WE’VE ALREADY BEEN THERE, DONE THAT.
My business pals aren’t stinking rich, but comfortably among the upper income. Back in the day, these entrepreneur buddies started out in business. We’d gather to discuss marketing and finance problems. Today we still meet, but as retirees with creaking bodies we chat about our “organ recitals” or discuss the business of life.
As one of the less vocal members, I have never raise my voice at a fellow entrepreneur…until last week. One of them began the discussion with a depressing litany:
“You know, the stock market offers no upside, bonds yield nothing and we’re all going to get killed in the next crash. It’s happened before and there’s little we can do about it!”
This profundity was greeted with waves of nodding heads followed by anguish and loathing for our political leadership, the Bernie/Elizabeth impending wealth taxes, the trillion dollar budget deficits and inevitable inflation to follow. It sounded so awful, why bother getting up in the morning.
Of course retired business guys are not the only ones repeating stories of apocalypse today. Newspapers fill in the gaps and add a gut wrenching gumbo of doom. It seems pontificating negativity conveys concern, astuteness, and alarm. It’s very self-serving and very WRONG to say things are worse now than ever.
I blew up at my buddy saying:
“Each of us was born back during WWII. Since then we should have learned the difference between dog shit and Tootsie Rolls. By our 8th grade all of our generation had been through far worse. There was genocide, nuclear vaporizing cities, ICBM missal scares and millions emigrating to save their lives. We also lived through the Viet Nam War when jumbo jets of American body bags kept coming home. We saw rioting in many city streets while Detroit and Los Angeles burned. We saw one President shot and two up for impeachment.
If you think this is so bad, you must have long term memory problems.”
I may not have persuaded the group, but it made me feel like Tootsie Rolls all over. Full employment, hardly any wars, IRA accounts are at an all time high, inflation at all time low. This is nothing like the worst of times unless you’re trying to sell body bags.