SECOND LOOK: Simple questions, complex answers

Published on Wednesday, 25 April 2018 20:03
Written by ART SECONDO

Trying to summarize the economy in 2018 is like trying to figure out how to tune up today’s automobiles.

Years ago before computerized gadgets and technicians replaced true auto mechanics, anyone with some common sense had a shot at figuring out how to set the carburetor and change the spark plugs.

Years ago talking about the economy meant having your bank announce you would be getting eight percent interest on your savings account, up from seven which jumped from six a year prior. It also meant you were practically guaranteed an annual three-percent salary hike. Just kidding.

Today, a baby boomer can’t locate the spark plugs or find the carburetor because usually there isn’t a carburetor.

Today, our age of communications compels us to accept what we are told about the economy. We don’t concern ourselves about the interest banks give us because keeping money in the bank to make money just does not work. The media, the government and the economists feed us what they believe we need to know how to live our lives.

When all these CNN experts retire, will others simply replace them? Can America’s corporate world survive without some millionaire’s forecast?

1. Are jobs secured?

2. Will social security be safe for the next generation?

3. Can the free world survive the mid-east turmoil in regards to the price of crude oil and other products overseas? Gas price hikes are not justified.

4. Where is the best place to invest?

Now, the above are questions you would expect common folks to ask about a common subject. But I have the feeling that based on what I’ve read and heard for so many months, economy gauging is restricted to the 2020 presidential election, terrorism and the war in Syria.

Unfortunately, the barometer of today’s news has little room for common questions or common answers. The nation’s thirst to overcome the financial potholes of the Mideast turmoil and the predicted close midterm elections will continue to shut out the obvious questions and answers.

Most Americans sincerely want to simplify the entire economy bubble.

Will the economy ever be analyzed and explained in a way that we understand why milk prices never increase as much as we are told? If crude oil prices affect American plastics industry and gasoline prices rise, why are we told that home heating oil could double in price and usually it never happens? Where’s all the crude oil America claims to have?

What does the economy really mean to the businessman who takes in an annual gross income of $150,000 as compared to a retailer with gross sales over $3 million? What does an economic forecast, negative or positive, mean to the average medium wage earner? Is the economy only about the price of goods and gasoline?

It is comparable to local government raising the tax mill rate without divulging how much it will cost each family. What does the economic index mean if you’re on a fixed income? Can you ever expect your taxes to go down? Can a small businessman expect to make more profit in 2019 if one presidential candidate wins over the other?

Understanding the complex web of this entire economist forecasting is a wonderful monopoly game for the talk shows and the economic experts. They don’t purposely lie to us. They don’t tell us the sky is falling but they don’t tell us the sun will shine every day. They just do their thing - like an auto technician of today who used to be a mechanic of yesterday.

None of this seems important in Connecticut where our legislators appear like bobble heads in the wind.

The state has little resources but turns gets us to turn our attention to highway tolls with little details. Then as voting gets close to approval, finally informs us that there will be more than 70 toll centers making the possibility of taxpayers paying hundreds of dollars a year to go to work unless you travel by bicycle.

The media hype is exhausting to hear. Yet, plug your ears because more is coming.

Posted in New Britain Herald, Southington Herald on Wednesday, 25 April 2018 20:03. Updated: Wednesday, 25 April 2018 20:05.