Monday, April 28, 2008

Glass Half Full Economy

Fire of Liberty

I know that the MSM are drowning the airwaves and filling reams of newsprint with stories of a "disastrous" economy and how tons of folks are losing their job (I'll admit that a small subsection of the economy is having a problem.) or can't find a job to pay their bills, but I would suggest that these reporters should dig a little deeper in their reporting and they'd discover a different reality like Ron Scherer of the Christian Science Monitor did in his article "Amid layoff news, many companies are still hiring." As an optimist and someone who has a greater belief in the private sector and enterprising individuals going out there and creating new jobs out of a workforce from a downturn in another sector, it tells me economy is more resilient than the doomsayers in the news and on the campaign trail lead us to believe. Here's a look at some facts that more or less tend to pass through the MSM filter:

"There are lots of places in the economy where the cylinders are still firing," says John Challenger of Challenger, Gray & Christmas, an outplacement firm in Chicago. "Not Wall Street, not housing, and not automotive, but there are many areas that are doing well, are recession-proof or safer havens in a storm for job security," says Mr. Challenger, an expert on employment.

The monthly numbers, which can be grim on a headline basis, don't always tell the full story. For example, last Friday, the Labor Department reported that in March the economy lost 80,000 jobs and the unemployment rate rose to 5.1 percent. But those numbers mean that roughly some 2.1 million new jobs were created, even though 2.2 million jobs were lost.

"Suffice it to say there is a lot of churn in the labor market, and what we see in the net change is a tremendous understatement of what is going on below the surface," says Richard DeKaser, Washington-based chief economist at National City Corp.

Even in the last recession, in 2001, the economy lost roughly 26.1 million jobs but also added 23.2 million jobs, Mr. DeKaser notes.

Some of that churn – in the positive sense – can be seen at Mr. Winslow's software company, Epik One. "I was just watching CNN talk about the 80,000 jobs that were lost in the economy," says Winslow, whose company analyzes the effectiveness of advertising spending on the Internet. "We don't think cutting back is a good idea. We think this is a great time to hit the growth accelerator."

Aside from Neil Cavuto, Larry Kudlow, and the Wall Street Journal, it's always great to find certain rays of light in the storm-tossed economy we see on the front pages or on the TV screen. Just don't expect too many of these positive stories in the MSM prior to the 2008 general election.

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