downturns, often referred to as “Panics,” and a few serious depressions along the way. There was the Panic of 1819, Panic of 1837, Panic of 1857, Panic of 1873, Panic of 1893, Panic of 1907, and of course the “biggie,” the Great Depression of the 1930s. Now there’s much more grim news than that which checkers our economic and financial history. Heck, those were just a few of the index entries in my trusty, old, moldy copy of “The American Pageant,” a college U.S. history textbook I still have around from the ’60s. (The 1960s, of course. Ain’t THAT old!)

In all cases, our nation survived. Our economy really did bounce back. Folks who suffered certainly did suffer, just as many are suffering job losses and home losses today. No getting around that. In some cases, we bring that suffering upon ourselves by short-sighted, bad decisions. In other cases, we just get smacked hard by the falling economy.

But, please, my friends and readers, don’t continue to panic. The quicker we put panic and fear behind us, the quicker investors can get back to investing, employers can get back to employing, and we can all get back on track to living that “happily ever after” life.