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Feds killing capitalism
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Editor, “We have nothing to fear but fear itself.” This is one of the most quoted statements by President Roosevelt that was made as he took office during The Depression.
It is a very profound thought. It implies that a positive attitude by individual American consumers is necessary for economic recovery. However, by Roosevelt’s actions we know that he had more faith in the federal government than in individual Americans. He “created” jobs by having the federal government hire workers directly.
While this may have helped some individuals, the net effect for the whole country was minimal. It is similar to taking money out of one pocket and putting it in another. The net gain is zero.
If consumer confidence is necessary for economic well being, we can only wonder why the liberal news media seem so intent on spreading fear, especially in the last eight years.
There are many examples of slanted news stories, but I will mention only one. In reporting consumer spending for last September, the headlines stated that spending had “plunged.” What constitutes a plunge? In this case it was a decrease by l.2 percent. That means that for every $100 spent the month before, consumers had spent $98.80 in September.
Our new president has been spreading fear by talking about depression and catastrophe. Such talk is self-fulfilling.
In these economic times, individuals are being advised to hoard the money they have. In other words, be fearful and stop spending because you may lose your job. If everyone follows this advice, the probability of losing your job increases sharply because the economy will go from bad to worse.
If the 93 percent who still have jobs would start spending, it would break or at least slow the downward cycle. Naturally, people who do not have money should not increase spending because this is one of the causes of the current crisis.
Most of the stimulus package is devoted to providing government jobs. I do not expect this to be a success. However, even if it works, you must realize how long it will take for new jobs to be created in the private sector. Banks have been given huge amounts of money but they won’t lend until the economy improves. The public doesn’t want to spend unil the economy improves. The cycle needs to be broken.
There is little the public can do now to influence the government or the banks. However, by acting less fearful, the consumers of this country could do more to break the cycle and start a recovery than the federal government or the banks. However, I expect that many consumers will continue to cower fearfully in the corner, waiting for government help.

Roy Hensel
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