Can all this Bad Really be Good?

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Can all this bad really be good?

Things are tough. It seems that “how bad things are” is the theme of nearly every newscast and talk show.  I even spend much of my time on television talking about our economic woes.  The economy has gone to hell and the stock market sucks and foreclosures, layoffs and unemployment rates are soaring.  I get it – it’s bad.  But let’s consider this question:  Can a bad economy, layoffs, bailouts, foreclosures, bank failures, and government corruption really be a good thing?   Absolutely.

Let’s look at the positive impact this economic downturn will eventually have on the credit industry.  Just think, we are going to reach the place where credit is going to be given based on a person’s ability to repay the loan.  Loan applications will have to be accurate.  The amount loaned will be based on the real value of the asset instead of some inflated amount.  A definite good thing.

Let’s consider work.  Yep, good old-fashioned work.  That thing you used to do in order to keep your job but forgot to do when things were good.  That thing that got overlooked by your boss and your employer because they weren’t working too hard either.  Now, people are afraid of losing their jobs because there are no other jobs to be had, therefore they are working harder at keeping their job.  They are showing up on time, not slacking off, working harder, being nicer to customers and coworkers.  Again, this is a good thing!  Customers will benefit and the employer will actually get the work they are paying for.  Hooray!

Companies are going to have to work harder to get customers and will have to serve them better in order to survive.  Survival of the fittest is going to force us all to become more fit in the way we do business.  The companies that don’t serve their customers well will go away.  Good riddance I say, as we can all do without companies who provide bad service.

Corruption in our government may force us to look harder and pay more attention to the people we are electing.

Bailouts, while they make us angry, make us think about our core values of fairness and justice.  They will also make us ask more questions and demand more from our elected officials.  We have needed more interest in where our money was going for a long time and these undeserved bailouts are creating some well-deserved indignation that will hopefully trickle down to the voting booth.  The more citizen involvement we have in our government, the better our government will be.

Foreclosures will force us to think before we buy things we can’t afford.

Let’s get personal.  With the high cost of eating out, most budgets simply can’t afford the luxury of going out to a restaurant and people are going to need to stay home to eat.  The same applies to going to the movies and to other various sources of outside entertainment.  That means that families can’t afford to spend money for entertainment so they are going to be forced to stay home and communicate with each other.  They are going to have to learn to cook and eat together and talk to each other.  This will have a positive effect on the family in many ways.

One of the biggest positives I see coming out of all this negative is that people now have a better handle on their finances than in the past.  Whether the news is good or bad, people are beginning to take stock of where they are financially.  That is something few people were paying any attention to before this mess.  They didn’t have a clue who they owed or how much they owed.  Now, probably for the first time, people know where they are.  They are saving more, spending less, and not going in debt as much as they were.  They are learning to live on what they earn instead of spending more than they earn and financing a lifestyle they couldn’t afford with credit cards.  If they don’t have the money, they aren’t willing to go in debt to get it and they aren’t buying it.  All good things.  Plus, Americans now know more about how our country’s economy works than they ever have before.

Face it folks.  The reality is that things were good, jobs were plentiful, money was flowing, credit was easy to get and people stopped paying attention to how they lived.  That, as much as any other factor was the cause of the financial ills we are all now experiencing.  We can complain about this mess as most are doing or we can use it as a wake-up call that in the long run will make us better people and a stronger society.

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